Congresses – Part 1?

Salsa congresses – Part 1

Many students approach me asking what a salsa congress is and what benefit is it to them to attend. I think the perception is that congresses are for professional dancers and you have to be an advanced dancer to attend.

The truth is that salsa congresses benefit every level of dancer from absolute beginner to professional. There is an abundance of classes, performances and social dancing partners that can lift off your dance level especially if you are stuck in a rut.

Congresses work like this: They are usually spread out over a weekend with before and after parties. You will find approximately 2 days of salsa-related workshops. Many times there are two or three workshops in different rooms at the same time so you have an options of topics. Workshops state usually whether they cater to beginner, intermediate or advanced dancers so before the congress you can set up your schedule.

There are about 5 hours of straight workshops which can really sap your energy and memory. My suggestion is to take a video camera or camera with video capabilities and record the end of every workshop. Some instructors let you tape them showing the final product. Others ask that you record yourself. Either way, take advantage of recording it as you will forget most of what you learned. However, remember that the mind has been expanded and muscle memory is in place so you haven’t truly forgotten it. With a refresher video you can get the move right back.

Many people skip the workshops due to expense or length. I had skipped workshops too. However, looking back I wish I did every single workshop as you can learn so much from the variety of instructors that attend a congress. If you are attending a congress in your own city my suggestion is to take mostly international workshops as you can always get an opportunity to take a local workhop but how often do you get the chance to work with an instructor from Miami or England or Australia?

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of my congress blog!

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