Malaysia Salsa Festival entranceThere are very few salsa events that have been organised that can rival the level of excellence of the ‘Malaysia Salsa Festival 2008’. To begin with, it’s hard to describe the feeling of such a successful event, it was more like an amazing holiday with good friends at a truly fantastic resort whilst learning and dancing what Salseros are most passionate about. Not to mention the partying till early (and in some cases late) hours of the morning.

Oliver improptu workshopBeing at an exotic location like the Pulai Desaru Beach Resort, Johor in Malaysia surrounded by the ocean, sand, sun, palm trees, pool and the somewhat soothing sound of tropical music drifting through the air, all the while with a cocktail in your hand, for some reason can put you in a really good mood. You can certainly imagine the vibe the dancers had during the 3 days of tanning, relaxation and of course dancing. You could find welcoming people everywhere ready and willing to make new friends. With the Australian’s dominating the attendance list (go the aussies! 160+) there were also attendee’s from New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong-Kong, England, France, Emirates Arabs, Thailand, and many other places.

We were told that it was an all inclusive event. This was hard to believe at first, but true to their word, we didn’t have to open our wallets for any food or drinks. The only worry being alcoholic beverages, which, on the last night, by an act of magic found ourselves downing free shots! Give it up for the organiser, Lin!

What was good:

  • As mentioned before, it was an all-inclusive event. There were buffet breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even an afternoon tea. Seriously, how many people put on weight?!
  • Everything ran like clock work. It was good to see that the MC told everyone on the first night that the event will run on time; this announcement definitely encouraged all the attendees to actually be on time!
  • There was no host during the shows. An MC who announced the performers was not located near the stage area, so audience attention was directed at the performers the entire night. This also allowed the shows to run faster and on time.
  • The organisers, at the end of the event, presented a trophy as a sign of appreciation to all instructors and performers. What a nice touch! Not to mention the personal written postcard welcoming all instructors to the event.
  • All organisers and event staff were very approachable and friendly. The volunteers were always there looking for ways to help you find your way or with anything in general.

What could be improved:

  • There were no toilets near the marquee which was the place where the performances were and where the big parties happened. If you needed to go, you had to take your shoes off because you didn’t want to get them wet on the grass. Not a big deal for the social dancers, but for the performers it was a bit more of a hassle.
  • Some people missed lunch because they attended the workshops during lunch time. Priorities, right? What was more important, dancing or eating? Tough decision.
  • There was a great selection of dishes at every meal but it was felt that the overall quality of the food wasn’t the greatest, leaving a few people feeling not quite 100%, but this was not the organizer’s fault.

Bachata workshops by the poolOn the whole, we give this event a big “thumbs-up”. For sure, everybody who attended the event had a wonderful time and they are definitely looking forward to coming back next year. Linline (the organiser) approached the event with a unique dedicated professionalism that has set the bar for other promoters.

We asked Lin, how did you get started organising the MSF?

Her answer being, “I wanted to travel and spend time with friends while dancing”.

That’s the secret for a successful event: treat all your guests as friends and family and have a great time with them.

Looking forward for next years ‘Malaysia Salsa Festival 2009’.

MSF - Ramon\'s workshop