August 2, 2003


Category: Personal — Biella @ 9:34 pm

Just got back from the world salsa congress held in San Juan for the last week. Tonight was a bonanza farewell show with lots and I means lots of some of the finest and fastest and even strangest salsa dancers from around the world although there was a strong representation from Puerto Rico, New York, and oddly enough Italy. There was some other European groups like the Swedish one but all in all it was mostly strong, supple yet meaty latinos and latinas moving their hips with vibrant rhythm with hands, feet, and partners in synch which just seemed mind boggling to me.

The affair reminded me of any professional “con” although more on the side of hackers and sports conventions than a medical or technology conference. These were dancers that clearly all knew each other and who spent the week rehearsing, having fun, catching up with friends, learning new moves, meeting legends, and supporting each other through the performances. It was they who could really appreciate the depth of complexity and the aesthetics of those moves. The winners were a Puerto Rican male dancer and Venezuelan female dancer who were both strong as steel yet fluid as tears. The contrast of strength with softness led by intense rhythm set them apart from the rest.

But one of the more shocking elements of the evening was this older couple (maybe 40s) who danced with more triwls, liftings, and off the ground swings than any of the younger folks. But the amazing thing was that the woman was a strong though not bulky female of high stature while her partner was a short and overweight stocky man. I could not believe that he could pick up that woman over and over again. Clearly, they danced together for years and it was just like a key being inserted into its lock. Strange to see though.

Anyway, I am tired from watching all that dancing. It is hard not to envy those who can express so much with the sway of the hips…

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