Fancy Footwork: Tango and Samba Invade Brunch at Hotel Maya • Long Beach Post

hotelmaya staycation

If you haven’t noticed, there’s been some fancy footwork (not of the Chromeo type) at Hotel Maya throughout this year: some salsa back in March, some rumba in June and now the hottest of all Latin dances: the tango.

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For the third time this year, professional Latin dance instructor Jackie Rios invites people to mow down on brunch at Fuego and pause in between bites to engage in the tricky moves that comprise the tango.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 11.59.26 AMThe Puerto Rican native came to California by way of New York City, where Rios was competing professionally at age 15 and certified as a ballroom instructor at 18. Rios can teach fox trot, waltz, swing, cha cha, limba, tango, samba, and bachata—and freestyle dancing just for giggles.

“I’ve been dancing my whole life,” Rios said. “And when I came to SoCal in 1989, doors just immediately opened: I got an agent, joined the Screen Actors Guild, began shooting commercials and films… It’s amazing that I have the chance to share it with people in a place as beautiful as the southern shore where Hotel Maya sits.”

In addition to bringing her skills to the patrons of Maya, the Santa Monica resident is no stranger to Long Beach, since she has been teaching for the Freedom Writers Foundation for nearly six years.

But now is time for the Dance of Love, which Rios talks about with a sensuality that pars with the downright sexy exchange between two partners.

“Tango is the dance of love, where two people become one,” Rios said. “The Argentina music, it’s slow and quick, with kicks and dips—that is what makes this dance.”

Come August 24, you and your partner can make the dance dance when Rios will offer two slots of time for lessons along with two hours of a social dance. If you’re unable to tango it out, Rios invites you back to Maya on October 19 to sweat to the samba.

“Samba is the dance of Brazil,” Rios said, “a combination of dances including salsa, rumba, and merengue. It’s the Carnival of dance.”


Jackie Rios will lead tango lessons on Sunday, August 24, from 12PM to 1PM and 2PM to 3PM with social dance from 3PM to 5PM. The lessons coincide with Fuego’s Sunday brunch that runs from 11AM to 2PM and costs $37.00.

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