If you heard Latin beats pulsating from Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park last summer, it was likely from the free Salsa fiestas at TD Community Plaza.
The electric dance parties hosted by the Hot Salsa Dance Zone drew hundreds of participants and viewers to its events on the shores of Lafarge Lake.
And, next month, they’re back — but for one night.
Despite a 300-name petition calling for more Salsa dancing outdoors in 2022, the city is allowing the company to come back on June 25 only.
Karen Basi, Coquitlam’s cultural services manager, told the Tri-City News because of the high demand for Town Centre Park space — and with pandemic restrictions easing — the city wanted to "ensure equitable access for all interested event organizers."
Alberto Gonzalez and Teresa Szefler said they’ve tried to work with city officials to add more dates, but with no luck.
They’re now reaching out other municipalities such as Port Coquitlam, White Rock and Maple Ridge to host free dance parties in their communities (a night is booked for Aug. 5 at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge).
Still, the pair is busy with the return of their Salsa classes on Thursdays, as well as their Salsa and Latin Dance Nights on Saturday nights in Coquitlam.
Their first Salsa and Latin Dance Night for 2022 was last Saturday (April 30) in the rehearsal hall of the Evergreen Cultural Centre, while their dance classes — held in Studio A — returned last month. Registration opens Saturday for their June–July sessions.
Szefler said she’s surprised at who’s coming to their lessons. "There are a lot of younger people," she said. "They like the music and social interaction."
For both the lessons and the Salsa & Latin Dance Night, no partner is needed and no dancing experience is required. "That’s why we’re here: to teach."
For more details about the classes and dance parties, or to help sponsor the Salsa Night on June 25, go to hotsalsadancezone.com.
Salsa & Latin Dance Nights
Saturdays, 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Rehearsal hall, Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way)
Thursdays, 7 to 10 p.m.
Studio A, Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way)
Lafarge Park Fiesta (FREE)
Saturday, June 25, 7 to 10 p.m. (dance class for absolute beginners at 7 p.m.)
Town Centre Park (1299 Pinetree Way)
Fiesta in Maple Ridge
Friday. Aug. 5, 6 to 9 p.m.
Memorial Peace Park (22407 Dewdney Trunk Rd., Maple Ridge)