I was talking to a good friend of mine Carolyn today, and we were going down memory lane about our salsa community. We talked about how we missed the good old days. The dancers of 10yrs ago really aren't around that much for whatever reason. Either they got old, got married or just moved out of the area. Some of them have passed away, and are no longer with us.
I got to thinking about all the good times I've had through the years, and the venues that have come and gone. I also got to thinking about how ungrateful a lot of us are for all that has been given to us. I wanted to say thank you to Jeri Dembrak, Eileen Torres, Ramiro El Padrino, Wendell Robinson, Kelvin Harris, Karen Aguilar, The-Salsa Room, Havana Village, Ricardo Amigo Loaiza, Elba Garcia, Musa, Irene Holtzman, Tommy Smith, Lee El Gringuito Smith, Morro Productions, Shaka Brown, Susan Alivewithdance ,Aniceto C Charles Jr., Jose Weeks, Bravo Bravo, Deejay Cholito and most of all my brother from another mother Earl Rush.
You all don't understand what it takes to be a promoter. These people have given us so many venues over the years and events for us to do what we love to do, and a lot of times have cost them thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to cover the cost for us to have a good time. Someone had to find the artist and negotiate with their managers. Someone had to find a venue and negotiate with the owners to have our night there. Someone had to bring to you the instructors.
Someone had to guarantee the club owner a certain amount at the bar so we can dance and if it wasn't met take the hit out of their own pocket. Someone has to get the dj's and pay them. We forget that someone has to drop a deposit on these places. Someone has to clean up after us after a social.
Someone has to hear people complain about the floor not being perfect or the music is this or that, or it's too hot, or it's too cold. There isn't enough parking. Why does it start so late. The performances are too long etc. I mention these people and places because these are the ones that are responsible for some of the greatest times we've had over the past 10 plus years and they're home people and if it wasn't for them we would have nothing.
Some of you don't even know who they are nor do you know the history of these people and places here in DC. No one asked them to do it. They just do it because they love the community that we have, and have taken a leadership roll and the weight on their shoulders. All we have to do is show up. Some of them don't do events or promote as much anymore because it's cost them so much over the years and it takes it's toll.
We don't realize the value of these people and what it has truly meant to our lives because we just assume we are always going to have a place to dance and somebody somewhere is just going to look out for us and that's selfish. On a side note respect our Dj's. These people sit there all night and try to make the night great for us when they could be out having fun themselves. They don't get paid a lot of money for doing it. They do it for the love of it and they do it for us. If you know that dj is good at what they do then pay them what they're worth.
The same goes for our instructors. Our instructors have to teach you how to relate to music and your body. Ultimately changing your life forever. You are receiving a education. Knowledge is invaluable so respect that. Respect the time and effort that they given to the craft and then respect the patience and skill they have in the ability to pass that knowledge to you. You don't go to college and try to haggle on your tuition and that's what it is, tuition! It is what it is so don't try to devalue them and haggle them down when it comes to their job as a educator.
Instructors stop selling yourself short and make people pay you what you are worth. You are giving them something that will effect the rest of their lives. A skill that they can take with them always and find peace and enjoyment in. You're not used car salesmen, know your worth.
I guess what it comes down to and the whole point of this long post is don't take people for granted and the next time you see a promoter, dj or instructor say thank you.