How to Throw a Salsa Dance Party

How to Throw a Salsa Dance Party. Spice up any gathering by indulging in the Cuban-African rhythms of salsa. Even if you don't know how to rumba or cha-cha, let alone salsa, none of that matters as long as your atmosphere has flavor and the music cooks!

Decide on the number of guests and choose a location for your party. You'll need enough floor space for at least half of your invitees to dance at once, so think about clearing away furniture if you choose to have the party at someone's house. A separate area for people to relax and converse is also nice, especially if some of the guests won't be dancing.

Light up the place with color. Illuminate your walkway with candles, string lights in your doorways and across your ceiling, and hang brightly colored crepe paper decorations on your walls.

Spice up the party with Latin-American-inspired finger foods - chorizos, quesadillas, empanadas - or add just a touch of flavor with chips and (what else?) salsa.

Have plenty of margaritas, a salsa party must-have, on hand. Add a pitcher of sangria for splash. Include themed nonalcoholic choices as well, such as tamarindo (a drink flavored with tamarind) or different types of "aguas frescas" (fresh fruit juices).

Indulge your guests with the greatest in salsa music. Recruit a band or a DJ, or simply dust off your stereo system and play the best salsa CDs. Try Celia Cruz, Jose Alberto, Oscar De Leon, and of course, Tito Puente.

Hire a salsa dance instructor to get the party started if you and your guests are novices.

For a romantic touch, give each guest a red rose as they enter or leave the party.