Question by User Inmyfeelings123
Relatively new salsa dancer (follow) here!
When did you go to your first salsa congress? Did you wait until you led/followed proficiently before deciding to attend?
I worry about feeling intimidated at socials/workshops. I follow well enough, but am taking lessons to fill in the gaps from what I learned from socials and to improve technique.
If beginners have attended congresses and had a lot of fun/learned a lot, I would definitely consider going to one sooner rather than later.
Any general advice about attending your first congress would be greatly appreciated also! Thanks in advance!
Go ASAP and get the lessons pass. You will learn moves, you will dance with new people, you will improve your technique, and you will realize how shitty you are. It’s OKAY lmao.
I think I went 6 months into dancing for my first one and it was a great decision I became a much better dancer from it, and honestly half the people I danced with didn’t care. I’m a lead and a good number of my dance partners we exchanged info and had a good time.
Go ASAP if it’s something you’re into. I’d say if you’re not super into Salsa then maybe not waste 300 dollars on a pass but if you’re into it then go for it
Just go. You’ll always find someone of your skill level to float around with or just rotate partners if you are new. Good taste to the Salsa culture would be great.
The best advice is really spend most of your time at the socials, that is how you get better not so much the lessons. Exposure to new people and new styles and attempting them during the socials is where you’d shine.
Workshops are a great equalizer. My experience are having gone to NYSC and DCSC on several occasions. You’ll have all sorts of levels. There are plenty of beginner level classes out there taught by great teachers. Sign up for as many as you can. Look up the instructors and research their style a bit. If I was you, I’d go to as many workshops as possible. The lessons are great, but those classes are great for meeting people who are in your shoes. You can even plan to meet up social dancing at night and if you chat up enough people, odds are you’ll bump into a bunch of them!
I know lots of people will tell you to skip the workshops and just focus on social dancing but for me, the workshops and performances are a GREAT part of the congresses and generally are underrated.
I went to my first congress after having been dancing for about 6 months. Not gonna lie, I was still intimidated by congresses’ social dancing after a year and a half of dancing. There are so many amazing people that go to them that just walking into one of the social rooms made me feel like no one there would want to dance with me. It’s scary, but it is one of the best ways to refine your dancing, you get to dance with people from all over the world and get to experience dancing with people that may not dance exactly the same as the people in your area. You should totally go for it. Be aware that the amazing people that you notice, you notice because they are amazing and their dancing attracts attention, there are people of all skill levels at any given congress, and there is no need to worry.
If I were to give you some advice, it would probably be to pace yourself, pick what you most care about and prioritize that. Are you there for the workshops then cut the social dancing early, for the socials then skip the earlier workshops, the after parties maybe don’t go to the workshops altogether and rest during the morning. My first few congresses I tried doing as much as I could only to find myself half-assing each passing day more and more. There’s so much going on at any large enough congress that your body will likely not be able to do everything, so make sure to go there with a plan.
A congress can be so much motivation.
It always depends on the congress. Look at their timetable and take a look at the course levels (beginner, openlevel, intermediate, advanced,…)
On the one hand side I would say go as soon as possible, on the other … don’t ruin the experience of your dance partners by going into advanced courses with only a few weeks of experience.
Depending on the amount of lessons/socials you have got, I would say that after 6-12 month, most of the people are good to go.
You should have good basics and you shouldn’t have constant problems at the intermediate classes.
You can always ask your teacher or an experienced dancers or people who gonna also visit the same congress (the more the merrier 🙂 ), if you are good to go.
I’d been dancing for maybe 18 months or so when I went to my first congress, having avoided them up until then because I didn’t think I’d be good enough. Long story short, I ended up realising that I didn’t have much to worry about and wishing that I’d gone earlier on.
Oh, yeah, go for it. I attended my first congress after about 5 months of dancing. I don’t know what “a new salsa dancer” is in your opinion, but in mine, that’s me.
About the experience… I attended salsa and bachata workshops. I was confident I would be able to follow salsa intermediate lessons, but nope. However, I’m a lead, so learning how to execute so many things and lead at the same time was difficult. However, my friends (follows) were able to follow (pun not intended) everything perfectly. Bachata was much easier and I was able to follow intermediate classes despite having only 7-8 classes prior to the congress.
Parties were fun as well. We have a relatively small salsa community here. Every Friday I see the same people. Having new people around was fun.
All in all, it was an amazing experience. Go for it!