Dull title you
say? Well, that’s what you get when the most anticipated event in the
lives of the Bay Area dance teams fizzles like a bottle of spoiled
champagne. This year, in the city where everyone who can make a basic
step has a performing group, only 3 competed in pro division. Worse
still, one of those teams planning to compete with amateurs was cajoled
into the pros to create ”a competition” for the other two branches of
the same tree!
If you were there,
you know what I’m talking about. If not, here’s the scoop.
brothers Oscar and Tony O organize this event to give our aspiring
champs a venue to showcase their skills, to get awards and titles and to
watch their peers before heading to the LA congress. Even non-dancers
are packing the club to enjoy the presentations, and this year the
attendance was high. But where were our pros? Salsamania and its
junior team Son de Mania would compete with each other if not for the
brave Yemaya kids from Sacramento who were “upgraded” from the
excuses (we’re not ready, we’re busy etc.) it certainly leaves a sour
“gripe” in the minds of the spectators who might not show up next year.
rewarded by getting 3d place, but the biggest shocker was the switch in
honors: with the difference of only 1 point the first place was awarded
to the junior Salsamania team Son de Mania. Without their mentors John
and Liz performing alongside of them the pros had minor blunders and
were bumped to the second place by their “brothers” (not that they were
too upset about it – it’s all in the family)
amateurs had a healthy showing of 6 teams including Oakland Salseros –
an unusual group of mostly “mature” dancers. It was obvious they did
not compete for the sake of it, they were having fun, and that makes you
look like a winner.
The most popular
amateur team, Rica Sensacion (the junior Ricasalsa branch), presented
such a creative and polished routine the audience members stomped their
feet in appreciation. Ricardo even incorporated a pole in the middle of
the floor in their performance. Rica Sensacion was by far the best
amateur team and easily got the first place. Had they competed in the
pro division the competition outcome may have been very different. Too
bad, Ricasalsa did not compete, but Ricardo and his new partner Tianne
presented a spectacular performance that wows audiences everywhere.
Con Afinke took
second place and Chiquitos Rumberos placed third.
We’ll we ever see
all of our teams competing some day? Let’s hope so as that will be a
show to watch.