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Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia 15/11/2012

FEBD This is the third part of Blanca Ribas Turon's report on her tour of South America to promote DanceSport on behalf of the WDSF Membership Commission.

Previously Blanca wrote about her work training young dancers in Argentina (here), in Brazil and in Chile (here). On her one-year journey the three-time World Champion Ten Dance was able to pick up a thing or two herself. But then, she had come to the cradle of Latin American dances.

jyu-ivncYSM|DanceSport in Ecuador

In the next country, Ecuador, I was finally able to meet Dr Jorge Gutierrez, the Ecuadorian DanceSport Federation President and on the WDSF Membership Commission responsible for DanceSport in Latin America. He and Marco Sietas organised my visits to the various Latin countries.

My stay so close to the equator became a special experience. During my first lesson on the dance floor in Quito I was already out of breath after only a few minutes! But no wonder, Quito is with 2.850m above sea level the highest capital in the world. There were other surprises too. In Quito and Cuenca I could train Latin America’s strongest couples at this point.

In 2012 dancers from Ecuador were the only ones to represent Latin American at the World Championships in the age groups Junior II, Youth and Adults – for the first time ever. Besides the high level of dancing, I was also impressed by the multitude of dancers. DanceSport in Ecuador is already very well established and supported by many dedicated officials. Even the dancing by people with a disability is already integrated into DanceSport.

After Ecuador my journey led me to Cali, Colombia. Many people in DanceSport will know already that The World Games will take place there in July 2013. It is one of the most important events on the WDSF calendar for 2013.

In preparation for The World Games, the 2012 Latin American Championships were staged there. WDSF Sports Director Marco Sietas came from Spain to Colombia to monitor this trial run for 2013. But the very good organisation by Samir Quijano, Viviana Burbano and Dr Jorge Gutierrez should eliminate all worries for The World Games in 2013!

I have a tip for all participating athletes and officials concerning the parties after the competitions. Cali is very well known as the Salsa city throughout Latin America and I am sure you will have great “fiestas” in one of the many Salsa bars. Or you can celebrate in “chivas,” as it was done after the competitions in 2012. “Chivas” are buses that have been rebuilt to rolling Salsa bars that tour the city with lots of loud music at night. With this great enthusiasm for Salsa, it seemed logical that I was teaching many young and very talented dancers in Colombia.

From the hot Salsa rhythm in Cali I travelled to an even hotter Venezuela. Not because of the summer temperatures, but because I arrived in the hot phase of the presidential campaign.

Johan Moreno and I were able to officially launch DanceSport in Venezuela with the first workshop held by the newly established national association. But the many talented association members all came with a strong dancing background. The perfect organisation and the exquisite training location in the national theatre Teresa Carreño give reason for much hope that DanceSport in Venezuela will develop positively.