Detroit Salsa Congress Sunday Review
by Sofia Ivanova
2nd Annual Detroit Salsa Congress was
held in Southfield, Michigan, May 1-4,
2003. It was held at a rather unique
venue, The Volcano Grill, which is part
of a larger complex known as the Starline
Theatre. The Volcano Grill is a nice
restaurant with a really long bar and
on the right side of the room, there's
even a pool table area, a buffet area
and plenty of seating if you want to
eat or just hang out.
stage was a bit small as five couples
fit tight, but I understand that last
year there wasn't a stage at all! The
area for the dancers to gather in while
waiting to perform was small, but it
appears everyone was conscious of the
situation and considerate. Other than
that, everything else is a positive.
There's a huge parking lot outside where
people can park for free. Plenty of
reasonably priced hotels nearby, and
in the Starline Theatre, game rooms
and other entertainment if you feel
like clearing your head for awhile.
only caught the last day of this congresso,
but had fun just the same. As the club
doesn't offer the luxury of separate
rooms, there was only one workshop per
hour. The con of only one workshop means
if you don't want to learn what's being
taught, you have to sit out and wait
for the next. The pro is that you don't
miss any workshops while attending others.
The last 2 workshops were taught by
Mark Anthony and Stephanie, and the
last one by Pawel and Dora. Both couples
taught some really nice turn patterns
it was the last day of the Congress,
the evening performances began at 5:30pm.
The show kicked off with promoter and
Volcano Club Owner Elaine Marrero welcoming
everyone and telling us how her 6 year
old niece had been watching the performances
for the last three days and had expressed
a desire to perform. The promoter's
good friend happens to be Maria Torres
who took it upon herself to teach the
little girl a routine which they both
performed. She's such a little cutie,
strutting her stuff on stage. Maria
did a great job putting together a quick
routine. The audience adored her.
and Dora, from Toronto, danced next.
Dressed in white with elf ears, they
had an entertaining animailistic routine.
They had some innovative moves and lifts.
it was 180 Entertainment from Chicago.
They were dressed as high schoolers
sitting in a math class while some boring
teacher lectured. Then the Hip Hop music
broke out and they all started grooving.
One of the couples then broke into a
tap routine, which progressed into another
performer doing a belly dance routine
and then Salsa! They had a really long
routine and were quite tired by the
end of it. This was their first congress
experience as performers and they did
to dance were Marci and Martenzi from
Detroit. A mature couple that were also
performing together for the first time
at a Congress! They had a nice routine.
and Tivon, also from Detroit, had a
really nice exhibition. Their routine
started out with Tivon lamenting over
her lover not calling her while dancing
to a love song. When her partner joined
her on stage they broke into a fun salsa
and Jason, another Toronto couple, had
a James Bond theme to their routine.
Rene was the perfect Bond girl, dressed
in sexy outfit that highlighted her
great legs. Jason was the roguish Bond
and played his role to a tee! This was
a very entertaining routine.
must love 007 because the next exhibition
by Daman and Archilla had Daman playing
the role of Austin Powers and Archilla
portraying James Bond! This routine
had a spy versus spy theme that was
also quite entertaining.
fourth couple from Toronto, John and
Monica, are the amateur champions in
Toronto and it was easy to see why.
Their routine was really fun, and when
they dance, not only are they entertaining,
but the joy and pleasure of dancing
was so evident in their faces.
next performers were none other than
Chicago's very own - Los Soneros del
Swing. They performed their Congresso
piece which incorporates a Mambo portion
taught them by Miguel Mendez and were
totally enjoyable as always! This group
continues to mature in their performance
style as well as their overall presentation.
and Ashley, a young couple from Detroit,
had a really good routine that included
lifts, splits, footwork and really nice
side by side turns. If this couple continues
to dance together, they will become
a great duo. They have so much potential,
and once their routine smoothes out
a bit as their tension decreases, they
will be fantastic.
course, no Congresso is complete without
Puerto Rico being represented. The Detroit
Salsa Congress was no exception and
the group Sky Dance did a fine job.
This was a well choreographed routine
starting with the ladies coming out
first, then exiting the stage as the
men came on to strut their stuff and
then the whole ensemble for the partner
work. Their routine flowed so well,
and they performed it so easily.
final couple was from New York although
Jesus is originally from Puerto Rico.
Jesus and Maria's routine was wonderful!
What is it about the New York dancers?
They have great routines, great costumes,
great looks, great bodies and of course,
Detroit Congress is small in comparison
to Chicago, but definitely a more intimate
setting. A great way to meet people
as the intimidation factor is low and
everyone is a bit more casual and relaxed.
Highly recommend this event for anyone
considering going next year.
and video clips of Sunday performances
by Miguel Mendez & Sofia Ivanova.