Grab your dancing shoes and shimmy to the Teesside Latin Dance Festival

PUBLISHED: 14:13 13 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:09 20 February 2013

Jimmy Sayed (centre) at a Latin Connection salsa class in Middlesbrough

Jimmy Sayed (centre) at a Latin Connection salsa class in Middlesbrough

Ever wanted to master the art of Latin dance? Get a step ahead of the game at the Teesside Latin Dance Festival. Emma Rigby reports

Dancing has been given a makeover in recent years but if your technique hasnt kept up, quick-step your way to Middlesbrough.

This months Teesside Latin Dance Festival could give you the moves to impress Brucie and the Strictly judges.

Launched in 2009, the festival is the biggest of its kind in the UK, combining the passion of popular dance styles Salsa, Tango and Rumba with the somewhat less familiar Bachata and Reggaeton.

Consisting of a full day of workshops in various styles of Latin dance including Rueda, Son, Afro Cuban, Musicality and Cross Body Lead Salsa, the festival has seen growing interest since its first event.

More than 500 people took part last year and this years event on Saturday March 31st at Teesside University Student Union will be bigger still and, with workshops and choreography classes catering for all abilities, is aiming to attract more people than ever.

Dance coach Jimmy Sayed, from event organisers The Latin Connection, said: The festival really brings people together. We get different people, different nationalities, different jobs and its a really good way to keep fit.

Showcasing talent from across the North East as well as international talent, the festival, taking place at Teesside Universitys student union, aims to promote health and fitness through dance with dancers from Spain, Cuba, Colombia, Peru and Italy taking part.

And Jimmy added: The good thing about it is that there is a very friendly atmosphere in the North East. The university is an amazing venue its a really good place.

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