How the Idea grew……
The idea for the festival started in 2005 when a group of Salsa friends and I went to enjoy the Montreal Jazz Festival over the weekend. That Sunday afternoon, as we were taking a tour through Old Montreal, we were greeted by some amazing music by the waterfront. What we found were Salsa dancers almost floating next to the water and dancing gracefully in the warm summer breeze. After our initial shock, we joined in and it was magical. So as we were driving back home, I chatted with one of my friends about whether we can do something similar in Guelph. The answer was yes and that same year in the fall, we started Salsa In The Park (SITP).
In 2006, we moved the festival to the summer and SITP became the Flying Dance Company’s (FDC) annual dance recital. Initially, the FDC only taught Salsa dancing. By 2006, the company taught numerous dance styles including Bachata, Cha Cha, Rumba, Waltz and Argentine Tango from the Ballroom dance styles, plus Hip Hop, Belly Dancing and Flamenco dance. So in 2008, SITP become Dancing In The Park (DITP). DITP grew from just being a one day event to a total of 10 weekends in the summer, all in Guelph.
In 2012, the FDC studio went through some changes. The studio moved to its current location in downtown Guelph. With those changes, we also decided to spread our love of dance to our neighbouring cities and towns. So in 2013, DITP become Flying Dance Festival (FDFest). Now, we are embarking on hosting the festival in multiple cities, and this year, we will be in Guelph, Hamilton, Goderich and London Ontario. FDFest has become its own entity, separate from the FDC but forever will be indebted to the FDC. We have a select committee that have helped organise the festival this year. Here are your committee members
1. Nico Muthui Kaburia – Director / Marketing /
2. Manon Germain – Treasurer, Finance
3. Katie Cheesmond – Sponsorship & Fundraising Liaison
4. Jennifer Garcia – Secretary / Coordinator
WHAT IS THE FDFEST?
“There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.” Vicky Brun
The Flying Dance Festival (FDFest) is a one-of-a-kind festival that shares dance, music, culture and the arts in multiple outdoor locations all over Ontario. These events are held during the summer months every year (think of it as a traveling dance and music troupe). The festival works with dancers, musicians and various other artists and encourages them to showcase their talents, teach workshops and develop strong relationships within their communities and each other. Each artisit is then welcome to share their talents in as many locations as the festival offers, thus building a wider audience for their work and developing strong ties and colaborations with other artists. Because dance is a strong component of what we do, throught out the year, we work with kids to raise awareness of why all physical activities (not just dance) are an important part of their health and wellbeing. Dance builds self-esteem in both kids and adults, and it is one of the most positive things that we can do to better our lives.
The FDFest is a free public event; everyone is welcome. Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held outdoors on Sunday afternoon. We hold workshops and demonstrations, all available for the kids and adults. We also host social dancing for everyone to enjoy and dance to music from around the world, including Salsa, Merengue, African music and much much more. This event can be a great place to bring a date, enjoy a relaxing afternoon with your family and friends, or come and meet new vibrant people from your community. And since we host the festival in various cities, you are welcome to join us as we visit the different parts of Ontario and enjoy our beautiful province.