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Hips and salsa

Things are going to get much sexier on South Beach this week, when hundreds of salsa dancers and their swiveling hips perform at the 12th annual Salsa Congress.

The festival, which takes place Wednesday through Sunday, includes live music and dance performances, pool parties and workshops for people wanting to master the fast-moving, Latin American dance.

Don't worry if you have two left feet. You can still partake in the festivities. Along with teaching salsa, professional dancers will be on hand to help attendees learn the rumba, bachata, kizomba and Cali salsa (the Colombian form of the dance). Just remember to bring sunscreen. Some classes will be taught poolside at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa (4833 Collins Ave.), including the ever-popular zumba. The event will feature several instructors and performers from South Florida, including Neri Torres, Barbara Craddock, Uwem Ekpo of Prestige Dance Company, Tatiana Habanova of Kizomba Fever and Christian Espinola of Casa Salsa.

For people who'd rather watch than move and shake, several performances will combine music and dancing at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive). Performers will include the Cuban band S2Son; Carlos Guerrero, of the Colombian orchestra Grupo Niche; Puerto Rican salsa singer Edwin Bonilla; Ray de la Paz, of Chino y Su Conjunto Melao; and Jose "El Carnario" Alberto, the former lead singer of Típica 73.

The fun won't end early: Local DJs Joey G, Lisuan Bordon, Stephanie Peña and Jorge Charun will spin Latin tunes at several afterparties.

Registration for the dance workshops, which cost $80 to $90 a day, fill up quickly. To reserve a spot or for more information, go to

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