It’s my third year at Salsa Bangkok Fiesta, which is one of my favorite festivals in Asia for many reasons! It is one of the longest running festivals in Southeast Asia and it has kept its precious elements to bring all of Asia on one roof and so share positive energy with everyone! And also the fact that it is growing year after year speaks for its success and how much the dancers want to come back!
Bangkok feels like home every time I eat. This would probably be my 10th trip since my first trip in 2014. That also makes Bangkok the city I’ve been to the most! I’ve made friends with almost every dancer in town and it feels so familiar to go to everyone and dance like home!
About the festival
The festival is being organized by Apple Busakorn, Jost Wagner, Thattima Sukjai and DJ Henry Knowles on the first weekend in November in the Windsor Suites, Sukhumvit soi 20, Bangkok.
What was new this year?
On the plus side, there have been some changes this year! In order to do justice to the constantly increasing number of participants, it has been possible to get a larger hall in the same place! Same, same, but different and better! Largest rooms and 3 exclusive halls for salsa, bachata and kizomba, fun themes for the parties, incredible dancers and incredible music, especially the New York night with Jimmy Anton!
Regarding the participation of Salsa Madras in the festival we were about 10 dancers, a group that is bigger than the last 2 years. We had 2 shows and this year I preferred to present the team more and we did a team bachata show and our new exciting salsa songs (Vijay Balaji and me) for the song ‘Descargar Croilla’ by Ray Baretto . This routine has developed into my all-time favorite team and would like to present itself better and in many places. After ALIA (Sabah) and LFM (Chennai) this is our third showcase of the routine and we loved performing in front of such a fun, cheering crowd!
Another major advancement for Salsa Madras was the Bachata team show. This is the first time we’re doing a team bachata performance and the first time we’ve had a couple on the show. In 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 the start of many more exciting team couple shows that you will see in the future! The Bachata show was represented by dancers from India, the USA, Austria and France! Finally, we broke the stereotype that Salsa Madras is 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 LFM 2017.
I have to thank the dancers for the trust in me and the efforts they have made to make this possible. It was a happy, proud moment for Salsa Madras as a whole.
Especially for more than one reason!
Since I’ve traveled a lot, it’s easier for me to meet my friends from the Asian dance community in one place. Whether it’s just a “hello” or a coffee, lunch or dinner or a dance, a selfie or a group photo or a conversation, seeing or meeting all of these wonderful dancers from all over Asia makes me amazing happy !
As an artist at the festival, I was really excited to share a little more knowledge of Kizomba, how to dance for transitions to make the dancing more interesting, and a Kizomba partner workshop. I also had long conversations with the students in class to discuss more in detail. What is more happiness than sharing!
This is my third year, I had my traditional breakfast at Bei Otto, the German bakery across from the venue. However, it can be discussed as an Austrian bakery. Now it feels like home again! Very comfortable stay at THEE Hotel across the street so it was super easy to walk 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 all over Asia. It never feels like you’ve had enough and despite 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 a week after the festival to get through the hangover from the festival.
It also gave me the opportunity to present myself again to the Asian community, which makes me feel like I belong to this wonderful community.
A very important reason why SBF was also something special is that this was my first trip to Bangkok with Julia and shared the stage with her and taught with her! and to help her in her acro workshop in the Rumpuree studio.
I can only warmly recommend the festival! Don’t miss the early bird offers. The festival is right in the middle of the action in the city and is a must!
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