Salsa Under the Stars brings night of dancing to Pacific Highlands Ranch


Some of the best dancers in San Diego will come together on Saturday, Aug. 12 for Salsa Under the Stars, a night of dancing at the Village of Pacific Highlands Ranch from 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

The salsa social will include free professional dance instruction, social dancing and exciting performances from world-class dancers in the plaza between restaurants Westroot Tavern, Dolce, Wokou and Crudo. While attendees can expect to hear a lot of salsa, other popular music genres include Cha Cha, Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton and Latin hip hop. The event will also feature a raffle to raise funds for local dance nonprofits such as Soldiers Who Salsa and Young Lions.

A second salsa night is slated for Saturday, Sept. 16.

Salsa Under the Stars is the passion project of Randy Kish, a local resident who runs Carpe Soul Productions. A former world champion amateur dancer, Kish has been working for years to bring salsa to the Carmel Valley community.

Kish said North County in general lacks both salsa dance venues as well as dance instruction.

“Carmel Valley, with its countless exercise-oriented facilities and studios geared toward our children, is void of both dance instruction and dance venues for adults who want to learn to dance,” Kish said. “I bring in world class salsa instruction and performance into a community where there’s a lack of it. This is about bringing the salsa scene here and helping people develop a passion for it like I did.”

Kish said he also believes the high-energy event can help infuse life into the Village on weekend nights. He said at times the evenings can be buzzing with foot traffic, however, it consistently slows at 8:30 to 9 p.m. as patrons leave for other venues that offer dancing.

“Those types of venues should not close early,” said Kish of Westroot, Dolce, Wokou and Crudo. “Salsa night provides a viable method to both increase foot traffic and create a magnetism to keep customers, both adults and families with kids, in the plaza and filling seats in these fine new restaurants.”

Salsa Under the Stars will begin on Aug. 12 with 7 p.m. kid and teen performances from the World Champion Alma Latina Kids.

From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., there will be world-class salsa instruction from Josh Gorden (founder of Salsa on the Beach in San Diego) and Bianca Chapman, who with her partner Segio Jasso is ranked second in the world in the On2 Professional Salsa division of World Latin Dance.

From 8:30 to 10 p.m., there will be social dancing in the plaza with international DJ “Mambo” Castillo.

Beginning at 10:30 p.m., people will get the opportunity to watch performances from professional dancers, including Mike Cahill and Erica Saucillo, who are prepping for the world stage at New York International Salsa Congress, a two-week Latin music and dance festival; and Alma Latino Pro, world champions five times over. Alma Latina is directed by Gaby Equiz

From 11:45 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., the party moves indoors with Latin hip hop music and dancing inside Westroot Tavern and Wokou.

Learn more about Salsa Under the Stars and more Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch events at