When I saw the recent video of Shakira dancing in the streets, it reminded me of the last time I was at a family party. We were blaring her song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" and nobody could stay off of the dance floor.

That's because we Latinas know how to throw the best parties. But it's not just the fantastic music (and love of dance) that make our parties stand out. From the amazing food, flowing drinks and big families gathered around to celebrate, we know how to do it right.

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We have the best music and lots of dancing: Whether you're a fan of merengue, salsa, bachata, reggaeton or any other kind of Latino music, our parties are always filled with it. My carefully-crafted playlist includes Shakira, Pitbull, Marc Anthony, Selena, Daddy Yankee, Aventura, Celia Cruz and many others. For a party, just hit "shuffle"!

Our families gather for any celebration: Big, loud fiestas are nothing if not filled with a ton of relatives. Whether they live near or far, the family always comes together when it's time for a celebration because our family relationships matter to us. No Christening, graduation celebration or birthday party would be complete without the cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents around too.

The table is always filled with delicious food: There is always a ton of food for the whole bunch at our parties. No tummy will ever be left unsatisfied with everything that's around. Not only does the host cook enough for everyone but the guests usually bring a few things as well. Some of my party favorites include pernil, arroz moro, spicy pico de gallo, guacamole and ensalada de nopales.

Oh yeah, and we make amazing drinks: When it comes to really making the party fun, we don't just rely on the typical cocktails to serve our friends and family. Although sometimes nothing is as good as a simple Corona with lime, we always make sure to have plenty of other options around, too. Whether it's a Mexican margarita, Cuban mojito, Brazilian caipirinha or a Puerto Rican piña colada, there's always something to indulge in.

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What is your favorite way to make a Latin party really stand out?

Image via MarkScottAustinTX/flickr

Topics: food and wine  latin food