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Salsa Dance Competitions at Roccapulco, 2009
GROUP COMPETITION 2009
Last year Oscar and Tony O, who have been organizing the Bay Area event for
almost a decade now, were ready to quit due to lack of support from local
salseros. After giving it one more chance they were pleasantly surprised: quite
a few fans showed up. Not so this year. The balconies seemed to be full, but
the dance floor was almost empty even after 10 pm. It was quiet and the
atmosphere lacked excitement.
Are we that jaded? Where's the spirit of the competition? Where are all these
groups that reduced social dancing to a shadow of its glorious past? Are they so
touchy they can't stand a chance of losing? Where are the dancers who made the
clubs come alive years ago? You want to learn NOW, perform and strut your stuff?
Think of it this way: if you don't do your part there will be no spectators left
to watch you and no venues for you to showcase your skills.
Instructors have a major role to play if they're smart enough to think ahead and
assure their own future. Social dancing is the lifeline that feeds the groups
and inspires new recruits. Troupe members and instructors must revive the old
tradition of collective outings as an integral part of their training, mandatory
for improving leading and following skills. Watching others and getting new
ideas would also help prevent stale routines that look all alike
Sorry to start from this lament, but unless we all support the events someone is
willing to offer we'll have no one to blame but ourselves if they give up.
And now the competition. 3 groups competed in Amateur division with Proyecto
Mania deservedly taking the first place. The skill level of all Salsamania
dancers has improved tremendously over the years. So much so that even the
student group is breathing on the necks of their senior members from Son de
Mania. PB&G Rising stars and Rica Sensacion presented solid routines and were
placed second and third respectively.
For the Pro division Salsamania family signed up 2 groups: the pros and the
junior team Son de Mania, thus increasing their chances of winning for the team.
The Fresno group Danza added the much needed variety to the competition
breaking the Salsamania and Ricasalsa monopoly. Even though their technical
performance was not perfec,t this group presented an interesting retrospective
of Latin dances with creative choreography. Mistakes were made and they did
not place, but, hopefully, they will not be discouraged and will return in the
With Ricasalsa's daring decision to include 9 couples it was a bit crowded and
hard to absorb the intricate choreography that distinguishes this
team.(especially watching from the side). And yet, their presentation was
polished and exuded high energy. However, a couple's mistake may have ruined
their chance to retain the last year's trophy so they placed second.
Son de Mania showcased an old routine and was placed third, but .Salsamania took
back the first prize after confirming once again the team's technical skills in
classic salsa. Their fast-paced and demanding new presentation included some
daring lifts and had only 2 couples dancing so synchronization was not a
2 "half-time shows" spiced up the competition. A kid's group presented a hip-hop
routine and the Bay Area favorite Enrique showcased his gorgeous new partner in
a tantalizing performance that enthralled the audience.
Of course we could use more competitors especially considering the abundance
(overabundance?) of Bay Area troupes. This event is indicative of the overall
health of the salsa community so let's support it, shall we?
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