Cinco Block Party

9 years 4 months 3 weeks ago May 05, 2007 May 5, 2007 Saturday, May 05 2007 Saturday, May 05, 2007 9:08:39 PM CDT in News

Club Tropicana in the District began preparing 24 hours in advance. The party started about early Saturday evening with free salsa lessons taught by Andrew Bishop. Bishop teaches salsa dancing mid-Missouri after he first discovered the tradition two years ago in Mexico on a study abroad trip.

"I told myself, when I got back to America that I would learn salsa. And two years later, I'm the President of Latin Dance Club," Bishop said.

He says Club Tropicana is the perfect place to teach the salsa dance moves because of its more authentic Mexican atmosphere.

"I go to other local bars in town and pretty much you get over-excessive drinking or grinding. I think this is just nice to go somewhere where you can actually dance in a little bit more formal way," he said.

Bishop says Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico are not like those here in the states. But admits the ones here are too fun to pass up.

"In America, it just means dancing, music, celebrating everything that's not only Mexican, but everything that's latin in general."

And with the hype over the celebration, Club Tropicana owners say they can't even fathom how much business this will all bring in.

"It is a big night, but ... I'm not gonna count my chickens before they hatch, I really have no idea, I think we're well-prepared, but this is going to be a lesson for us," Joy Castillo, Club Tropicana owner, said.

But business is of no concern to Bishop. He says it's all about the dance.

"It's just something different, and before this place opened we didn't have too many opportunities to do that, but now that it's here. I'm really grateful that it is."

The organizers of this event expect between 500 and 700 people. In fact, the city blocked off Cherry Street between 8th and 9th streets so the party could move outside to accomodate everybody and so party goers could enjoy the good weather. The whole event will run through 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

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