INES OGOREVC   •   10/12/2019

The past weekend I attended Atrevete bachata festival in Ljubljana.
This was the first edition of the festival and congrats to the team as it was a great one. The artist lineup was just amazing and the program was well planned out. Even the selection of the space - one big open space for bigger workshops and socials, and one smaller space for more intimate workshops where the teacher could connect better with the attendees. Adding social dancing on the schedule besides the parties was a welcomed edition as you could practice some moves right after the workshops, so you could do it with more confidence at the party.

A lot of awesome workshop, but there were a few that stood out, well one in particular was really over the top.

Airam y Vero

I had a chance to meet them already a few months ago when they came to Slovenia for a workshop and you can also read about Tamara Di's experience with them in her Dancer's Life interview. I knew they were amazing, but what they did in the workshop this weekend just caught everyone by surprise.

Through the whole workshop we focused on connection between the dancers. They emphasized that we shouldn't hurry through the movement, but rather take it slow, prolong the movements and really find the connection with the partner, before going into faster moves at the picks of the song.

You could feel a special energy in the room through the whole workshop, but then their performance pushed everyone over the edge. Their passion, connection and their love for dance and each other just brought tears in the eyes of every dancer. At first you wondered what is happening, why am I crying and then you looked across the room and saw everyone else, also boys with tears in their eyes and knew this was a moment that will stay with you forever.

Azael Salazar Mari Angeles

The couple that also left a big impression on me was also Azael & Mari, I even went to three of their workshop, because they didn’t only teach the steps, but also focused on other aspects of the dance.

I attended their Ladies vs. Men battle, where the focus was not only on the sexy steps. Azael managed to show us the difference an expression in the face and body posture can bring, and he did it all through laughter and interaction with us, so the information really stuck in your mind.

In the third workshop, Bachata Sensual, he emphasized the importance of treating everyone you dance with as the most important person on the dancefloor to which you should give your whole attention, no matter if it someone you have a crush on or just an acquaintance you share one dance with.

Of course I didn’t only like their thoughts, but also their style of dance, they knew how to mix sensual moments with more fun cheerful moments in the dance. With the choreo on the song “Jiory – Eso es amor” they brought such a joy to the dancefloor.

There were also other couples that I liked:

Carlos & Chloe gave us an example of awesome exercise to practice musicality by ourselves and also some great tips for the girls to hijack some parts of the dance every now and then.

Cornel & Rithika brought some really cool moves, but I especially enjoyed that they didn’t focus only on the steps, but also on the execution of the moves and styling for the girls.

All the teachers had something special to share, but of course as at every big festival where there are parallel workshops, you have to make a choice and unfortunately miss some of the teachers. It also depends on the style that you prefer, especially in bachata I noticed there are quite a lot of differences between the styles, from Dominican Bachata to Bachata Moderna, from Bachata Sensual to Bachata Passion. Luckily these days there are a lot of different sources where you can find videos of the teachers to make the choice easier of what workshops you want to attend. Dancer’s Life offers one of this features as well, but I will talk more about it on another occasion…

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