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The most important thing YOU want from a Salsa / Bachata Congress...

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  • The most important thing YOU want from a Salsa / Bachata Congress...

    Most promoters just don't "get it". They "believe" that their patrons want certain things, but in reality, their PAYING CLIENTS want something else...
    They end up spending thousands on something that is not as important as what THEIR PAYING CLIENTS want.

    We're putting out a survey now, to show to promoters and the world what WE WANT from a Congress.

    The results may shock you.

    What is THE most important thing you want at a Congress or Festival?
    Band / Orchestra?
    Great Social Dancing?
    Quality Instructors and Workshops?
    Quality Venue or Location?
    Is the event well-organized?
    Evening Performance Shows?

  • #2
    The most important thing YOU want from a Salsa / Bachata Congress...

    3 point very important in the congress
    1 Quality Instructors and Workshops
    2 Band / Orchestra and DJs
    3 Great Social Dancing


    • #3
      I have to agree with DJ Cuba. I want good classes, good music and good dancing. And with the classes, I want stuff that I can take back home for my social dancing.

      I could do with out the performances. Don't get me wrong. I know that these folks work hard out there. It's just that I'd rather be out there dancing myself rather than watching someone else dancing.


      • #4
        Me too! I agree.

        I think that it's cool that these people perform but i think all congresses or festivals or wherever there are tons of people attending and paying to be there for a separate room for those of us that don't want to have to sit thru the performances.

        I mean, granted I was even on a dance team but sometimes all that great music is just too much to have to SIT thru. I don't like too many performances. I think the MC needs to take a chill pill at times and just not "be there" for all of us to have to see his face between every performance. I like it when they just run them thru one after the other, and if they have to make an announcement that they do it behind the scenes with the mic - not show themselves. sorry i'm getting off track.. but YEAH I hear you bro!


        • #5
          Top 3 Congress Priorities

          Good question. I'm going to list my top three. Speaking from the position of having helped organize the Seattle Salsa Congress, I would say it's always a difficult balancing act regarding performances. Judging from the above comments and my own experience, the audience wants to see some great professional performances and then get on the dance floor themselves. But part of the mission of our congress is to foster the growth of the Salsa community and give amateurs the opportunity to perform at a major event in order to grow as dancers. Now that's the altruistic side. The business side is that a congress is a very high-risk venture that often breaks even or loses money. Performers who may not otherwise buy full passes will buy performance passes. This is an important source of revenue at any congress. Then there's the students who will be encouraged to attend if their team is performing. ...which leads to the political side. If local teams are not given the opportunity to perform, why should they (and the school they represent) bother to support the event? All of these competing interests are inevitably going to lead to some dissatisfaction but the bottom line is that amateur performances are a necessity to keep congresses economically viable and they're a benefit to the growth of Salsa by giving amateurs valuable experience and encouragement. Regarding the MC, I couldn't agree more. A great MC sets the tone of an event and shines the spotlight on the performers rather than on him or herself. Edie is a great example. When she MCed our event, she kept it fun, light, and entertaining while at the same time kept things moving. That's also in part a function of the staff working backstage.

          But let me digress and go back to DJCuba's comment. I totally agree with placing the quality of the instructors and workshops as #1. We screwed up our first year by not offering a beginners bootcamp. That's really the heart of the congress because it gets new people involved in Salsa. We're very serious about offering the best experience possible to beginners. That's why it's 6 hours a day over the entire 3 days plus all evening events included. Total immersion, total fun!

          The SSC workshops are for intermediate to advanced dancers. What follows are 6 elements that comprise what to me is quality instruction and quality workshops: 1) Great instructors Not all great performers are great instructors. 2) High stages so that everyone can see the instructors. We're increasing the height this year to the legal limit. 3) 1:20 classes rather than 0:50 classes. This gives instructors more time to explain technique and students more time to absorb. 4) Innovative classes that students cannot normally experience locally. 5) Classes that emphasize technique. Anyone can access YouTube to copy a move. 6) We give students a chance to video the lesson at the end of class so they can practice it later.

          #2 for me is great social dancing. That's why we bring a huge floating floor all the way up from California so there's enough room for everyone to dance comfortably! All the instructors and performers dance socially with dancers at ALL levels to create a memorable experience. Great DJs are a must for great music and there's nothing like live music for at least one of the nights. However, I have to say that a big name band can easily break the bank at all but the largest congresses. No disrespect meant to any band but I personally look at live music like icing on the cake. It's great IF the budget is there but not ESSENTIAL to a good social dance experience. And if there is live music, I think it's important that the band limits the songs to around 6 minutes rather than playing long drawn-out jam sessions.

          #3 for me are performances. It's so seldom that we get to see world-class professional performances in the Northwest and to have so many superstars on one stage is a real treat. And as stated earlier, it gives amateurs a chance to shine and grow as dancers.