Kizz Me More Warsaw

Kizz Me More Warsaw

Kizz Me More Warsaw

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In July, I went to my first Kizz Me More festival. Read in my post why I liked the festival and why I will go again next year…

How to Get There?

Warsaw is the capital of Poland and there are several ways to get there.

By plane: Chopin Airport (WAW) lies around 10 kilometers from the city center of Warsaw and handles more than 300 flights every day. It’s the busiest and largest airport in the country. The Polish airline LOT, as well as the low-cost airline WIZZ AIR, are flying there. Ryanair is flying to the second airport in the area called Warsaw Modlin (WMI), which is around 40 kilometers from the city.

By bus: Depending on where you’re coming from and how long you are happy to sit on a bus, this is a cheap and comfortable way to get to Warsaw. I actually like taking the bus because I can work the whole time while when I fly I can’t do that. On most of my trips, the Wi-Fi was working well and with my noise-canceling headphones*, I have no problem creating a productive atmosphere.

By car: If you’re free to travel, I’m sure it’s an amazing road trip on which you would be able to explore other Polish cities like Krakow. At the venue, there is a big parking lot with enough space for your car.

 

The Venue, The Parties, And The Socials

The festival takes place at Novotel Warszawa Airport, just five minutes from Chopin airport.

The parties take place in the two rooms of the conference area of the hotel – the smaller one was the Traditional room while the bigger one was the Urban room. Especially the Urban room, although it was the bigger one, was crowded all the time and there were followers waiting around the dance floor to be asked for a dance.

The socials take place in the outside area. Although they call it pool parties they are not by the pool. The announced foam party didn’t take place because it was raining on that day. A few times, people were dancing inside for the socials when it was raining.

The second night was African party. I really liked that there was somebody selling African clothes and jewelry. Unfortunately, there was nobody else selling dancing clothes or shoes.

 

The Workshops

The workshops take place in the same rooms as the parties. I wanted to participate in a few but most of them were so full that it was extremely difficult to not run into each other. Plus, they put parquet over the carpet but it ended at a certain point. It was super annoying to be pushed from the parquet from the crowd. Some people also danced on the carpet but the downside of that is not only that you have a floor that is not adequate for dancing but also that you can’t see what the instructor is doing and showing. In my opinion, there should be a limit of people who can attend the workshops. It’s not nice for anybody to not have space, and to neither hear nor see the instructor.

 

Accommodation & Food

Accommodation: Most people stay in the hotel during the event. It’s definitely the most comfortable way. I was staying at an Airbnb though, approximately 1.5 kilometers from the venue. Since there is a bus stop right in front of the Novotel and the bus stop at the Airbnb* was also just in front of the house, it was super easy and much cheaper than staying at the hotel. I paid 80 Euro in total for four nights and 0.75 Euro per bus ride with buses running 24/7. Also, there is Uber* in Warsaw, which is making it very easy and comfortable in case you don’t want to wait for public transport.

Food: There are vouchers for festival participants for both, lunch and dinner, for 10 Euro. You could also opt for the food court where you could get a meal including a drink for around 5 Euro. Just exit the hotel, cross the bridge and enter the building there. There is also another hotel in there, the Sound Garden Hotel, where a few people I know stayed. And one last tip: There is also Uber Eats if you want to have something else but don’t want to leave the venue.

 

Final Thoughts

Kizz Me More was a special festival for me. It was the first festival in Europe that I traveled to just for the festival. Normally, I include the destination in my travel plans and spend a few weeks at that place or at least somewhere in the area. But not this time. To be honest, I was a bit annoyed at times. The workshops were crowded, the parties were full of girls waiting to dance. It was a huge gender imbalance and probably not enough taxi dancers. I talked to many girls who said they won’t come again. But for me, in the end, there is just one thing that counts: the dances. And truth be told, I didn’t have one bad dance at Kizz Me More. I danced enough, probably like 5-6 hours per day and made new Kiz friends. That’s amazing and that’s why I will come back. I still hope that the gender balance will be better next time and that they put a limit on the number of people in workshops. Just my 2 cents.

 

Yours Barbara

PS: All the links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.

PPS: In case you’re wondering why this post is “not commissioned and unpaid advertisement”: At the moment, it’s not 100% clear what needs to be labeled as an advertisement and what doesn’t. Since you might want to go to the festival and book your pass thanks to my post there are people who say this is advertisement although I’m just telling you my opinion and about my experience there. But nobody asked me to write anything and, in the case of Kizz Me More, I got a ticket for free because I volunteered.

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Summer Sensual Days – One Week Kizomba in Rovinj

Summer Sensual Days – One Week Kizomba in Rovinj

Summer Sensual Days – One Week Kizomba in Rovinj

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Last year, I had already heard many Kizomba dancers raving: The festival in Rovinj Summer Sensual Days is so wonderful. Dancing at the beach, a week of parties and workshops in a breathtaking holiday destination in northern Croatia.

I needed to check this out myself!

Summer Sensual Days – How to Get There?

Rovinj is located on the Pula peninsula, which is also the name of the airport you should fly into. Alternatively, you can also fly to Rijeka, Ljubljana, Trieste or even Treviso (like me), but if you like it as comfortable as possible, then Pula is the right place to go. And since you have a week of dancing ahead of you, that’s not a bad decision. You don’t want to arrive and have to recover from the exertions of your journey, do you?

Otherwise, some dancers arrive with their own car or motorbike. That was actually my plan: I wanted to come with a friend and dance partner from Frankfurt to Rovinj on two wheels. A few days before we hit the road though, I had to change my plans because of a family matter and so I flew to Treviso, where my friend picked me up. Read all about our road trip here: Motorcycle tour through Croatia. There are buses from Venice to Rovinj, but not from Venice/Treviso airport.

And last but not least, there are long-distance buses to Rovinj. From Frankfurt, there are even three buses a day, two of them with a layover in Munich and one with a layover in Ljubljana.

Summer Sensual Days – The Festival

All in all, you could dance here for almost three weeks at a time. The festival starts before Rovinj – in nearby Opatja. The master classes also took place there. This year the Kizomba Masterclass was conducted by Albir. On the fourth day, a free shuttle bus takes the participants to Rovinj, where they can continue dancing almost right away.

 

Dancing at Mulini Beach

Although there is no official party on this very first evening in Rovinj, you can already dance at Mulini Beach, for example. Private social events take place there throughout the whole week. I never went to the official ones at Paradise Beach and the Armarin Beach Resort because I liked Mulini Beach so much and I heard from many dancers that this is the best social of all.

And that’s what it looks like: Around 2 pm the first Kizombeiros with speakers show up and start dancing. This goes on until the last one with a speaker has left. That’s usually not before 10 pm. This is also a perfect time for all sunset enthusiasts who want to dance romantically at dusk.

Barbara beim Sonnenuntergang in Rovinj

 

The Workshops

During the day – usually between 12 pm and 6 pm – the workshops take place. I didn’t have a workshop pass at this festival, so I had to forego the workshops. But next year, I definitely want to be there and take advantage of the entire programme. Preferably with the X-Treme Pass, which includes all workshops and parties of the Summer Sensual Days and the subsequent Croation Salsa and Sensual Festival. Most of the workshops and evening parties take place in the ADRIS Hall, an old tobacco factory.

 

The Parties

From 10:30 pm, you can conquer the dance floor of the factory. On a total of four floors, you can simply choose your favorite music and turn the night into day. There are two Kizomba floors (one Kizomba / Semba and one Urban Kiz / Tarraxa Floor), a Bachata and a Salsa Floor. Originally, the two Kizomba floors were next to each other, so that you could easily switch between the dance floors when the music on the other side was better. After a storm, however, one area was no longer accessible, so that the floors were unfortunately placed in two different buildings. To be honest, I only got to know one room: the Urban / Tarraxa Floor. My friend and dance partner, however, danced almost exclusively on the Kizomba floor and was also very enthusiastic.

On Mondays and Tuesdays before the evening parties, there is a mixed open-air party (Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba) on a square in the old town from 8 pm. The ground is not ideal (paving stones) but the atmosphere makes up for that.

But the most beautiful official party (or at least I let myself be told) is the Moonlight Party on the island Katarina off Rovinj. There are 2 dance floors – Bachata and Kizomba, one around the pool area of the hotel, the other a little off but directly at the sea. However, this party cannot be booked separately. It is only included in special passes (X-Treme -, Freak- and Cool-Pass).

Boat Parties

Besides the social events and parties, there are also the boat tours. These are not included in any of the passes and are also more fun dancing than real Kizomba and Bachata. The music on the Kizomba Boat was in my opinion 60 percent Afro House and hardly real Kizomba. Nevertheless, it was fun and the view of Rovinj is just awesome!

Ausblick auf die Altstadt von Rovinj

 

The Passes

In 2018, there were many different passes and it was not exactly clear and easy to understand. Currently there are only two different passes available for 2019.

 

Either for Rovinj:

Freak Pass – 5 Days of Workshops and 7 Parties

Full Pass – 3 Days of Workshops and 7 Parties

Or for Opatja and Rovinj:

Freak Pass – 8 Days of Workshops and 13 Parties

Full Pass – 6 Workshops and 13 Parties

Technically, there should also be the:

X-Treme Pass – 10 Days of Workshops and 14 Parties

 

If you are interested in one of the two festivals or just want to visit the beautiful town of Rovinj, here are some practical tips: Rovinj – A picturesque town in Istria.

 

PS: In case you’re wondering why this post is “not commissioned and unpaid advertisement”: At the moment, it’s not 100% clear what needs to be labeled as an advertisement and what doesn’t. Since you might want to go to the festival and book your pass thanks to my post there are people who say this is advertisement although I’m just telling you my opinion and about my experience there. But nobody asked me to write anything and I paid my ticket myself.

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Dutch Kizomba Festival – Dancing in Tiel

Dutch Kizomba Festival – Dancing in Tiel

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Last autumn, I bought a ticket for the blogger conference Traverse18, which took place in Rotterdam. When I saw a few months later that there was the Dutch Kizomba Festival in Tiel – not very far from Rotterdam – taking place exactly one week after the conference, I did not wait for long, but bought a full pass – a ticket that includes workshops, social dancing, and the parties.

Getting There

As I said before, I was in Rotterdam. Since I didn’t plan long in advance, I decided to spend a few days in Utrecht after Traverse18. From there it was only 40 minutes with the sprinter to Tiel. My recommendation is to get there by train.

Tip: The OV Card costs 8 Euro, but you can use it with ALL public transport throughout Holland. You simply load money on it and can then check in at the means of transport (or at the entrance to the station). Do not forget to check out at the end, otherwise, the highest possible amount will be charged for the longest possible route. But that’s not all: Tickets are also cheaper with this card. So it’s worth it twice!

If you want to fly, Amsterdam airport is probably your best bet. But then it’s around 1.5 hours by train to get to Tiel.

You can also come by car. The hotel, where the Dutch Kizomba Festival took place, had enough free parking spaces and is very easy to reach from the motorway.

Venue

The festival took place at the Van der Valk Hotel. Most of the dancers I know had been accommodated in the hotel, so between the workshops or social events and the parties in the evening there was enough time for showering, dinner and getting changed. And if you skipped a workshop, there was also a little nap time.

The workshops took place between 12pm and 6pm. There were three rooms, one of which, however, was used for the socials. Room number 3 was unfortunately on the 2nd floors and pretty far away from the other two rooms, so that you could not always simply choose to go to another workshop.

Workshops

I liked the Urban Kiz Workshop of Hugo and Marina the best.  I participated as a leader and learned a lot. Hugo explains really well. I highly recommend going to a workshop with him. And if you’re a follower, you shouldn’t miss a dance at the party with him. He has a very gentle yet clear way of leading.

In general, the level of the workshops was very mixed. Some were incredibly good, others completely ignored the topic with teachers who didn’t speak English, or forgot the choreo.

Parties

Unfortunately, the parties took place in only one room, although both would have been available. One evening the wall between the two rooms was even opened so that it was bigger. Personally, I would have preferred two rooms with different styles. It’s always a pity when you’re in the flow and then the music style is radically changing. Once I waited a whole hour for “better music” (I know that is very subjective) and then went to bed disappointed. I know that it was similar to others and such a problem can be prevented quite easily with two rooms.

UPDATE: After publishing this post, the organizers reached out to me telling me that they will talk to the DJs next year to have the music more balanced.

Still, I like to remember the parties in Tiel. It was there that I had one of my most beautiful dances so far.

The Pool Party

The pool party was probably my personal highlight. The weather was fantastic, the music was great almost all the time and everyone was dancing in a good mood in their bikinis or shorts in bright sunshine. Some even danced in the pool, although – unlike you would expect from the word pool party – it was an indoor pool and you couldn’t really dance around the pool. But it was enough for a cooling break every now and then.

My conclusion

Some things could have been done a little better in my eyes, but all in all, it was worthwhile to go to Tiel. It was a nice festival with great dancers and loving people. I booked my pass for 2019 during the early bird phase. If you want to be there, too, just follow this link to get a discount with the code KIZZINGNOMAD: Dutch Kizomba Festival 2019 here I come!

Deine Barbara

PS: In case you’re wondering why this post is “not commissioned and unpaid advertisement”: At the moment, it’s not 100% clear what needs to be labeled as an advertisement and what doesn’t. Since you might want to go to the festival and book your pass thanks to my post there are people who say this is advertisement although I’m just telling you my opinion and about my experience there. But nobody asked me to write anything and I paid my ticket myself.

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