Get your dancing shoes ready…

If you like the “caliente” beat of salsa music, the Montreal Salsa Convention may be just what the doctor ordered.

From April 19 through April 22 you’ll be immersed in four consecutive days of true Latin “fuego”.

The Montreal Salsa Convention gathers about 5,000 salsa-lovers every year.

It is a “reunion of dancers and music lovers of all levels. Even those who never danced before. It’s a get-together to share information through workshops, to learn different approaches to the dance and to the interpretation of music,” says Sonia Kyriacou, who organizes the convention in partnership with her husband, Moris Alvarenga.

Salsa Conventions are given throughout the world and are attended by international professional dancers, teachers, choreographers, students and aspiring salsa dancers alike.

Performances are given by both amateur and professional groups.

The Montreal Salsa Convention will open its doors at Club Select with the “Extreme Salsa Competition” Thursday, April 19.

There will be evening shows and an opening party with international guest DJs.

Although the convention, per se, does not focus on competitions, couples from around the world, as well as locally, come to measure their skills with those of fellow dancers.

This year, competitors from Sweden, New York, Toronto and maybe even China, will attend.

“The Montreal Salsa Convention is getting more and more international attention,” Kyriacou says.

Even the judges will be a mixture of international and local professionals.

Both competitors and performers get ready well in advance for their performance.

Kyriacou explains dancers need to have performed and practiced with the same partner for at least one full year before they can take the stage.

The choreography needs to be worked on for at least eight months for performances, and at least one year for competitions.

Of course standards for amateur performers are not as high as those for professionals.

It’s not the same pressure. Even though they too prepare eight months in advance, they usually perform in a group scenario.

No matter which of these categories you belong to, daily practices entail at least two hours of work a day.

After Thursday’s competition, the Montreal Salsa Convention moves to the Metropolis, where on Friday night, evening-long shows and performances will be given, followed by a dance party.

These workshops are set-up to satisfy all level of dancers, from beginners to professional.

The preliminary list of instructors invited for these workshops are from Puerto Rico, Miami, Philadelphia, Boston, Bermuda, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Portugal, Sweden, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Saturday night, the salsa party continues at the Metropolis, where there will be premiere performers and a live band, Wayne Gorbea y su Salsa Piquante, straight from New York. After performances, a dance party will follow.

Sunday night, there will be more performances followed by a farewell party at the Cubano’s Club.

There are different types of passes that can be bought over the Internet for this event.

There is a full-inclusive package, which grants you access to all shows, workshops and dance parties for $239.

If you’re interested in shows and dance parties only, then the pass drops to $60.



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