Although I spent a week in Cali and moved onto Salento, I made plans to return for the World Festival of Salsa as it was one of the largest in the world with free workshops and music. And while I don’t like the idea of going backwards, my hostelmate Helen reminded me that this was a once in a lifetime experience.
So I returned a few days prior and that night at Tin Tin Deo, the Thursday night salsa club everyone frequents, I knew I had made the right decision. The club was packed and the energy was high with anticipation. The Cali Couchsurfing crew were already talking about the Saturday afternoon youth competition that kicked off the festival.
I was amazed at the level of precision by these dancers. The festival isn’t something they take lightly, but the culmination of hours, weeks and years of practicing. There were definite crowd favorites and Caleños rose to their feet, screaming for these dancers like they were at a rock concert. After watching hours of couples dancing, there was a short break and salsa groups competed.
I was in awe of the level of dance, but what was the most shocking was afterwards seeing the performers walk around the grounds as I realized they were young teenagers dancing like they had been performing salsa for decades.
As I blogger I was fortunate because, as with all performers, they were more than happy to pose for photos and hear praise.