The Bachaturo festival was not exactly very well organized. In fact if I had came from far away I guess I would be pretty pissed off. I've heard that last year it was much better, and that this edition was problematic because it had to be rescheduled after the Smolensk plane accident...
Anyway, the high point for me has been Kwenda. He was funny and interesting just as a Kizomba teacher. But then it got stranger / more interesting: there was a class called "Kainzen Dance". Looks like that was a typo and the real name is "Kaizen" (shitty organization!).
Sounded like something japanese, and I half assumed some Noh-style dance or similar (read: not interesting ;P ). So when I finally went in because some other class was overcrowded, ... surprise. Incense, and some mix of afro bodymovement and... exercises that reminded me the strangest Tai Chi class I had, so long ago.
I wouldn't say I liked it (it felt a bit rushed, maybe because of how unexpected it was; and possibly because I keep feeling somewhat reluctant to go back into, say, "Aikido-like" subjects), but I guess it made sense, moreso when combined with other things Kwenda explained in other classes. Again, lots of emphasis in what you would probably call energy work in Aikido and Tai Chi. Suffice to say that the keywords were "intention", "feeling" and "breathing".
Which was refreshing, since I had been trying to find and apply/shoehorn those things into my dancing. Not only in Kizomba, but now looks like it is maybe the most appropiate dance for that; maybe after having been so forcefully introduced into it.
In any case, Kaizen is a japanese word (seems to mean "improvement"), and Kwenda himself in an interview says that "he doesn't want to say it is dance therapy because it is more than that". I'd love to know what is the story behind.
Also interesting was that other teachers in other Kizomba classes also dedicated the whole hour to leading exercises that were again basically "energy work". And some of the people complained that they were expecting to learn figures; ironic that one of the girls who complained (and left the class) danced exactly like she could use some of those exercises. Ironic too that Kwenda himself had previously warned in a previous class that it is too common to want to learn figures without knowing what to really do with them; without knowing how to dance. I wonder if she had been there and purposefully ignored it, or ...?
And I wonder how other people reacted to that kind of atypical exercises. I still couldn't put in practice so explicitly those things; I certainly will. Will be interesting to see if there are partners willing to experiment. :P
(Not that I need to make it explicit to them, but... would be nicer)
Apart from all of that: Kwenda also stroke another chord. He told us to randomly walk around the classroom and hug the other people. Imagine the awkwardness. Then, he asked us why we wanted to dance Kizomba, which consist on closely hugging someone for a whole song, since we don't like to hug people.
My answer would have been that I don't want to dance Kizomba with random people, in the same way that I don't feel like hugging random people. In fact, I need to have something previously to try to dance Kizomba.
And again I wonder about what would have the other people answered. I see other people, mostly those who dance well, dancing without a problem with lots of other people. So of course, lots of practice, so they dance well. Which is the reason I am already almost accepting that I won't be able to dance well Kizomba nor Bachata. I simply can't practice a lot.
But Kizomba is less "aggressive"; smoother, I guess. More elegant. And I generally prefer it. Maybe there is more future there.