Life of a Dutchie

It's all about me, what I'm doing, where I'm going, what I'm thinking, what I shouldn't be thinking…

My first Salsa party in Shanghai


Heard about this Salsa party from a Dutch girl I’ve met thanks to a girl that was in the Samba de Gafieira class with me back home. The party started pretty early, included an open bar and fingerfood till 9.30 and profits went to charity, later it would be the ‘normal’ Salsa night there with DJ and live music. They asked to come early and that the shows would start on time, but as always, it was quiet in the beginning and shows started a bit later, but it wasn’t even that bad.

I was welcomed by some Chinese people and a Swedish girl, my name was spelled Willeam on the guest list and I got a red bracelet for the open bar. Slowly it got a bit more crowded with people from all over the world! Relatively even more than at the expat party earlier this week!

There was one performance every half hour. The first one was a teaching couple from Shanghai. I saw them dance a bit before and she had some really nice styling steps and figures. Their show/demo was ok, mixing different styles and music, but personally I wouldn’t have chosen Reggaeton to dance Salsa on! Gladly I was able to do a dance with him before they had to leave again to teach, and he was pleasantly surprised about my dancing. Especially when I told him I’m a Zouk teacher, he immediately did some Zouk basics and said he would love to learn (how to teach) Zouk! They’ve got my number now, so let’s see what comes out of it.

Later two people called me over to tell me they liked the way I dance. So sweet! Really, this night was very good for my ego! She’s a Chinese teacher from the US and seems like lots of fun, so we will hang out later and he’s a match teacher from India and in love with her. They said they would love to learn Zouk, so they might be my first students.

The shows were mainly by beginner students (with guts!) and also included a burlesque show which was really fun. And loved the music of course! The rest of the music was so so. The DJ played a lot of Merengue (since there were a lot of non-dancers or beginners), but also some great Salsa and Mambo songs. Unfortunately most dancers didn’t know what to do with it. The band that played later in the evening was pretty good, so that was really nice.

The dances I did varied from a sort of Reggaeton with a really small dark guy, to a simple Salsa but nice Bachata with a (small) guy from Miami, close dances with one of the musicians, and Salsas with a Spanish guy, four Chinese guys (all about my height) and a tall dark guy. One of the Chinese guys was terrible, kept switching rhythms and legs and almost let me fall by doing so. The other four were the best dancers present at this party. Included was the Salsa teacher, the organizer of the Shanghai Salsa Festival and the other two belonged to the same group I think, but were somewhat younger. I loved their style: technical, musical, taking care of their lady and having fun. Surprisingly they were all dancing on 1, so I will have to find out where the on 2 dancers are.

With two wounds on my leg and an enormous blister on my foot (how did I get that one?!), I decided to go home around 2 am. It was a good first party, but I’m still looking for more. But, whatever you can say about their dancing qualities, the atmosphere and the people’s attitudes were great!


4 thoughts on “My first Salsa party in Shanghai

  1. One Salsa party down, several more to follow 🙂 Any videos yet? I wonder if i can spot Wing Chun in their movement!

  2. Klinkt goed Willemijn, mooi avontuur voor je!

  3. When I had my first salsa experience in China, I too was not only pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and the people’s attitude, but also by the high level of many salsa dancers. Especially the agility of the Chinese (both men and women). So in that respect I recognize only half of your story. But the part about the attitude I do recognize. Such a relief compared to the dutch salsa scene that I knew, with a lot of pretentious people who felt they were too good to dance with beginners and intermediates.
    Keep up the stories, I love reading them (makes me want to go back to China again) 🙂

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