So, after my harrowing trip through the Sydney train network, and arriving and checking into the hotel, it was time for the pre-congress party. After spending the week in Sydney, I was a bit nervous – since some of the dancer’s I had asked whether they were attending the pre-congress party, answered no. However, my nervousness was misplaced. As I arrived to a crowd of about 400 for the pre-congress shows.
Interestingly enough, for the pre congress party, they have all the student teams perform. This is a great idea, having a dedicated night for student teams, rather than interspersing them through the four nights. This really made a huge difference, as the 20 shows a night, for the next three nights were fantastic, and not “too” much (as I have often felt at other congresses).
The shows took place in a huge stadium, with raised seating. I was never allowed to take any pictures, and the few times I tried, I was set upon within seconds, so I can only describe it, and show you this one “spy shot” I took of what it looked like (you can see a little bit). This was a great location for shows. It allows most people a great view of the action.
The student teams, one and all, were fantastic. I am amazed at the quality and dedication of the trained dance scene in Australia. There’s a reason for their 3 time world salsa championships status (but more on that later…). The performances were great, and well run, and ended by 10:30, where we move into the large room next door, for live music and DJ dancing.
A really fun dance party followed, as it would for the next 3 nights, with live bands and dancing until the whee hours. I did notice the crowd heavily thinned rather early (as would be a recurring theme throughout the Congress), by about 12:30. Of course, this was a Thursday!
Plenty of partners surrounded the dance floor, and everyone was quite friendly. The crowd was predominantly On1, although, as typical in Congresses, the music was predominantly “on2” style. Few lyrics, lots of jazzy hits…
All in all, by 1am, I was tuckered out, and had danced with people from every location in Sydney, and throughout Australia (although, the Bangkok girl remained my most “connected” dance, until Saturday). Strangely enough, I did notice a difference between Sydney and Melbourne dancers, but more on that later…
Tags: congress party, congresses, crowd, dance floor, dance party, dance scene, dancer, dedication, dj, little bit, live bands, live music, nbsp, nervousness, rsquo, spy, sydney salsa congress, sydney train, time world, train network