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Sydney Salsa Freestyle Championships 2011

July 19, 2011

It’s been a stressful few weeks. Jasmin and I decided to enter into the Sydney freestyle Salsa competition at Coolabar, and, after 15 couples in 2 heats and a final, we won! We were ecstatic with the result and I thought I’d share a few of my observations about the comp.

First up, some background. Sydney has a great latin dancing social scene and some really fantastic nights out for people wanting to dance. My personal 2 favourites are Pump house on a monday night and Coolabar on a Wednesday. Juan and Sherylanne decided to run a social dancing competition out of Coolabar covering each of the major styles: Salsa, Zouk, Bachata, and Samba.

Now I’m no stranger to competition, and choreographing musically is probably my biggest strength, but this was a whole other beast. In this comp, we’d have a random song, and be given about 2 minutes to show how we could interpret the music, use the available space, demonstrate good technique and connection, and generally just dance well with our partner. There were no rehearsals. There was no preparing. It was just turn up and do your best to the music you were given. That’s scary! I normally feel so prepared before a comp that I can run through my entire routine in my head, I know the sticky spots, I’ve tested the floor, and I’m really concentrating on visualising what’s about to happen. In this I had no idea what was going to happen, and all I could do was try to ge into a relaxed state where I could try to lead some interesting stuff while staying musical and really varying my dancing with the music.

This is where having a great partner comes in. Jasmin and I have been dancing for so long together that she can read me instantly… she know’s what I’m hitting in the music and she hits it with me… There’s really no substitute for a partner you have great connection with.

Here’s the video of the finals. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you all for the congratulations messages… we were so happy!

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