What is the best non-U.S. congress out there?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by naturallove, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. naturallove

    naturallove Sonero

    Okay, maybe I'm starting something ;) but I'm a bit weary of the same-old congress scene stateside (like I've been to so many! LOL) and want to try something different. I had a blast dancing in Zurich (the few amazing dancers made it worth it) but that congress is held in the winter. I can stay in WI for all that cold! I've heard good things about the U.K congress (I can't recall which one). I want opinions on the best congresses--in terms of location, organization, fun factor, etc.
  2. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    I can't judge what is better or best as I haven't been to any outside the US. The one I am thinking about is the Cubamemucho Cuban Salsa Congress that happens in Munich in March. Definitely different from the US scene. They have Cuban bands, Cuban dance instructors and some of the world's best rueda teams from Italy in the rueda competition.

    When you say non-US do you mean non-Americas ? Or do Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Colombia qualify ? There are congresses in all of those places, too.
  3. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    We used to have the BritSalsaFest in blackpool, which is a horrible town with an incredible ballroom. The northern and southern organisers of that fell out this year so I quit following news about it. Maybe it went ahead this year, maybe it was good, I don't recall.

    SalsaUK has a fairly large annual event which is well thought-of.

    Mambocity 5 star congress is small but perfectly formed as the accommodation is right on top of the dancing (most UK congresses force you to walk a half-mile or so through mist or rain between the dance floor and bed!)

    The Northern organisers of BritSalsaFest are organising the Great British Salsa Experience ("GBSEx") this year in Manchester, and knowing the orgs it will be a pretty polished affair.

    I can't afford stuff like that any more so I'm not up-to-date with dates and other info I'm afraid.
  4. Jolinia

    Jolinia Descarga

    Congresses I've been to:

    Munich Salsa Congress - it's big, attracts big names but is in November (in my opinion worst month of the year in Germany).

    Summer Salsa Festival Munich - I really like this one - it also attracts big names, still has attractive prices and is held in summer (end of august/beginnin of september) in my favourite city in Germany.

    Candela Salsa Festival Karlsruhe - I really enjoy this one too, it's a little bit smaller in numbers of attendees but attracts lot of big names, has more of a "family atmosphere" - but it's also in winter (January).

    Congresses I haven't been to but heard good things about:

    Berlin Salsa Festival - will go this year for the 1st time - they limit the number of attendees so that it doesn't get too big (I think) and it has been around for 8 years. It's held in September, so the weather can be really nice and it's in Berlin, one of the most vibrant cities in Germany.

    Hamburg Salsa Festival - the biggest in Germany and supposedly one of the biggest in Europe. It's in July and Hamburg is a beautiful city, so definitely worth a trip.

    Zurich - the biggest in Europe, but in winter. Still Switzerland is beautiful in winter :)

    The Prague salsa Festival is supposed to be great at affordable prices. In addition Prague is a beautiful city and worth a visit. I think the festival is sometime in spring but I'm not sure.

    I met a guy from Vienna and he told me that the Vienna Salsa Congress is worthwhile (in May). One of their main attractions is they have a Latino Ball in the tradition of the Viennese Balls which must be amazing. I've never been to Vienna (shame on me), but it's on my list for next year :)

    Hope it helps!
  5. AguaDulce

    AguaDulce Pattern Police

    Curious as to what you are looking for or what your criteria is for "good" in terms of a salsa congress. I asked because people like different things. For instance, bands vs DJs, big vs small, On1 vs On2, sightseeing destination vs strickly salsa destination, etc.
  6. chrisk

    chrisk Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hm, I'm not sure if the number of attendees is limited, but the congress definitely has a great atmosphere that I enjoyed a lot. And except for some very popular workshops (ie. Mario) there wasn't an space issue. So, I enjoy going there again this year. :)

    And at least this year it wasn't as cold as you might expect, so you could even take your jacket while walking around the city on sunday morning. Also Zurich is a beautiful city and I'll suggest to once have been there. The festival itself is held in a nice congress hall with enough space for dancing and always a live band on friday. :)

    It took place this year in april, so I suppose it's going to be around the same time next year. So you might be able to catch some nice weather. :)
  7. antigone

    antigone Pattern Police

    If I intended to ever get out of the ballroom/workshop rooms and see the sights, my top choice would be Prague. That place is so magical! (But Munich has the prettiest airport and a park with artificial rapids for surfers :) )
    Hmm..maybe next spring... Do you Brits get off the island to go to other european congresses?
  8. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    Browsing the Prague Salsa festival website: http://www.salsafestival.cz/salsa.php/salsa/lektori/en
    I noticed that they put up biographies of all the performers and instructors. Very nice. The other congresses could study this site and learn a few things regarding content.
  9. Jambo

    Jambo El Sabroso de Conguero

    Quit a lot of my friends travel to congresses overseas, I'm not that lucky at the moment (due to finances and family commitments) but one I would really like to go to is the Crystal Salsa Party in Poland (held in a salt mine deep underground), it looks amazing!!


    As Sweavo said, the Blackpool 'Brit Fest' was a fantastic event, IMO by far the best in UK. I'm looking forward to GBSeX in Manchester though, knowing the organizers this should be a quality event which will fill the hole that Brit Fest left, and then some :D.

  10. la_gringa

    la_gringa Tumbao

    are there any non-US congresses where an on-2 dancer would be happy with the amount of potential partners?
  11. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    I'm surprised none of you have been to the Sydney Salsa Congress - one of the most highly regarded and best organised in the World (yeah I'm blowing my own horn here!).

    Huge On2 scene with a LOT of local and international On2 dancers.
  12. sac

    sac Tumbao

    I'm surprised none of you have been to the Malaysian Salsa Festival -one of the most highly regarded and best organised in Asia (yeah I'm blowing my own horn here!) and perhaps in the world

    Huge On2 scene with a LOT of local and international On2 dancers(mostly from Australia,UK and nearby Asian Countries).

    sorry jag75,copied ur post as i had the same thoughts:)
  13. bas

    bas Rhythm Deputy

    The congress that I've enjoyed most so far was the Croatian Summer Salsa Festival.
    There is just something about the location that I adore. But then, I'm biased, I've always loved Croatia. Unfortunately I can't say they had the strongest line up of instructors. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time and loved the workshops I was able to take but other congresses have a stronger line up of instructors.

    I really liked the Summer Salsa Congress in Brussels but I'm only a beginner / improver. Not sure how it would have been if I'd been dancing on another level.

    I have heard good things about Berlin but won't be able to say anything about that until after I've been there next month :)

    Munich has gotten good reviews as well although a friend of mine mentioned that some of the workshops are done in German. Not to helpful if you don't speak a word of German. Then again, like Jolinia already said, it attracts big names and all their workshops will be in English.

    When I was in Brussels the buzz was all about GBSex. Like Sweavo already mentioned, apparently the organisers are really good.

    But the most raving reviews I've heard so far though have all been about the Zurich, which will be held again 20-22 Feb 2009. The only complaint I heard was that this year there was no snow. But then, as chrisk mentioned, at least it wasn't too cold either :)

    Unfortunately most of this is based on hearsay. I've only been to Ljubljana, Brussels, Croatia (I posted my impressions of those 3 on my blog) and Luxembourg. Luxembourg I wouldn't recommend as the quality of the sound left a lot to be desired, location got changed at the last moment and the room, yes only one, on Sunday was too small.

    As I dance on 1 and will try to get that down properly before branching off I haven't really paid attention to the other classes. If you're looking for Cuban though, cubamemucho goes all around Europe.

    Unfortunately I can't recommend anything for on2 dancers.
  14. sectioni

    sectioni Changui

    Here are my impressions: (for an l.a. dancer)

    Zurich Salsa Festival
    been there twice ( 2007,2008 ). its one of the best in my opinion.
    lots of sitting area for the shows, big dancing floor, good dancers. the music in 2007 was great in my opinion (lots of ray barretto and stuff like that), the music in 2008 was terrible and boring. but still worth going to

    Spain salsa Festival (the one Angeles runs.. i think its somewhere in july or august)
    been there once (2007).
    the shows were amazing. not the same old regular shows you see in most congresses.
    the dancing scene was outside (felt like a military tent..), the dancing floor was terrible, and the party was somewhere between 60 - 90 minutes each evening!
    it was in a hell-hole somewhere in spain (no taxis or public transportation except for their vans). the hotels that they offered (in callea) were so so cheap. thank god i had a bed there..

    great dancers though..

    tons of potential but if they won't make some serious improvments - don't go

    UK salsa congress

    been there once (2006).
    very good congress. very well planned and high-class.
    good dancers, good floor, hugh room.
    the only 2 bad things i have to say is the 2 hour jurney from the airport to the congress
    and the other thing is it was stuck in the middle of some vacation resort.. so if you're not counting on spending all of your mornings in workshops.. it gets boring as hell.

    but i think they changed it to bournmounth or something so maybe all of the info i gave here is no longer relevant.

    Brussels summer salsa
    been there twice ( 2005, 2008 )
    music was ok.. could be alot better.
    big enough floor.
    hot as hell though.. could hardly breath there..
    but aslong as they keep bringing johnny and francisco - i'm there
    local dancers where somewhat unfriendly and cold (at least the girls were) but who cares, they suck at dancing anyway :)

    Munich salsa festival (november, not the cuban one)
    been there in 2007.
    wow! never had so much fun!
    already booked my plane tickets for this year.
    go go go!
    just try not to stay with the bavarian people.. felt like i was in amish-land.

    NJ/NJ salsa festival
    been there once (i think 2005)
    boy that sucked real hard. no congress athmosphere.. no nothing..
    it was really bad. had alot of fun in the clubs though... (l.q. / cache)

    And ofcourse my country's congress - the Israeli salsa congress
    never been there actually :) but i assume its ok.
    you'll have some good dancers for sure, and lots of pool parties and all that **** in the mornings. it's mostly l.a. style.
    the music will be kick-ass in contrast to other congresses.. thats for sure.

    well thats about it.. now i'm on my way to milan to check out the clubs scene there..
    hope this info helps.
  15. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    The words to look out for are "Butlins" or "Pontins" since they are both "holiday camps" like the one you went to. They're good in that they have accommodation, catering, and dance halls all on the same campus, but they're usually in resort towns in the low season, and UK holidaymaking has been in decline for decades, so they're usually in fairly miserable surroundings.

    If you are planning to do nothing but dance, eat and sleep, then you'll not really have a problem in such a venue. But if you want to see some of the sights of Britain, you'll be disappointed!
  16. naturallove

    naturallove Sonero

    Um..there's a VERY good reason for that. For most of us (at least in the U.S.), Australia is on the other side of the world!! LOL I'd LOVE to go to Australia, but there is no way in hell I'd go just for a salsa congress. I'd spend more time traveling than actually enjoying dancing. That said, I met a new friend from Australia at a conference this summer, and I am busy scheming to try to get down there (I'd want to stay for at least a month so I could see a few things).
  17. naturallove

    naturallove Sonero

    Hmm..I'm pretty open to just about anything. I prefer dancing on2, but that's just because 98 percent of on1 dancers I've ever danced with REFUSE to prep me for spins. I hate that. But if an on1 dancer is groovin' (or on2) than I'm good! I like bands or djs--I prefer a good dj to a sucky band any day. However, a live band that is good (e.g. Spanish Harlem) can't be beat! If I'm overseas, I'd like to see something of the country and not be holed up in one spot.
  18. naturallove

    naturallove Sonero

    The Zurich congress sounds great. As I mentioned before (maybe in another post) I really liked Zurich. I'd say the overall level of dancing was okay, on2 dancers in general were amazing. (There's a selection issue-one of the dancers told me that the on2 folks tend to be instructors/performers and a lot of regular salsa dancers are afraid to do on2. Just repeating the sentiment, can't confirm this.) I may consider this one if the dollar strengthens a bit more...
  19. Hesdeadjim

    Hesdeadjim Changui

    Geez, I'm getting all excited reading about the Zurich festival and am sorely tempted to start booking a flight in order to make that event.
  20. chrisk

    chrisk Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hehe, it's definitely worth a trip, so if you can afford it (swiss prices are higher then in other countries), go there. (I just don't know if you need to book the flight already).

    @naturallove: I hope you weren't there last year as I would have then missed to ask you for a dance. :)

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