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Salsa dancing set to return to Beaumont winery after pandemic pause

"Salsa At Cotton Creek Winery was an instrumental part of becoming acclimated in the Southeast Texas community."
Credit: Gordon Williams

BEAUMONT, Texas — A highly-missed Latin dance event is returning to a Beaumont winery for the first time since the global COVID-19 pandemic began. 

Salsa At Cotton Creek Winery will return on Friday, November 11, 2022 at 7 p.m. The Cotton Creek Winery is located at 6755 Phelan Boulevard. 

Since November 2009, the monthly gathering served as a place for Southeast Texans to dance Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, and Cha Cha. If not for the global pandemic, November 2022 would have been the 13th year of Salsa At Cotton Creek Winery. 

"In March 2020, the world came to a halt as the Coronavirus changed life as we know it, and the tropical melodies that filled the winery were immediately quiet," Gordon S. Williams, host and instructor of Salsa At Cotton Creek Winery, said. 

More than two years later, Southeast Texans can expect the rhythm, percussion and sounds of enjoyment to break the silence the pandemic created.

Amid its upcoming return, Williams believes there is a great deal to celebrate. Plenty of patrons have told him they have missed the event. 

One of those patrons is Miceala Moreno, an area Latin Dance instructor. Moreno is excited about returning to a familiar space.

"My heart is overjoyed," Moreno said. "When I moved to Texas ten years ago, Salsa At Cotton Creek Winery was an instrumental part of becoming acclimated in the Southeast Texas community. Being able to build connections, while polishing up our Latin Dance moves every month has allowed for some of my closest friendships to develop."

Traci Tucker is the owner of the Cotton Creek Winery. She is looking forward to the energy and great times the event brings to the atmosphere of the venue.

"I am very excited," Tucker said.

Williams describes Salsa At Cotton Creek Winery as more than just a venue to dance. He believes those who have attended for more than a decade have created a diverse community.

"Collectively, we all lost a great deal during the pandemic on so many levels. I lost a great deal," Williams said. "For the Salsa community who marked this night on their calendar every four weeks, made it date night for couples, and a social outing for friends, we all greatly missed the chance to connect with each other through dance at the winery."

There will be a $10 admission fee. Free Salsa lessons will run from at 7 p.ms to 8 p.m., and social dancing  will follow from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. There is no need to bring a partner and those who attend have to be 21 or older. 

"Since March 2020, we not have had the monthly event, but it is the spirit of the people, the community that has been created, and joy of life that we will celebrate that night," Williams said.

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