Winter Black Swing Festival was held 27-29 January 2017, in the Spanish city of Alcoy, an hour north of Alicante. Swedish Lindy dancer Jempa Wiklund Turesson is giving a report from a festive Festival.

– The musicians were great. The performances were amazing and the artists magically talented. Atmosphere was growy and the city was beautiful! Music was played all around the village when I arrived and I was spontaneous invited to dance Lindy hop in the city square. When social dance was about to start on Friday night the Swing band Le Pepa Dancing came marching through the village. It was very festive!

At what level did you participate in the event?
– I danced evenings and nights and did not participate in dancing lessons. Daytime I discovered Alcoy with my three Swedish friends.

Tell us about the venue!
– It was magical! La sala Redonda was a palace, probably the most beautiful venue I’ve ever seen. Interior decor was from the 30-40 century, the ballroom was circular and everything was nicely decorated.

Was the scene different, compared to Sweden?
– No, dancing is beautiful that way, even though I do not speak Spanish, I can dance with everyone. The only difference from Sweden is that you only social dance once with the same partner. In Sweden we usually dance two songs together.

Were there many international participants?
– Me and my friends were the only Swedes, except professional dancer Felix Berghäll. I think most participants were Spanish, or living in Spain, but I met some familiar from Herräng last summer (2016).

Did you learn something new during the weekend?
– First time ever I competed. I was nervous and had breathing problems but it went well and I was excited.

Any advice before next year’s Winter Black Swing Fest?
– It was colder in Alcoy than I thought, about 11 degrees. My advice is to pack warm clothes.

Were did you stay?
– We stayed at Sercotel Hotel Ciutat d´Alcoi, a three star hotel that was perfectly ok. It was five minutes away from the venue and it was a beautiful walk there. It took us across riverbeds, surrounded by high mountains.

How did you get to Alcoy from the airport in Alicante?
– We shared a taxi. It was about 90 euros. The camp offered no transportation.

Anything Black Winter Festival can improve?
– I was eager to start social dancing and it annoyed me that the schedule was delayed. Both Friday and Saturday evening began with Jack & Jill competitions, meaning: if you did not participated it took a while before you got to dance. And although performances were superb it delayed social dancing.

Will participate in Winter Black Swing again?
– Yes, I would love too! Before I go back I´ll learn some Spanish though. It was hard to get around in Alcoy without knowing the language. Body language saved me this time.

More information: www.winterblackswingfestival.com