Another new salsa festival is rolling into town this month
Time Out Bahrain staff
Another new salsa festival is rolling into town this month, injecting some Latin flavour into the nightlife scene with a side of kizomba and bachata. We find out what the Bailando Salsa Festival is all about.
It seems salsa fever has a firm grip on Bahrain this year as a second dedicated dance festival full of workshops, parties and sensual Latin moves kicks off later this month. The Bailando Salsa Festival, brought to us by Bahrain-based Bailando Events and the Amsterdam Salsa Festival, is set to be an exciting introduction to salsa, kizomba and bachata under one banner. Intrigued? Well, we were. So we got in touch with organiser Leena to get the lowdown.
So what exactly can we expect from this brand new salsa festival? The aim of the festival is to bring one of the biggest salsa festivals in Europe – Amsterdam Salsa Festival – to the heart of Bahrain. It will have the same level of artists, workshops, parties and other characteristics of the ASF.
Why have you brought the concept to Bahrain now? A lot of people – salsa dancers in particular – in the country don’t travel so far for such events and don’t get the chance to see the big salsa and bachata stars live. By teaming up with the ASF we are able to bring the number one salsa group in the world, Tropical Gem, and the number one bachata couple in the world, Ataca and Alemana.
We’ve just had a salsa festival over the summer. How is yours any different? Bailando will bring the experience of an established international event to the country. The festival will have the characteristics of the salsa festivals done in Europe and will bring a different experience to the salsa community in Bahrain and in the region. And as I said before, a few big names in the scene will visit Bahrain for the first time.
Everybody knows what salsa is by now. But what is bachata and kizomba? Kizomba is the big hit in the rest of the world now. It has really taken the world by storm. From Russia to the US, everybody is kizomba crazy. Originally from Angola, it’s a very smooth and sensual dance. You can see it as tango meets bachata. And also for this style we brought the best of the best – Afrolatin Connection are considered one of the best teachers in the world. People will simply love their classes. Especially with absolute beginners, they are amazing and that’s why we chose them to introduce kizomba at the first BSF.
Bachata has been a big hit among Latin music lovers for a while now. Even in Bahrain it’s very popular. It’s originally from The Dominican Republic and has reached mainstream status now in Europe and the US. To give you an idea – the biggest bachata musician, Romeo Santos, sold out the Yankee Stadium three days in a row just three months ago and has appeared in Sesame Street in the US. BSF is bringing by far the most famous bachata couple in the world. Ataca and Alemana’s show ‘Te extraño’ has over 70 million hits on YouTube!
What classes and courses are you running for each dance discipline? We will be having more than 34 hours of workshops for salsa, bachata and kizomba for all levels from beginners to advanced. Our full pass tickets include access to all workshops plus parties.
How hard is it to get started in these types of dance? There are no pre-skills or abilities required for salsa dancing. The time a person learns salsa is different from one person to the other but on average it takes a couple of weeks to learn the basic steps and start going.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve with this? We want to bring a different experience to the salsa community in the GCC by holding this international event and we are trying to get more people into the salsa scene.
Why do you personally enjoy salsa so much? Salsa is a fun couple’s dance. It’s also a great workout as people dance for hours during a salsa night. Salsa also helps people improve their self-esteem or confidence since it’s a vibrant type of dance allowing the person to learn the right positions and looks when dancing. Your reflexes also improve during salsa as it requires timing for footwork. Having salsa classes improves your social life since performing the dance cannot be done alone. You get along with other people interested in this type of dance and share your thoughts with each other. You are having a great time while also getting to know the other people in the class. It’s more of a lifestyle. The Bailando Salsa Festival is on November 27-29 at Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa, Seef. Tickets after November 1 and at the door start from BD70. Visit www.bailandosalsafestival.com for more information.