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Hotel Maya Hosts ‘Latin American Dance Festival’ with Celebrity Instructor Jackie Rios

Jackie Rios, celebrity dance instructor. – Courtesy photo

So you think you can dance? Whether you are the reincarnation of Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers or a person with two left feet, Hotel Maya’s is the place to meet for the new “Latin American Dance Festival” on March 1-3.

Fuego, the Latin infused restaurant at the water’s edge presents free dance lessons from world-renowned dance champion and instructor Jackie Rios who has appeared in films such as Shall We Dance with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez and Mambo Kings with Antonio Banderas.

“Our unique Mayan-themed setting and Latin infused cuisine paired with the beats and movement of Latin dance will be a wonderful immersive cultural experience for our guests and locals alike,” says Jason Cervantes, director of restaurants at Hotel Maya – a Doubletree by Hilton.

The schedule of four Latin dance styles includes tango, the Argentinian dance of love where two people become one, on Friday, March 1 from 6-9 p.m. On Saturday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., samba, the Brazilian Carnival of dance that includes salsa, rumba, and merengue will be taught. Later that Saturday, the romantic Latin waltz with Cuban hip motion known as rumba is on tap from 6-9 p.m. And for Sunday brunch on March 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the music heats up as guests learn salsa, the hot and sensual dance of the Caribbean.

“There is no need to be shy,” says Rios, who currently teaches at The Ballroom Studio in Santa Monica. “My goal is to make sure everyone, regardless of their age or experience, has fun learning and dancing.”

The Santa Monica-based Rios has competed on a national and international level in Ballroom, Latin, salsa, cha-cha, rumba, salsa, and merengue dance. A winner of the prestigious grand Champion at New York’s Emerald Ballroom Competition, she is also a certified Ballroom Dance Judge. Her film credits include Shall We Dance;Dance With Me with Vanessa Williams; Mambo Kings; Salsa; Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton; The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit with Edward James Olmos; and Rumor Has It with Jennifer Aniston. Rios has been a dance instructor for over 25 years and also taught more than 10 years at John Casesse Dance Doctor Studio in Santa Monica.

Fuego, the modern, Latin infused indoor-outdoor restaurant and lounge, offers a unique seaside setting featuring 13-foot-tall glass walls that fully retract with seating inside and on the patio area. Famous for its handcrafted margaritas, Fuego also boasts the largest tequila selection in the region. Fuego’s stunning open-air views include the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach skyline and Queen Mary. Fuego restaurant is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fuego lounge is open daily at 11 a.m.

Fuego Sunday Brunch is $45 for adults and $18.50, sans entree, for children under 12. Kids 3 and under, feast for free. Fuego restaurant is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fuego lounge is open daily at 11 a.m. to midnight. For Fuego reservations, call 562-481-3910 or visit

Hotel Maya – a Doubletree by Hilton is a full-scale resort featuring a Latin American-inspired 199 room property that presents guests with a distinctive Southern California combination of spectacular, seaside views amidst 14 acres of lush, tropical gardens dotted with 500 palm trees in a modern, open-air, setting. Hotel Maya guest rooms are well appointed with dynamic colors, complemented with earthy, organic furnishings and finishes. Many rooms have private balconies that include ocean and garden views.

Hotel Maya – a DoubleTree by Hilton is located at 700 Queensway Drive in Long Beach. For information and reservations, call (562) 435-7676, visit or like