Interest in salsa has grown dramatically over the years & this increase has produced many amazing dancers and performers. However, alongside all the professionals there are people like me: Salsa Enthusiasts – People who are not professional dancers BUT SHARE THE SAME PASSION FOR DANCE. Thus the Stargate challenge was born, giving a chance to these Salsa enthusiasts to showcase their talent & love for Salsa. (Click the pictures in this blog to view the various stargate performances.)
The Croatian Salsa Festival’s Stargate challenge actually happened to be my very first time on an International stage. My friends & I (The South African Salseros) entered the stargate challenge in 2012 and got the chance to perform in-front of thousands at the Best Congress in the World.
Now as this is a challenge, a winner has to be chosen based on feedback from the judges and audience participation. The winners of the challenge get the cost of their pass refunded to them and they are chosen as the opening act on the Saturday night (which is the main night of the congress when all the professionals perform). Last years winners were a couple called Douglas and Dawn and they earned it!
As I was in Croatia again this year, you bet I was in the audience front and centre waiting for the 2013 Stragate challenge to begin.
Stargate Challenge 2013 summary…
New Generation – These group of teenagers from Italy are trained by the Cuban Legend, Alberto Valdes. They were the winners of this years Stragate challenge and are they the definitely the New Generation. They brought an insane amount of energy and sabor on stage & left the audience wanting more. Definitely a well won victory.
Latin passion – I don’t know much about this group except the fact that they are from Italy. Their routine was definitely Adolfo style and they put on one hell of a performance. You definitely wanna give it a watch and see how much passion this group brought on stage.
Las caras Lindas – This is a Crotian ladies group and I actually know 2 of its members. Dora is my favorite social dancer of 2013! An amazing dancer and very fun & cool person. The other lady Eleonora was my partner for the Adolfo bootcamp at this same congress (more on that later). I am a fan of this ladies group and they most definitely had the crowd and me screaming for more! Watch their video to find out more.
Collective Essence -A Ladies group from Austin, Texas whom I briefly met at the LA Salsa congress a month earlier. I got to talk to them in Croatia and they are really cool Salseras (1 of the members in the group and I had my most fun dance of 2013 at this congress.) As for their routine, they brought some serious flavor that they were chosen to perform at the Berlin Salsa Congress all expenses paid (except flights that is).
Salsa Company – This is a German group (I think) and they dance On1. Just to clarify, I love On1, but rarely (and I do mean RARELY) have I seen an On1 group this tight. Almost all groups dance On2, so this was a very pleasant surprise!
ImproOn2 – I happened to dance with 2 of the couples in this group during the Adolfo bootcamp. They are from Hungary & I liked their routine and so I am posting it for you guys to see.
Lastly, I would like to say thanks to the godfather of Salsa for filming and continuing to film all the Stargate challenge performances. I appreciate it and I am sure all the teams who have ever performed, do too.
Alright that’s it for this week. See you next Thursday!
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Live – Love – Salsa!