The first time I came to Germany as an adult was for a blues dance festival: the 2013 American Blues Classic in Hamburg, Germany. I had an amazing weekend. I got hosted through Couchsurfing and my hosts were amazing. I got to see the sights, eat delicious home-cooked food and go to an awesome house party in addition to enjoying the blues festival. I remember commenting to friends, “I really feel like I could live here!”
That weekend I also met another dance teacher who was living in Germany. I asked him a bunch of questions about how he had managed to to get a self-employment visa. I went online and did some more research. I filed this all away for later use.
If you caught my most recent article on Latin Dance Community, you know that I’ve had a growing enthusiasm for solo African dances in the last few years. Kuduro and Afro House came into the picture for me early on in my kizomba dancing, and I’ve since tried Afrobeats, azonto, coupé décalé, ndombolo, soukous, and various classes just labeled “West African.”
This January I embarked on a trip I’d been planning for years: a cruise from Chile to various places in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. Although I managed to get sick, and then seasick on top of that, it was still an incredible trip.
Being on the Antarctic continent feels like being on another planet. The landscape is dramatic and surprisingly colorful within a limited palette. The sky seems especially alien – the light filters dreamlike through heavy clouds or reflects dazzlingly off gleaming icebergs.
I was back in NYC for a week and went out to my favorite standby social, Kizomba After Work with David Campos at Kana Tapas Bar. “Have you met Litzi?” David asked me.
Litzi Bejarano is a kizomba teacher from Cancùn who found kizomba through the Latin scene. Like me, she started with limited opportunities for learning, but was seriously hooked from the beginning. Fast forward to November 2016, and she’s wearing red pants and dancing both roles with everybody at the social. Of course I found her easy to connect with!