San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Ballroom dancing for world peace this weekend in San José

In an contribution to promoting world peace, Costa Rica will host the first annual “Costa Rican Classic & Dance for World Peace” over the weekend at the Hotel Barceló San José Palacio. The event is the first international ballroom dancing event ever to come to Costa Rica and will include a wide variety of traditional styles, including Latin American International, Standard Ballroom, Smooth American Ballroom, Latin American Rhythm and Theatre Arts/Showdance.

The first three nights of the event (including Thursday) will feature a competition in a variety of styles performed by local and international professionals. On Sunday, the event will close with the “dance for world peace” that will feature competitors dancing to live music. During the competition, dancers will perform the tango, samba, waltz, cha-cha, rumba, paso doble, jive, foxtrot, quick step, bolero, mambo and salsa.

Costa Rican David Martinez. one of the event´s principal organizers, said the idea of combining “world peace” with ballroom dancing arose from the involvement of Jose Martí Figueres in the planning of the event. Figueres is the son of former three-time Costa Rican President José Figueres, known for abolishing of the country´s army in 1948.

“We wanted to create something special that incorporated my passion and history in ballroom dancing with some of the history of Figueres´s family,” said Martinez. “We created the idea of the Dance for World Peace, which we will hope will be something we bring here annually to promote a new style of dance for kids, adults and Costa Ricans to learn to enjoy.”

Other organizers of the event are also long-time members of the dance community. Of them, long-time Australian performer Nicholas Kosovich, was the 2005 World American Ballroom Dance Champion. Kosovich has also appeared on five seasons of “Dancing with the Stars”, the highly popular U.S. dance-based television series. He is joined by Patrick Johnson, a career performer and instructor from England.


The Costa Rican Classic & Dance for World Peace

Hotel Barceló San José Palacio

* Friday and Saturday at 8p.m., Competition semifinals

Cost: $45 per person, pay at the door

* Sunday – Competitors dance to a live band

Cost: $100 per person

Formal attire required.

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