Amsterdam baby!!!

So, this weekend me and my friends from Mambocitas (the showteam I´m in) traveled to Amsterdam to participate in the 4th Amsterdam Salsa & Zouk Congress.

This was to be my 3rd ever congress (I have after all only been dancing a little over a year). The last one was Stockholm where I had a blast (I hardly sat down all weekend, danced with all strangers and could barely walk home after the parties because my feet were so swollen from all the dancing)

Here`s a picture from that weekend – me in my blue dress on the side there.

Stockholm was called “Hot Salsa Weekend” and indeed it was…Fridays party saw condense dripping from the walls – but the dancing and the music was amazing and I was on fire!

So needless to say I had high expectations for this weekend having been told that the Amsterdam congress was one of the best in Europe.

It all started out with a very long night staying awake and packing before meeting my friend and teacher Magda at the buss in the middle of the night (3 o´clock…omg!).

Tired, but happy on the way to Amsterdam

Deglacing the wings before take-off

When finally arriving at my hotel all I wanted was to sleep really and sure enough I passed out the second my head hit the pillow.

After some hours of blissful sleep I woke up and felt ready to go out and meet Magda and her polish-crew for some dinner and hanging out, and then back at the hotel I met up with my roommates Kathinka & Are just arriving from Oslo.

Our hotel had a fashion exibit (very fitting) - but no roomservice 😛

Kathinka ready to hit the city looking very vintage indeed...you fabulous lady!

Fridays party is always electric for me and this was no different – I could not wait to get onto the dancefloor! The venue was amazingly elegant and spaciou (no condense running from any walls here 😉 )

 

The ballroom at Okura Hotel

The whole hotel and congress was very well organized (even if the elderly people in the wardrobe were a bit dazed and confused at times with all the salseros and our bags and shoes and coats 😉 )

Check it out at www.okura.nl

On Saturday we decided to just explore the city. Amsterdam is such a wonderful city – I really think I would love living there! We had an amazing pancake/omelet breakfast at Hans & Grietje (a very cosy cafè we just happened upon in our hunt for food) and even met some fellow salseros there from France after we started talking about some song (“Aguanile” I think it was) and they picked up on it sitting on the next table..funny how people can connect – huh?

 

Cafe Hans und Grietje

photo curtesy of Jeremy Burgin

The rest of the day was spent hunting for good coffee (we never found it and have concluded that we are just plain spoilt when it comes to quality coffee here in Norway) and also dragging Are around the market to find fabric and bling for Mambocitas costumes. He is a very patient man indeed…kudos!!!

 

Kath with our "catch"....red fabric for the inner diva`s and bitches and of course - bling!!

 

Peoplewatching in Amsterdam

Thumbelina 😉

Are & Kath looking vintage!

 

Amazing Amsterdam street

Saturday`s party theme was “Haute Couture” – which of course sent me into a state of happiness when I saw it. Normally they do “pimps and hoes”, but because the venue was so grand and elegant they felt it would not be appropriate (I agree!). I was thinking sooooo hard about what to wear to this party and finally it hit me that the “Wear Wonderland” dress would be the ideal choice.

Wear Wonderland by Tülle

I would have NEVER thougt that I would dance in this dress, but dance I did and it worked out perfectly. Sadly none of us photographed this evening, but I am hoping one of the official photographers that did catch me on tape will post the picture soon. If so – I will be sure to forward it here 😉

Sunday saw even more walking around the city just taking in the mood, some shopping in Makeup Store, finding the best coffee we had all weekend (but still not good like Norway), more shopping in Makeup Store and then off to eat at a local Indonesian Restaurant recomended to us by the hotel consierge before heading to Sunday`s party and cramming in as much dancing as my feet and body could cope with (I was starting to get sick too – and had a fever above 39 when I got home to Oslo). I discovered a very effective new tecnique too for not being left standing too long at the side of the dancefloor. There are almost always too many women compared to guys, but a friend told me: when you finish a dance, just turn around and ask the first guy you see next to you on the dancefloor if he want`s to dance. That way – you actually stay on the floor. I tried it out – and it works!! 😉

To talk about something completely different:

Here`s a note when eating Indonesian for y`all – If they say it`s a lot of food, they are not kidding!! We could not believe the amount of dishes being set down before us and certainly could not finish even half of it even if we wanted to (the food was amazing!!)

Check out this restaurant if you are in Amsterdam and want to try really good food!

Djago Indonesian Restaurant

 

Getting stuffed on Indonesian Food...

When they say a lot of food, they are not kidding!!

I was for sure sad to go home Monday morning – congresses are such a kick of energy and inspiration when it comes to dancing and they truly remind me why I love this so much. There is not much in life that compares to the feeling you get when having a truly amazing dance with someone – even if it is a stranger – and the salsa people become almost like a second family/set of friends connecting across borders by the love of the dance.

I will for sure try my best to travel more this year to come and continue evolving and learning 🙂

As for now – I have 5 costumes to make and not a lot of time to do it, so I`d better drag my behind away from the computer and get to it!

I`ll let you all know how it went of course 😉

Besos,

Peliroja

 

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