Dance Economy: Latin dance festivals raise profits for businesses

Global Business

One of the biggest Latin dance festivals has wrapped in Washington. Dancers filled the streets of the nation’s capital, and also the balance sheets of some businesses. CGTN’s Nanuka Danelia reports.

Hundreds of dance enthusiasts from around the world flock to Washington, D.C. every year to attend one of the most popular Latin dance events, the DC Zouk Festival. The event is part of the growing social dance scene – a rapidly increasing entertainment sector, as some consumers are turning their backs to nightclubs and bars for ballrooms.

According to Nielsen TDLinx research, between 2015-2005, over 10,000.00 bars in the U.S. have shut down. Over the same period in the U.K., the number of night-clubs has plunged by 45 percent and by 38 percent in the Netherlands according to the Economist.

Dance festivals like this are held in cities around the world from DC to Prague from Rio de Janeiro to Shanghai. Attendees spend hundreds of dollars on tickets, hotel stay and travel. Their days are filled with workshops led by international instructors. Evenings are for watching professional performances – before the floor opens up to all. Call it dance tourism, a trend many hotels are getting behind.

“What this does is, it allows us to have people with different interests for arts and culture, it has the exposure from the international perspective too.” Said the rooms director of the hotel where the festival took place, Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Some attendees get more out of these festivals than impressive dance skills – The entrepreneurial bug to start their own.

“I had just started dancing, and I saw that there was a need for Brazilian Zouk, lots of people were enjoying the dance itself and I felt like other major cities at the time had a festival, I felt like the nation’s capital needed one as well,” Sami Selo Ahmed, founder of the DC Zouk Festival said.

The message these events send is simple: anyone, anywhere can dance for a price, but for those who walk away confident of moves once considered impossible, it’s a worthy investment indeed.

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