San José plans a world record swing criollo dance class

The municipality of San José will try to get in the Guinness World Records with the largest dance class of swing criollo ever.

The event will take up four blocks of Paseo Colón Nov. 21, starting at 10 a.m., and municipal officials expect 3,000 dancers to show up.

Paseo Colón already has been the scene of an attempt to cook the world record order of gallo pinto. Periodically Costa Rican organizations promote world record events, such as the largest cheese.

Recent Guinness listings include the Largest human awareness ribbon and the longest marathon static cycling in other parts of the world.

A summary from the municipality said that swing criollo, a Costa Rican dance, has been listed as an intangible world heritage contribution. Professionals are expected to teach the swing Criollo class for about three hours. Those participating will be expected to sign in so that a list of names can be notarized and sent to Guinness, said the municipality.

A sound system will carry music throughout the four blocks, the municipality said. Participation is free, but a collection will be taken for the Asociación de Lucha Contra el Cáncer Infantil.

Swing criollo comes from the swing tradition of the pre-World War II big band performances and jitterbug. In Costa Rica, historians say that swing originally was banned for being too vulgar. However, swing criollo has taken its place with other Latin dances. Examples on Internet videos show techniques far more athletic than salsa and at twice the speed.

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