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Must-Haves for Congress Workshops

Must-Haves for Congress Workshops

by Ana Gherasim

The Montreal Salsa Convention is fast approaching, and we’re bringing quite the student crew with us this year (#azucarposse ?). We know most of you are excited to check out the congress workshops, and I received lots of questions about what to wear and pack for the congress, as well as pro tips to survive full days of workshops.

(What’s a salsa congress?)

Below is my quick run-down of what to wear to a workshop, and what to bring with you to the workshops.

What to Wear

Treat workshops as you would a workout. Men, sweat pants and t-shirts are your friends. Jeans will restrict your movement and will get quite warm and uncomfortable after a few hours. Ladies, leggings or yoga pants paired with a breathable t-shirt are ideal. A sports bra will also save you a world of hurt if, like me, you need some extra support in that area.

(How to get the most out of congress workshops)

Your Workshop Bag

Ana's congress workshop  bag

Ana’s congress workshop bag

Clothes & Shoes

Men: a spare t-shirt (you will sweat if you’re doing it right!). Your suede-soled dance shoes and shoe brush. A spare pair of light, breathable socks.

Ladies: a spare t-shirt (you will sweat if you’re doing it right!). Your suede-soled heels and a shoe brush, plus a pair of jazz shoes (your feet will thank you!). If you don’t have jazz shoes, ballet slippers will work just as well. In the photo, I have a pair of foldable flats that I glued suede soles onto. Whatever works!

Food & Drink

A water bottle. Aim to drink one 500ml bottle per workshop to stay hydrated.

A protein/energy/nutrition bar. Odds are you’ll spend your lunch hour practicing and socializing. Besides, you don’t want heavy meals when you’re dancing all day.

Hygiene Kit

A towel. It’s every intergalactic hitchhiker’s one must-have item. Also, it’s handy for mopping your forehead and other sweaty bits. A quick-drying microfiber travel towel is ideal, but a washcloth works too.

Wet wipes. Deodorant. Mints. ‘Nuff said.

First Aid Kit

Disinfecting/alcohol wipes and bandages. Scrapes and scratches happen.

Toe tape. Blister-prevention, mainly for the ladies.

Ibuprofen. Helps keep achy muscles and overloaded brains at bay.

Vitamin C packets. These dissolve in water and give your energy and immune system a boost. Try one half way through the day for a quick pick-me-up.

Odds & Ends

Smartphone or camera + charger. You will want to take videos at the end of each workshop, and you don’t want to be impeded by a dying battery. You can also use a music-recognition app (such as SoundHound) on your smartphone if you hear a song you love during the workshops and don’t want to interrupt the class to ask what it is.

Workshop schedule. Print a copy of the schedule and highlight the workshops you’re most excited about. Be selective! That way, you can focus on what you really want to learn and can schedule your breaks accordingly.

Cash. You never know when you might need a snack (*cough* or a new pair of shoes *cough*) so having some cash on hand is always recommended. Some instructors also sell instructional DVDs; if you love their style, it may be worth investing.

(More tips for preparing for a congress)

What to Pack?

If you’re interested in my tips on packing for a salsa congress, leave a comment below!

Also, I’d love to hear what your workshop must-haves are and how you make the most of your workshops.

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