2006 promises to be a year that we keep the Salsa hot! and there is not better place than "Salsa Land" to do so. If you do not know what Salsa Land is then we would recommend you read last year's commentary. (Well if you can imagine Salsa Land expanded the dance space added 2 more dance floors). Half the Salsa in the City team was already in the City of Angels by early Friday and the other half arrived later that evening. We were all very hungry by 6pm LA time because that really meant it was 8pm Eastern Time? or was it that we already knew the kind of dancing that was coming very shortly. We decided that we did not want to go very far because we wanted to be on the dance floors to maximize the dance time. As we sat waiting to get our food there were Salseros everywhere, walking in every direction. I am sure you could have randomly picked someone and they would have belonged to the congress. I mean you can tell just by the way they walked. LA is the ultimate dance experience at least from our point of view. The women are dressed very sexy and as one female colleague says so many "genetically gifted" women in one place makes it very hard to stand out. Some men were rugged and some were so smooth but all very sexy in their own way. These two chemicals mixed together in the beacon of a salsa dance floor and you can just feel the energy rising in the slightly chilled air as more and more mixing churned away in the hours of the morning of this Salsa Mecca.

I am not going to kid you, it can be slightly nerve racking for a newbie to get on the dance floor next to some of the greatest salsa dancers, performers and promoters in the world but it is something you will never foget all the days of your life. The regulars were there in full effect including... Liz Lira, Edie the Salsa Freak, Alex D'Silva, Joby Martinez, Victor and Gabby, Josie Neglia, Jesus Morales, Al Liquid Silver and Francisco Vazquz just to name a few. The list goes on and on having 150 dance teams from all over the world in 42 different countries. I must say this year was the attack of the Aussies lead by Oliver Pineda, Austrilian Salsa Champion and the Californians like Junior and Emily who took 1st place in the on2 competition. There were so many salsa celebrities that we know we have left off 95% of the list ;-) we do hope you forgive us.

Daytime performances from Philly were fewer this year s but we still represented with La Luna Negra, Andrew and Diana and Latin Nation. It is a pity that we were not able to replicate the Visual Impact quantum leap performance and make it to the night show by out performing all other daytime performers on that evening. The advantage always goes to Kids and Older people mutters one Philly dance team but that always has a place in the audience heart.

We can go on and on talking about the performances in the evening from 4pm then at 8:30pm to 10:00 then 10:30 - 12:00 and the well lit stage and the costumes but we let the pictures talk for us. There was something there that was silent but equally as moving. We do not think we slept much over this weekend being over charged with glorious energy. This energy we carry with us for at least 2 weeks after leaving Salsa Land. It was just too much yet we could not get enough as we danced till we closed each party on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4am each day. We meet many great people who traveled from all corners of the globe to celebrate being together in UNITY with the best dancers, bands, performers, instructors and DJ's. All of us being together fostered a total sense of belonging for each and every one of us. All of us under a canopy of stars, bathing in the music of Salsa brought to you by the hard work of Albert Torres and his team, feeding on each other's energy with smiling faces as we retire to a rising sun. This is what LA is all about... See you in LA next year for another Albert Torres production.
PS special thanks to Cynthia Semon for getting us the access to get this to out to the salseros all over the globe