Palm Springs CA- Salsa Mambo Festival Reviews
5 days of great people, sunshine and dancing! Jan 04, 2009
We attended the New Year's Salsa Mambo Festival in Palm Springs California and I cannot possibly convey how fun it was! There were 5-6 hours each day of dance instruction ranging from beginner to advanced and including (of course) salsa & mambo, but also cha cha cha, bachata, and tango, plus performances from international salsa professionals, jack and jill competitions, and dance parties every night from 9p to 4am!
This is definitely a high energy event. The first day we went to workshops every hour they were offered, plus the dance party that night and we were pretty much exhausted. The next day we were a little more choosy about which workshops we went to, spending the time between workshops lounging in the sun or in the jacuzzi and that was probably a better idea. Going to all of them every day is pretty hardcore.
The event is organized by Bernard and Sonya of Dancesport California and Edie, the "Salsa Freak," and was really well run. All of the instructors and professional dancers were totally approachable and friendly and genuinely interested in inspiring enthusiasm for salsa. Edie's beginner bootcamp consisted of 6 hours over 3 days of lessons appropriate for even complete beginners, so even if you're just starting out, don't feel intimidated.
The DJ's at the dance parties played great music and Bernard and Sonya managed to book the hottest salsa band in LA for the last party of the festival. It's no wonder that so many of the people there were returning for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc festival.
I would definitely advise people to bring way more changes of clothes than you think you need. You definitely work up a sweat at the workshops and parties. Also, ladies, invest in a pair of dance sneakers for the workshops. Wearing your heels 10+ hours a day is not cool! Even with the right shoes, make sure you have plenty of moleskin, blister bandaids, liquid skin, etc. Either bring portable snacks and drinks or stop at the grocery store across the street because you really burn a lot of calories at this event so you'll want to snack in between work shops plus the hotel restaurant closes at 11pm.
I hear the Festival in July is great too and plan to check it out ASAP. Hopefully this year.
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