Becoming a Salsero

Learning to dance Salsa !

About me

I remember the first time I saw a salsa performance. The dance was mesmerizing and I decided that becoming a Salsero would be my new goal.

Just getting started took a lot longer than planned but I still haven't regretted a single moment of learning to dance salsa. Why don't you join me and become a salsero / salsera as well?.

About this site

This is where I share my experiences and thoughts on dancing salsa.

If you have any questions or remarks please leave a comment or send an email to becomingasalsero@gmail.com.

Additional ways to contact me can be found on my contact page.

Salsa Festival Slovenia (Saturday)

A couple of weeks ago I read about the 3rd Slovenian Salsa Festival, held in Ljubljana.

For a while I debated on whether I should go and as I once again checked out their program I saw a little banner saying that they were looking for volunteers.

As there were only a couple of workshops that I really wanted to take it seemed like volunteering would be a good idea. I would be able to help out the organizers and would at the same time, save some money which seemed like a win win situation to me. As I had just done the bootcamp and the Magic 7 workshop and bought the tickets for the Luxembourg Salsa Congress I had spent too much money already.

As I arrived early Saturday morning it became clear that they desperately needed all the volunteers they could get. My schedule for Saturday was pretty intense and had me working the afternoon and the evening/night.

Sunday I was scheduled for the entire day, that is, during the day. As I was supposed to leave around 5pm on Sunday I didn't have to work Sunday night :-)

At first I was somewhat disappointed that nobody asked me if there were any workshops that I was interested in attending. I realized that I arrived a day after the start of the festival but it could have easily been communicated via email. However, the schedule worked out for me. Aside from that allowed to stay in the room that they had kept for volunteers to freshen up. That more than made up for it.

As I was free for the workshops on Saturday morning I could take Edie's "10 deadly sins of leads and follows' as well as Anuar's 'Pachanga & Boogalo' workshop. Both of which I had been looking forward to.

Edie's workshop was a little bit disappointing to me. Not because of the quality of the workshop. That was great, just like the bootcamp was. However, everything she covered had also been covered in the bootcamp already. Not quite what I wanted as I was hoping for something new.

Anuar's workshop blew me away. I had such a great time that even after I twisted my ankle I stayed and kept dancing for the remainder of the workshop. He is a great guy with amazing energy and I would recommend you to take one of his workshops if you have the chance.

After that workshop I desperately needed a break though. I decided not to take a 3rd class that morning but to sit down instead.

I was pretty tired from the drive down. Any energy that I had left after the drive was used during the workshop. Sitting down and letting my ankle recover a bit seemed like the best idea.

Although I was scheduled to work all afternoon it wasn't as bad as it sounded. I was supposed to in the rooms where the workshops were held so I got to see what was going on and, time and space permitting, to join in.

The first workshop was Rueda de Casino by Ariel Rios Robert. I've always liked watching Rueda de Casino and was glad I had the opportunity to watch. As I worked at the door of the room I couldn't really participate but it was nice to get an idea as to what was danced an how it was danced.

Ariel is a really laid back guy with a great sense of humor and he did a great job explaining the basics and keeping things fun and interesting. Although I'm not sure how experienced dancers felt as I didn't have a chance to talk to them about it.

The only downside to this workshop was that it was for all levels.
This is something that always bothers me a little bit. Unless a class is theory only it's almost impossible to make it interesting for everybody there. After all, beginners will still need to learn the basics while everybody else wants to learn new things.

Because of this beginners feel rushed (if they can keep up at all) as the instructor has to get through the basics as soon as possible so the more advanced people don't get bored. At the same time the more advanced dancers are bored, waiting for the beginners to finally get it. A lose-lose situation.

After Rueda it was time for HipHop Salsa. You have no idea what that is and how it works? Neither did I!

Aytunc & Duygu did a great job of showing us. Because there were more girls than guys for this class I ended up dancing up with 3 different girls. I ran from one to the next, to the next and back again. It was an interesting experience though as I had to lead all of them differently and I learned a lot. Not only that but i had a great time. I can only hope they had fun as well.
It was a great, high energy workshop and I don't think that anybody there (or at the party at night) will forget 'Crank That' (Yoooouuuu!) for quite a while yet.

To wrap the afternoon up I was working in a room where Nelson Flores was teaching "Partner Work". An advanced level class, on 2.

By that time I was exhausted so I was happy that it was a class I would definitely not be participating in (on 2? Yes, I've heard about that. Advanced? Right, way beyond my level).
That is, until Elder Sanchez said:"Walter, that lovely lady doesn't have a partner. Go on, dance with her!".

Before I had a chance to explain that a) I have no idea how to even start on 2 and b) advanced is slightly to advanced for me (I'd say a couple of years too advanced) she had come over and was ready to dance. Suffice to say, it was a disaster and half an hour into it I had to apologize and give up.

That just left the night. I got to play doorman, just like in the good old days.

I assume none of the organizers has ever worked an entire night at the door but I think it's too much to ask from volunteers. In all fairness, I didn't mind doing it. I was exhausted and, even though I hadn't done it in a while, am used to it.

However, other people would probably have felt a lot worse knowing there was a great party 20 meters down the hall and they wouldn't be able to attend. I recommend splitting that shift into 2 different ones for the years to come.

It was also a shame that I didn't get to see any of the shows. I hope they'll show up on YouTube at one point or another. I'm sure I'll survive without them but it would have been nice nonetheless.

All in all Saturday was maybe not a perfect day but definitely a good day. I met some great people and, had a wonderful time and got to do some fun workshops. Life could be a lot worse than that.

2 comments:

  1. Jan said...
     

    i wanted to give up on that rueda class SO BADLY, but of course the circle had to be boy-girl-boy, and if i left, it would have thrown everything off. so i "soulja'd" on. aaaaahhhhh YOOOOOOUUU! LOLz.

  2. Walter de Rooij said...
     

    Once you are stuck in the circle, that is it. There is nowhere to run. You gotta dance.

    But I am sure they were all proud of you for being a trooper. ;)

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