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Swings so cool and sways so gently

Five local Latin American experiences with buena onda (good vibes), guaranteed to get you on your feet.

By Daisy Dow

Ay, ay, ay! From the bossa nova to flamenco to merengue to salsa, if Latin American music makes your heart sing and your feet go loco, soak up the sounds of Latin America without leaving the Lowcountry this fall by checking out these themed dance nights, festivals, happy hours and dance lessons.


Music to your ears

Latin Music Festival 

Head over to Shelter Cove Community Park on October 10 to take part in Hilton Head’s ninth Latin Music Festival. Coinciding with Hispanic Heritage month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, this celebration of Latino culture, music and history is hosted by La Isla Magazine, a bilingual multimedia company that focuses on building Latino and Hispanic economic and cultural ties throughout the community. The last Latin Music Festival, held in 2019, featured authentic Latin American food, a couples’ dance competition, salsa lessons and other fun activities for the whole family. Join La Isla Magazine to celebrate Latino and Hispanic heritage from noon until 9:30 p.m. 


Shout from The Rooftop 

Latin Night at The Rooftop Bar 

The Rooftop Bar at Poseidon, located in Shelter Cove Towne Centre, hosts a monthly Latin Night featuring Latin trap (hip-hop), reggaeton (originated in Puerto Rico), salsa and bachata (Dominican Republic blues) to name a few Latin music genres. This Hilton Head libation destination also produces other themed evenings, including Dueling Piano shows, Coastal Country nights, tribute shows and DJ Dance parties. A hub for local musicians and visiting DJs, The Rooftop Bar offers a unique perch on which to dance the night away with sunset views overlooking Broad Creek. 


End the day with some “olé!”

Live flamenco music at Holy Tequila

The rhythmic beat of Spanish flamenco music seemingly hypnotizes its listeners and compels them to dance. If you’re looking to be swept off your feet, swing by Holy Tequila for its 4 to 6 p.m. happy hours and dance to musician Enrique’s live flamenco music from 6 to 8 p.m. He’ll keep your toes tapping as you try this restaurant’s “modern Mexican meets Central American” cuisine. Taste the taco of the day and wash it down with some specialty craft cocktails at the tequila bar. With live music every night, the Latin party never ends at Park Plaza. 


Two to tango?

Salsa dance lessons at Tio’s

Want to dance but have two left feet? Stop by Tio’s Latin American Kitchen in Shelter Cove Towne Centre for some free guidance on your quickstep. Since June 7, Tio’s has brought in dance instructor Alyssa Petro from 5 to 7 p.m. every Thursday to teach free salsa lessons to anyone looking to learn. Come with a pack of friends, a date or solo to try some cha-cha-charming dance moves on the stage outside of Tio’s or on the patio at Shelter Cove Community Park. No experience, no equipment and no partner required. 


Dance the night away in a Latin kind of way

Salsa Night at the Revolution Ballroom 

Revolution Ballroom in Beaufort showcases a selection of syncopated salsa, bachata and Argentine tango classes for $20 per drop-in. Salsa and bachata classes are held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and tango from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Become versed in the basic steps and figures so you will be ready to take your skills to any club in the area. Revolution Ballroom’s introductory level classes are designed for beginners, so no worries about having prior experience or even a partner. If classes are a little too formal for you, take a spin at one of Revolution Ballroom’s monthly dance parties. Open to the public for just $15 a person, these Saturday night soirees offer two hours of social dancing and light refreshments.