I have yet to go to Brazil for Carnaval and so the best I can do is our local one in San Francisco at this point. I have friends that also set up a salsa dancing area and it is always a great time.
The style of salsa dancing that I do is most commonly refered to as casino style. It comes from Cuba and, to me, is more based on African influences mixed with the European social dances and western dances such as lindy hop and swing. I love the dance, the music and the friend I have made in the community.
That is the most important point for me: Community. Most my family lives in different parts of the US, and even outside of the US, and so the casino community has become a de-facto family for me.
I have known some of the dancers for over 13 years and they have been there for me and I have been there for them. We have all seen relationships start during this time together. Some make it and people get married. Sometime they do not. That being said most of the people tend to be able to stay in the community and give the other person space when they break up and the salsa family stays together.
One of the great things about this community is that it is worldwide. I already have a connection in Beijing to be able to dance casino style salsa and will be going out with David when I arrive. I plan to make my new community a new family for me. It will allow me to connect, have support, give support and do what I love the most: dance casino style.
Here is a video of David when he was in Cuba: