STEPPING OUT: Canadian dancers Kim and Geo teach and perform Dominican bachata and mambo.
STEPPING OUT: Canadian dancers Kim and Geo teach and perform Dominican bachata and mambo. Contributed

Latin Fiesta will spice up the Bay

THE Byron Latin Fiesta is Australia's longest running Latin dance festival, held annually in the heart of Byron Bay.

Enjoy four nights of Latin dance parties with live music, special performances and social dancing, plus two days of Latin dance workshops, as well as pre and after parties, master classes and more.

The 2019 festival will feature Canadian artists Kim and Geo, who teach and perform Dominican Bachata and Mambo.

Bachata is a style of social dance from the Dominican Republic, created during the 1960s and danced only in closed position, like the bolero or tango, often in close embrace.

Mambo is a dance from Cuba developed in the 1940s when the music genre of the same name became popular throughout Latin America.

Later on, with the advent of salsa and its more sophisticated dance, a new type of mambo dance, including breaking steps, was popularised in New York.

French dancer Chris Py and his partner Sara will be performing kizomba. The origins of kizomba as a social partner dance can be traced to late-1970s Africa, with influences variably attributed to Angola.

Another popular dance to be performed and taught at the Fiesta is salsa.

This popular form of social dance originated in Eastern Cuba, altough its modern form was born in New York to a mixture of Afro-Cuban folk dances with jazz.

Salsa movements are a combination of the Afro-Cuban dances son, cha-cha-cha, mambo, rumba and the danzon.

First-timers can just attend and enjoy the performances or learn some basic steps.

The festival's performance schedule also includes other rhythms such as samba, son, reggaeton, tango, rueda de casino and Cali-style salsa.