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Putting their dreams on hold has been worth it for an Auckland salsa dancing couple.

Last year, Giancardo and Masha Johansson decided to put aside their own aspirations as professional dancers to teach a group of first-time dancers the salsa.

Their efforts have paid off - next month, three couples from Team Latinissimo are headed for Orlando, Florida, to take part in the third annual World Salsa Championships.

The originally 12-strong Latin dancing team was selected for the championships at the NZ Pacific salsa congress, held in Wellington over Easter weekend.

Half the team decided to opt out once they realised how much work was involved, but the three remaining couples have been training for up to four hours, three nights a week.

"They have been eating, breathing and sleeping Latin dancing all day and all night," Mr Johansson said.

He is confident the team has a chance of making it to the finals, despite the stiff international competition.

From Peru and Slovenia the Johanssons have been choreographing dancing in Auckland since 2005 - something they say has become a lifestyle.

"It is our passion. There is something about the music that really plays with your heart," Mrs Johansson said.

Kiwi Salsa, an independent amateur team from Wellington, will also attend the competition.

It will be the first time New Zealand dancers have attended the event.