The first of these festivals is the first is the San Francisco Salsa Rueda Festival which begins tonight at the Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco.
Salsa rueda, for those who are unfamiliar, is a style of salsa that originated in Cuba. In rueda, a group of dancers form a circle ("rueda" means "round" in Spanish) and dance together with one main lead calling the moves.
The SF Salsa Rueda Festival will have some great salsa rueda performances and instructors, as well as dancing until 5am every night to the hottest Cuban salsa music. The festival will continue until Sunday evening.
If Cuban salsa isn't your thing, then there is another salsa festival going on just to the north: the first annual Latin Jazz, Music, and Dance Festival. The festival also begins tonight, and will be held at the Flamingo Hotel & Resort in Santa Rosa. Instead of Cuban timba, expect to hear a lot of Latin Jazz and salsa music from groups such as Pacific Mambo Orchestra and the Latin Jazz Ensemble.
In addition to the dancing and live music, there will also be salsa lessons throughout the day by local Bay Area instructors such as John & Liz of Salsamania Dance Company and performances by dance groups from Santa Rosa and the Bay Area.
Whichever festival you decide to, there should be lots of great salsa dancing to be had this weekend in the Bay Area. And if you don't feel like driving up to either, you can always check out the second installment of Hot Salsa Saturday, which drew over 300 dancers last weekend to San Jose.