I visited several salsa events in the past years. From the beginning, I enjoyed any dancing, but now I’m kind of picky. I love social dancing during the day, and I hate salsa lags! Events with social dancing are those I prefer now. (Note: I follow the name used at festivals. Night parties are parties, and day parties are socials.)
When I attend a regular festival, I find surprising some people are not sure what social dancing means and why it’s soo good that some people don’t want anything else anymore.
So, what social means to me? Well, the best about it is that I’m fresh. At a regular night party, there is always a moment when you dance like a zombie. It’s a time before breakfast. The time when you should be already sleeping, but you are hungry, and breakfast is almost served, so you stay on the dance floor and try to move. That doesn’t exist at socials.
Also, social dancing is calmer. I don’t like much fast songs and a lot of spins. I mean, it’s fun from time to time, but usually at night DJs will play faster songs than during the day. The best time for me is around a branch or dinner. It’s always sooo calm! I love slow cha-cha-cha…
Not only DJs, everyone is different during the day. People don’t care much about mistakes, don’t look so serious and so on. People are more relaxed. It’s more fun.
Dancing during the day is not the mainstream yet. The dance floor is empty (seen by pessimists). I’m an optimistic guy, and I finally see enough space. I’m not a fan of shows, and I’m definitely not a showman. My visuals have to be horrible. (Please! Don’t look at me; I’m a shy guy.) But anyway, I like to have space around me. I feel like I can express myself better.
Lastly, it’s social. Usually, it goes with a relaxing space where we can talk, and we can hear each other. At a regular party, I have problems to hear even myself, so only some small talk can be done. Usually, no talk at all.
And yeah, the food. The central concept of promoting social dancing are marathons. Events where you dance dance dance and… eat eat eat, because the food is included. It’s fantastic to dance salsa, and if you don’t have enough, you can even eat salsa while listening to salsa! :-D The best part about it is you are still on or close to the dance floor with your friends.
That’s it. This is what social dancing during the day means to me. It’s calmer, relaxed, and fresh. In the end, I don’t dance more during the day than at night party, but dancing during the day have more quality to me.
Do you like it? OK! As I mentioned already, you can find it at some festivals or marathon concepts. I think we should also have social event only during the day, because 12 hours is enough, but it needs some time before people realize they really don’t have to dance during the night.
I include my list of approved events. By approved, I mean events I know for sure are good for this type of dancing. Let’s start with regular festivals with dancing during the day, aka social dancing:
- Magic in Ljubljana (2-6pm, January)
- Addicted in Timisoara (1-6pm, March)
- Rovinj (a little bit 3-7pm, June)
- Šibenik (2-8pm, July)
- BOB in Budapest (5-7pm, September)
- Berlin Salsacongress (5-8pm, October)
- El Sol in Warsaw (only side project without a good space, November)
- Vienna Salsa Congress (only Sunday 4-7pm, December)
(Let me know in case I forgot some festival!)
And, of course, marathons. These marathons are going to be this year:
- Basel (February)
- Berlin (August)
- Hamburg (December)
Last year, there was also one in Heidelberg, but it’s no more. But there are rumors from many places in 2020! There is a big chance to see a salsa marathon in London, Birmingham, Zürich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, and/or Cologne. It looks like 2020 will be an outstanding year for social dancers. You should explore social dancing this year, fall in love, and enjoy a lot the next year with us. :-)
Maybe you heard about more marathons—for example, Istanbul. I haven’t been there, but it’s a massive festival with dancing 24/7, workshops, several floors, many dances, and everything. It’s not a marathon like the other ones I mentioned here. Maybe the social is good as well, but I haven’t heard about it yet.
And there is one in Prague. It’s probably the first one to bring this concept from the tango world to salsa. The first one was in 2010. The first years were harsh, I was told, and the organizer improved it a lot. Nowadays, every detail is handled perfectly. Other marathons could take some inspiration. But not the invitation process. The process is questionable, and from my point of view, if you or your friends have problems to get your spot, well, do not despair. There are going to be more and more marathons and other social events prepared by amazing people who will gladly accept you.
I enjoyed Berlin and Hamburg a lot and can’t wait for the next editions.
See you there. Maybe even soon in Basel. :-)