The 1st Winter Salsa Carnival Competition roadshow continued Sunday 24 February @ Dovercourt to a packed house. Even Steps Dance Studio's Jennifer Aucoin made an appearance. Other instructors in the crowd included Latin Energy's Oscar, Mambo Dream Team's Dora, iFreeStyle.ca's Caryl, and Bong Gonzales. DJ Geronimo spun a few tunes. Even DJ Julio made an appearance, apparently successfully splashing down after his Birthday Week.
Mark-Anthony had the judges strutting their stuff again (Faites Ton Step), dancing some salsa for about a minute before taking their seats at the edge of the 'stage.' This is now a Winter Salsa Carnival Competition tradition as Mark Anthony has some fun 're-assuring' the competitors and the packed house that the judges did indeed know salsa. But then don't we like watching everyone dancing?
The Sunday 24 February judges were; Latin Energy's Vanesa, iFreeStyle.ca's Angus, Go Dance Mambo's Stephanie, Los Salsomanos's Giovanni, City Dance Corps's Tina, Mambo Dream Team's Pawel.
Two couples backed out of the Winter Salsa Carnival Competition Professional Class Semi-Finals leaving three to show it off. All three will be advancing to the finals, but the first place couple from the semi-final will win $200 and a buy into the New York Salsa Congress World Salsa Championship Qualifier round in August 2008. Yes, the stakes are high.
As expected from professionals who make some money teaching salsa, the pace was quick, the moves done with apparent abandonment, but with that oh so subtle precise placement, control and precision. Even with a 4 year hiatus of local competitions, and its loss of the skills needed to create sucessful competition routines, Toronto reached deep and prevailed.
Danilo & Esther from Toronto placed first. But it was very very close. Montreal's Carlos & Melodie were one point behind and Toronto's Gustavo & Andrea; gave a strong showing.
No doubt a few calculator batteries were sacrificed in checking and rechecking the numbers from all six judges' score sheets.
The couples going to the Finals Friday 21 March at the Winter Salsa Carnival with scores out of 400 are:
1st with 392 points - Danilo & Esther;
2nd with 391 points - Carlos & Melodie;
3rd with 304 points - Gustavo & Andrea;
IFreeStyle.ca's Angus will be a co-host at the 2008 Winter Salsa Carnival.
The fellow with the big video lights is Edwin Gailits, a Toronto filmmaker who is creating a documentary about Salsa in Canada. If you have a story or some history you wish to share, Edwin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Videos are posted on SalsaTO's Facebook profile. Email SalsaTO.ca with a facebook name and a link will come your way.
Resources for Competitors
SalsaTO's Dance Notes A judge's and a competitor's insight to salsa competitions - more coming.
World Salsa Championship Rules
Winter Salsa Carnival Competition Rules