Not long ago, I wrote about how I see salsa community. It’s a good idea to read it first if you haven’t already. I will wait. :-)
I said on2 community is a kind of serious competitive VIP community. In feedback, few people agreed; more had some issue. Mostly because it’s different in their location. As I said, I’m located in Europe, specifically in central Europe, and I have experience mostly from festivals in Europe, with trips to Russia and New York (which was very different, but also brief).
Anyway, I think one of the problems is a lack of good salsa events for people seeking to enjoy the dance and the music. In Europe are many festivals, but almost all of them are not very good for social lovers. I’m not saying all those festivals are bad. In the end, every one of us has a different taste. I want to say we need to improve diversity.
First, I will try to make a list of what a social dancer (like my friends and me) like:
- Social dancing
- Slower songs, cha-cha as well (not bachata)
- Not dancing until or even from(!) very late hour
- A lot of water, less of alcohol
- No gym
- No shows
- Fewer pictures
- More space
- And yes, social dancing
- Have I mentioned social dancing?
Just to be sure: if you like, for example, to dance from 3 till 8 am and drink a lot of alcohol, it’s all right. Visit almost any festival, and you are fine. Not everybody does, though.
So, let’s begin with…
We have marathons that meets everything but late hours. We don’t want to have salsa lag. So why not to try relay race. Those who love to dance during the night can dance during the night; I will happily dance during the day!
Ok, this is a crazy idea. :-) Now, really…
I heard this one from a friend of a friend. Just one or two hour-long parties and dance as much as possible. Another response to marathons. Ok, again, this one is not meant to be serious. :-D
Anyway, I tried this concept lately at after party of Prague’s salsa marathon. Also at a regular local party as I have a lot of other things to do as well recently. It’s a lot of gym. A lot. But it was also fun. It could work sometime!
I don’t have the name for this one. It could be a day marathon. Or half marathon. I probably prefer social weekend. Social fun could also be the name.
The concept is this: it starts in the morning, sometimes like 10 am, and the last beat of the last song ends at midnight (or even sooner! definitely not later). It would be partly inside and partly outside so dancers could have fresh air during the dance. Cocktails with umbrellas. Water. No rush.
Sorry, I started to dream about a salsa festival in Šibenik, two years ago, with a tent, during the day instead of night. Yeah, that would be perfect!
Soo… I think an event of type TBA (Todos los Bailes con Amor? :-)) is concept missing right now. From my point of view, it’s the future. We need to have more of “marathons” and unlock them for everybody. We need to share our joy of dancing with anybody. Not just with each other.
Non-dancing people don’t understand to all night long dancing and all day long sleeping. New faces have to be allowed to experience this joy of dancing as well. We shouldn’t handpick dancers. Maybe it can work in tango marathons, but salsa is different. Let’s share our passion. Then our salsa community can grow again.
We have a lot of festivals focused on learning fast and complicated patterns and for the night animals. That’s good. Also, there is Mamboland, a great new concept for learning. But now we also need places to dance. Socially dance. With a smile. Having fun.
To sum it up, standard festivals are fine, but both workshops and parties are mostly average. We need more festivals like Mamboland to have amazing places to learn amazing stuff. And more festivals like marathons to have the best social dancing possible. Even better to see some “social weekends”.
P.S.: If you want to use some ideas, please do! I don’t have the capacity to create my vision of salsa weekends. At least now. Feel free to organize something like that, and feel free to use my ideas for the name. Computer programming has the term open-source; this is open dance! But don’t forget to invite me. That’s the only rule! :-)