The qualifying rounds for the annual World Salsa Challenge competition have begun at Hot Salsa Saturday!
The World Salsa Challenge is an annual salsa competition held at the San Francisco Salsa Congress every November. The competition pits the top salsa dancers from the Bay Area against international competitors from around the world, for an exciting competition on Sunday night of the event.
Local dancers win the right to compete in the competition by participating in and winning the qualifying rounds which are held at the bi-weekly Hot Salsa Saturday event in San Jose. There are multiple divisions that competitors can compete in: amateur, semi-pro ("Pro Rising Star"), professional, pro-am, or teen. Every weekend, up to two couples qualify to compete in the Final round of qualifiers held the weekend before the SF Salsa Congress, and the top 3 couples represent the Bay Area at the big competition in November.
This past weekend was the first round of qualifiers, and there was only a single couple who entered-- Donald and Elena Webb, a husband-and-wife duo from San Francisco who have been participating in competitive salsa for a number of years. The couple will go straight to the Finals of the qualifiers for their shot to compete at the SF Congress.
There weren't many competitors this past weekend, but expect more competitors to enter the competition as the date gets closer to the Congress. In the years past, the first few weeks had few competitors, with more competitors entering the fray nearer to the Congress. For the Finals, couples will need to present a 2-minute choreography, although for the initial rounds competitors qualify solely through social dancing.
The World Salsa Challenge this year will be held on Sunday, November 24, 2013 at the 12th Annual San Francisco International Salsa Congress, held at the Oakland Marriott City Center hotel. The event runs from Thursday, November 21st to Sunday, November 24th and attracts thousands of dancers and spectators from around the world.