To congress or not to congress

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by vancouverguy, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. vancouverguy

    vancouverguy Sonero

    It's been suggested to me by one of my coaches to attend the Seattle congress at the end of this month ( particularly to attend the three day bootcamp (6 hrs per day) by Edie TSF.

    I've got mixed feelings about that. The last workshop I attended from some name brand people held in my area, I walked out on (paid for it, they turned the crowd into a train wreck in 15 minutes, I left).

    This would be my first congress.

    Would the forum care to offer opinions? And what their experiences have been?

  2. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    I love congresses (all 2 that I've been to), but I was social-dancing regularly for over a year when I went to my first. I've only heard good things about Edie's Boot Camps, and it seems like it would be a good way to connect with beginner follows. But if you've already been taking lessons for several months, I don't know how you'll feel being in a class with lots of first-timers.
  3. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    I've been a congress addict for some time now (in case you haven't noticed :lol:) and have always enjoyed them since my beginner days, but perhaps you may want to take a look at this thread re. attending a congress as a beginner:

    Edie is a good teacher and I've thoroughly enjoyed all her workshops I've taken. I've never been to her bootcamps, but my understanding is that plenty of people who are not beginners have also taken them and found them beneficial. I think UnlikelySalsero has assisted Edie at some of these bootcamps and can hopefully give you more info re. what to expect?
  4. vancouverguy

    vancouverguy Sonero

    From what I understand, Edie does progress upward in those three days. In other words the last day would be more intermediate.

    I've been back through sooooo many beginners classes, it doesn't bother me. If nothing else, I do get some time in with beginning follows and it's comfortable to me.
  5. vata07

    vata07 Descarga

    i'd say "yes" to going to the congress, and "maybe" to the bootcamp. if its going to be Edie and likely over crowded with them maybe not letting you film whatever was being taught, i can understand your hesitation.why not look into the other workshops they have going on? congresses are fun (ok fine i've only been to one..:buttkick:)..why not just go for the experience?
  6. vancouverguy

    vancouverguy Sonero

    Over crowded was EXACTLY what set me off on the workshop I attended. You don't learn a whole lot with people on top of you.

    I get a little annoyed when greed exceeds sense.
  7. vancouverguy

    vancouverguy Sonero

    A "congress addict". NOOOOOOO, your kidding ;)

    Thanks for the heads up on the thread, a good deal of info there.

    I think Edie was one of Don's (UnlikelySalsero) first instructors ( I subscribe to his blog, and can relate being close to the same age, to what it's like getting a late start).

    I've been to several local Salsa events (stuff outside of a club), and it is both intimidating, and exciting.

    Now if I could just learn how to go from one move to the next, I'll be a happy man. And may just ask someone to dance some day :D
  8. bailarina

    bailarina Son Montuno


    I just had a great dance the other night with someone from the Seattle area. He certainly had different moves & a different style, so it was a fun time. It also strikes me that your own style is influenced much by ones scene/instructors/music/flavors so it is always fun and exciting to go to a congress or even just a new city to see and meet so many new people.

    That said given my recent Seattle-dude experience I would be eager to go to their congress!

    Going to the congres would let you see a whole lot & seeing great dancing can influence and inspire you for a long time & you'd get a lot of mileage out of the memories. Doing the workshops at the congress would also let you meet people in a class setting so that in the evening open dancing you'll have that many more people you 'know' and feel comfortable asking and/or dancing with (if any hangups on asking total strangers).

    There will be other e-tsf workshops, and perhaps you could use another of the workshops to try out another new city and scene in the future (and save $$ in the long run).
  9. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Well Shakespeare,
    considering your thread title I must add another Hamlet quote... :)

    This above all — to thine ownself be true;

    How do you feel about it?

    What is the purpose/intentions of attending?

    IF you do not go what will you do with the time and money (opportunity cost).

    From my experience, congresses are honestly the best for:

    1) The experience
    2) The friends/contacts you meet
    3) The dancing he he

    A wonderful treasured memory giving testament that not only did you dance but you really absorbed yourself in the culture and community :)

    (so definitely recommend at least 2 in a dancers lifetime :) )
  10. salsamarty

    salsamarty Rhythm Deputy

    The San Francisco Salsa Congress starts this Thursday/Friday and I'm choosing to go to the evening performances and social dance but not to the workshops. I think this is my 6th SFO Salsa Congress. I've done the workshops twice in the past. My experience was that the workshops were very crowded and very fast paced. It was difficult to retain anything. I'm spoiled because we have some great teachers in the Bay Area and even though some of the Congress workshop instructors are great dancers it doesn't necessarily make them good teachers. It can be a good opportunity to meet people though.
  11. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    I like workshops as part of the intense salsa experience, even though I don't retain all that much from them. But even learning a couple new moves or techniques that I couldn't get at home makes it worth it to me.
  12. Berend

    Berend Son Montuno

    *highfives vata07*
    Same here, only been to one, but the experience of attending a congress and getting your own "feel"of it is far better than what any could tell you.

    The experience has made me book a flight to Las Vegas next year to attend the Las Vegas Salsa congress ;)
  13. tj

    tj Shine Officer

    I've been to several Congresses, and I think you should go, just for the experience if nothing else.

    The workshops tend to be a bit hit or miss (at least IME), and often the ratio is heavily skewed towards one gender or the other. And sometimes, they're overly crowded. And also, you can be just overwhelmed by the sheer number of workshops. (Definitely videotape them if they allow it. If not, videotape yourself or one of your friends after the workshop.)

    But at the same time, you'll never experience such a heavy dose of salsa in such a short amount of time. Nor as many other fellow enthusiasts in single locale.
  14. GRx

    GRx Sonero

    I am totally for workshops. Bring a good partner if you can. Also bring a camera and tape the instructor IF they permit. If not tape yourself immediately after the workshop. For maximum retention, when you get home practice everything you have learned at these workshops or else it is a waste.

    Another good option at these congresses is if you don't like the big group setting seek out the instructor you want for a private and get specific instruction.

    I did that for the first time in NYC this year and sought out Dave Paris to help me with a lift for my competition routine. I wish I did this earlier as it would have saved me hours of work and pain :) so it was totally worth the $ in my case.
  15. AguaDulce

    AguaDulce Pattern Police

    It depends on what else you have going on in your life and your level of interest. Your existence on this board seems to indicate that you have a pretty high level of motivation. The congress is close by. I'm not sure about the value of any particular workshop, but I would suggest going atleast for the social dancing aspect and the social interaction with other dancers. You can also learn a lot by watching good dancers up close.
  16. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm Sonero

    crowded classes aren't always bad. they only become so when the teacher has no desire to impose some order. edie often does try to balance the class, rotate etc. besides, she is a good teacher. if you care about the learning, then she will likely be worth the money. besides teaching figures, styling, shines etc., she is a great source of inspiration and commonsense advice. If you have only been dancing for a short time and consider yourself a beginner or an intermediate level dancer [1], her bootcamp would be a good thing to try. iirc, the seattle congress is restricting the tickets for this to 300,which means it won't be out of control.

    The overall experience of a congress - the sum total of workshops, dances, different styles, the sense of no-tomorrow, performances - they are worth experiencing. Even if one workshop doesn't meet your expectations, some other class probably will. In a way, it is like a touring exhibition of how people live and learn this culture in different places.

    If you choose to actively participate, you will likely come out of it feeling like you've grown. If you look for RoI in every little aspect of the event, you will be disappointed. It's a festival - the answer to your question is rather another question - do you want to be festive?

    [1] If you've ever been to the pre-dance class at club Atlantis in Vancouver on a Tue night, the material taught in that class could be a good baseline for characterizing an intermediate level dancer - i.e., if one were to be able to dance such patterns cleanly and effortlessly in a social setting, that would be a reasonably good approximate characterization.

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