WTOP is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. All this month, discover stories from the diverse Latino communities in the D.C. region, here at WTOP.com and on air at WTOP-FM.
Have you ever walked by a park or monument in D.C. and seen people dancing? Chances are you’ve stumbled — or salsa’d — into one of the District’s fastest growing attractions: Latin Dance Pop-ups.
WTOP’s Matt Kaufax went to check out this new phenomenon bringing people together through movement in the nation’s capital, and caught up with the founders of La Gozadera.
La Gozadera, which literally translates to “a good time” or “party” in English, was born during the pandemic, when co-founder Andrea Bauzá said members of D.C.’s prominent Latin dance community would safely gather in parks or at monuments — just to get out and move.
A couple years later, they get hundreds, sometimes even over a thousand people to form up and dance on the steps of some of D.C.’s most iconic monuments, like the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.
During his first salsa dance lesson, Matt found out that it’s not about having fast feet; it’s all about going with the flow — and letting loose. He also found that dance is a shared language, no matter your skill level.
To learn more about La Gozadera, you can follow them on social media. Dance pop ups are free, but donations are strongly encouraged on Venmo, which shares the same handle as the group’s Instagram account.
The group has more pop ups at the monuments planned for October, including Monday, Oct. 8, at the Lincoln Memorial.
There’s also a brunch and dancing event, Brunch y Baila, at Maiz 64 in Logan Circle on Oct. 7, and a Latin Dance Night in Tysons, Virginia, at Greenhouse Bistro on Sunday, Oct. 15.
For details on other free dance events at the monuments that are still in the permitting process, you can check out their website.