Euphoria at the 1st ZoukDevils and Friends Summer Weekend, July 26-28, 2013

If I had to pick one word to describe this event, it would probably be ‘euphoric‘… Or ‘amazing‘… Or ‘breathtaking‘… Or ‘insert your most favorite superlative here, multiply by 1000’… Basically, when something like this happens, all vocabulary fails to do it justice…

I think ZoukDevils discovered the absolute secret to the creation of an event that stays in one’s memory and one’s heart forever! Here are a few ingredients that definitely went into the mix:
1) Personal attitude. This is probably the most important secret ingredient of all. When the organizing team as a whole is cool, laid back, warm and truly cares about the event and everyone who comes to it, it charges the entire weekend with positive energy, love, relaxed atmosphere and generally great vibes :). This is the magic that can be felt all throughout and marks one’s heart forever with amazing memories!
2) Hard work, no stress. Oh, I’m sure there was a lot of stress involved in organizing the event. However, not an ounce of it was showing! It seemed everything was easy and chilled, even though Antonio Hernández SánchezJavi Santos, Eva Ferrer Borrero, MaiteSandra Velasco and Albita Asensio didn’t sleep much the whole week! Everything was perfectly organized from the first moment till the very end.
3) The care. When you put your guests first, they feel it. All of us felt like we really mattered that weekend, whether we were just guests or performers, old friends or new kids on the block. The team went above and beyond to help everyone, made every one of us feel welcome, comfortable and appreciated. They always went that extra step in everything they were doing – not just sticking to the bare minimum. All of you guys are in our hearts for this and if you ever need anything at all, I’m sure you have a huge team of people whose gratitude will be quick to surface!
4) The people. Making sure that a great group of people comes together is a skill. It’s about picking the few great gems who can then turn the entire event into bliss for everyone else – and you guys did just that! The core group of teachers was awesome, friendly and fun – and that made the atmosphere absolutely magic!
5) The DJ’s. The DJs made it impossible to leave the floor!!! Enough said :D.

The event itself began before the event began. It turned out that the huge city celebration of Les Santes was going on that week and the craziest night was on Thursday the 25th. ZoukDevils didn’t leave us to it alone but went all the way with us to that insane party night!!! All of the crazy details about the festival and the party, as well as related pictures and videos, are here.

On Friday the party was organized at the beach bar Tsunami with a slightly iffy floor, but hey – we were all warned ahead of time :D. It was great to dance in the fresh air by the sea, under the sparkling stars! I’m afraid though that next year the location would have to change because we simply won’t fit there any more :D. Maybe find a spot where we could also go on a bit longer 😉 😉 ;).

Anti-gravity hair 😀 (c) Benjamin Voet

Summer heat (c) Benjamin Voet

The only thing I hold a grudge for was the ‘entrance fee’ to the afterparty that morning because it was taking a shot of Absinthe… And that shit is of vicious taste!!! EWWW!!! It really should’ve been ‘honey’ instead! Or just basically anything else but not the green fairy! 😀

The Saturday party was kicked off with the city fireworks that we watched from the 6th floor. Thumbs up for the venue! It was sufficiently big with a great aircon that prevented us from overheating! Also loved the re-hydration system! So convenient! Great sound, nice floor and an awesome party that went on until breakfast time :).

Attempting to dance to ‘Sucky Sucky’… (c) Benjamin Voet

The wonderful Shakalaka people 🙂

Oh, wait – this one deserves a mention… You see, all of us got the ‘sucky sucky’ virus after watching one of those videos that is so ridiculous that it’s brilliant. Half of your brain regrets you ever watched it and wants the memory of that experience to be erased forever. The other part of you just can’t get enough of that stuff!!! The whole weekend was tainted by both the original and the remix of one fine video. Watch at your own risk to your own mental health:

Yeah, well… You’ve been warned 😀

Other than that, the Zouk’n’Roll party carried on…

(c) Benjamin Voet

(c) Benjamin Voet

(c) Benjamin Voet

After all that dancing, some of us were pretty tired…

A pile of ‘exhausted’ Zoukeiros 😀

Carlos – were you breathing?

Structural collapse

Let’s just sleep right here, maaaan

Because, like, 30 meters to the hotel is waaaay too far!

Puppy face vol. 1

On Sunday we all chilled under the trees eating paella.

Paella people! It was so huge we took one for the two of us and still had trouble finishing it! (c) Benjamin Voet

(c) Benjamin Voet

Stuffed (c) Benjamin Voet

Then some of the lucky ones among us got filmed saying a German tongue-twister (see an example of how it played out here), and then went to the beach, jumping in the waves, catching tan…

The little cherry on top that blew my mind was Sunday night. Originally we planned to look into the bus/train schedules to Barcelona to go to the Zouk party at Salsa club at Port Olympic. However, instead ZoukDevils organized for everyone to get there and back by cars!!! How awesome is that?! After already going through all of the trouble to organize everything, these guys just go ahead and do yet something else completely extra for us all!

Here we are warming up the floor in Salsa club on the Sunday night:

Striking a pose

The very last survivors of the night at Salsa (c) Veronika Vojtova

Hugs!!!!! (c) Veronika Vojtova

Basically we had an absolutely amazing time in Mataro. Amazing atmosphere, amazing people, amazing music…

Last moments with the family members…

Before saying goodbye 😦

And here come my dancing thanks because they are absolutely 100% deserved 🙂 (in no particular order)

Sandeep and Samantha – you guys are something else! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing that wonderful piece of art with us that was your show! Definitely one of the most compelling performances I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a LOT. The creativity behind it was simply brilliant! Perfectly believable and wonderfully done in terms of technique too!

AWESOME (c) Benjamin Voet

Sandeep – many thanks for the great dances and for the semi-philosophical conversation at the afterparty at 6am :D. Great to get to know you guys and hope to see you both soon again!

Nayan – it’s so amazing how much more awesome you have gotten since last year in Amsterdam! Always a great pleasure to dance with you and if I win a lottery, I’m coming to Dubai for sure! :D. For now though, I shall chase you in Amsterdam for some more! 😀

Stefan – it’s just always so much fun and positive energy to dance with you! Thank you for allowing me to do whatever on the floor – I appreciate you as being one of the few guys who don’t try to choke me to death with ‘the force’ for that 😀 😀 😀

Jan – you’re sort of my hero of the weekend because you were burning the floor even with a pretty badly hurt toe! It was, as always, a great pleasure! PLEASE DO THE BERLIN CONGRESS THE WAY YOU DID IT BEFORE!!!!

Paul – you make me flyyyyyy lol :D. Love dancing with you, dear friend!

Stephen – the “not such a great Salsa dancer” from UK :D. Thank you for the great musical feel and for being a pretty great Zouk dancer :D. Keep at it and hope to see you at more congresses for some more groovin’!

Antonio – it is always both dancing with you and watching you and other M-Zoukers dance that is magical. Huge thanks for the welcome, the event, the positivity and the dance-floor magic!

Javi – WOOOOOOT! Man, on Sunday that improvisation thing – that was sick! And all that after not sleeping? Hail to you, I loved it!!! Can’t wait to do some more of that again! KISSES!!!

Anni – SOLO NOS DOIS!!!!!! 😀 That was EPIC, girl!!! MWAH!

Carlos – no comment. Seriously :D. Because I don’t think any words can do justice to how you dance, and definitely not to that last dance on Sunday. If one day you’ll discover you’re being kidnapped by unknown people – it’s probably the Russian mafia coming to get you so that I could keep you as my personal dance slave LOLLLLL, so don’t fight back too hard! 😀 😀 😀 😀 :D.

Arianna, Nymf, Jan, Antonio, Carlos and everyone else who was involved in that contact-improv group thing on Sunday – it was like a musical meditation in some transcendent realm of reality somewhere out of this world!

Huge thanks to everyone else I’ve danced with but forgot to mention! (I’m still brain dead after the weekend 😀 ).

Special thanx to Rosalinde for keeping me company for this trip and being such a fun partner in crime :D. It wouldn’t be the same without you, guuuurl :).

Also muchos gracias to Benjamin Voet for capturing the precious moments so beautifully throughout the weekend!

Plan for 2014: gear for under-the-fire dancing, proper gear for the water-sprinkler party, and definitely a few extra days in Mataro after the event… Already can’t wait for next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To repeat my own promise from the other post: (cue Terminator voice) I’ll be BACK!!! 😀


About in shade

A cocktail of personality traits hard to digest for some but ultimately soothing for those who can. I observe, enjoy, travel, interact, photograph, dance, contemplate, write and love my way through this life's countless occurrences. This blog is a way to share with the world and its people some of the treasures they give me every day.
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2 Responses to Euphoria at the 1st ZoukDevils and Friends Summer Weekend, July 26-28, 2013

  1. Pingback: A Devilish Week in Spain – from Les Santes in Mataro to a Sunrise at Shoko Club in Barcelona. | In Shade

  2. Pingback: Zouk ME UAE 2013: Where the Fun Never Ends! | Dancing through life

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