The Rio Grande Dance Classic returns after 2 years off

Rio Grande Dance Classic logo

It’s been on a Covid hiatus for two years, but Rio Grande Dance Classic organizer Nick Rael is looking forward to relaunching his Albuquerque dance competition. The 2022 edition of the RGDC will be March 31 – April 3 at the Albuquerque Marriott Uptown, 2101 Louisiana Blvd. NE.

This year’s RGDC will feature lots of workshops and three nights of social dancing, along with pro, pro-am, and amateur competitions in ballroom, Latin, Country-Western, and swing.

To highlight the swing side, Rael is bringing in well-known West Coast Swing champion and coach John Lindo, who will teach workshops and DJ. Lindo (pictured, with Jessica Cox) will kick off the competition with a workshop on Thursday evening, March 31, followed by the first social dance of the weekend.

John Lindo with Jessica Cox

John Lindo and Jessica Cox

“We’re going to have three rooms for dancing this year. There’s going to be a lot more workshops,” Rael said.

Along with the usual competition categories, Rael is putting on Jack & Jill contests for the first time, where leaders are paired at random with followers. The J&J categories are West Coast Swing, Country-Western two-step, salsa and bachata, and — unusual for a dance competition — American smooth (waltz, tango, and foxtrot) and rhythm (cha cha, rumba, and East Coast Swing).

Even better, you don’t have to be a competitor to participate in the J&J events. Spectators are welcome to join in as long as they hold an all-access pass. “You don’t have to have a partner. You just sign up. It’s literally mixing and matching,” Rael said.

Pro-am competitors should talk to their instructors for information and pricing on entries. Amateur couples can download entry forms from the website.

Spectators can pay to attend single sessions or purchase a $55 weekend pass, which includes entry to the social dances. Spectators who also want to attend the workshops, or participate in a J&J event, should buy an all-access pass for $129.

All events are unisex, so anyone can dance with anyone.

For more information, visit the Rio Grande Dance Classic website

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