If you’re new to the social dance world, or perhaps have been living under a rock, then you may not be familiar with the Salsa Fest or other similar dance conventions. If that’s the case, please allow me to acquaint you. Just about every week, somewhere in the world there is a dance/music festival taking place – and not just the Coachella type, more specifically Latin dance and music events. The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of large scaled Latin dance events popping up around the globe.

With popular classes like Zumba in available everywhere, and recording super stars crossing over into the mainstream, Latin music and dance have exploded into the hearts and consciousness of people all over the world. It’s undeniable that so much of the music is catchy, fun and great for dancing. It can put anyone in a good mood and can really breathe life into a party. As more people began to see what great fun and exercise dancing to this music could be, the Latin dance fever really began to ignite and spread like wild fire.

Like many of it’s counterparts, the Salsa Fest, is three full days and nights of dance workshops, special boot camps, pool parties, live music, dance performances, competitions and more. There are special add on options such as a three hour boot camp with ‘On-2′ icon Eddie Torres, a six hour Bachata immersion with Andrea and Silva, and an eight hour Bachata challenge with Jorget, from which participants will perform what they learned on the big stage on Sunday. This year the events kick off with two pre-parties. On Wednesday, May 20th at Steven’s Steakhouse, and on Thursday, May 21st at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Both nights will have a live band and social dancing until late night. Then the workshops, performances and dance socials will carry on at the Westin from Friday, May 21-Sunday May 23rd.

Since the first official salsa congress took place in Puerto Rico in 1997, there have been quite a number of changes, including the title, which was changed to LA Salsa Fest in 2013. While the first congress only had 375 attendees, today there are easily thousands in attendance each year, often times in excess of 5,000 participants from tens of countries around the world. With the LA Salsa Congress being the very first in the U.S., it has grown to become one of the largest and most talked about events of its kind. This year there will be workshops from 9AM to 4PM by over 53 instructors, and performances by 90 registered groups and couples from both near and far. Following the pool parties (with dancing of course!) from 12-5PM, the evening social dancing begins as early as 9PM and continues until 6AM the next morning. Since it’s a holiday weekend, many lucky dancers will have the Monday after to rest and recover. So whether you’re a newbie or a old pro, if you’re ready for a jam-packed weekend of Latin dance fun, grab your dancing shoes, energy drinks and get ready to spin, dip and dance ’til you drop!