Hot Salsa dances into 10th year

Fundraiser for Montessori School at 7 p.m. Saturday

Posted: Monday, January 31, 2011

It’s time to put on your dancing shoes and salsa the night away with Juneau Montessori School.

The school is celebrating its 26th year of existence with its 10th annual Hot Salsa fundraiser event.

“It’s a way to bring the community and help us celebrate and we’ve been around for so long and remind people how important it is, early learning and preparing children for school and life,” said Lupita Alvarez, Montessori director of education. “The theme of the event, social dance and life music and all that is just so nice especially this time of year when its kind of cold. It’s nice to get some music and go dancing and celebrate with friends.”

The event usually attracts between 400 and 500 dancers. It will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday at Centennial Hall.

The Thunder Mountain Big Band and a Latin DJ will provide the tunes to this year’s dancing.

“There will be sets of 45 minutes to an hour of music,” Alvarez said. “There will be different styles of music to dance with.”

Other attractions include hors d’oeuvres, a no-host bar and dessert auction.

A silent auction also will run from 7 p.m. to midnight. Dancing begins at 7:30 p.m.

“We also are going to have on-site childcare available,” she said. “If families want to bring their kids, they can. There will be a fee, of course, but the children can come and participate in the party. If they don’t want to be in the ballroom anymore they can be in the childcare area.”

Alvarez said the idea originally came about through part of her own history and the development of Juneau’s dance scene.

“This is something I kind of grew up with,” she said. “In Mexico there would be frequent celebrations and parties. It’s very easy that you’ll see live music, whether it’s a band or two. Whatever the occasion you’ll have families gathering and having fun together. When this event started, it seemed Juneau didn’t have very much of that kind of parties or opportunities for people to dance and gather.”

As the dance community evolved in Juneau, this event was the perfect fit.

Admission is $35 for adults, $20 for students and seniors with advance tickets — $5 more at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Hearthside Books or through Montessori parents.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at

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