Desde la bahia: San Francisco.

Author:Varela, Jesse "Chuy"
Position:San Francisco Salsa Festival - Organizers John Narv


THE FIRST ANNUAL SAN FRANCISCO SALSA FESTIVAL. The Bay Area is never at a loss for great events related to Latin music, and this spring a superb flowering will take place, from March 27 to March 29--the First Annual San Francisco Salsa Festival. This event will be conducted at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, and considering the scheduled activities and the enthusiasm of the organizers, it is gearing up to be a dancer's delight.

As conceptualized by John Narváez and Liz Rojas (via their John & Liz Production company), the festivities get underway at Café Cocomo, 650 Indiana St., SF, on Thursday night (March 26) and then continue at the Cathedral Hill Hotel with workshops, clinics and competitions lasting until 3 am (Friday) and 5 am (Saturday).

The full package for the festival includes two nights of hotel accommodations, parking, daily breakfast, and admission to all the workshops and dancing events, for only $298. Features include a Beginners Boot Camp on Saturday, with local Bay Area instructors, and an Intermediate/Masters Boot Camp, with out-of-town instructors. The dance competition takes place on Friday night with select performances on both evenings. Live music will be provided by the Bay Area All Stars, along with DJ Chino, DJ Fab Fred, DJ Boricua, and DJ El De La Clave. Visit for complete details.

John Narváez and Liz Rojas, directors of the Salsamania Dance Company, are two dedicated dancers and educators who hail from Colombia. I caught up with this dynamic duo on-line, via an e-mail interview, for some insight into their upcoming SF Salsa Festival.

Jesse Varela: Thanks for taking the time to talk about the upcoming 1st Annual SF Salsa Festival. What inspired the idea?

John & Liz: Over the past 10 years, we have traveled the globe, visiting Mexico, China, Korea, Japan, Canada, England, and Italy. We've had the opportunity to live abroad, teach workshops, perform shows, and we have experienced an incredible life in the world's salsa community. Along the way, we've been to the most amazing salsa congresses and festivals, made many friends, and met the most amazing dancers in the world. The social dancing, workshops, and shows bring so much fun and joy to people.

Nothing could have been possible without this beautiful dance we call salsa. By having a smaller event with an ambience of intimacy, it will give more opportunity for others to live these experiences as well. Last but not least, it...

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