Berlin salsa congress

September 19, 2008 § 2 Comments

Berlin salsa congress must be one of the biggest in Europe. It is very tricky to visit German salsa scene, because you never really know what you will get. But this one was simply superb. Very international, on a respectable dancing level and with an unforgettable after party. You rarely see almost all instructors stay for the last night, but here I left before they did! 🙂 Well, for those people who know me, you know I like to stay till the very end, but I guess this time i was stopped by higher force – early morning and trip back home (talking about car here!).

Let’s see what remained in my memory regarding the festival:
– overcrowded welcome party (the place was a bit small, but the vibe was nice)
– I admire and almost worship Ania and Tamambo – their show is great and so are the classes
– the ladies introduction was fun
– the classes I attended were mostly shines and styling classes and they were all good: from Susana Montero, Ania Chagowska to the one and only Magna Gopal. This was the first time I met this special lady and simply loooved her teaching methods, technique and social dancing. That’s musicality, I’m telling you.

– Saturday night gala party was packed with shows! Oh my God! If I was to know that, I would have reserved the seat. 3hour standing was no fun. And so were some shows, but some were reeaally spectacular! Incredible. I think I was most surprised (in a positive way) by Flamboyan dancers. I was screaming at their second performance (and even the first one was breathtaking). They have the best ideas, energy, music and synchronization. Shame, that they don’t speak English, otherwise the classes might be perfect as well.
– There were some other shows I really liked, like per example Yamulee, Salsa Dance Squad, Taiti&Cristel, Neeraj and Gosia etc.
– The best party however was Sunday night. Social dancing on 4 different floors, lots of people and the best moment: r’n’b & reggaeton turnover.. hehe… people just went crazy in that circle 😉
– I love theme parties (should have prepared for one of course); Saturday night was guys and doll’s 1920’s party 🙂 .. Aren’t these two cute  🙂 (yes, that’s in a metro station, so what?!)

– Now let’s go a little bit on the negative side: One of the biggest handicaps of the festival was the size of workshop venues. They seemed to be always overcrowded. And some lady stylings per example were put in the smallest hall, with the biggest crowd attending the class (we know how many women want to look good while dancing). I guess on that notion the organizers have some room for improvement 🙂 Well, it’s just that people were complaining a little bit.

Side-adventures of the festival:
– I figured people from India might be invading Europe. Everywhere you turn, you meet them lately 🙂 Which is good of course. They are great fun. And somehow I can mostly relate to their dance style (Magna, Neeraj,.. ok Mambo Panda too 😉 )  And we made new friends.. We loved the company of Tapas and Suman. And met old friends: Vineet and Shyam. I love the fact salsa family is so big and knows no borders!

– Driving to Berlin and back was challenging.. not to mention the break down of a car.. followed by another challenge: how to find Mercedes service in Leipzig
– Shocking news: no-one in Leipzig speaks English.. Hello?! My lousy weak German knowledge had to come out.. der, die, das… putting words together.. blah…
– A funny moment: during social dancing, one guy flipped my hand and baaang,.. it went straight into some poor guys face. I slapped him big time,.. it was my hand, but not my will! 🙂
– I had fun 🙂   🙂

If anybody is jobless this weekend, feels like dancing, but doesn’t really know where, is bored and in search of good time, go to Belgrade (Serbia). Salsa congress Serbia starts TODAY!!! 🙂

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§ 2 Responses to Berlin salsa congress

  • Yalin says:

    A very realistic summary of the festival. Well done! I put my signature under everything you said…

    Also the point I’m stuck on your comments is the English knowledge of Italian dancers.

    I’ve been wandering around the congresses for years and haven’t seen an Italian dancer (neither instructor/performer nor a social dancer) that speaks English… (ok, some of them speaks a little bit… and of course I’m excluding my Italian friends living in UK and other countries)

    Let’s see…. Swing Guys, Los Hermanos, Tropical Gem, Flamboyan Dancers… they should at least learn enough of it to instruct… this would be a respect to the festival attendeees…

    Wish I could have attended Salsa Congress Serbia as well 🙂

  • John F. says:

    I’ve only seen the Flamboyan crew out of that list, and with my limited understanding of Italian/Spanish and the quick vocab questions they’d ask each other midlesson, I think the problem isn’t that they don’t know English, it’s that they aren’t comfortable with it. If the teacher had been more confident with trying the words, I don’t think anyone would complain.

    Besides, those guys have enough attitude and flavor for twenty well-spoken but unauthentic dancers. Definitely my show favorites, and I’m using tips from the Men’s styling session pretty much every time I step back from partner work.

    -John F.

    student of http://salsacontodo.com

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