Sikkimese dancer/choreographer KT (Kaytee) Namgyal is all set to judge the World Salsa Summit – August 24 to 29, 2022 in Florida, USA.
The World Salsa Summit (WSS) is a global salsa competition, first held on January, 31st 2013 – February 3rd, 2013. It is the premier global competition that features different Ballroom and latin American dance competitions. The competition is organized by Katie Marlow (multiple world title holder in dance, choreographer, producer, and performer), Nelson Flores, and Billy Fajardo (former head judge of the World Latin Dance Cup) and is held in the USA with over 50 different divisions.
This year the WSS is scheduled to be organised at Florida, USA, for its 10th Anniversary. Organising the Summit for a decade and dealing in analysing the premier balroom talents from across the world, the WSS has a plethora of world renowned dancers as their judging panel. This year Kaytee, who has been the judge of the regional qualifiers in the past has been selected in the international panelist of judges for WSS. He will be judging the Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba categories.
Kaytee started off with Hip Hop, Jazz and Contemporary dance styles before falling in love with Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba. Kaytee has been teaching and performing for over 20 years now. He has taught and performed in over 60 countries at some of the most prestigious Dance Festivals as well as helped organise International Dance Festivals in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Germany and India.
He has worked as a guest Choreographer for MTV and Dancing with the Stars in the past and also toured with Bryan Adams in India. Kaytee has lived and taught in India, Italy and Greece before making Germany his permanent base. Kaytee is proud and honoured to be part of WSS. He hopes to use this platform to motivate and encourage emerging talents around the world”.
Apart from being one of the esteemed judges in the panel for WSS, Kaytee was also chosen the Director of European Operations of the World Salsa Summit.
Speaking to Sikkim Chronicle, Kaytee shared his journey:
Kaytee started dancing right after his university days, he started learning Salsa while he was in Japan, where he really found interest in it. After which he went to cities from the USA like Los Angeles and New York to get better and study the art further. After many years of honing his craft, he started getting work in Asia and Europe, which gave him the room for travelling a lot.
His frequent work in Europe was the reason due to which he set up his base in Italy. Further down the line in his career he moved to Greece, where he got married after which he moved to Dussledorf, Germany where he has made his permanent base.
“It (WSS) is considered as the world championship event, people all over the world come, compete, and represent their countries. So for me to be invited to judge there is a big honour,” Kaytee shares his thoughts on being invited as the judge.
“Not everyone gets the honour since you have to be qualified, experienced, recognized (in the circle) because there are thousands of dancers in the world. So to be requested as a judge there is a huge honour especially since it is considered as the world championship event,” he added.
Speaking about his art and talking directly to the youngsters in Sikkim who aspire to do something in the field of art he said that they should do it purely for the passion and the love of it. He spoke about how perspiring for their passion, not thinking about the fame, money, etc., makes them better at their art which in-turn lines up everything that comes with it.
“As for my advice towards the young generation, whether they aspire in dancing or any form of art, I’d like to say, they should do it purely for the passion of it and not for fame, or money, or social media, but purely for the love of it” Kaytee advised.
“When you do it for the love of it, you get better at it, and when you get better at it, every thing else follow on its own,” he added.
“If you chase (your art) to become an influencer, or chase money, then you never improve in your art and it will take you nowhere, so my advice is just follow your heart and do what you’re passionate about and educate yourself in any form of art (you’re pursuing), if the heart says ‘yes’, just go for it.” he further added.