Last night could have been one of those fantastical dreams where seemingly random elements of one’s life gets combined together like a fanciful mashup mixtape to jolt the senses and expand’s one’s horizons but in fact, it wasn’t a dream- I was at the Interfusion Festival.
Friday Night, the 1st night of a 3 day festival at the Westin Austin was quite the introduction and admittedly not like the usual gatherings or socializing you see outside of a ballroom in the lobby area of the average Latin Dance Congress. As I walk in the lobby, I see many pretty people, visually stimulating fit toned bodies in costumes or just their regular fanciful clothes for the evening, painted faces, bodies coming together to form amorphous acrobatic shapes or poses, people in extravagant dress clothes getting Thai massage (someone stepping/walking across their back as they lay prone on the floor), fluorescent hula hoops imaginatively swinging on various elfin like bodies, and so much more before I even begin to hit the runway/walkway leading to the different ballrooms catering to different musical tastes and dances- my primary interest.
Instead of resorting to type and heading straight to the Salsa Ballroom as is my natural inclination and sole focus in life, I am encouraged to check out the other ballrooms to see what new visions or curious delights might be in store for my open (at the moment) mind. I go to what could be a Urban Music or top 40 room and see some dancing, some heavy duty swaying or swirling around, and some possibly praying or meditating. I hang out there for 10 minutes to observe the reactions to the music and because the environment is very comfortable, accepting, and intimate in a soothing way. Interesting and no judgement. Next I check out the zouk/Kizomba room which contains some zouk dancing and some fusion dancing. Quickly, I move to the Bachata room which is already in full swing and it is only 11:30pm. A lot of body rolls, close dancing, some traditional footwork where appropriate in tune with the music- nothing new to report. There is another room that hasn’t quite started yet but I guess it will be filled soon with aficionados of EDM (Electronic Dance Music). Last, I go to tend to my 1st love- the Salsa Ballroom and I am happy to report that Salsa is NOT DEAD, PEOPLE. Great turnout filled with Casual dancers, Some Hardcore Dancers, and Friendly curious dancers of every stripe who just want to dance to high energy music no matter the timing. Music was ON FIYAH with DJ Renzo and DJ Mambo Soul keeping the dancefloor highly active and energized with a good flow. Of course, around 1am, the ballroom begans to fill with the REALLY Hardcore Salseros, Serious Students of Salsa Dance, OR Professional dancers who, by now rested and sated with their favorite adult drinks, come out to play/dance. All of my dances were enjoyable as I danced with many whose abilities were already known to me as well as asking to dance a few whose dance was completely unknown to me. These dances were ON1/ON2 and ON Anything and a good time was had by ALL.
TONIGHT Sat Feb 11, Mr. Mambo’s Takes Over the Salsa Ballroom at The Interfusion Festival at the Westin Austin Hotel, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA. Prices have gone up but you can still save $10 at the door using the promo code MAMBO. This event is the only game in town tonight on the dancefloor- Don’t Trip. Just GO and SAVE ME A DANCE!