Bahrain Salsa Festival

Citywide dance festival is coming soon. Find out how you can get involved

Interview

Get ready to dance at this year’s Bahrain Salsa Festival. We speak to organiser Ali Madan about what we can expect from this year’s fiesta.

What’s new this year at the Bahrain Salsa Festival?
[It] will bring you a unique experience in learning new techniques when dancing salsa and other Latin dance, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced. [It offers the opportunity for] salsa networking with a multi-cultural crowd, fun and endless parties to practise every move you learn in all the workshops or to simply enjoy live music from amazing bands. Otherwise you can chill and get tanned by the amazing pool or beach side at Al Bandar resort.

Last year was a boot camp and this year it’s a full fledged festival. Last year we had 20 artists and this year we have more than 50. There will be a different theme, two party halls, three party venues, three live bands… But also expect the unexpected!

Come on then... name drop. Who will be there?
International artists featuring three pairs of salsa world champions from different categories. DJ Ali, Osama, Talal, Mateo from Italy (plenty more on our website), plus three Latin bands that will play during the festival.

How can the general public get involved in the dance?
During the festival everyone will get to dance with each other and with the [international] artists.

So what’s so great about salsa anyway?
Salsa is a passionate dance distinguishing the follower and the leader between partners. Female partners learn how to follow and the male partner learns to be protective, while both partners learn to be confident and trustful of each other. Salsa is also a great way to meet and socialise with people. Other than that, if you have joined any salsa party, you will see an equal ratio between the male and female crowd.

How does participating benefit us health wise?
Salsa dancing is a fun way to burn calories and tone muscles. Through the use of different techniques, it’s like a full body aerobic workout through abs, hips and legs.

How did you get involved with this festival?
Salsa is our nightlife. As a group [Salsa De Bahrain] we love the music and after a while we started growing from social dancing to attending festivals in the region and internationally. After last year’s boot camp, the team decided to level up the event into a festival. Each of us got involved because of our passion for dancing. I personally have been attending international festivals. I got recognised as an artist from Bahrain when I started inviting artists from abroad to do weekend boot camps. So, with our network and passion we were able to start working on the festival.

And where did the inspiration for it come from?
The growing crowd on the island who want to learn. Another factor that inspired us all is the trust, support and encouragement from regional and international artists.

What’s your favourite aspect of the festival this year?
I and the whole team are very excited to see all the artists perform on the Friday night. Another of everyone’s favourites is the pool party with an opening of an aqua bachata workshop.
The Bahrain Salsa Festival takes place August 27 to 31 at various locations including K Hotel (opening party), Al Bandar Hotel & Resort (three-day workshop, performances, networking and pool party) and the Gulf Hotel (closing party). Visit www.bahrainsalsafestival.com for more information.

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