Salsa congress season is starting soon: the Toronto Salsa Festival is happening on Easter weekend, followed by Salsafair Gatineau on April 5-7! With this in mind, we thought this might be a good time to talk about what congresses are, and why we love them.
What is a salsa congress?
Salsa congresses are 3-4 day events that bring together salseros from around the world to learn from each other and dance with each other. For the most part, they follow this format:
- Mornings and afternoons are taken up by workshops given by the performers invited to the event. It’s a chance to learn from some of the best dancers in the world, explore new styles, and try new things.
- The evenings start with around 2 hours of shows and performances. Sit back, and enjoy some awesome dancing!
- Social dancing starts anywhere between 10pm and midnight, and goes on well into the night!
Why do we go to salsa congresses?
Because they are a great place to learn, get inspired, and dance with new partners! There’s something for every dancer: for beginners, we recommend going in the evening and checking out the shows (congress workshops don’t tend to be very beginner-friendly, however Salsafair does have a beginner bootcamp). For more experienced dancers, it’s a chance to dance with out-of-towners and meet some of the best dancers in the world!
Congresses are also great places to shop for shoes! Not only will you find more selection, and brands you can’t usually find locally, but many of them will also have sales and special congress prices.
When and where do salsa congresses happen?
Most congresses are annual events, and they happen around the same time each year. Most major cities have salsa congresses; here are the Canadian ones (that we know of):
- Toronto: Canada Salsa Congress (October), Toronto Salsa Festival (March)
- Montreal: Montreal Salsa Convention (May)
- Vancouver: Vancouver International Salsafestival (March)
- Quebec City: Festival Salsa de Québec (September)
- Ottawa/Gatineau: Salsafair Gatineau (March/April)
- Calgary: Calgary International Salsa Congress (April)
Want more? Check out the Salsa Travel Advisor for international salsa events!