by Liu Ann Volpe

What could be better than salsa dancing, food, and community to ring in this spring season? And what if enjoying a local Saturday night could support people not only in our own community but also abroad? I probably can’t think of anything, can you?

Well, family and friends, hurry on over to Lorenz Hall at Seven Dolors Church in Wyndmoor on the evening of Saturday, March 22, to celebrate the Teenagers Inc. second Carnaval Guatemala. Carnaval celebrates the days leading to Lent and other special holidays with lively music, decorations, specialty foods and costumes. The Teenagers’ party will create a comparable experience!

The $30 per person ticket cost includes a delicious buffet dinner, dessert, and wine and beer for adults 21 and over. Adults may also bring their own beverage (BYOB). An auction will offer gift certificates and themed baskets of products from Central America,

Morris Arboretum, O’Doodles, Coffee Talk, Girls’ Night Out, Sports Mania and Phillies tickets, to name a few.

To work off your dinner or to make room for dessert, there will be live music by RCJ, a La Salle College High School band that will play some hip tunes like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Johnny B Good” and “ I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

Do you Salsa or have you ever wanted to learn the infamous Latin dance? Whether you’re an expert or have never danced salsa, salsa instructor Maestro Flaco will get you in tip-top salsa dancing shape by the end of the night. Flaco is an 18 year instructor at Mt. Airy Learning Tree, where he hosts classes for adult students,

Maestro Flaco is a seasoned dance teacher, proficient in many styles, and is the person who brought salsa to the original North By Northwest in Mt. Airy in 2002. Maestro Flaco is also part of the team that produces the award-winning! Salsa Caliente! at the Painted Bride Art Center, which was named “Philly’s Best Dance Party 2013″ by Philadelphia Magazine. Maestro Flaco is also a roster artist with the Pennsylvania Arts in Education Program.

Carnaval Guatemala at Lorenz Hall, at 1200 E. Willow Grove Ave. in Wyndmoor, starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from any Teenagers Inc. volunteer, Marianne Dwyer at 215-242-4976, Linda Bernatavitz at 215-872-3655 and online at www.teensincphilly.org. All proceeds from the event support the Teenagers Inc.6th annual service trip to Guatemala in July. Teenagers’ presence in the Philadelphia community has increased over the past couple of years. As a result, communal support for the organization and interest in its annual service trip to Guatemala has grown too.

Gabrielle Weiss, a current student at Springfield Township High School who will be going on the service trip for the first time this summer, remarked, “A lot of kids from my school have gone to Guatemala with Teenagers Inc. in the past. I thought it would be a great experience, so I finally signed up this year.”

For more information about Teenagers Inc., Carnaval or the Guatemala Service Trip go to www.teensincphilly.org or find it on Facebook and join now! You don’t know what you are missing!

Liu Ann Volpe, a graduate of of Springside School, Class of-2013, is a student at Davidson College.