As the plane landed in the City of Angels for the Salsa in the City team, there was a keen awareness that the ultimate salsa experience was waiting. We were officially in "Salsa land"! What is "Salsa land"? I had only seen it on the Internet but others on the team had been here before and knew exactly what to expect. 2 full stages, 6 dance floor, 8-tent salsa Mecca complete with the hottest salsa dancers, performers and promoters in the world.
Part of our team had landed on Thursday and part on Friday. Cool days were filled with workshops conducted by some of the world's best including... Eddie Torres, Jayson Molina, Liz Lira, Tropical Gem , Santo Rico and Alex D'Silva just to name a few. Daytime performances were off the chain featuring Philly's own Most Wanted, Visual Impact, Art in Motion, Las Gringitas and Latin Nation. When you think you had learned and seen enough, the party had not yet started! You just had enough time to get something to eat and shuttle yourself to the hotel to shower and get ready to dance the night away. Luckily for us we had a car and was a little more mobile than the average Joe.
If you got back by 8 o'clock you can see performances going till 10pm while in another tent social dancing was on the go all at the same time. It was Salsa Heaven. Local Philly performers "Joe and Amie" were scheduled to dance in the 8pm performers which included dance teams from countries as far as Japan. Night performers were definitely among the best in the world. When the performances were over then an odd thousand spectators joined the other thousand in the social dance floor until the next set of performances, which began at 12am. Then to add to the melee even more dancers were coming in via the gates. I have ever seen so many great dancers all in one spot "Salsa Land". There were more performances at midnight... that's right! Those odd 23 performances starting at 12am will take you till 2am if you get to see them all. It takes stamina to watch so many dance performances. Now if you come out of those performances and feel cheated it is because you now realize that you only have another 2 hours to dance since the party finishes at 4am. One warning to all the LA partygoers…you'll definitely need to adjust your salsa body clock!Now that was just one typical day and night and we had that happening every night from Thursday to Sunday. You get the drift??!! You can listen to music and dance all day and all night long. One of Philly's highlights was Steve Tirpak with the performance band. It was amazing to see all of the salsa celebrities in one place jammin' the dance floors. The live music was also off the chain with performances by Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Domingo Quinones, Oscar d'Leon and others. Everyone can testify when Oscar's band started scanning his hits the chill was definitely in the air and you know there is a God and he meant for us to dance to the Salsa beat. See you in LA next year for another Albert Torres production.