This past weekend was the 15th annual Chicago Salsa Congress and it was a blast! Particularly cool was the fact that for the first time since 2009, I was going to dance. I say going to because some things fell through at the last minute and prevented us from dancing. The event organizers were very gracious in their attempts to have us participate and really opened their hearts to welcome us back into the fold.
So then, off Laura and I went to join in on the fun on Saturday and we made it a point to hang out with our dear friend and mentor Sekou McMiller who single handedly taught me how to dance and continues to inspire me to this day. We talked dance as we always do and it’s especially cool to sincerely feel his undying support of our competitive dancing endeavors. Suffice to say, we got some great quality time with Sekou and it was awesome. He went on to stun the audience with an amazing piece of work he created with his dance partner Sharlane that evening and even though his was the only show I saw that night (arrived late!), I knew it was the best one of the evening. If you ever read this Sekou, love you brother, you’re the man!
One of the other great things about the Congress is the electricity of the whole hotel. You can literally feel the nervous energy and excitement as you see performers going over their last bits of preparation and ladies making themselves beautiful with their makeup and outfits. Having been there myself, I know what it’s like to do something for the first time in public and the craziness that goes on in your head as you go over moves again and again.
I heard all of the shows went great and I’m super pumped that all of my friends in the community got a chance to do their thing on the big stage and show a loving and receptive audience what they have been working on for the past several months. Hats off to all of you, keep at it!
The social dancing at these events is usually another highlight and as usual, did not disappoint. I always like to make it a point to experience the pleasure of dancing with people I don’t normally see who are from out of town as they bring a whole new flair, energy and style that is often unique to their geographical area. My best dance of the night goes out to the lovely Laura Geldys from the Detroit area. She and I have had a great dance chemistry for several years now and I always make it a point to get a dance in when I see her.
After a long night of dancing and a very minimal amount of time to sleep due to having to take care of the babies, Laura and I managed to zombie walk back to the Congress on Sunday morning and teach a very well attended workshop. Yes, I’m aware about what I’ve said about Congress workshops which is why we were especially motivated to go over something unique and technical that could add a ton of value to people’s dancing. Suffice to say, it went great!
All in all, it was a very unique and special weekend and I sincerely look forward to participating in full in 2016. If you are new to the Salsa scene in Chicago, make it a point to mark your calendars for Valentine’s day weekend next year, it will be a whole lot of fun and I’m sure I’ll see you guys there!
Did you have a great time at the Congress? If so, what was your favorite part? Please share this with others and we’ll get the Salsa love-fest started!
To your dancing…