2013 Festival HIGHLIGHTS:
- Organization. Organization. Organization. The festival is organized by bachata dance extraordinaire, Jorge Elizondo. Classes started on time. The shows were quality and flowed at a steady pace…leaving time for dancing. Thank you Jorge and Jay Stylz, the festival emcee, for keeping it entertaining and moving.
- Performances by Tamara Valle from France (Jazz/Hip-hop), Edwin Ferraras & Daniela Grosso and the Latin FX Dance Company from New York (Salsa), Pre-teen dancers Gian & Xarian from Dallas (Hip-Hop), Fausto & Farrah, F&F Dance Company from New York (Bachata), and Alejandro Rey & Jessica Trujillo and the Paso De Oro Dance Company from Los Angeles (Urban Bachata)
- A unique multi-media workshop by Adam Taub detailing the history of Bachata dance and its roots in the Dominican culture. THIS WORKSHOP IS A MUST for any Bachatero who wishes to gain a deeper appreciation of the music and its origins. Jorge Elizondo organized the schedule so no other workshops would be offered during this presentation.
- A Bachata musicality class from Carlos Cinta. Another “must have” class for any Bachatero looking to take their skills to the next level. He teaches you not only how to dance, but how to ‘listen’ to the music and to be aware of a songs instrumentation.
- An choreography dance challenge featuring students who participated in the workshops. The students performed choreography they had learned in a two-hour workshop given by Edwin Ferreras/Daniela Grosso and Alejandro Rey/Jessica Trujillo, respectively. It served as a reminder that in a short time even the most novice dancer can perform when given quality instruction.
- A TWELVE part Kizomba course (that’s right, 12!) which spanned three days, and took students from the basics of Kizomba to the advanced levels.
- A Halloween costume contest won by festival attendee Diana Carolina. She dressed up as an Avatar complete with body suit and blue face paint. Other costume entries included Rick James (Chappelle Show version), Catwoman, Fat Albert and a ‘Human Breathalyzer”. Good times!
The Dallas Bachata Festival is the premiere bachata event in Texas. In fact, the Dallas Bachata Festival is the only annual bachata-centric latin dance congress in the Lone Star State! This year the festival attendance reached over 400 on Friday and 500 on Saturday. There were over 300 “Full Pass” tickets sold and 200 “Night Passes” sold. These figures are evidence to the popularity of the event. It is held every year at The Park Inn Radisson Hotel in downtown Dallas. Founded in 2009 by Jorge Elizondo, the festival draws dancers from across the U.S.A. to attend. “Bachata Jorge”, as he is affectionately known, is the organizer of the event and is one of the founding fathers of the bachata festival in the United States. He helped organize the first bachata festival in the USA (The Reno Bachata Festival in Jan. 2009) along with Rodney “Rodchata” Aquino. Rodney currently organizes many bachata and kizomba festivals on the west coast.
Jorge is proud of the Dallas Bachata Festival and wants all participants to enjoy the event. He understands that organization is vital to making an event successful.
“I want them to feel the event was well organized. When things fall into place like they’re supposed to then the dancers aren’t worried about this or that. They get a sense that they trust the schedule and that things are going to happen on time. I don’t like keeping people waiting. “
The festival is a four day event jam packed with events, and features a mix of Texas talent along with national and international instructors. Several quality instructors attended the festival this year included Carlos Cinta, Edwin Ferreras & Daniela Grosso, Alejandro Rey & Jessica Trujillo, Christian Gutierrez, Nadia & Minh, Joel Dominguez, Fred Maestro, Roberto Lay & Tamara Valle, Jay Stylz, and Benga Bachata & Jenny Marcano, to name just a few. The bachata workshops cater to all skill levels in a variety of bachata styles including modern, Dominican, and fusion. Classes on musicality, sensuality and any other kind of ‘-ality’ pertaining to dance are offered.
Jorge stressed the importance of hiring quality instructors, and that his events aren’t about the shows, but practice time and dancing.
“The most important thing is the quality. I hand pick all my artists. I scout my artists. If they can’t teach then they can’t be at my events. They have to be at a certain level of excellence because at the end of the day I’m doing this to educate the public. If I just have ‘any Joe’ teaching then my mission isn’t going to be accomplished. I need my team to understand my vision and what I want to accomplish at the end of the event. That’s why the main thing is that I get top artists who are on-time, and give excellent workshops.”
Bachata is the main course of the event, but other dance styles such as Kizomba, Salsa, Hip-Hop, and jazz were also highlighted in workshops and performances. There was even a lap dance class taught by Summer Sando and Alejandro Rey for those who wanted to explore their adventurous side. With over 50 workshops to choose from there was a buffet of classes available for every taste.
The socials at night were top notch and there were three separate rooms featuring music from Bachata, Kizomba and Salsa. The magic of this bachata festival is not only will you hear ‘popular’ bachata artists like Prince Royce and Aventura, but you also get music with deep roots in Bachata from legends such as Joan Soriano, Antony Santos, Kiko Rodriguez and Robin Carino. This is vitally important in establishing the event as a true Bachata festival, and not any random event you attend every weekend at your local latin clubs. Juanito Pachanga and DJ Jose were the guest DJ’s for the festival.
Jay Stylz, a talented Dallas based dancer, served as the MC for the event. He is well known for his humor and ability to entertain the audience while keeping the performances flowing at a steady pace. His “If it ain’t sexy, don’t do it” catch phrase and attitude were a big hit with festival goers.
Instructors and patrons alike give Jorge major props not only for his event, but for his world wide influence on the bachata community.
Jay Stylz (DFWSalsa.com)
“The worldwide movement of Bachata is directly related to Jorge Elizondo. No one has traveled more than him, and he has gone from city to city around the world teaching his style of bachata. He’s had so many instructors buy his DVD’s and teach his style to their students.”
Edwin Ferreras (LFX Dance Company)
“The reason we are here is solely because how good the event was last year. The people here are so friendly. Jorge put together an amazing event. The way he works is unparalleled compared to other organizers we’ve worked with.”
If you love Bachata, a well organized and friendly environment, top notch workshops, and fun socials then you should definitely put the Dallas Bachata Festival on your yearly dance calendar.