“Singapore Salsa Congress”

J. believes in paying dues. To show gratitude to the care given by “Singapore Salsa Congress” (hereafter referred as “SSC”) in the Taiwan Salsa Congress, the Studio was obliged to send a team to perform at their

The inverted commas in “SSC” are there because it wasn’t truly an international salsa festival. It didn’t involve the majority of the scene in Singapore. It wasn’t limited to salsa, and it didn’t feel much like a congress. For now, though, we refer to it as “SSC”.

Regarding the “SSC” itself, it was organised by X, a dance school/studio/bar/restaurant. Unfortunately, the event and the performance night in particular felt slightly amateurish. It felt like a graduation concert with a mishmash of performances, many of which weren’t up to the standard expected of an “international salsa congress”. A large part of it was taken up by a skit that seemed to be targeted at advertising X’s classes rather than actual performing.

Nonetheless, the Studio sent a team of four to perform a tight number choreographed by the resident music mixer, E. The aims: simple turn patterns, sharp moves, clean lines and being on beat together. The purpose: stress-free performance exposure. And the team felt that despite one or two mistakes (quickly covered up, of course), these were achieved.

Speaking of covering up mistakes, our two favourite performances of the night made mistakes but covered them up well. A couple from Indonesia did a high-energy number with simple turn patterns and sharp execution that made them a crowd favourite. At one point in time, the lead forgot the choreography but the lady made up for it by doing “rubba rubba” . Also, though the follow on a tango number mistimed a couple of moves the lead smoothed things over and the audience was none the wiser.

J. felt sorry for this gutsy young lady who landed badly on a modified cartwheel, causing her ankle to give way. Despite the pain evident in her face, she hobbled up and managed to finish the performance with a tailwhip. Though J. speculated given the force of the impact and her inability to weightbear that an ankle fracture might be present, an X-ray taken at the TTSH emergency room showed it was thankfully a sprained ankle.

It’s not all bad, of course. Good things about the “SSC”: meeting a pair of tango dancers, one of whom is a performance partner of one of the Studio’s members. Conversing with the Indonesian couple in Bahasa, with Bahasa Melayu one one side and Bahasa Indonesia on the other (rather, it was E conversing, and luncheonmeat trying to practice his rudimentary Malay). Sharnig an absolutely massive changing room with the tango dancers – both of our teams could practice in the same room. And not forgetting the pizza. Mmmm… triple cheese…

J., of course, utterly and completely did not totally relish the opportunity to show off arm muscles on stage.

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