Sunday, June 29, 2014

The orange Amsterdam

Q: What can you do in Amsterdam if you're not interested in "coffee" shops or peep shows?

A: Plenty.

Introducing Amsterdam: the capital Netherlands, the country's most populous city, its cultural hub and probably the most popular tourist & transit destination. Known around the world for the lenient drug (and various other) policies, the canals, clogs, tulips, windmills and a history of commerce, Netherlands is one tiny European giant. Tiny? The country is smaller than the island state of Dominican Republic and its famous capital has a mere population of about 800.000 - that is one tenth of London, one third of Paris and even slightly less than in Stockholm.

The name Amsterdam comes from Amstelredamme, as in "dam of the river Amstel". Historically the city was one the most important ports in the entire world (in the 1600s) and the global center of commerce. No wonder you find Amsterdam sights also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. But enough about the history..

Monday, June 23, 2014

Zouk in the Netherlands .....gezellig!

There are a couple contenders in Europe for the title of the biggest zouk city. For quite a while Prague, Barcelona, London and Amsterdam have been at the top of the list. All the aforementioned cities have a large number of zouk teachers, dance schools, congresses and party nights and are pretty much neck and neck for the #1 zouk destination in Europe.

Lately, I've been hearing that the zouk scene in Amsterdam is not like it was in its heydays and perhaps Prague and Barcelona are now in reign...? Be that as it may, I was in Amsterdam last week and certainly had to go check out the local zouk scene!

See the end of the post for full list of zouk in Amsterdam & Netherlands!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Gdansk and Sopot - Polish city & beach holiday combination!

It's been a busy spring and start of the summer for the blogger - but still time for small trips! During Easter, mid April, we headed to Gdansk (or formally Gdańsk - and in German, BTW, Danzig), Poland. My second trip to Poland this year!?

Gdansk is the biggest city in Northern Poland, located on the Baltic coast. It is Polands main sea port and home to about 450.000 people. It's also part of Tricity (Trójmiasto), together with Gdynia and Sopot. Gdansk has an interesting history, as a free city, as part of the Hanseatic league as well as under German rule. It is and has been a part of Poland since 1945.

The most famous view of Gdansk

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

AfroLatin Flow - a hot dance weekend in Helsinki!

It was the warmest weekend of May when AfroLatin Flow arrived to Helsinki. Not just hot artists and sensual dance styles but also warm weathers, yay! Those three put together means we were in for a very steamy weekend!

Helsinki in the end of May - yay!

AfroLatin Flow is a three-day festival for the kizomba, zouk and bachata dancers, organised by IDNZ. There was quite a number of talented artists involved:

Kizomba, Semba and Tarraxinha: Sara López, Mafalda Amado & Alphonse Delette, Zé Barbosa & Marta Miranda, Rui & Catarina from AfroLatin Connection, Jazzy Cubango & Giselle Dias, Nemanja Sonero & Laura Zaray, Greg Martin.

Brazilian zouk: Pasty Pieternelle & Josta Ruby, Kwok One, Ossi Kimmelma.

Bachata: Carlos Cinta, Iñaki Fernandez, Andre Haikal & Arina Vesman

From the line-up you could notice that the kizomba-semba-tarraxinha team was the biggest one! It certainly was the main style in the parties but in the workshop tracks you could spend pretty much the whole time doing just one style (kizomba, zouk or bachata) - but surely those that wanted to mix styles got the most out of this event!

I was "taking it easy" that weekend - which meant I only signed up for the five night party marathon, and skipped the workshops this time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Zouk summer season in Helsinki - 2014

The summer has started in Finland! This summer-loving country pretty much slows down to a halt ... but we keep on zoukin'!

Check out below the summer schedule for zouk!

Dates are subject to change and more classes & parties are sure to appear during summer - always check with the respective organisers for their latest schedule.