Dancing couples from more than 20 countries will compete for the world championship at the 15th Puerto Rico Salsa Congress, which will be dedicated to music legend Roberto Roena, organizers said Tuesday.

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Guatemala and Martinique are some of the countries competing in the event, to be held July 16-30 at different venues in San Juan and nearby Caguas.

Brazilians Carine Morais and Rafael Barros, winners of the 2010 World Salsa Open, return to the congress to defend their title, the event's producer Eli Irizarry said.

Also participating will be runners-up Kelvin Hernandez and Licelot Maldonado of Puerto Rico and the Spanish pair Adrian Rodriguez and Anita Santos, winners of the 2007 and 2008 editions.

Irizarry told a press conference that when he organized the first edition, he had no idea how far the event would go, since close to 150 similar events are held every year around the world.

"We're not your usual convention, but rather an event that impassions a market and that seeks to learn the latest trends and the music people dance to in their own countries," the organizer said.

Besides Roena and his orchestra, the congress will feature performances by El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Luisito Carrion, Tito Rojas, La Mulenze, La Puertorriqueña de Don Perigñon, Jose Alberto, Sammy Garcia and El Sabor de Puerto Rico, Julito Alvarado and Del Norte al Sur, NG2 and Villariny Salsa Project.

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