El albergue

El albergue

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Let’s dance

To sum things up in one simple phrase, this weekend has been epic.  Why?  Because, this weekend, the first ever Bachata World Masters and Madrid bachata convention took place in this amazing city I call my home, and my roommate and I attended.  It was three days of danceeatsleepdanceeatsleepdanceeatsleep.  And no, I didn’t suddenly lose my ability to add spaces between words, I purposely wrote it that way in an effort to convey the way in which these past three days have merged together into an unbroken series of dancing, sleeping, and eating, with interludes of running across town between home and the convention.  Seriously, I hardly had time to even check my emails, let alone respond to anything requiring more than a couple short lines. 

It all started on Thursday night, when my roommate got home from a day of bachata workshops to pick me up for the first night of open dancing (I didn’t get home until almost 9 pm because of work and tutoring sessions).  We headed out at half past midnight, dressed and ready to dance the night away.  There were a lot of great leads there who were friendly as well as willing to enjoy themselves despite a little less skill on the part of their follow (ahem, ahem, that might be me). Near the end, the crowd thinned out quite a bit because most people had work the next day, so we ended up dancing a lot with a couple of American friends we had made who came to Madrid just for the festival.  Finally, around 7 am, we got back home, and I was able to fall into bed and sleep.

Friday, it was up at 3 pm to get ready to make it to afternoon two of workshops.  In one, I had to lead because there weren’t enough guys, but it was actually kind of fun learning some of the little things that you need to do in order to tell your follow what you want.  In fact, I think it might have made me a better follow. 

After a short hour and a half at home to eat dinner, change, and relax, we were back on the metro at 11 pm to make to the evening performances showcasing a few amazing professional bachata dancers.  Then it was another amazing night of great dances and new friends.  Actually, it would be more appropriate to say morning of great dancing, since open dancing didn’t start until 1 am and lasted until 6.  Finally, I again fell into bed at 7.

Up and at ‘em at 3 pm on Saturday, we headed back to the hotel where the convention was being held in an attempt to make it to an awesome-sounding workshop called “Bachatango.” I mean, what could be more cool than a fusion of bachata and tango??? Unfortunately, we didn’t make it there until more than halfway through the lesson, but we did get to watch some – it looked so classy, and I loved the music.  My favorite workshop that I attended this day was Ladies’ Styling.  Basically, all the women were together, learning refinements of the basic step as well as fun little moves we could use to spice things up.  I didn’t quite master all of them, but maybe I’ll be more creative on the dance floor now….

After the workshops were over, there was again the race home to eat and change before coming back in time for the World Bachata Masters competition, at which I was lucky enough to get front row seats (see my next post).  There were six professional-level couples competing for the title of World Bachata Champions, and they were all really good, although two in particular really stood out.  The guy sitting next to me said that in comparison with those two couples, the others looked just like his brother and sister dancing together at a friend’s wedding.  I didn’t feel qualified to judge, but I had to admit that I could understand what he was saying.

This time, we didn’t end up leaving the convention until they kicked everyone out at 7:30 am, by which point we were so hungry that my roommate and I decided to go grab some food with a friend.  We had to go to Sol, one of the few spots in Madrid that has some food joints open at all hours due to the plethora of clubs in its vicinity, and it was kind of strange to see this normally bustling hub of the city nearly empty except for the maintenance workers cleaning up the remnants of the night’s festivities.  But we did most thoroughly enjoy our warm, sugar-dusted crepes (Kels had one with white Nutella and I had one with melted chocolate chips and almonds) in the quiet glow of the early morning sunshine. 

At last, it was time to take a nap at 9 am.  Today is officially the last day of the convention, with more workshops that started at 10 am and another night of dancing at a local club, but we obviously missed the workshops, and who knows if we’ll end up going dancing a fourth night in a row.  We do have work tomorrow, after all…

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