More Salsa Congress Tips
by Ana Gherasim
We’ve already written a bunch of articles about salsa congresses – and here’s one more!
Today, I’d like to share a few miscellaneous congress tips that didn’t quite make it into any of the previous articles, and none of which are really lengthy enough to warrant and article on their own. A compilation of advice, if you will. Here goes:
Packing for a congress
Pack light. You only need 4 kinds of clothes: the ones you’ll travel in; the ones you’ll do workshops in; the ones you’ll social dance in; and something to sleep in, especially if you’re sharing a room. Figure out your outfits day by day, and you’ll end up packing far less than you might otherwise. I find that I can go to a 3 or 4-day congress with just my gym bag or an overnight bag.
Don’t forget your earplugs. I am convinced that salsa DJs are partially deaf, and none more so than congress DJs.
Bring foot cream, and give yourself a nightly foot massage. If possible, sleep with your feet elevated. It will make a world of difference.
Social dancing at a congress
Bring friends. Dancing in a new city can be daunting – much like the first time you went salsa dancing as a beginner! Going with a group of friends makes it easier, but be careful of saying too close with your group – it can make you seem inaccessible and other dancers might steer clear of you. My suggestion would be to have a rendez-vous spot that you can see from across the room, and go there whenever you need company or moral support. Check your spot between dances and see if anyone needs rescuing.
Get out of your comfort zone! The best way to waste a congress experience is to just keep dancing with the people you already know. Congresses are about getting new inspiration and new energy, so make a point of dancing with more people you don’t know than people you do know.
Ask the performers to dance! This can vary from one congress to the next, but some of the international stars are hired by the organizers not just to perform and teach workshops, but also to be around for social dancing. Most of these high-profile dancers will rarely ask people to dance; instead, they will make themselves available so that anyone can ask them for a dance. Don’t be shy – they are there to dance with you.
Live bands = long songs. If you’re afraid of getting stuck dancing with the same person for 10 minutes, wait until 2-3 minutes into the song to ask someone to dance. If you’ve been dancing with someone for over 5 minutes and the song shows no signs of stopping, you can ask if they’re tired and would like a break. Unless, of course, you’re both having a great time, in which case keep on dancing!