Day Trips: Latin Dance Fest offers lessons in salsa, merengue

Dancers are taught at Plaza Park in Las Vegas, N.M. The city will have its inaugural dance festival next weekend at New Mexico Highlands University. (Courtesy photo)

Compiled by Mike Jimenez

If you have ever wanted to learn to dance salsa, merengue, or other Latin dances, then the first Latin Dance Fest 2005 in Las Vegas, N.M. is the place to be Oct. 21-23. There will be workshops during the day to learn the dances and then dances at night to show them off.

Where is it?
Las Vegas is approximately 170 miles and should take about two and a half hours of driving time to get there. Plan on allowing at least five to six hours for round trip driving. From the Portales/Clovis area, take U.S. 84 to Interstate 25, turn right going east to Las Vegas.

What to do:
On Friday night there will be a welcome dance at 8 p.m. at Sala de Madrid on NMHU campus. The music will be by Chris Romero, a DJ from Albuquerque. On Saturday morning, workshops will begin at 8:30 a.m. The workshops will be conducted at the Dancing Flame Studio, The Citizen’s Committee for Historic Preservation, El Fidel Hotel, the Ilfield Auditorium and Kennedy Hall located on the campus of New Mexico Highlands University. Lunch will be from noon to 2 p.m. and the workshops will resume at 2 p.m.

Workshops will be teaching various levels of Salsa, Merengue, African dancing, Cha Cha, and Tango. A dance will be held on Saturday night as well. Music will be performed by the musical group Son Como Son. Workshops will continue from 9-10 a.m. and 10:15-11:15 a.m. on Sunday, with some of the best Latin dancers in the state featured at the Latin Dance Showcase. Prices for the workshops and dances are available on the Web site listed below.

You can sign up for individual workshops or the entire dance fest. Various Las Vegas hotels are offering discounted rooms for attendees, those deals are listed on the Web site as well.

Information:
For information, call 505-425-3200, or their visit their Web site www.nmhu.edu/losrumberos/
latindancefest.html