They are the best Cuban salsa dancers in the world, and they hail not from Havana, but from a dance studio just a few steps from Metrotown.
Grupo America, the Latin dance company based out of World Dance Studio, performs dances from all over the Latin Americas locally, nationally and internationally, and placed first in Cuban salsa at the World Latin Dance Cup in 2007, 2008 and 2012.
This week, 12 members from the troupe will hit the dance floor at the fourth (and final) annual Vancouver International Salsa Festival at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver, from March 7 to 10, to show off their skills.
Dance studio owner and choreographer Erika Sanchez says it will be a chance for Burnaby residents to see their local champions reprise the winning number from their performance in Miami in December.
"The groups that win (the world cup) are mostly from Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico," she said. "Organizers have told us that we're the only group from Canada that, in their history, has ever even made it to the final."
The four-day festival in Vancouver this week is expected to draw about 4,000 dancers and guests for a firestorm of footwork in Argentine tango, Cuban salsa, Brazilian samba, mambo, the cha-cha, bachata, cumbia, flamenco, merengue and more.
Guests will be able to watch professional dancers, as well as a chance to get their own feet moving to the beat of world-class musical artists.
Parties, dance lessons and workshops are also on the schedule.
For tickets or more information about the Salsa Festival, visit www.salsafestival.ca.