The Magic of Dance: Highlights from Mother City Dance Festival 2022

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e10s1 The Magic Of Dance: Highlights From Mother City Dance Festival 2022

First night of Mother City Dance Festival

The Mother City Dance Festival in Cape Town was a whole experience, I tell you! The first night of the festival, the dress code was all-white. I love dressing up and I will openly admit that my entire suitcase has been packed in accordance to the dress codes of this festival. I figured, I can always sort out what else I might need at a later stage. Anyhow, the first night was anticlimactic. Not all of the festival participants had arrived yet and I was honestly too exhausted from the long bus ride that had dropped me in Cape Town that very morning. After a few dances I decided to call it a night and gather some strength for the rest of the festival.

I love dance festivals

It was the right decision because the next night it happened. The ‘it’ that is every dancers wet dream – connection. Pure, sensual, energetic, joyful, rhythmic, playful, fulfilling, uplifting connection. I was standing in the salsa room, it was a little bit past midnight and I knew that if I didn’t get a dance soon my feet would completely capitulate out of the heels I was wearing.

A man suddenly stumbles into me. His wrinkles and sparkling eyes are matched with a up-to-no-good smile. It somehow makes him look oddly boyish. After a quick exchange of pleasantries we immediatly start dancing and OH what a joy! In an instance I am transported back to Trinidad, Cuba, in Casa de la Trova where all the elders used to go to dance. The elders and I.

Picture by ShutterMonkey Productions.

Now here, at this dance festival in Cape Town, is this stranger with gray eyes that dances like a Cuban pro and I can’t help but wonder where he is from. When we find each other on the kizomba floor the embrace is tender, safe and filled with absolute presence. I realize then and there that this is the reason I came here, specifically to this festival. We dance for what felt like an eternity, song after song go by and when we are done I feel I have finally landed. Dancing has that ability, grounding me into my soul, into that exact present moment. I had not realized how much my body still lived in the stress that has been present since my last dance festival, about three years ago, pre-pandemic. Now, thanks to this stranger gracing me with the space to be present, something shifted in me. I could feel the energy flowing differently, aligning in the here and now.

The funny thing to me about connection is that once I have had it, once I’ve had one connected dance with someone, it becomes that much easier to create it with others. Almost like when I get connected to my own flow, become present in my own body and soul, others want to be in that light and also create that. Perhaps a non-verbal way of communicating, through energy, could explain this phenomenon. The rest of the dance festival was an abundance of flowy, connected and fun dances and shared laughters. Saturday and Sunday where filled with workshops on every level. I was astounded that for once since I got here, everything was more or less on time! On the last night of the festival, I was energised up until I wasn’t. One minute I was dancing, the next I knew this was my last dance. All energy was gone and I hurried to order an Uber home, the bed was calling. As I walked down the stairs a man grabs my hand. Without a word he slips a bracelet on and squeezes my hand. I want to say something but can’t get anything out. With a smile I leave and don’t look back.


For somebody who’s been stuck in Sweden for the past three years, to get to dance with some of South Africa’s, Mozambique’s and Angola’s best leads and followers was absolutely mind blowing! I must admit that I had no idea. I have been dancing in South Africa on and off since 2015 and yet, the level of quality in the festival, the vastness of the established dance community and the variety and knowledge of styles, completely took me by surprise! How could I have missed this? 

5 thoughts on “The Magic of Dance: Highlights from Mother City Dance Festival 2022”

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