Love in the time of salsa
CUBAN professional dancer Cruz Vasquez was performing in a show called Lady Salsa in 2009 on the Gold Coast while the woman that was to become his wife was living next door to his hotel.
Despite living next door for months, Cruz and Emma only met two years later, in Italy.
From dance came love four years ago, and the couple - now based in Sydney - married last year.
Emma Vasquez grew up in Eltham on her parent's farm, but her love for dance took her to stages around the country, and now dance brings her and her husband to headline for the first time the Byron Latin Fiesta 2015.
Cruz explained the couple spend a lot of time in the area as Emma's family still live in Eltham.
"We love it up there, and although we live in Sydney we spend all our holidays on the Northern Rivers," he said.
The couple will be offering dance performances and workshops in their styles of salsa, contemporary and hip hop.
Cruz is a professional dancer trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, Spanish, tap, salsa, rumba, son, acrobatics, hip hop and Cuban folklore.
Byron Bay will be transformed with a Latin feel from October 30 to November 1 as the 10th annual Byron Latin Fiesta hits.
This event has a reputation of being one of the best Latin dancing events in Australia.
Held over four nights and three days, come and enjoy a feast of Latin dance workshops and parties with international, national and local instructors and performers.
The festival caters for beginners and seasoned dancers.
Cruz said Cuban Salsa was a rhythm that originated the streets of the Caribbean island.
"Cuban is a style that comes from the streets. People make music in the street and everyone starts to dance. Everyone grows up with it, so everyone in Cuba can dance," he said.
"In Cuba you don't have to be a trained dancer. You can dance in the streets because you can feel the rhythm."
Visit www.byronlatinfiesta.com.au for more information.
Check out the full program of the Byron Latin Fiesta here.