“Travelling is the longing for life.” (Kurt Tucholsky)

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way. – (Wayne Dyer)

 

There are countless quotes about traveling and dancing. The common theme in many of them is the reference to the life – desire, searching and expression.

In the first week of October 2017, ViaDanza Tanzreisen led a group of dance enthusiastic Kizomberas and Kizomberos to Lisbon and to a new way of learning and practicing Kizomba. On the culinary side, consistent with the roots of Kizomba, African and Cape Verdean food was offered aside the regional Portuguese specialties. The provided weekly ticket for public transport facilitated exploration trips through the city, whether self-organized or with the group.

 

(c)A.Wittstruck

Facts and Figures

  • 18 participants
  • 6 days (effective)
  • 2 different dance levels (advanced and intermediate)
  • 14 hours of lessons during the days (in total)
  • spacious, bright rooms at Jazzy’s Dance Studio on the Tejo’s north shore
  • a centrally located hotel surrounded by numerous restaurants and tourist attractions
  • various clubs and nightlife options

In terms of quality, the journey is difficult to put in numbers and words. Tony’s and Eva’s teaching style is didactically of high quality and they emphasize feeling and expression in their courses. Anyone looking for an endless list of steps and routines for mechanical processing would probably be happier elsewhere. Instead, they give regular feedback to every participant, which helps them to develop a better feeling for the music and allows for a more intensive connection with the partner. One female participant happily reported that her partner danced much smoother and gentle after this week.

Especially the men appreciated the relaxed atmosphere and the small group size. This set-up for a full week helped them to adapt to their dance partners, to learn and practice in a relaxed atmosphere which in turn lead to a great learning experience.

The art of balance

(c)A.Wittstruck

Next to the bright side – the organizers, teachers and Lisbon (with daily over 30° C and blue sky in October) had really worked hard for the success of this trip – there were also critical voices.

For example, the balancing act between rigidly dividing the group into dance levels and ensuring a balanced female – male ratio is difficult. After a warmup at the beginning of the week, Tony allowed the participants to choose their dance level themselves. This freedom for the participants also had its price though. Several women switched to the Advanced level while more men preferred to stay in the Intermediate level. In the foreign city, it was impossible to find more guest dancers for the courses at in our understanding advanced level standards. Couples, who had already traveled there together and did not want to change additionally impeded the ratio.

The bottom line was that despite the attendance of three guest dancers there were still two men missing in the advanced course. The waiting time for the females was usually short though thanks to the flexibility of most of the participants and the courses were nevertheless a very nice experience.

With regard to the travel management, there will probably always be different opinions in group travels. Some participants would have preferred even more program points outside the courses, others were already at their limit with the offered activities or even decided to not join some of them. Their desire to rest or to discover the city individually was greater. Despite different ambitions, the happy medium was found.

Personal conclusion

(c)A.Wittstruck

I personally write this article as a man who went on a journey two ways. New in the world of dancing, I experience a still quite unknown activity with the exploratory spirit of a beginner. The biggest challenge here is the balance between pleasure and ambition. The week in Portugal was an excellent experience in this regard. The dance journey has allowed me to live, without the often-felt unrest or the anonymity at international festivals, the feeling that I like about Kizomba: a harmonious flow with the dance partner, a wordless communication that goes under the surface. The possibility to truly get to know and come to appreciate your dance partners and the mutual playing with the melody and rhythm.

Other participant’s statements:

 

"Lisbon? Great city! I will come back."

"I have experienced for the first time a teaching style like Tony’s. Everyone says you have to listen to the beat, but Tony has emphasized the "in between", the interpretation of the music, and how to vary the same steps and routines."

"I would have preferred for some men to have more dance school experience."

"It was very helpful how Tony and Eva fostered the feedback between the participants."

"It would have been nice to go out more with the whole group in the evenings."

"The location of the hotel was good for excursions, but the way to class once a day could have been shorter, especially when having to go to class in the morning after going out.”

"Eva has taken appropriate time for us women and explained the female part well. Kizomba Fusion she has got across very well. When it comes to Semba, I can’t learn much anymore. "

"More dancing and more city is impossible in one week!"

Travel recommendation – Video (by Gingerfilm Latin)

 

A travel report by Klaus Baumgartner

 

Further information about ViaDanza dance travels can be found here:

http://www.viadanza.de/tanzreisen/

 

  • In 2018 there are 2 more Kizomba dance trips to Lisbon:

June:  11.06.2018 – 17.06.2018

http://www.viadanza.de/tanzreisen/online-buchen/reiseinfo/trip/kizomba-1/

 

  • October: 10.2018 – 07.10.2018

http://www.viadanza.de/tanzreisen/online-buchen/reiseinfo/trip/kizomba-2/

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