European Congress tour plus Super Singapore - running blog

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by smiling28, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Hey team,

    Thought I would share the adventure for anyone interested.

    1 week in Singapore
    ---------------------

    Awesome. Really love the place.

    Highlights:

    Seeing and dancing with my great friends and dancers Two Left Feet Singapore plus Jason and Jerinne. *seriously look them up if you are ever travelling through. Great people and dancers. Thanks for the dance Jason, super fun and lots of changes of direction ha ha.

    plus lots more including some privates with Jean to clean up my dancing MASSIVELY. God they were good.


    Zurich Salsa Festival
    ---------------------


    Tis Friday 11am so you are getting the live information :)


    Thursday –
    Arrived at 8am Zurich time. Yes timezones are weird. Zurich is basically 9 hours behind Brisbane, whilst 7 hours behind Perth and Singapore.
    - I tried to convert money in Zurich at the Credit Suisse ATM which confiscated my card. Yes, that is right folks, my only link to money in the entire world.
    - I informed the credit Suisse person who said in lovely English by the way ‘not her problem’. Thanks credit Suisse. I was insistent and she told me to go to the Credit Suisse main office in the next building. I did so and received the same response word for word ‘not my problem’. Sure, if I had gone to credit Suisse and said ‘Hi Credit Suisse, I have this weird rash...’ then ‘not my problem’ is a fair response but I distinctly recall saying ‘Hi credit Suisse, your ATM confiscated my card and I want it returned please’
    - A nicer lady allowed me to call my bank (took a long time) who sorted it out and credit Suisse returned my card. I appreciated the person letting me use their phone (even though it was a free call) so I bought them a really nice bouquet of flowers as thanks.
    - I then took a taxi into the city 55 frances for a 15 minute drive. Wow, Zurich is EXPENSIVE! Checked into my hotel in the city. Very central. Then, for the rest of the day, I walked around town to explore.
    - I then went back to my hotel and slept VERY soundly. I set an alarm but kept resetting it. I was not going to go to the pre-congress party but forced myself to check it out. I dressed warmly then went out for a 45 minute walk in the freezing rain to find the place. Granted it only took about 25 minutes to return as I knew the way
    - The club was massive. Very packed dance floor. A lot of Cuban dancers and Cuban influenced patterns (eg. Circular). As I walked in, a bachata played. I never know how many will be played so I immediately asked a local. We had a nice bachata and she asked me for a salsa so I kept dancing. I then changed my shoes, saw Edie the Salsa freak coming from a dance so took heart in hand to ask her. She was very polite and kindly accepted. It was a nice dance. I felt I was very sloppy in certain areas like holding my frame and my body control but Edie made it feel fun saying I was awesome afterwards. What a sweetheart. Edie styled off my frame a lot thus I need to be firmer and ensure my posture is better

    - I asked a woman to dance. Could not connect much but she seemed to have strong style. I felt she must do Cuban as CBLS or inline turns were not working but she had great body movement. It was still a nice dance but at the end, she felt me up big time just running her hands over my body for no reason and smiling. Not like she was close either, she had to take a couple of steps to do it. I felt.........more embarrassed and shy than anything. Yeah, violated in Europe. Go figure. I later saw her up on the congress website which makes me think wow, how much would male 'stars' get away with on the social floor...


    - The girls I found were much taller on average than other places I had been to. There were some fun dances and some not so fun. Eg. A not so fun was what looked to be like a great dancer. All dressed up as if she was performing (fancy make up and everything). Then she started spinning from the 1st cross body lead and did not stop. Not kidding. Never seen anything like it. A great spinner for power (very fast) but little control and no lead/follow. Any pattern I would do, she would spin un-necessarily and un-led. It became dangerous. I tried to use patterns that incorporated spins to keep her happy but then if I lead 2 spins she would try 3 and so on and so forth. The dance resulted in a nice shine for both of us ha ha :)
    - I danced on1 except for one song at the end of the night with a great dancer from Germany...........where I could not get the beat. She was very polite about it though and we chatted later. Very nice and patient of her but my confidence was hurt by my timing. More inspiration to go back to basics with my on2 and timing
    - I stayed until the end (3am). Seemingly the crowd thinned out about 2am but there were about 6 die hard couples on the floor even to close.



    - Edie the Social Salsa sweetheart!!!

    I danced with her twice but better still I observed her dancing with others!

    There are a small collection of really amazing dancers that should be at every congress. Of the more experienced instructors and performers, my list is at the least Magna Gopal, Susanna Montero, Lidia MacMahon (Sydney) and now Edie the Salsa Freak. Those dancers have stood out as:
    o 1) Loving dancing;
    o 2) Being amazingly talented;
    o 3) fun;
    o And

    *Many dancers have those talents above BUT... one major discernable factor is:


    Those dancers above social dance all night long with a wide variety of leads from beginners to advanced. They are very friendly socially and definitely beginner/intermediate friendly by making you feel special. They make their partners look and feel special.

    Anyway, more when I experience it and get internet connection to share.

    Much love all.

    Wish you were here.

    Rod
    #1
  2. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Capitán Del Estilo

    Damn, that sounds awesome! Hope you continue to have a great time.
  3. desconocida

    desconocida Descarga

    Sounds great! :banana:
    Looking forward to read more about your salsa adventures in Europe :D

    Oh, btw, good service is not quite a speciality of us, Europeans :confused: So you should appreciate the "lovely English" - once you get to Germany and later Spain it might get even worse - so watch out where you put your credit card into! :peace:
  4. Lilith

    Lilith Tumbao

    Wonderful to read about your experiences Smiling :)
  5. bas

    bas Rhythm Deputy

    What were you thinking anyway mister 'I'm Australian so I can stick my CC anywhere I want"? This is Europe! We don't roll like that ;-)
  6. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Ha ha, thanks for the support team :)

    VISA is an internationally received card and the ATM was marked Visa... *just to clear my name as a random sticker...

    So Friday night party - I was really hungry. Had no idea why. It was because somehow I went until 7am at the social night. OH MY, it was light when I left. Ouch

    *** Guydc is a SUPER cool guy. Love his style. Eg. I introduced him to a lovely dancer to dance with he said wait wait, what song is this. Then looked at the girl 'look, I want to give you the best dance possible'. Ok, maybe you had to be there but it was awesome


    DId all the workshops today. Great. Full recaps much later. Now going back out to the social night. Got a 1 hr nap and feel worse ha ha.

    Peace :)


    *ps got interviewed by the congress dvd team for being furthest to travel. I talked up Salsaforums and you guys so look out for it. But maybe they will dub my voice out with a voiceover saying 'Gday mate, Zurich is great.' ha ha
  7. Jolinia

    Jolinia Descarga

    Thanks for the review! Keep enjoying your trip!

    About dancing with Edie. I once danced right next to her, and her positive energy did not only pass over to the guy she was dancing with, but my partner and I also could feel her energy. It must be amazing to dance with her.
  8. Brownskin818

    Brownskin818 Shine Officer

    so in a nutshell....

    smiling: would u like to dance?
    web pictured instructor: depends, what size shoe do you wear?
    [guyDC dancing next slot over]
    guyDC: wow super spinner girl, youre such a super spinner. not sure this was the right song for us.
    [super spinner bumps/topples into neighboring edieTSF]
    edie's partner: hey! watch it!
    guyDC: *shrugs* not my problem
    edieTSF: hey, you're awesome!
    [meanwhile....]
    web pictured instructor: yeah, so my privates for you are 55 franc :wink:
    smiling: but then i wont have enough money to get home.... :confused:


    to be continued..... [​IMG]

    thanks for sharing the blog smiling!!! cant wait to read how the rest of the weekend turned out. ive seen nothing but rave reviews so far on FB. hope youre having a blast!!
  9. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Hey team,

    All I can type is O-U-C-H :)

    GuyDC and I left the final party at 7am this morning. Yes, we danced through the sunrise to the best DJ set all weekend.

    A great weekend. I am absolutely exhausted though. In short, there was so much social dancing as the parties went to 7am each morning.

    I went to 7am Friday, 4am Saturday, 7am Sunday. Plus did all the workshop timeslots, plus saw the performances etc.

    Some amazing dancers and very friendly too.

    I will keep sharing the info :)
  10. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    PS - quick notes

    - I asked a girl for a dance. She said, in 5 minutes. I went and sat down. She came and found me and i thanked her profusely and told my good dancing friends that i had met to dance with her. *Please take not, if you say you will grab someone later and keep to your word, it is SUCH a great feeling for the person who receives the dance. Thank you oh anonymous polite well mannered woman with integrity

    - I got interviewed for the Congress dvd for travelling the furthest for the congress. I talked up the Salsaforums and what this place meant for me. How it has been a catalyst for my dancing in that i am inspired by the other fantastic attitudes in the scene. How I was inspired by others posts, so I wanted to explore their salsa worlds via travelling. They will probably edit that out and just dub an Australian voice saying ' I love the Zurich congress' though ha ha

    - I love the Swing guys performances. So much fun and very creative!!!

    Peace
  11. desconocida

    desconocida Descarga

    Smiling, this all sounds soooo great!

    I was a little disappointed I couldn't go, but as always, just reading your postings gives you such a great energy! So thanks for sharing :D

    And wow, kudos to you - almost all of the social dancing, ALL the workshops possible AND the performances? You not only deserve the title of the furthest traveller but also of the bravest attendant, I think :rocker:
  12. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Thanks so cool of you to say. I really appreciate that. My best moment of the congress was having an AMAZING dancer that i met in NY say that I have improved since NY. Truly made my weekend worthwhile!!!

    I have SOOOOO much to improve. I am actually very frustrated with my lack of progress in dancing. It is very easy to be impatient and want to dance like Eddie Torres but little compliments like this remind me that I am making steps in my dance journey to help improve the experiences for my partners and I.

    Woot!!!

    PS Adolfo and Maykel Fonts. If you ever have the opportunity, please check them out (and their wonderful partners)
  13. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    sidenote - noted that in Zurich, pattern workshops are silently BYO partner. Bring your own seems to be the way they play. No rotation in classes either. Usually too few girls so guys missed out.

    Very interesting.

    Also, I HATE cigarette smoking. Ugghhhhhhhhhh, Charles Darwin is somewhere laughing... :)
  14. desconocida

    desconocida Descarga

    Yes, I'd say that's pretty much the standard over here, at least in northern Europe I think (I'm not sure about Spain, for example). Sometimes American instructors try to rotate but there're always couples who wouldn't participate, so I guess most of them give up after a while.
  15. GuyDC

    GuyDC Tumbao

    Most of the regular leads that travel in the EU know who this is and its a common thought shared by most, if not all, of us. ;)
  16. GuyDC

    GuyDC Tumbao

    lol :D
  17. jayzen

    jayzen Tumbao

    glad u r enjoying yourself! :)

    tho next time, please let us know a FEW days in advance before you pop into singapore!!! :p

    and, smiling, i'm exhausted just reading your posts! so much energy :)

    c ya when u next come bk this way



    J
  18. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Yeah, GREAT to catch up Jason even if just quickly. Sorry about the no notice. I had no notice myself. I just had some time off and thought, life is short :)

    So after the congress, well I met a cool DJ and his GF. Super sweet couple. They met at the NZ congress, fell in love awwwwwwwww, and then maintained a long distance relationship. So cool. They offered me a ride with them to Germany. So I went 200 kph down the autobahn listening to sweet Salsa tunes oh yeah.

    I then went to this cool University town (Freiburg) in Germany. SO much Salsa. Anichi and Anne (very nice) who came 2nd in the world championships live and teach there so I did their class. Very friendly. I cannot speak German but am decent at charades. One really nice guy in the class even offered me some of his drink because I did not have my own. So nice.

    I then walked to the social night (40 minutes) in the FREEZING cold. I was PRAYING they would play 4 bachatas in a row when I arrived so that I could thaw out :)

    But no, and my new friends were supposed to meet me there. Some drama with them and they couldn't come so I had NO idea where to go. Walked around the town until 4am (social finished at 2) looking for them or a hotel open. I so wanted to know how to say 'Holy @#@$, I am lost' in German but hey, I stayed positive :)

    Got a hotel for 3 hours then continued the search. *it was just so cold. I do not know how homeless persons live in Germany although I did not see any on the streets. One guy slept inside the bank ATM room which I thought was clever.

    I then found my friend's house at about 1pm by re-tracing all my steps and landmarks (did not have the address and all street signs are German so not like Smith St to remember. More like liwuiohjsfndfudiushfdsfnkjf to me :)

    Then yesterday I travelled to Amsterdam. Wonderfully got to meet BAS and GUYDC. ABSOLUTE legends. So cool. We toured Amsterdam a little (some cool buildings). Bought some clothes (5 Euro t shirts for the win) for the social night then went to a social night fundraiser.

    Magna taught a Cha cha workshop for free for the fundraiser. Super cool. Thanks Magna. Lots of fun and I even used the shine socially that night..................but 1. Could not remember it at the time and 2. my shine was thwarted as the girl i was dancing traded places with me halfway so I was like, man I have to break this or I will shine with my back to her ha ha.

    Social night was... nice to see but I HATED the music. DJ Mauri played a great set at Zurich but last night... ughh. NO flow. THey played 2 merengues after the performances. What! Had a bachata mixed into a merengue... and all in all really tried to kill my vibe he he.

    Great of them to organise so quickly so massive kudos and thanks to them.

    Now off to Brussels today/tonight for the Bachata festival. 5 hours sleep last night so hopefully some more. I had a 6.5 hour train ride to Amsterdam. I WANTED to sleep. Truly did but as i have never been to Europe, I was taken by the scenery. So lovely. So not enough sleep but many adventures.

    Much love everyone :)
  19. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    So the adventures of the intrepid salsa traveller continues... great! :D
    Have fun wherever you are going to next.

    You mean you don't like merengue? :nope: Next time I see you, you have let me lead you...
  20. bas

    bas Rhythm Deputy

    Was great meeting you!

    One thing will be engraved in my mind for a while yet ... "You mean <...> this table?" :D :D :D

    Not making any promises about tomorrow yet but I'm looking forward to Ulm!!!

    Hope you got some sleep, but then ... If you did I'm envious. I may have to skip dancing tonight :-s

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