Last weekend one of my passions which I have discovered while living in South America took me to Medellin: the salsa dancing! I convinced my friend Conny who I injected with the dancing fever to accompany me to the city of eternal spring which was host of the Colombia Salsa Festival – and actually already for the 7th time! Unfortunately nobody – except the dancing “cracks” – know about this great dance event which I really hope will change in the future! Many great artists from Colombia – but mainly Bogotá, Cali and Medellín show their amazing talent and it is a tough competition of about 600 incredible dancers!

In more than 70 different categories they compete against each other – in groups, duos, couples (mixed, women, men and “proam” which is a couple of teacher “pro  = professional” and student = “am = amateur”) and single dancers starting with kids and up to seniors from amateurs to professionals! The categories include different genres like salsa on 1, on 2, cabaret, with and without acrobacy, rueda casino, chachacha and bachata. As you can see this event is a must for every dancing fan.

Besides great competitions there are also concerts, parties and dance workshops with famous national and international dancers! Of course, we participated in every possible workshop starting with learning tipps & tricks of the feminine dancing styles and the secrets of chachacha from Shani Talmor from Israel! Then the regaetton class with Vanessa Lacedonia from Italy was one of the highlights teaching us how to move not only our hips! She also showed us the moves of the Cuban rumba “guaguancó” which is a dance of sexual competition between female and male. And Edwin Rivera from New York taught us the steps of pachanga which also has its origin in Cuba.

It was really a great experience and after a whole day of moving our legs, feet, arms and hips to the latin rhythms, we were still in dancing mood! Of course, we needed to practise the new steps and even more important try out our new dancing shoes! In the morning we picked up our handmade dancing shoes from D’Raso which we had ordered a couple weeks before the event. And they even gave us a small tour through their dancing shoe factory showing us each process of this detailed work! Here you can choose colors, material, height and color of the heel – and these shoes are tailor-made according to your wishes! We found out that they even get orders from Spain, Argentina etc. So, well equipped we were ready to rock the dance floor in Medellin!

The next day was dedicated to support my dancing academy Paso Latino! About 80 amazing dancers had come to this festival to show their talent! And yes, they are the best and swiped the competitors away in many competitions! It was a feast for the eyes to see so many great dancers and hopefully this event will become internationally established soon – because Colombia definitely is the capital of salsa and any dancing fan should not miss it!

Have a look at the presentations of the amazing dancers of my academy Paso Latino directed by the best maestros and world champions in Chachacha Caterin Estrada & Nicolas Carreño Cruz:

Salsa Ladies Professional Group (1st place)

Salsa Semi-Professional Group (1st place)

Salsa Professional Group (3rd Place)

Bachata Semi-Professional Group (1st Place)

Salsa ON 1 Professional Andres Leiton & Susana Osorio (5th place)

Salsa Cabaret Professional Linda Aramendiz & Freddy Ospina (4th place)

Bachata Professional Linda Aramendiz & Freddy Ospina (1st place)

Chachacha Professional Sandra Jimenez & Alexander Salinas (6th place)

Doesn’t this make you want to move your hips? Let´s dance!

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