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Spice up New Year's with a hot Latin dance
Step out of the winter cold and warm up to the Latin beat at Coquitlam's Evergreen Cultural Centre on Dec. 31.
The Hot Salsa Dance Zone — better known as Alberto Gonzalez and Teresa Szefler — is once again hosting a New Year's Eve fiesta in the facility's rehearsal room, featuring a free dance lesson for newcomers as well as performers at the 10 p.m. intermission and champagne at midnight.
Szefler said participants need not be shy about not knowing how to sway hips or move feet as the one-hour class will offer the basics to salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia and cha-cha-cha.
"We just want everybody to come out and give it a try," she said. "It may be something different or it may bring back some memories."
Gonzalez will be working the tunes at the DJ table for the six hours. "We've got all the popular Latin music," the Mexican City native said. "It's lots of fun and lots of energy. And we'll have the disco ball going, too."
The party is the largest in the Coquitlam Centre area and tends to attract about 100 participants from Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley — many of them with no partner, Szefler said. "Everybody is welcome."
In the past, their students have also hit the dance floor to show their new moves. The pair teaches Latin dancing at Evergreen on Thursdays and Sundays, in Surrey on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and in New Westminster on Fridays (they also have a Latin dance party on the first and third Saturday of every month at Evergreen).
For New Year's, "it's always a good mix who shows up," said Gonzalez, a professional dance instructor for 14 years. "You see people who have been dancing all their lives next to people who have never tried it before."
Before heading out, Szefler recommends dancers wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes to boogie. But "dress to impress! It's New Year's Eve," she said.
• Tickets to the New Year's Eve Latin Dance Party 2014 are $30 before Dec. 26 by calling 604-725-4654 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (entry is $40 at the door). The event is licenced and parking is free but limited due to the Evergreen Line construction. Visit hotsalsadancezone.com.