It won't be long post, because there is not to many good things I can tell about. Our expectations before festival should be huge, because of the names of teachers (Maykel Fonts, Alberto Valdez, Dawes Figeroa, Ariel Rios), but having in mind London Congress we decided to accept not expect. Unfortunately reality was worse than our predictions.
I will try to start with positives :). We decided to leave rainy Manchester for one weekend (6-8th of August) and travel to South – to Bournemouth. I have to admit that I am fan of Maykel Fonts and that was the main reason we wanted to take a part in this event. Classes with him are difficult to compare to any other Cuban Salsa experience. He is like Luis Vasquez for LA salsa dancers or Frankie Martinez for NY salsa dancers. Amazing skills and obviously great teaching methods. Sometimes when you go for salsa workshops is better to follow good teacher even on beginner level than choose higher level class with somebody else. We had pleasure to participate in Rumba and Chango classes with Maykel fonts.
I was very impressed with one Sunday class – Afro Cuban with Eloy Leyva from Clave Negra. Most of moves were based on Arrara. I really enjoyed this class. Another good one was Ogun and Ochun with Dawes and Teresa. It was surprise after their morning class, when they looked hangovered and during whole hour there was warm-up only – big, big, big disappointment. I liked Dawes classes in London. Here he came with different partner – Teresa (Ryada's sister - amazing dancer).
Now few unpleasant words. Most of teachers where were very, very lazy. I know them from other festivals in Europe and I have to tell that it is disrespectful to lower the level only because we are in England. This is the reason why probably I will never again go to any British Salsa Congress. Maybe after time something will change, but teachers like Ariel Rios or Alberto Valdez have already strong name on European salsa scene and even when they don't need to work on it any more, they need to do everything to not be forgotten in future.
I can't say a lot about parties, because we went only for Saturday One. I really enjoyed shows (some examples under this paragraph). Moe Flex successfully turned up crowd and there was really nice atmosphere. Dancing level very, very low comparing to other European events. I forgot to name one more person, that I noticed was very good dancer. His name is Nicola Medic, he comes from Serbia and his dance was impressive. He organizes Cuban Congress in Belgrade 11-13th November and we will definitely be there.
In summary it was weird weekend. We had few nice workshops and few very disappointing. We spent a weekend outside of Manchester, checked another Congress and we know where not to go next year. Next one.... Crystal Salsa Festival in Wieliczka (Poland)