Chicago's 8th International Salsa Congress

February 10, 2009 10:09:41 AM PST
It may be February, but they're promising a sizzling heat wave this weekend at the 8th Chicago International Salsa Congress. The popular annual festival celebrates diversity, unites cultures and showcases Afro-Latin music and dance, says Rosita Ragin, of the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Some of the world's best Latin dancers will perform and teach workshops at the Salsa Congress, which is expected to attract 2500 dance fans each day from Thursday through Sunday at the Westin O'Hare in Rosemont.

Here are some of the highlights:


  • - Thursday, 2/12 The Latin Jam Session with 3 regional bands: The Spanglish Band (Milwaukee), SalsaChicago Mambo All Stars and Papo Santiago y Orquesta Infraverde (both Chicago)
    - Friday's Headliners, 2/13 - Direct from Colombia - La Sonora Carruseles, Valentine's Day. Saturday
    - Saturday 2/14 Direct from the Bronx! Wayne Gorbea's Salsa Picante
    - Sunday, 2/15 on Closing Night a spectacular "Tribute to the inimitable Ray Barretto" with the Luis Gonzales Puerto Rico All Stars featuring Adalberto Santiago
    - Social Dance in the Grand Ballroom nightly until 3:00 a.m.
  • DANCE WORKSHOPS: Every day from 9:30- 4:00 pm - Learn Salsa, mambo, tricks and lifts, ladies styling, partner work, cha-cha-cha, rueda casino, Cuban rumba, bomba y plena, to Salsarobics, Tae Bo Mambo and Zumba to Afro-Latin music ? over 60 workshops taught at all levels and featuring everything you ever wanted to know about Afro-Latin rhythms and dance under one roof.
  • DANCE SHOWCASE: The Emerging Artist afternoon show features rising star performers and professional performers. Each evening's Salsa Showcase on the main stage is a thrilling experience!
  • HEALTHY LIFESTYLES WORKSHOPS: Dance and fitness workshops, sports medicine, treatment for minor injuries, workshops on healthy diet, diabetes prevention and management. Free and open to the public.
  • VENDORS: Dance and workout apparel, shoes, instruction and music videos, CDs, artwork, accessories, health care, beauty, skin/scar care products.
  • For information on workshops, instructors, registration and tickets, visit Tickets are also available at Disco City, Lily's Record Shop, J & R Record Shop and Latin Rhythms Dance Studios.

    The 8th Annual Chicago International Salsa Congress
    Thursday, February 12 through Sunday, February 15
    Westin O'Hare
    6100 North River Road, Rosemont