Salsa > Salsa Congress Experiences?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by pygmalion, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Jacira

    Jacira New Member

    What to expect at a Salsa Congress

    My experience has been that you will find a bit of everything, ranging from total beginners to advanced dancers looking to pick up new tricks to add to their routines. There are generally workshops that are geared to different levels, but the parties and shows are lots of fun and the networking opportunities are enormous! Go! Enjoy yourself, and don't worry about not being as trained as others... I know several dancers who have never taken a class, but through lots of practice have developed their own style. Some could use more classes, others should share their knowledge!
  2. templeria

    templeria New Member

    Well, I've only ever been to two, both in the UK. I was a bit unsure about going at first, given the cost involved, but at the end of the weekend was utterly convinced of the value.. Not only do you get the opportunity to learn from international teachers during the day, but in my opinion they are well worth going to for the atmosphere in the evening clubs alone. Only bit of advice I would give to anyone looking at going to one would be to book the day after the Congress off work - saves falling asleep at your desk!
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Welcome templeria!! Glad that when you decided to do it you had good experiences and found that it was worth your while. You mentioned you attended 2 congresses, but didn't tell us which ones. Which ones did you go to? I'm planning on doing my first sasla congress this year. So, any advice I can get beforehand will hold me in good stead. :)
  4. capricorndancer

    capricorndancer New Member

    Salsa Congresses

    I’ve been to a bunch of Congresses in the last 12 months, starting with the 2003 LA Congress. Points to make are:

    1 you don’t need to be a fantastic/experienced dancer to go: there are classes offered from beginners through to expert.
    2 The congress you choose should depend on your aims: social, self-improvement, or general tourism
    3 The expense for the congresses, per se, is well justified. The cost of accommodation and travel may not be.
    4 Few people can survive doing the full ticket: dance the whole night until 3 or 4am, then get up and do classes from 10 till 6, and be ready to go for the night from 8 or 9 onwards. Pick your time and place for dancing, and PACE YOURSELF. If you’ve ever see a guy who just goes all night in your scene, has a line of ladies ‘waiting’ to dance with him, and is simply the most energetic on the floor at any given moment, that would be another incarnation of myself . . . and I have to pace myself at these events. Of course, all the fantastic dancers around make for enjoyable watching, so it’s not so bad . . . :)

    That being said, I have the following observations to make about the various congresses I have attended:

    Los Angeles: HUGE!! SIX THOUSAND people, fortunately not all dancing at once, with two venues: one for dancing and the bands, often two each night, and one for the performances. The dance area had a dozen floors, each about 6 yards/meters to a side, while the performance pavilion had seating for 2,000, and was routinely filled to capacity, leaving some out in the cold. Not perfectly coordinated, and over-attended for the spaces provided.
    My opinions: classes I attended were too crowed to get much out of, the performances were excellent when I got in to see them, and there were always great dancers to watch when I got too exhausted to continue myself. The congress was held close to the airport, which, in the absence of appreciable public transport, means that touring the city is pretty expensive. I found the women to be much less approachable than elsewhere (see below)

    Detroit: As I was living there. Not much worth the while, and I have doubts that there will be one this year. Detroit is not a city for tourists, either, so unless you know a local who can take you to the scattered gems of Mo Town, give it a miss.

    Paris: Simply the best I attended. The women were approachable, the performances in the Club Med by the Parc du Bercy were on a stage adjacent to the dance floor, so one had to watch . . . but the intimacy of the venue was great. Having Johnny Vasquez sing to us was a treat, too. The classes were well sized, and of course, Paris was utterly accessible by public transport. I thoroughly recommend it . . . and I don’t speak any appreciable amount of French, either.

    Toronto: Second only to Paris, David, the MC from Paris and who also hosted in NY, was excellent, the performances & competitions were first rate, and the venue appropriately-sized for the numbers in attendance. Met many familiar faces from other congresses, which gave even a big congress like that a familiar feel. Didn’t attend any classes, so can’t comment about those.

    San Francisco: Bigger than Toronto, so less personal. I only went for the dancing, and the unfamiliar music – a DJ from New York, plus several big name bands – was a treat. Like LA, the venue was a hotel close to the airport, so touring the city was not easy. Eddie and Al were there and stopped the social dancing on several occasions with impromptu floor shows, in addition their cabaret act.

    This year I’ll be returning to Paris, and maybe try some of the other European Congresses, too; all the Euros I’ve seen elsewhere in the world, even ‘just’ social dancers, have been very good, so I expect the respective congresses will be, too. Maybe Madrid; I’ve visited there, off-season, and the scene was great and very open.

  5. Xtreme Salsa

    Xtreme Salsa New Member

    LA will be my first congress
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow capricorndancer. That is a cool synopsis of your experiences. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share all that info. 8) :D
  7. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    See ya there! :wink:
  8. Jacira

    Jacira New Member

    Kamarina 2004

    There is a phenomenal congress in the area of Sicily, Italy on the "Isla de las Naranjas" called Kamarina... I think this is the 9th year they have done it and it is in a resort with a beach... great setting, great dancers, very well organized by Santo Cavallaro. This year it will be in April 9-10-11-12, 2004. More info here: I have been invited and hope to be able to go and teach workshops there! :lol:
  9. rar6178

    rar6178 New Member

    hello all , this will be my 1st salsa event at the hilton nyc this place is big which can hold alot of people i will be staying over on the 21st so i dont have to drive all the way back to LI . looking forward to dance with all . if you plan on making a reservation do it now they will give you a discount book in advance , it will probaly be sold out . tell them you are here for the ny salsa congress for a good rate . see you all soon warm weather yes ... ricki 8)
  10. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Hi rar6178!! Welcome! :)

    I'm angling for attending the salsa congress in NY too, but am hoping I can crash with a friend. Hope to see more of you around the forums.
  11. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    It's the home stretch now for the LA Congress!!! Anyone else on DF going?? I'll be there Thurs-Sun :banana:
  12. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not sure yet youngsta... especially after just having been exposed to the really friendly WCS folk at Reno I'm not sure if I have the wherewithall to deal with that many salsa egos all in one place... :sigh:
  13. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    I'm contemplating going...but as I'm quite new to Salsa it might end up being over I still tend to get frustrated very easily by the Salsamafia types... :? :oops:

    Any thoughts on how a beginner would fit in at such an event?
  14. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Heya SG, there are actually workshops and dancing for all levels...

    The workshops, if you are doing them, run a beg., an int., and an adv. concurently each hour. As far as soical dancing there really are people of all levels...
  15. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    What SD said SG. I went last year (had only been dancing about 10 months then) and didn't have a problem finding people to dance with. I will say it did overwelm me though...simply amazing.

    SD I understand. Luckily for me I don't have to deal with the egos much since I have a load of friends in the LA scene.
  16. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    It is all a question of "attitude" SG :wink: Try and ignore the Salsamafia types. There are loads of other people there and it really is a tremendous energy. You will see some amazing/incredible dancing (flips and tricks) and then some genuine dancing, people who are really dancing for themselves rather than who might be looking at them. Did you ever do intense classes at school? Think of a congress as one of those, except more fun especially as you choose to be there rather than your parents thinking it is a good idea :wink:
  17. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    Re: Salsa Congresses

    Hey Capricorndancer! I was in Paris too and basically fell in lurve with David Melendez! I was in a fit of giggles all evening and cried with laughter when he did that brief take on Frankie Martinez. It was hilarious.

    I also have some photos of Johnny Vazquez singing, a few of which, in my opinion :wink: came out really well. :D

    Personally, I always tell me, do a congress, at least once. It can be an amazing experience. Subsequent ones, you can do the parties and sightsee during the day, otherwise, you don't get to see anything of the city you are in and that could be a bit of a shame.
  18. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    :lol: Yes, that is great advice, taking the following day as holidays :lol: In addition, if you travelled to the event, hopefully it gives you a few hours to do some shopping/sightsee.

    Which two in the UK did you attend?
  19. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    Re: Salsa Congresses

    He also sang a song here at the Portuguese Congress in March. Hmm... Maybe he´s thinking about a singing career... :shock:
  20. sbsalsera

    sbsalsera New Member

    I'm definitely going! (Especially because it's relatively local for me.) And I'd love to meet up with all the DF dancers who'll be there too! :D

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