After the success of Oman's first International Salsa and Dance Festival last year, Thuwaini al Harthy and the Oman Salsa Group are getting ready to bring on the second. The three-day festival, which starts on March 1, will once again offer visitors over 50 workshops for all levels in salsa and other Latin dances, including cha cha cha, reggaeton, belly dancing, lambada, hip hop, samba and zouk. There will also be parties, shows and entertainment, henna painting and a sightseeing trip around Muscat after the final day.
The event is being held at Al Nahda Resort and Spa, Barka, and will gather internationally renowned performers, instructors and DJs from Cuba, Germany, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the UK, the US and more. Among those attending are internationally celebrated dancers like Peter Fige and Dorota, Moe Flex, Michelle Castro, Samantha and Nayan, and Sam Mr Sleek.
“Last year was a big success for us. We had 350 participants and 18 artists. This year, we are expecting around 550 participants and we are bringing 37 artists,” said Thuwaini, founder of the Oman Salsa Group and organiser of the festival. “The festival is a great opportunity for artists to promote themselves in the region and every year we are trying to bring something completely different.”
The Oman Salsa Group has been running since 2003, and according to Thuwaini, comprises the largest salsa group that regularly travels to different dance festivals around the world. The group includes a database of thousands and conducts classes in Muscat and Sohar.
“The best thing about our festival is that we are welcoming the people here. We have supported them and now they're supporting us,” said Thuwaini. “So many people have wanted to return from last year, which is a great sign for us.”