What an amazing festival and I only experienced a fraction of it. The last four days, and I did not enroll in any of the workshops, or any of the sunset dance cruises. But what I did experience , the early evening town square open party with Top Cuban Salsa band Maykel Blanco, the afternoon beach parties, the main Sunday afternoon Pool party and the late evening parties in the Old Tobacco Factory complex just blew my mind!
I started dancing again from scratch about two and half years ago learning primarily Cuban Style Salsa, and a limited amount of bachata. So I still felt like a beginner. The more I learn the more I realise how little I actually know.
I did have the privilege of dancing with many highly experienced dancers and they seemed to elevate my own dance level. They finished of perfectly every move that I initiated. The interaction with the dancers was amazing and despite the fact that they were clearly far more advanced dancers than myself they were still humble, smiling hugging and squeezing my hands full of gratitude as we departed, mind blowing. (I finally realised later that they were probably applying stuff they had just learned in one of the many amazing workshops), (Next year I promise I will attend a few workshops……no really!)
By the last two days I felt as if I was dancing in another dimension. It was not that I was executing more complicated figures but it was how I was dancing. I really felt as if I was starting to transmit my feelings and emotions into my dancing, and that especially the experienced dancers seem to capture my feelings and convey them in their moves. A truly amazing experience.
Also just watching others dance was a real pleasure. With no disrepect to the top artist that performed at this festival I seemed to have more pleasure watching the spontaneous and improvised dancing that was taking place before my eyes every evening and into the early hours of the following morning where the “die hards” still kept on dancing. This was no fixed choreographic sequence of moves. I was watching a unique dance sequence taking place that will never be executed in that exact same way again. A combination of the leader and follower intepreting the music and rhythm of a particular song into their dance combined with how they feel at that given moment.
This is the stuff that is not given so much attention when the festival is being promoted or discussed but for me this is what this festival is about;
“People coming together from all over the world to connect, to hear and enjoy latin and afro Brazilian (Kizomba) music and express themselves in the beautiful art form of dance.”
Thank you so much for making this possible for us.