In just a week, competitors from around the world will be gathering at the Oakland Marriott Hotel for the US Salsa Open Championships, one of the largest salsa dancing competitions in the country.
The event begins on Friday, July 12th 2013 and will run through Sunday the 14th. This is the 4th year of the competition, and promises to be one of the toughest competitions yet, with hundreds of competitors from the Bay Area and beyond competing for the title of best salsa dancer.
The format of the competition is similar to many ballroom dance competitions, with over 40 different divisions in which competitors can compete. Some of the divisions are aimed at individual couples, while there are also divisions for formation teams. There is even a division this year for solo footwork, as well as other dance forms besides salsa, such as bachata.
What really makes this competition unique is the many levels there are for each division. Each division is divided by the experience level of the dancer, starting at Novice and going all the way to Professional. This helps make the competition open to dancers of all levels, as well as keeping the playing field fair for all competitors.
The event moves back to the Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel where it was held for the first two years. There was some controversy last year when the competition was moved to the D’Venue Studio in Campbell, which was a much smaller venue. The larger venue will be a welcome change for competitors, and offer convenience for competitors from out of state.
The San Francisco Bay Area has some of the highest level of salsa dancing in the country, with over a dozen salsa teams in the area, many of whom will be competing at the competition next weekend. The competition also draws many competitors from out of state, and even a few international competitors looking to gain recognition in the competitive salsa world.
The competition is organized by Pretty Boys & Girls Dance Productions, a salsa dance company based in San Jose, and the organizers of the annual San Francisco International Congress.
Ricardo Sanchez, the co-director of PB&G is the driving force behind the event, and as a former salsa World Champion, he is no stranger to competition. Through the US Salsa Open he hopes to create a competitive environment in which the next generations of dancers can challenge themselves and gain recognition.
For more information on the competition, see the official US Salsa Open website.