Aug 23

Kelly Lannan on Expo Latino and Downtown Calgary

by Savannah Hall · 0 comments

Post image for Kelly Lannan on Expo Latino and Downtown Calgary

Kelly Lannan is one half of the dynamic duo in Eric & Kelly of Salsa Rica. When they’re not choreographing for So You Think You Can Dance Canada, they’re placing 4th in the World Professional Salsa Championships. They’re never too busy to participate in events and festivals in their hometown of Calgary. Every year they wrap up their summer at Expo Latino with their salsa showcase. I asked Kelly a few questions about her downtown Calgary experiences.

What are your favourite downtown spots?

I love Calgary! I was born here and enjoy watching the city grow. The Hyatt Regency is my favourite downtown spot. I love Thomsons Restaurant and Sandstone Lounge; they’re my go to spot for dining or cocktails. The food and service are always great. We also host our Calgary International Salsa Congress in April at the Hyatt. For spas, Stillwater is my favourite, as a dancer my body gets sore and I love treating myself to a massage. The CORE is the best shopping in the city. I love Holt Renfrew and the newly renovated downtown mall.  It has many of my most loved stores, and of course my hair salon Angles, they’ve been keeping my hair performance-ready for years. Kevin and Yvonne are amazing!

What makes festivals at Prince’s Island Park so great?

Prince’s Island is a beautiful spot, and the festivals make the park come alive. The park and the skyline of the city serve as a great backdrop because they remind me that I am at home in Calgary, and they’re a great contrast for the Expo Latino festival that. sweeps you far away with the music, dance, and food! Expo Latino gives me a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the park, plus it feels like a mini vacation.

Why do you keep coming back for Expo Latino?

I love Expo Latino, and I’ve been involved with the festival for many years. Expo is special to me because of the family environment, and though it started in smaller downtown spots like Eau Claire and Olympic plaza, the festival grew so big that it needed a larger spot. It was so exciting when Expo graduated to Prince’s Island, and the park now completes the festival. Prince’s Island makes Expo Latino feel like a vacation, but you only need to schedule part of a day. I think Expo Latino is Calgary’s best festival!

What downtown events are you most excited about this year?

After Expo Latino, I am most excited about the upcoming Rocky Mountain Dancesport Grand Prix, a ballroom event meets masquerade Halloween party October 29 and 30. We organize this event with So You Think You Can Dance Judge Jean-Marc Genereux. There are so many restaurants having special events, new restaurants opening, great music and dance coming to the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, and I have to make it to the CUT! Costume and the Cinema exhibit at the Glenbow.

When you are not crazy busy what do you do for fun?

I’m very lucky that I love my work. I’m inspired by music, dance and fashion. I’m very lucky to have parents who encouraged me to follow my dreams as my career, so I have always worked long and hard, and the lines certainly blur between work and my passion. When I’m not working I spend time with my family and my cats, cook dinner and catch up.

Kelly and Eric will be performing at Expo Latino Friday, August 26 at 9:00pm and Saturday, August 27 at 6:15pm. Expo Latino takes place August 26-28 at Prince’s Island Park.

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