By Karen Longwell. Published September 20, 2022 at 11:09 am

Portuguese Cultural Centre of Mississauga broke a Guinness World Record for the Largest Portuguese Folk Dance, with 747 people on Sept. 17. Photo via Mississauga Arts Council

A huge turnout of dancers helped Mississauga earn a new Guinness World Record.

The Portuguese Cultural Centre of Mississauga hosted the record breaking event for the Largest Portuguese Folk Dance, with 747 people on Saturday (Sept. 17) at the centre in Streetsville (Queen St. and Britannia Rd. W.). The previous record was 744 people.

The centre put out the call for volunteers earlier this month offering dance lessons ahead of the event. But the team worked for three years to organize the attempt.

More than 1,000 people registered to break the record but in the final evidence-based official count, 747 people danced. Traditional live musicians played and the participants danced Vira, also known as the Portuguese waltz, for a total of seven minutes.

The group received a certificate on the day of the record, and are officially recognized by Guinness, a spokesperson tells inSauga.

The Recreational and Cultural Association of Rendilheiras do Monte Folklore Group in Vila do Conde in Portugal held the previous record with 744 people dancing for five minutes.

The Mississauga event dubbed, Dancing for Those Who Can’t, not only broke a record, they also raised awareness and funds for those with physical and mental health limitations.

A portion of proceeds from the centre’s first ever all-day and all-night open-air event will be donated to three local charities: Canadian Cancer Society, Community Living Mississauga, and Luso Charitable Society.

Participants of all ages and from a mosaic of cultures came out, with programming partners including the PCCM Folklore Dance Group, Praias De Portugal of Montréal Folklore Dance Group, Provincias e Ilhas Folklore Group of Hamilton, Oshawa Portuguese Club Folklore Dance Group, and Casa de Madeira of Toronto Folklore Dance Group. Soul 2 Sole Latin Dance Company in Streetsville also danced.