DA Dance Festival

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BLOCK YOUR AGENDA’s! The first true DA Dance Festival is coming up! DA participated in a number of festivals organising the zouk room, but this is the first festival where we show what DA Dance Studio is and what it stands for: The values of DA and the bridge that we see between all dances: solo and partner dances as well as between all partner dance styles. Rather than organising a party or an extra big event, this festival is a showcase of what a Zouk festival could be and what DA stands for.


Over the years we have noticed participants shift their focus during festivals from workshops to social dancing. Marathons have become increasingly popular, fully embracing social dancing; there are no workshops anymore. Meanwhile, workshops on many festivals seem to be a means to afford popular artists, rather than the workshops being the highlight of the festival where participants get the chance to develop their dance next to their regular local classes.

DA Dance Festival focusses on this learning experience. During the night we’ll party, but during the day it’s all about the learning experience. We developed a learning line that leads you from Friday night to Sunday night, allowing you to step into another world for a weekend with every workshop connected to the next. It’s like you are in a continuous class and the teacher changes without you noticing it. We’ve prepared very well: selecting teachers that are really up for the task and are connected to our studio, homogenising the workshops and creating a clear learning track for every room. The overall goal is to introduce and develop the concept that dancing, any style of dancing, is universal.

We have 4 different rooms:
Room 1. Fundamentals of zouk.

Room 2. Universal Partner dance: There is a multitude of partner dance styles and we focus on the similarities between these styles. Connecting with your partner or preparing for a turn in one dance, should work similarly in another dance.
Room 3. Solo dance, where we virtually do the same: the rules from one solo dance also apply to the next solo dance, and to all dances you do.
Room 4. Fusion Room, where we focus on advanced concepts, integrate other influences into the dance with respect for the rules of the dance itself. It shows that to come to a universal dance language it’s easier to understand each other, it’s easer be creative and to fuse style.


You can tailor-make your own schedule and combine workshops of interesting topics. And this will be an educated choice! Workshop topics and schedules are already determined and described in detail, including information about the teachers, enabling you to know what to expect and create your own program. There is one catch: you have to make a choice before the festival starts! There will be limited spots in every workshop to ensure the quality stays high for you and to raise awareness that everybody is responsible for their own development; not the teacher. The teacher is responsible for teaching a good class/workshop. By preparing and making conscious choices you will get so much more out of any festival!


If you choose to follow the route of only one room, you will benefit from the clear setup for that room. You will experience the seamless transition from one workshop to another and the learning goals over one whole day or even over the whole festival. For instance; if you choose on Saturday to do the universal partner dance room, you will experience a lot of different styles. The emphasis in every workshop is on the commonalities; the things that are the same in all the dances. Those will enable you to develop into a better dancer. This will be beneficial in any partner dance you do but also helps discovering what makes salsa specifically salsa and what makes zouk, zouk.


To join these workshops, we expect an advanced level in zouk dancing. Being comfortable and experienced in one style allows you to benefit from incorporating other styles. Learning how to fuse, without losing Zouk.

Fusion dances are often executed as combining the basics of one with the basics of another dance style, using two halves to create a whole. We believe it is more beneficial to both dancers, teachers and the dance styles in general to master one style first, before starting to add elements from another. For the teachers, they must master both styles before being able to transfer the concepts. The workshops in this room will be thought with Zouk as the mastered style. Adding elements from other styles enables you to use your body in a different way, make different shapes or different connections, or having different goals for your dance.


Try to arrive fit! We don’t start early and have a maximum of six workshops a day. Allow yourself to get the most out of it, not by quantity but by quality. This means: eat healthy, sleep enough, rest enough.
On the other hand: start by buying the ticket in advance and notice all the choices in workshops. Take your time to sit down and think about what you want to develop and read about the possibilities. When the festival starts, clear your mind and immerse fully into it. Have as little expectation as possible and trust that we will take care of the rest. Between every class we have a break of 10 minutes, allowing you to change rooms but also to clear your mind, breathe, freshen up and start your next workshop.


Thursday: Unofficial start with a pre-party during Latin Quarter including a Zouk room and a Salsa/Bachata room.
Friday: The evening starts with a Pool party and afterwards an all Zouk party with one room with zouk. The DJ’s will make sure the music builds up from more traditional Zouk music towards more experimental music.
Saturday: Universal Partner dance party, including three rooms: a Zouk/Kizomba/and a bit of Samba room, a Salsa room and a Bachata room. The zouk music played will be compatible with West Coast Swing. On Saturday we dance all styles!
Sunday: More focus on fusion, particularly with solo dance such as contemporary dance. This evening people can choose to go barefoot and people can roll over the floor. There will be enough space to be as free as you want and possibly integrate what you’ve learned over the weekend.


But with respect for the body! Take breaks, sleep well, eat healthy. There is a little kitchen at the venue and we are in the centre of Rotterdam: there are a lot of possibilities to eat. There are several hotels within 5 minute walking distance of the venue. We strongly advise you to block two and half days in your calendar, do nothing else, turn off your phone and go for the experience to get the bonus of developing yourself with a focused mind and a fit body, while having fun!

SEE YOU THERE!!!!!!!We are really excited and embracing this festival as an experiment. Remember the why; We believe festivals unfortunately are on the downturn. Often, the focus is on enjoying, experiencing, partying. And there is nothing wrong with that! But we believe there is so much more. We want DA Festival to be a celebration: Bringing teachers and students together, exchanging knowledge together in an almost academic setting that it is very difficult to establish by any dance school with just two or three teachers. We celebrate by exchanging knowledge, exchanging skills, dancing with everybody and experimenting. That is our goal, to focus our festivals to become a source of learning again, to bring that back to the dancefloor!