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#Eurokiztrip2017 Recaps

  • 7 months ago /
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Euro Kizomba Trip Day 1 Recap

I will journal and share my journey here on FB for my own benefit to look back and see this a year from now on FB, and hopefully sharing my journey will inspire some of you reading.

Getting to Paris was smooth. No delayed flights or lost luggage. It was great to get to hang out with Liliya and Yasuko more and talk as we shared more personal stories to learn more about each other. The 9 hour flight from Atlanta to Paris went by pretty quick, I didn’t sleep much for some reason.

Getting past customs was a breeze since the two custom agents were too busy talking amongst themselves to ask me any questions about my stay LOL! It was great to have Jean-Pierre meet us at the airport and share his kizomba story with us along the way to the AirBNB. I’m sure we will have many more stories and insights to share Jean!

First night of dancing was at Khao Suay! It was fun to train the train and metro with Shika, Sherry, Monica, and Robyn. From there, I took an intermediate urban kiz class with Enah before the social, he taught with Teresa. For the demo, he told me right before to come switch with him to lead Teresa. I told him, yes to push myself outside of my comfort zone. My heart was racing, I just focused on breathing and putting my best foot forward. I haven’t seen the video yet.

DJ Snakes and DJ Dreeks were the DJs for the night, they played awesome music!! I literally almost danced non-stop from 10 pm to 5 am. Stephanie, it was so great to see you!!! It has been years I loved our dances!! And also with Svetlana!! And Jessica!!! And dancing with Vivi was straight FIRE!! Dancing with Stephy was also amazing, so controlled and precise and musical!! There were more girls I had great dances with but I don’t remember their names LOL. There were dancers from Germany, and Sydney Australia there too, so cool!! Obviously, I had a blast… and this was just the first night, I got asked a lot in Paris, so that makes me happy. Having so much talent on the dance floor definitely, inspires me to push the limits of my musicality and creativity.

I’ve been proactively asking for feedback from some follows here to continue to improve my lead, I’m getting good feedback about my musicality and creativity and ways to control the energy of my frame and steps. Looking forward to some scheduled private lessons… I feel I have so much untapped potential with kizomba and other areas in my life. I will strive to find the focus, perseverance, and patience to unlock this great dancer I know I have inside of me…

Euro Kizomba Trip Day 2-5 Recap

Alright, its 4 PM here in Paris on Tuesday, the last couple of days have been fun.

===FRIDAY DAY 2==== 

There was a fun social at Paixao. I got to dance with some more fun follows. Laho is always a pleasure to dance with! Party went until 5 AM. It was pretty cool at the social they put powder on the floor to help with the sliding on the floor. I’ve seen this done at salsa socials but not kizomba socials. Sliding definitely helps the flow of the steps. DJ Colts had us all on a cloud with awesome sweet kiz music.

There was a fun social at Paixao. I got to dance with some more fun follows. Laho is always a pleasure to dance with! Party went until 5 AM. It was pretty cool at the social they put powder on the floor to help with the sliding on the floor. I’ve seen this done at salsa socials but not kizomba socials. Sliding definitely helps the flow of the steps. DJ Colts had us all on a cloud with awesome sweet kiz music.

===SATURDAY DAY 3====

I’ve literally been dancing, sleeping, eating, and repeat. Salimeh got to Paris and we got to dance a bit. I haven’t seen her for 3 years! I was planning to go out dancing Saturday but we ended up not being able to because we had dinner with Laurent he took us to La Creme de Paris and we got to drive with the Moulin Rouge district a bit. We decided not to go out dancing due to distance and wanting to be fresh for the SHOW YOUR STYLE!

I’ve literally been dancing, sleeping, eating, and repeat. Salimeh got to Paris and we got to dance a bit. I haven’t seen her for 3 years! I was planning to go out dancing Saturday but we ended up not being able to because we had dinner with Laurent he took us to La Creme de Paris and we got to drive with the Moulin Rouge district a bit. We decided not to go out dancing due to distance and wanting to be fresh for the SHOW YOUR STYLE!

===SUNDAY DAY 4===

This day started with some rushed last minute shopping to get my attire for the Show Your Style. This was my first French Show Your Style, it was awesome to see a lot of the dancers I’ve seen just on the SYS video actually in person. The experience was awesome, I definitely was pushed outside of my comfort zone, after training the chores for 1 hour I was definitely drenched in sweat and had small “battle scars”. I will continue to train to dance in front of the camera. I miss choreographing and dancing

This day started with some rushed last minute shopping to get my attire for the Show Your Style. This was my first French Show Your Style, it was awesome to see a lot of the dancers I’ve seen just on the SYS video actually in person. The experience was awesome, I definitely was pushed outside of my comfort zone, after training the chores for 1 hour I was definitely drenched in sweat and had small “battle scars”. I will continue to train to dance in front of the camera. I miss choreographing and dancing choreos, it is different from social dancing, but it is a skill I would like to grow in. Shout out to Jameon, Yemi, and Jamie for stepping up to the SYS challenge as well from the US! I want to do 10 more Show Your Styles!!! Thank you, Laurent, for letting us be a part of the awesome concept!

After SYS, I got to do the social at Palais M, it was sooooo awesome. The ambiance is amazing there. I met Tota who had me smiling all over the dance floor, we synced up pretty well effortlessly. I got to dance with Mickaela as well to an urban tarraxa set by DJ Zay’x!!!! OMG!!! This girl can DANCE!! I’m counting down the days to dance more with you! Shika and I probably also had our best dance to date. As I said in a previous, the best dances of my kizomba life keep getting challenged. Amazing music and dancers at Palais, definitely one of the best socials in Paris.

===MONDAY DAY 4===

Monday was a training day, took some private lessons with Saber and Madjouline and also  Sarah and Py. My brain was definitely frazzled by the end of both, but I’m super eager to push myself to grow more. I felt myself in the same position I see the people in my workshops and privates I teach. Flustered, feeling like a fish out of water, pushing their mental capacities of technique and awareness. This is why I feel you can never get a big head about your skill, you can always find something to challenge you where you are not strong because you can’t be badass in everything under the sun. Can’t wait to train the new techniques to improve my dancing to higher levels. Monday night was a social at Li Regue Mondays. I got to dance with Laho some more!! YES PLEASE!! DJ Hugo Smile was awesome keep us dancing non-stop!

The lowest point of my trip so far was that I lost my phone, I think I may have lost it in between the seats in Uber. I haven’t been able to get a hold of a driver. It sucks but I will keep my spirits up to enjoy the rest of my European trip and continue to learn and meet people from all over.

Euro Kizomba Trip Day 5-6 Recap

===TUESDAY DAY 5===

I chilled during the day, it was chillier that the most of the days here so far in Paris. The Tuesday night social was a party called ’Saida’. I had some very nice dances there. DJ Lass and DJ Thao were pretty awesome. Jana, it was sooo awesome to see you again!! The highlight dance of the night was with Steffy who is now with SYS (Show Your Style) crew. She is feather light and very musical. I literally felt like a painter with a paintbrush (Steffy) who allowed me to interpret the music to my heart’s desire while also adding to expression to the dance. IMPORTANT NOTE: A large majority of my unforgettable crazy creative and musical dances have been with follows from SYS crew. DJ Thao played this one mystical, let’s travel down a vortex into another dimension with several instrumental songs I’ve never heard before. I was dancing with Rhashika and we were in place, eyes closed, closed position just playing with all the musical variations with crazy body and core isolations. That was super awesome as well! It’s sooo hard to determine how long to dance with someone because they are other people you want to dance with but the more songs you dance with your follow, the better the dance gets.

===WEDNESDAY DAY 6===

Wednesday was a crazy day because I took some privates with Steffy. SOOO WORTH IT, and also some privates with JP. SOOO WORTH IT! and right after my privates I went Parkfutbol. Parkfutbol was pretty freaking amazing because of one girl. Melinda. We danced for like 20 songs. I have to admit you probably are in the top 2 for the most creatively musical follow I’ve ever danced with and also the freaking

Wednesday was a crazy day because I took some privates with Steffy. SOOO WORTH IT, and also some privates with JP. SOOO WORTH IT! and right after my privates I went Parkfutbol. Parkfutbol was pretty freaking amazing because of one girl. Melinda. We danced for like 20 songs. I have to admit you probably are in the top 2 for the most creatively musical follow I’ve ever danced with and also the freaking

Wednesday was a crazy day because I took some privates with Steffy. SOOO WORTH IT, and also some privates with JP. SOOO WORTH IT! and right after my privates I went Parkfutbol. Parkfutbol was pretty freaking amazing because of one girl. Melinda. We danced for like 20 songs. I have to admit you probably are in the top 2 for the most creatively musical follow I’ve ever danced with and also the freaking lightest!! My perception of light keeps changing because I keep experiencing different flows. I bumped into Regis and Jessica, and Ennuel. It was a good night. A very nice way to end the Paris of the Europe trip so far. Now I’m packing for Luxembourg and Milan is still on as well. The trip has been a truly needed breath of fresh air and inspiration for my dance. It’s definitely recharging my kizomba batteries to come back to the US and continue growing kizomba and improving my dance to a top international level.

Wednesday was a crazy day because I took some privates with Steffy. SOOO WORTH IT, and also some privates with JP. SOOO WORTH IT! and right after my privates I went Parkfutbol. Parkfutbol was pretty freaking amazing because of one girl. Melinda. We danced for like 20 songs. I have to admit you probably are in the top 2 for the most creatively musical follow I’ve ever danced with and also the freaking lightest!! My perception of light keeps changing because I keep experiencing different flows. I bumped into Regis and Jessica, and Ennuel. It was a good night. A very nice way to end the Paris of the Europe trip so far. Now I’m packing for Luxembourg and Milan is still on as well. The trip has been a truly needed breath of fresh air and inspiration for my dance. It’s definitely recharging my kizomba batteries to come back to the US and continue growing kizomba and improving my dance to a top international level.

Euro Kizomba Trip Day 7-14 Recap

===THURSDAY DAY 7===

This was the travel day to Luxembourg with the crew. We checked out of our AirBnB that morning and some of flew some other went by train to Luxembourg. We didn’t sleep very much at all the previous night from dancing at Parkfutbol. If I remember correctly we checked in, got some groceries (The grocery shopping experience was funny with Jamie, Yemi, Lauren, and Juho. LMAO!!) Got back to the hotel and rested for an hour or two and went to go dance. All the socials ended at 5 AM. Obviously, I stayed until the end. The DJs at this event were SOOOO DOPE!!

===FRIDAY SATURDAY & SUNDAY IN LUXEMBOURG DAY 8, 9, 10===

I’m gonna put all of these days together, because there was not much sleep nor really anything noticeable that distinguished one day from the next, in a nutshell… Eat, sleep, dance, repeat in no particular order.

The social dance aspect was the major part that made this festival from my point of view. I thought I was addicted to kizomba but Europeans take it to another level. The main social is from 11 PM – 5 AM, then official after party from 6 AM – 11 AM, then the afternoon social room opens from 2 PM – 9 PM while 3 rooms of kizomba classes are going on at the same time, INSANE!! It was a struggle to make time to sleep and eat. This was the first day and the crew that was there with me in Paris were already sleep deprived so much from a week of dancing. So between classes, and all day social dancing the days flew by very quickly.

THE DJS!! I heard so much new music that was straight fire! Probably 30% of the music was new for me. Talk about being transported to another dimension through a vortex of connection while swimming within your soul. DAMN!! I get goosebumps just thinking about it.  SUPER SUPER talented DJs that make the life festival possible. So many of them exclusive tracks! I can only imagine the competition among the kizomba DJs now in Europe and striving to stay creative, relevant, innovative, unique, and keep their level at the top; I’m sure it’s the same for the instructors and organizers.

I’ve never seen so many people dancing kizomba at one time. It was like a music concert of kizomba. A sea of people all dancing kizomba.

One thing that was SUUUUPPPPPEEERRRR awesome was that DJ Leda was finishing up the set on Sunday with sweet docuer set and the last song he played was the straight track Woman’s Worth by Maxwell!!! (I will continue this trend in my kizomba mixes (I know its been a while I will record something next week!) AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!! It was soo awesome seeing everyone in closed position just relishing in the moment. DAMN!!

It was great to get all 30+ folks from North America for the group photo Saturday night. I feel this was definitely a memorable milestone for many of them to hopefully inspire them to continue to grow and learn with their kizomba skills as leads and follows to continue to level up the kizomba in North America. Thank you to each of you to stepped up and came along to Europe to explore the kizomba across the pond.

===MONDAY DAY 11===

Monday I was supposed to fly to Milan, but I missed my flight and I was kinda bummed about it, but the Luxembourg festival had a full afternoon social and also night party. The afternoon social was sooo awesome, there was an urban tarraxa “battle” amongst couples. I think it was Paris versus Holland. SOOO much fire and hypeness! I had an awesome urban tarraxa set with Inbal, see you soon in LA!! The evening social came along and I was ready to dance and make the most of the last night of dancing in Luxembourg. I was in a zone. My 3rd or 4th dance of the night was with Dasha. MY OH MY OH MY!! We fit like a glove as far as flow. She was so responsive, so connected to my musicality and energy, awesome body movement, I was floating on a cloud I danced with her for the rest of the night. She was totally worth missing the flight to Milan. (I’m sooooo happy about being able to do this, dancing with who I want for as along as I want, in Europe because in the US I’m typically in “instructor” mode)

===TUESDAY DAY 12===

I made my flight to Milan, got picked up by Marta, I was nervous on the inside but I didn’t want to let it show. I wanted to show confidence, though confidence doesn’t mean the absence of fear, it’s moving forward regardless and not letting fear stop you. I was super impressed with how down to earth Marta was but still had an air of self-worth, of an artist. Her house was also SUPER organized despite having a crazy travel schedule like mine. It was a humbling experience to have her cook a meal for us. After the meal, it was training time.

I mentioned in a previous post dancing kizomba, urbankiz with Marta is like driving a Ferrari. I give a lot of classes and privates with follows and I feel like she embodies the technique and flow of what I’m teaching the follows to reach, things that I struggle to communicate to get some follows to understand that seem too strict, too demanding, too advanced was like common sense to her. On this day dancing with her there were several times I was stuck in my tracks in awe of how quick she responded/reacted to things I lead. In my head, I was dancing at my highest like 100 MPH, and I feel like for her it was 35 MPH. She critiqued my musicality, the thing I get complimented on the most, she CHALLENGED it and pushed me to take my musicality expression to a higher level. She was completely aware of where her weight was, where my intention was heading/leading, and actually able to vocalize it. WHAT?!!? I know perfection doesn’t exist, but damn excuse me while I pick up my jaw off the floor. A truly badass ACTIVE follow, who is passionate about teaching. I love dancing with active follows, my best and most memorable dances have been with active follows, from the follows of Laurents SYS crew to now with Marta in Milan. Super inspiring and artistic experience. I loved having the opportunity to be shown some tough love only to bring out the best in me.

After training with me about 2 hours, we went to her classes, she taught 3 hours of classes, and then we went out social dancing at Zoo bar. Very nice posh venue. DJ Ghost Face was there!! Also Greg and Tania!! I had awesome dances with Tania, Denise, and of course Marta. I could feel my confidence growing to be more of me on the dance floor, to embrace my uniqueness and really let the music flow through me.

===WEDNESDAY DAY 13===

Woke up to another home cooked meal thanks to chef Marta. We got a chance to talk more about dance perspectives and visions before training. 2 more hours today. And we focused on dancing on a demo level, to let myself shine as an artist. There were many awesome creative and musical moments. I’ve never danced with the intent to be a 100% unabashed artist, especially being such of a technical thinker. This was definitely a milestone and an awesome way to end the training I had in Paris, the awesome dances in Luxembourg, and the creative artistic inspiration from Marta. Thank you, Marta, you are one of a kind! Can’t wait to learn more from you!! Elite follows create elite leads!! I always “preach” the importance of follows in the development of leads, a lead cannot grow in a good way without consistent quality feedback from follows along his journey, and vice versa for leads to follows. Marta is one of these follows, I highly recommend training with her for follows or leads, I had a brief moment, and I’m signing up for more as soon as I can!

Marta dropped me off at the airport we talked more along the way about life and dance and kizomba, it was a good intellectual conversation. She had to run to teach more classes and I flew back to Paris.

Wednesday night I did not go out dancing, I decided to chill and reflect on the trip and spend some time with a good friend AND catch up on sleep before the early morning flight back home…

===FINAL THOUGHTS===

Part of me is super happy that I’m able to get these feelings of “a kid in Disneyland” traveling to dance kizomba ESPECIALLY after 4 years of pretty much kizomba day in day out, especially doing this full time, with a high risk of burning out and/or plateauing. I’m grateful to be doing something I truly love and have yet to get tired of despite the ups and downs, failures, challenges, and obstacles. Now back home, super inspired, super motivated, super grateful, super tired. My soul is smiling on the inside, a very deep smile of content. By far my most memorable European trip to date, and I know this isn’t the end of this journey. Kizomba has LITERALLY changed my life forever for the better. Now everything will be moving forward to my new two big projects 1) 3rd Annual Neo Kizomba Festival and 2) The Joint Unleash Your Spirit Tour with Ronie Saleh (official announcement coming next week!). I will end this recap with this thought…

I really really fucking love kizomba…

About the Author Charles Ogar

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