Latino Voices

21st Annual Chicago International Salsa Congress Kicks Off


21st Annual Chicago International Salsa Congress Kicks Off

If you love to dance and listen to live music, then the annual Chicago International Salsa Congress is the place to be. 

“I would say it’s nonstop dancing for four nights and three days and absolutely the best time of your life,” Rosita Alamin said.

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Rosita and Saladeen Alamin have been running this event for 21 years. 

“What I love about it is seeing the constant new renewal of dancers that come and enjoy the culture and share their talent with us,” Rosita said.

It’s a dance festival celebrating the sounds and beats of Afro-Latin music. Professional dancers and musicians from all-around the world come together for an explosion of culture. For the last four years Hannah Esparza has traveled from Minnesota to be here. 

“It’s super diverse and it brings people from all walks of life, all ages all countries backgrounds, beliefs and it really brings us together,” Esparza said.

The best part of the event is that you don’t have to be a professional get on the dance floor. The salsa Congress has a variety of dance classes for people in all levels. 

“Dancing is good exercise its good for the mind it’s good for the body,” Myrna Bromely said.

Bromely attended her first Salsa Congress seven years ago and says she fell in love and wanted to get involved. It inspired her to start her own clothing business “Myrna’s Closet.”  

“I’m 65 years old and I started dancing seven years ago and I love it. I feel like it’s safe to me and I feel young.” 

Music director J.R. Molion, says, he wants to take guests on an international journey of flavor from across the world.

“We have a group from Columbia, we have one coming from Santo Domingo, one from Cuba. We have tons of artists from all over the continent from Puerto Rico from Guatemala from Honduras I mean we have all of it,” Molion said.

It’s an all-ages dance festival where people can immersive themselves in new dance skills, learn about new cultures.

“The last two years have been so hard not being able to connect with people and I was really excited to hear that they’re back in person and I have friends that dance here, so I’m really excited to be here,” said attendee, Luca Vassos.

And if you think you can’t dance … well the founders have a message for you.

“If you can walk you have rhythm,” Saladeen Alamin said.

The Chicago International Salsa Congress will be going on until Monday morning at the O’Hare Westin in Rosemont. If you are interested in attending just make sure to have your vaccination card. 


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