by Alina Rylko
LATIN dance devotees showed Byron Bay how to party over the weekend, as they converged in the area for the 12th annual Byron Latin Fiesta.
Workshops in sexy styles including Salsa, Tango, Bachata, Kizomba, Reggaton and Samba, were held at the Byron Theatre and Byron Bay English School, over four days.
Organiser Sky Blue said classes attracted 400 participants daily, with the highlight of the event Saturday night's showcase and after party which kicked on until 2am at Guzman Y Gomez Mexican Taqueria.
"The event has a friendly, welcoming vibe, and caters to everyone," Ms Blue said.
"Last night was busier than ever, it was crazy."
Gold Coast woman Melissa Fernandez, 29, was one of the attendees.
The counsellor and personal trainer took up Salsa and Bachata last year, after watching Latin dancers hit the dance floor at a restaurant.
"I used to there and think: 'I wish I could dance like that.'
"Then one day I stopped wishing and took action, and turned my dream into a goal."
Ms Fernandez took part in a Stepping in Sequins ladies styling class on Saturday, which taught participants casual routines for socials.
"The teacher was fantastic, she gave life to the room with her energy," Ms Fernandez said.
The "happy tits" mantra was taught as a simple and useful reminder to dancers to lift up their shoulders and enthusiasm.
"You open yourself, open your chest, correct your posture and lift your energy levels," Ms Ferndandez said.
"That's something that you might forget to do because you're too busy concentrating on other moves and techniques."