Summer truly is a beautiful time of year. Opening your eyes each morning to clear blue skies filled with rays of sunshine as you draw back the curtains gives you a sense of wonder and adventure. Everything just feels so much better when the sun is warming our skins. People smile and laugh more, play and explore their surroundings more and of course, DANCE more.
The summer months see all the biggest dancing communities, organizers and events come out in full force. Longer days and warmer nights mean people stay out that much longer, eating, drinking, socializing, partying and this all contributes to a vibe that is just unrivaled during the winter time. It also brings together all the like minded international tourists who may be in the neighborhood to join in the festivities.
This is no different in the Salsa dancing scene where the influx of more people at the social gatherings and events creates that much more of a good time. JSX Style has remained fully active during the summer with new projects in progress together with a series of bootcamps to really push the skills of the ladies and gentlemen who have been involved taking part. The Choreography Project has also received acclaim from the community and will soon be on its way to Germany to rock the dance floor.
Summer is most enjoyed with a decent and well deserved break to wind down and refuel the mind, body and soul and is even sweeter when you are able to do so with your close friends and family. I recently returned from a short, but beautiful 4-day trip to Paris where I enjoyed some down time exploring and wondering the city and its marvelous sights. Although it was not your typical summer holiday spent sun kissed, lounging on a tropical beach sipping away on some cocktails, I really enjoyed the time to just take everything in at my own pace.
As some of you may know, Paris is the city of lights and love which lies along the Seine: A 776-kilometer-long river which flows through the heart of Paris into the English Channel. Much like the smaller canals here in Amsterdam, the river Seine is a magnificent sight to see. It has served as an important commercial waterway for France and its shear size is something to behold. Day in and day out, the river is home to the many tourist boat companies which take thousands of selfie ready people from sight to sight, landmark to landmark.
The left and right bank of the Seine are also full of life. During the summer months, the city really invests in making the space really fun and vibey. The Paris Plages is a beach festival where families and sunbathing tourists go to hang out and catch some rays. It is full of fun activities for the kids to do as well as their parents and really creates a beach like atmosphere.
Another really fun and interesting activity to do in the summer months well into the late evenings is dance along the Seine’s banks. I am not sure whether it is organized by the city or just by like minded enthusiasts, but it is really enjoyable to see so many people coming together to enjoy different types of music under the setting sun of such a gorgeous city.
On my second night exploring the famous Latin Quarter on the south side of the river, I found myself overlooking a group of smiling and laughing people who were enjoying an evening drink while the DJ set up his equipment. I had read that there would be Salsa, Tango, Swing and Capoeira dancing and wanted to see the turn out of people. I was not disappointed.
I really enjoyed watching so many different types of people having the time of their lives on the dance floor. The salsa area first started off with a mini workshop for anyone who may not have had any experience in dancing salsa before while the majority of dancers were still arriving. You could feel everyone was just there to have a good time or wind down after a long day’s work in the French capital.
After the workshop for the beginners, the salsa dance floor seemed to erupt with eager ladies and gentlemen ready to show off their moves. Energy was high and I could see smiling and laughing faces all around me. I took a walk over to the other 3 areas of dances all with their own styles and vibes to realize something very profound.
Dancing is an expression of art through movement of the body, but what it also does is bring people from all walks of life together to enjoy themselves and have a good time. Most people don’t get on the dance floor to be the very best or have the best moves, but to just enjoy the music they like with others who feel the same way. It is inspiring to see an elderly couple hand in hand, smiling and enjoying their dance together.
No matter who you are or where you are from. No matter what you are going through or what you have been through. No matter if you feel alone or that no one understands you and no matter you age, race, sex or who you are as a person. I have seen how dancing can be a force which brings people together as well as bring out the best in each other and you owe it to yourself to try it out, no matter which style appeals to you most.
I had a really great time in Paris and am feeling refueled and ready continue inspiring, motivating and bringing people together. As much as I am there for my students, they are there for me too with their eagerness to learn and be the best they can be. It inspires me to know that I am doing what I was put here to do and to reach as many people as possible. I am really excited for the future of JSX Style and can’t wait for you ALL to join me.