It's my 3rd year at the Salsa Bangkok fiesta, which is easily one of my favorite festivals in Asia for many reasons! Its one of the longest running festivals in the South East Asia and it has conserved its valuable elements of bringing the whole of Asia in one roof sharing such positive energy among everyone! And also the fact that its been growing year after year talks about its success and how much the dancers want to come back again!
Bangkok feels like home every time I come. This would probably be my 10th trip since my first time in 2014. That also makes Bangkok the city I have been to the most ever! I have become friends with almost every dancer in the city and it feels so familiar to walk to anyone and dance just like home!
About the Festival
The festival is organised by Apple Busakorn, Jost Wagner, Thattima Sukjai and DJ Henry Knowles in the first weekend of November at the Windsor Suites, Sukhumvit soi 20, Bangkok.
What was new this year?
There were a few changes this year on the positive side! To accommodate the ever increasing number of participants, they managed to get a bigger hall in the same venue! Same, Same but different, and better! Biggest rooms and 3 exclusive halls for Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba, fun theme for the parties, Incredible dancers and incredible music, esp the New York night with Jimmy Anton!
In terms of participation of Salsa Madras at the festival, we were about 10 dancers, a group bigger than what we were the last 2 years. We had 2 shows and this year, I preferred to showcase the team more and we performed a team Bachata show and our new exciting Salsa shines (Vijay Balaji and me) for the song 'Descarga Croilla' by Ray Baretto. This routine has become my all time favorite team shines and would like to showcase better and at many places. Following ALIA, (Sabah) and LFM, (Chennai), this is our 3rd showcase of the routine and we loved performing to such a fun cheering audience!
Another important progress for Salsa Madras was the Bachata team show. This is the first time, we are doing a team Bachata performance and first time, we had a couples in the show. Over the last 3-4 years since the start of Salsa Madras, it has always been my salsa solo shows or Men's team salsa shines! This Bachata show was the first in many ways! This is also a start of many more exciting team couple shows you will see in future! The Bachata show was represented by Dancers from India, US, Austria and France! Finally we broke the cliche image of Salsa Madras being only a men's team. The dancers who performed were also the champions at the Latin Festival Madras. Vanessa Hidalgo (US), winner of the Chennai Salsa Solo Open; Marie Laure (France), winner of Kizomba Jack & Jill at the LFM 2017.
I have to thank the dancers for the trust in me and the efforts they have put to make this happen. It was one happy proud moment for Salsa Madras as a whole.
Special for more the one reason!
Since I have been travelling a lot, this is one place I find it easier to catch up with the friends from the Asian Dance community all in one place. Doesn't matter if its only a "hi" or can be a coffee, a lunch or dinner or a dance, a selfie or group pic or a conversation, Just seeing or meeting all of these wonderful dancers from across Asia gives me immense happiness!
As an artist at the festival, I was super happy to share a little more knowledge on Kizomba on how to dance for transitions to make dancing more interesting and a Kizomba partner work workshop. I also had long conversations with the students in class after to discuss more in detail. What's bigger happiness than that of sharing!
This is my third year, I had my traditional breakfast at the Bei Otto, the German bakery opposite to the venue. It can be debated as Austrian bakery though. It now feels like home again! Very comfortable stay at the THEE Hotel just across the road, made it super easy to move back and forth to the venue whenever I wanted.
Endless non stop dancing is a common story at this festival. Everyone is smiling and enjoying the dances, so many familiar faces from Bangkok and across Asia. It never feels you had enough and in spite of 3 nights of non stop dancing, I still haven't danced with many of my friends, and danced enough with my favorites! In a way I stayed back for another week after the festival so I could survive the hangover from the festival.
It also gave me the opportunity once again to showcase in front of the Asian community which gives me the feeling of belonging to this wonderful community.
One very important reason why SBF was also special is that, this was my first trip to Bangkok with Julia and sharing the stage with her and teaching with her! and to assist her in her Acro workshop at the Rumpuree studio.
I highly recommend the festival! Don't miss the early bird offers. The festival is right in the Centre of city's happening and a must go festival!
For more info,