Vilnius Salsa Festival Grooves Latino Style

Vilnius Salsa Festival Grooves Latino Style

Amy Van De Casteele

When you think of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, in all likelihood you will not immediately associate it with the fiery artistry of Latin dance. But that’s where you’d be wrong. Every year, this historic city hosts the Vilnius Salsa Festival, a lively extravaganza of sensuous dance moves and groovy Latin beats. This year is the event’s 6th in existence and it promises four fun-filled days of parties and dance workshops, running from 17-20 May.

Among its list of highlights, the Vilnius festival will feature the incredible Hacha y Machete dance company, as well as a line-up of acclaimed dancers, instructors and choreographers from around the world, including Angolan salsa champion Iris de Brito, her Portuguese partner Nuno Campos, and Mark-Anthony Sheppard, founder of MAS Mambo Dance Company. Festival-goers will also have the chance to watch talented show groups in action, such as Italian partnership Andrea Peluso and Maria Lanno, and Swedish couple Johanna and Leonardo. Music will be catered for by talented salsa deejays like DJ Willy and DJ Rain.

This spectacular smorgasbord of dance will begin with a pre-party on Thursday 17 May. Held at the Inn555 restaurant, the revels will last from 9:00pm until 2:00am, giving you plenty of opportunity to dance and mingle with other salsa enthusiasts in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.

The following three days will be packed full of more dancing, parties and workshops. On the night of Friday 18 May there will be an Opening Night Salsa Party, as well as a presentation featuring the festival’s talented instructors and show couples, followed by salsa and kizomba dancing and a riotous after-party from 3:00pm to 6:00am. Saturday and Sunday are both workshop days, with hours of classes running from 10:00am until 6:00pm. The workshops will cater for all levels of experience, from beginners through to advanced. You will also have another chance to see the professionals in action, and there will be plenty of dancing to the sultry salsa beats played by festival DJs.

Finally, on Sunday 20 May, the last night of the festival, there will be a marathon Final Night Salsa Party, starting at 9:00pm and finishing after dawn the next day. Once again, music will be provided by a line-up of talented DJs.

If this all sounds too good to miss then slip on your dancing shoes and book your tickets to Vilnius. The picturesque Lithuanian capital boasts magnificent historic architecture and offers plenty to see and do, as well as an excellent selection of accommodation. Establishments such as the, the Tilto Hotel and the Grata Hotel Vilnius provide cosy, comfortable rooms with a range of amenities at budget prices. Meanwhile, slightly more expensive options include the 4-star Mabre Residence Hotel and the Ramada Vilnius Hotel, which offer luxurious accommodation against the backdrop of the city’s beautiful Old Town.

For more information about the Vilnius Salsa Festival, visit: www.salsafestival.lt/en

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