Adios, dancers, until next year
THE Whitsunday Latin Festival far exceeded expectations and is expected to return next year.
Forty people from all over Australia, some as far as Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, flocked to the tropics to get their dancing shoes on. After three days of intensive workshops on the mainland, festival-goers jumped ship to Daydream Island to really get the party started.
It began on Friday afternoon with a sexy Bachata workshop led by Tony “Bachata Whisperer” Lara on the enclosed terrace at Daydream Island overlooking Lovers Cove.
Partakers were in for a bonus treat with an introduction class to Kizomba, a sensual dance from Angola, led by exinstructor Luke Jorgensen who returned for the weekend.
Saturday was jam-packed, starting with a yoga session with Airlie Beach instructor Kylah McCarthy and a high energy Zumba class with Opal Harrison. Ifty and Sandrina, the reigning amateur Zouk-Lambada champions, led back-to-back partnered workshops.
This was followed by a salsa workshop led by Pascale “salsette” Dernocoure.
The afternoon was spent by the pool and spas and the evening included the smashingly popular Glow in the Dark Party.
Event organiser Jane Stree- ter said locals lapped up the opportunity and instructors were already making plans to return next year.
“A couple of our first-time festival locals were absolutely on a high and they were so thankful to me for organising the event. I could tell that they were hooked just like I am,” she said.
“People commented that they loved (how) they really got to know everyone, felt welcomed and just had lots of fun in a non-intimidating environment.”
Ms Streeter said the Whitsundays definitely had some up and coming hot Latin talent.
“Angela Kay did a Kizomba performance after only a couple of hours of practice and given she has had very little training in that style, it was inspirational,” she said.
Latin Madness Airlie Beach hosts regular classes on Tuesday nights at the Fitness Venue “old church” and a fun casual class on Friday’s outside Barcelona Tapas Bar and Cafe followed by social dancing.
CONGA LINE: Whitsunday Latin Festival attendees create a Bachata sandwich at the glow-inthe-dark party on Daydream Island.
PARADISE: Sandrina Clement and Ifty Omar.