The World Bachata Festival is coming in less than four weeks! It is one of the events that salsa and bachata dancers look forward to, because some of the best master dancers will be giving workshops, and we will have the opportunity to watch them perform live!
One of the masters who will be gracing our stage is Nestor Manuelian, a highly accomplished teacher and competitor in the salsa scene. Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, Nestor now resides in Australia and is still in active competition with his current partner, Rebecca.
Nestor has taught all over the world to thousands of students in many cities in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, England, Noumea, Tahiti, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and USA. An accomplished competitor, Nestor has won multiple National Titles in Salsa, Bachata and Zouk and has the most won by any Australian dancer. He has also received recognition awards for his work within the Latin world by the Australian, USA and the Dominican Republic Representatives.
Some of his notable achievements as a competitor includes being the champion in the following competitions: 2010 Asian Salsa Open with partner Lidia Girgorian; 2012 Hong Kong Salsa Championshionship – Bachata Division with partner Katrina Quintal; and 2013 World Latin Dance Cup Bachata Team with the Modus Viventi Pro Team.
As one of the staples of World Bachata Festival, Nestor has been teaching at World Bachata Festival for three years, and this is his fourth year he is back!
We had the opportunity to get in touch with Nestor, who is genuinely friendly and humble, and in spite of his busy schedule, was still able to give us an interview as he gives us his take on the World Bachata Festival.
“The World Bachata Festival has a very energetic and fun experience that allows for dancers to mingle, learn, and enjoy a real latin feel festival,” Nestor explained. “As an instructor, I am drawn to the friendliness of the people and the professionalism of the organisers and attendees. That’s why I keep coming back!”
“Have you faced any challenges as an instructor in World Bachata Festival?” we asked.
“I believe the only challenge I have faced is keeping up with everyone on the dance floor as the enthusiasm of the dancers at the festival is so amazing,” Nestor confessed, “That makes it hard to leave the dancefloor the whole weekend!”
We can only imagine how difficult it was, as the party usually goes on way past midnight, but Nestor normally has workshops that start in the morning during the festival! And one of the workshops he conducts is the performance bootcamp.
“The performance bootcamp that we have in the World Bachata Festival was something that I recommended to Liitha (the organiser of WBF) to include, if I recall correctly,” Nestor explained. “I’ve run bootcamps in many countries around the world and have been doing it for a while.”
Nestor’s performance bootcamps are a great platform for dancers who would like to perform, but may not have had the chance to. Participants of the bootcamp would learn the choreography during the workshop, and practice for about 4-5 hours, and would perform that night itself. I myself had watched the bootcamp performers in the past few years of my attending the World Bachata Festival, and the performance was quite impressive given the time frame the participants had to prepare! This was a great opportunity for dancers to try their hand at performing, whether or not they have performed before.
We asked Nestor if he had any advice for the participants of the festival.
“I would love to see more and more Malaysians experience the World Bachata Festival in years to come as its a huge asset to the Malaysian dance community, and I recommend that all participants attend all the workshops, give our bootcamps a go, and of course, enjoy themselves as much as possible!” Nestor said with a big smile.
“I feel honored to be back, ” Nestor added, “And I’m even happier that my attendance at the festival has opened up the doors to many more Australians to come across and now we have the biggest Australian representation the festival has had to date. If feels great to see that!”
To be a part of this amazing festival, tickets are available for purchase at http://www.worldbachatafestival.com/ticket/. You can also be part of Nestor’s bootcamp by purchasing an additional pass; for more information, please visit http://www.worldbachatafestival.com/programme/boot-camp/.