Just in time for the Miami Beach Kizomba Festival, and one of the peak dance congress seasons, we’ll describe what a dance congress is, first generally, then in our real-life experience.
By Andrew Jorquera & Dalia F.
“ ‘Dance Congress’… as in where legislators make the rules about dance?” Andrew asked himself when he first started his artistic career.
Cute, but no.
As Andrew discovered after actually attending his first dance congress, it has nothing to do with lawmaking.
“I quickly saw that it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Orlando Salsa Congress made every social I had ever been to look like a joke. It was life changing!” – Andrew
Overview of Dance Congresses
A dance congress (sometimes also called a dance festival) is the ultimate weekend dance intensive that attracts dancers, instructors and DJs from around the world. So for hours, you have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best! You sleep, eat and breathe whatever dance tickles your fancy.
There are similar congresses for almost every kind of dance imaginable: Tango, Kizomba, Forró, Bellydance, Hip Hop, Salsa, Bachata. Sometimes dances are combined, typically Salsa and Bachata, and increasingly Kizomba in the mix. And you can find hundreds of them, all around the world!
Think of it like an intensive, weekend dance getaway set in a hotel and with a full agenda of dance-related activities. And just like any vacation, it’s totally up to you what you want to do.
Break-Down of Dance Congresses
The organizers of festivals have gone through great effort (planning for a full year!) for this crazy event where everyone is just meant to have a ton of fun and learn about their beloved dance.
Organizers have contracted various world-class instructors, and scheduled simultaneous classes for you to choose from that weekend. They’ve put deposits down to set aside rooms in a hotel so that you have a guaranteed price. Organizers made agreements with the hotel for a pool takeover, and have also contracted and paid DJs to play the very best music. Performances from intermediate to pro teams and, of course, night parties in the hotel conference rooms have also been arranged!
Take a look at what your typical weekend might look like, complete with “fails.”
Why Should You Go to a Dance Congress?
Dance congresses are a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be surrounded by the dance you love… all.weekend.long. Nowhere else do you get the opportunity to learn from artists that you look up to from afar on YouTube, see them perform live… and then dance with them until 5 in the morning!
Pros to dance congresses:
- You always come away with something important to your dance. After a couple of congresses you start to see an acceleration in your dance level.
- Your circle of friends grows exponentially. You meet people from all around the world, and, yes, these can turn into lasting friendships.
- Dance congresses are one of the best ways to try out both international and local instructors to see if you’d like to take intensive classes with them.
- It’s inspiring to feel a part of this international phenomenon, and experience the curative properties of dance. We all need to socialize, and what a better way to do it than experiencing and interpreting music through dance? It completely opens your horizons on a global level.
- Your first dance congress can change your life.
Cons to dance congresses:
- You will like it so much you won’t want to stop at just one. Not such a bad addiction to have, is it?
- One dance congress in a 5-star hotel can cost you the same as two weeks in an economic hostel abroad. Hotels at $130-$170 per night, versus $25. Typically a full pass (classes + pool parties + night parties) run anywhere from $80 if you purchase a year in advance, to $200 a couple of weeks before the congress takes place. Lesson? Plan ahead.
Congresses are fun whether you have been dancing for a year or 10. If you are new you can learn and practice, and if you are a pro you get to showcase your skills with other dancers from around the world.
If you are scared about going to your first congress, we say: Just take the plunge! The experience will change your life and your love for dancing and socializing will only grow. Pick one below!
Upcoming dance festivals in South Florida:
August 22 – 25, 2019 Miami Beach Kizomba Festival
September 12 – 15, 2019 SaBa Salsa & Bachata Congress (Miami)
October 4 – 7, 2019 West Palm Beach SBK (Salsa Bachata Kizomba) Festival
November 2 – 3, 2019 Festival of Oriental Delights (Key Largo, Florida)
November 28 – December 2, 2019 Tampa Salsa & Bachata Festival