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A Salsa extravaganza!

August 19, 2008
But the competitions were one tiny component of the overall Salsa extravaganza. Actually, it would be unfair to call it merely a Salsa event, as countless dance forms were on display: Salsa, Flamenco, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Mambo, Samba, hip-hop, dancehall, and more. Even Bollywood and Indian classical dance elements crept into the impressive panorama of styles and genres.

Each night, after the professionals performed and the competitions concluded, the hall was cleared of chairs, revealing a giant dance floor beneath. Then, the true medley of dance forms could be seen, during marathon social dancing sessions, which allowed both amateur and professional alike to let down their hair and just dance.

Richard Tholoor and Sneha Kapoor, the reigning prince and princess of Indian Salsa, who in 2007 won three major tournaments -- 1st place at the Bangalore Central Salsa Championship, 1st place at the Australian Salsa Classic and 1st place at European Open Salsa Masters -- expressed their glee at the turn-out for the social dances, estimating that over 400 people showed up and cut some rug.

"It's just amazing," said Tholoor, who's become a regular on the international dance circuit since beginning a professional career more than six years ago. "When we first started the Congress, three years ago, there'd be no more than a dozen couples on the floor. Then, last night, to see like 400 people during the social dance, it tells you how much Salsa in Indian has grown."

In this photograph: Richard Tholoor and Sneha Kapoor, the prince and princess of Indian Salsa

Also see: Wanna lose weight? Dance!
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