Adams Morgan DayLooking down 18th St at Adams Morgan Day

After dance class (modern) this morning, I walked up to Adams Morgan where the Adams Morgan Day street festival was going on all day. It was a perfect late-summer DC day. Still nice and hot, but low humidity and a nice gentle breeze.

Orquesta Ashe
Orqesta Ashe and dancers

After noticing them on the schedule and booking it all the way to the far side of the fair, I was able to catch the last 15 minutes of Orquesta Ashe, a Cuban salsa band. They are a total jam band and have so much energy. Several couples danced out in front of the crowd and pretty much everyone else was shimmying and shaking to the music. They announced that they will be opening for none other than Willie Colon this coming Friday at a free concert in front of the Ronald Reagan Building.

If the entire universe of music were limited to salsa, then this would be like having U2 give a free post-work concert in front of a DC office building. It makes me realize that no matter how big you get in salsa (unless you go the commercial route, a la Marc Anthony), you still have to work pretty hard to get noticed by the world at large. Kudos to the DC government for booking Willie Colon!

Freedom the Tribal Belly Dancer
“Freedom,” the Tribal Belly Dancer

Anyhow, I digress. After Ashe wrapped up, I headed over to the Dance Plaza, stopping for a veggie samosa on the way. I caught three performances– a Poppin’ group, a tribal belly dancer, and a casino rueda group (DC Casineros).

The best part of any performance is when a toddler rushes the dance floor!
The poppin’ group. I always think it’s cute when toddlers rush the stage. They have no clue they’re “not supposed tp” be up dancing there too.

Casino rueda is a cuban style of salsa that is danced sort of like a square dance (example here). After their performance, the DC Casineros invited the audience up for a little lesson. I joined in on the fun. I used to dance rueda quite a bit (for those that are familiar, I frequented Piero’s SCAM group when I first moved to DC 4 years ago), and with the exception of a couple ruedas at the Miami Salsa Congress, I hadn’t done so in ages. It was fun to do it again.

DC Casineros
DC Casineros. I think they said this move is called “ping pong”

I had to run an errand in Hyattsville, and driving back to 495, I passed through Langley Park and saw this out the window while creeping by in heavy traffic.Ritmo Latino music store
Ritmo Latino music store in Langley Park, MD

I think I’d heard about this store before and will have to make a special trip sometime. Although iTunes has added a latino section, their selection is still not that great. It is hard to find stores with a good selection of tropical and salsa music, and I suspect the staff of such a specialized store could give me some good recommendations.

All in all, a good day!