Today's featured event: It's raining salsa this weekend in Denver

There's little out there that's sexier than salsa dancing, except maybe the delightfully lurid tango, which shares some Latin roots. And Denver, like any multi-ethnic city worth its #10 Scoville-rated habanero juice, is lucky enough to have a tight little salsa community that kicks up its heels to the clavé regularly at La Rumba and the Blue Ice or on the big dance floors at the D Note and the Denver Turnverein. All four of those venues will have a share of the action when the annual Colorado Salsa Open Festival Weekend burns down the town for four days, beginning with a kickoff dance at 9 p.m. tonight at La Rumba, 99 West 9th Avenue.

It's just Salsa Central Denver's little way of announcing that before the weekend is over, the 2009 Colorado State Salsa Champions will be named. But not before some fun: After tonight's party, there's another one tomorrow at 9 p.m. at the Blue Ice, 22 Broadway; two afternoons of workshops follow on Saturday and Sunday. The CSO competition itself, preceded by a buildup of pro-am contests, is Saturday night at the Turnverein, 1570 Clarkson Street. And it all wraps up with a winners' performance party on Sunday night at the D Note, 7519 Grandview Avenue in Old Town Arvada.

¡Arriba!, baby. Event admission ranges from $7 to $15, workshops are $15 each and packages are $50 to $90. Get details at www.salsacentraldenver.com.

For more ways to rock the night and kill the day, go to westword.com/calendar.

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