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Yes, I know this blog has been quiet for quite a while, but really, its just because I’ve been headed from one crazy dance weekend to the next. Two weeks ago, it was off to Europe for my first trip to the Berlin Salsa Congress, and the weekend just passed was spent at Downtown East for the Singapore International Salsa Festival. And it hardly stops there, mind you. I’m right now, in transit on the way to NYC, for my third straight weekend of dancing my brains out. Gotta love it.

Its been a while since I have been traveling for dance. In fact, I’ve waited over a full year for this – my month-long dance intensive. And boy has it been awesome thus far.

It didn’t start out easy. Mosaic Dance Company was meant to perform our routine as invited artistes in Berlin. Because time off work is always an issue for many of us, almost half the team (4 out of 10 performers) departed the night before the performance itself, to arrive on the morning of our show. Well, as luck would have it, the only Finnair flight out of Singapore we were book on was massively delayed by an airplane fault that just couldn’t be fixed. To cut a long story short, we were delayed by over 18 hours, and I, along with the other 3 on my flight, missed our show. What a bummer! The show photos look amazing though, and I’m so happy that the 3 couples still standing put on a rocking show nonetheless!

An awesome shot of our team’s performance by the lovely Bircan Tulga. Amazing photographer and such an amazing dancer, too!

While waiting for news on when we would fly, we actually wondered if it would even be worth going on the trip at all seeing as how we missed our own show and would have spent more time traveling than actually in Berlin itself. Fortunately, our tickets could not be refunded and we all went, because it turned out to be the best overseas congress I’ve been to – HANDS DOWN. Massive props to the organizers for pulling such an amazing event together! Everything was run with military precision. Schedules were clear, shows were elaborate yet run like a proper theatre production, and they never compromised on the social dancing, ever. Whether at workshops, shows or on the dancefloor, there was great dancing to be had almost 24-hours a day!

The best thing about our trip to Berlin though, was most definitely the social dancing. Where do I even begin? Was so impressed by the standard of the leads there, and to my absolute delight, I found that the dances were mostly On2, which has been quite difficult for me to find outside of New York. I danced all night, every night, literally till the sun came up – even after a 35 hour journey there.

Walking back in broad daylight from our first all-nighter of social dancing, dance heels still in hand. We’d just arrived from our 35 hour travel ordeal, but still danced all the way till dawn!

Another big highlight of the congress for me was the shows. We were given a special treat – the European premier of Santo Rico’s 15th Anniversary show – an hour long production putting together the best of their routines in the last 15 years. Boy was it EPIC! The 5 couples sweated it out on stage doing one hard-hitting, spin crazy, tricked out routine after another after another. There must have been 10 of them! Not only are they fabulous dancers and absolutely thrilling routines, but I really have to respect them for being able to perform at such intensity for so long. After doing a 3 minute choreo, I can barely speak! These guys were just UNREAL.

All in all, the congress was an amazing and absolutely inspiring experience for every one of us that went, and already, I’m bent on going back next year. No discussion. I’m sure I’m not the only one, so I guess we can already look forward to dancing with the friends we made there at the next one!

The extremely high and happy Mosaic Dance Company Salsa Pro Team after our final night of social dancing. Note the sun rising in the background, that we would have completely ignored if we weren’t being chased out of the venue. Definitely coming back next year!

All the better then, that we were headed back to Singapore for another weekend of dancing, with Terry and Cecile and Santo Rico joining us straight from Berlin! After a year’s break, I must say that this year’s SISF was most definitely one of the best ones, especially in terms of the artistes and the shows. Had so much fun dancing with the guys from Santo Rico and Grupo Alafia, and we stayed till the lights came on every night! All in all, it’s just great to have the festival back in Singapore – there’s no other event that brings the scene together the same way, and I think that is especially clear after we’ve had to go a year without it. Mosaic Dance Company also had our first local performances as a team, and boy was it great!

Post-show shots against a backdrop we know so well by @sugahplume. Here’s to many more great years and great shows as a team!

It was a great show for us overall – and our performance video is already up, so check it out on the SISF YouTube. Couldn’t be happier with this amazing team. We’ve accomplished a lot in our first year as a studio, and it’s so great to be out on the dancefloor with these guys – I couldn’t ask for more!

The Mosaic Dance Company Salsa Pro Team out in force at SISF. Boom!

But as they say, no rest for the wicked. I can’t wait to hit the dancefloor in the home of On2 salsa. New York, I’ve waited a whole year and I couldn’t be more ready for you!

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