NOLA Salsa and Bachata fest

NOLA Salsa and Bachata fest

By Angie Hernandez

Click aqui para español->NOLA Salsa and Bachata fest

The New Orleans Salsa-Bachata Festival is back for its second year this coming August. What started as a small festival held in an Uptown dance studio has quickly turned into the largest dance event in the state of Louisiana. However, this wasn't an overnight process for the festival's founder and president, Rubia Garcia. Garcia began dancing in 2003. At the time, Garcia found herself between homes. It was through a friend's cousin that she discovered salsa dancing.

After her classes, Garcia would crash on her friend's couch. A journey which started by merely finding a place to stay quickly turned into a lifelong passion. Since then, Garcia has trained in the Dominican Republic, has become a dance instructor, and has traveled and performed at major dance festivals across the country. Not only was her dance career thriving, but the dance community in New Orleans was thriving as well. In 2005 all that came to halt because of Hurricane Katrina. "Everything I knew and loved about our community changed literally overnight.

There were no more classes. There were no more socials. No more performances and training. No dancers, period. Everything and everyone was gone," said Garcia.

During the aftermath of Katrina, Garcia discovered a new love and passion for New Orleans. "When I moved back from the Dominican Republic, I knew I wanted to become a teacher, to work with the youth of my community, and play a role in the rebirth of our dance community. I knew then, one day, this festival would happen."

Twelve years later, Garcia was finally able to produce the first major Latin dance festival in New Orleans. The three-day festival will take place at Le Meridien Hotel from August 3rd to August 6th. Over 10,000 square feet of ballroom space will be dedicated to salsa, bachata, and kizomba for over 20 hours of nightly social dancing throughout the weekend.

The festival will also provide for a learning experience by bringing international dance instructors who will be teaching over 60 hours of workshops, private instruction, and many fun challenges. Festival goers can choose different workshops such as salsa on 1 or on 2, Cha-cha, Bachata, Kizomba, Zouk, Samba, Ladies Styling and Latin fusion, among others.

As far as skill level, Garcia encourages everyone to attend! Most workshops will be offered in a variety of skill levels from beginner's basics to advanced performance-based workshops. Garcia adds, "my advice to first-time festival goers is to be as open, as flexible, and as fearless as possible."

Although New Orleans may fall behind in terms of a well-established Latin dance scenes when compared to cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, Garcia is committed to putting New Orleans on the map. Garcia exclaims, "There are plenty of places that host these types of dance festivals. You can go to any major city in the world and find one. But in all the world, there is no place like New Orleans!"

Last modified onSunday, 07 October 2018 21:05
Angela Hernandez

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Publisher's Note

I moved to the United States almost 20 years ago, and as a sports fan, I couldn't stand the fact that I did not understand how American football worked.

It was impossible not to get infected by the passion and the love New Orleanians have for the boys in the Black and Gold, so I made it a point to learn the basics and join the fun of watching the beloved Saints play.

I was lucky to suffer with a weak team only for a few years, and I was fortunate to be part of the WHO DAT Nation when they made it to the Super Bowl in Miami.

Even though the Super Bowl we wished for this year did not happen, our team gave us a great season, and off the field, many Saints players are doing so much for this community through their foundations and giving back some love to their fan base. Today, The Saints continue to be an essential driving force of our community.

It is amazing what passion and pride can do for the city of New Orleans. The Saints gave us an incredible season! I know we’ve had a few weeks of coping, and many people have decided to party away from television sets the night of the championship game, but I still want to thank the New Orleans Saints for all the joy they gave us this last season.

Like most of you, I'm always proud to yell out loud WHO DAT!

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