Posted in Dance and Culture

CONGRESS SCAMMERS

THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OF THE EVENT BUT A REVIEW OF A SITUATION THAT I WAS PUT IN!

This past weekend I was at a dance congress in D.C. called Interfusion Dance festival.  It was a dance festival that welcomes all styles of dance and physical art forms. The festival is created in the form of a latin dance congress. Workshops during the day, night shows, and parties at night. It combined yogis with latin dancers and other dancers. The festival is all sorts of amazing! Most of the times, in these festivals, people find roommates on the festival fb page. We might not know any of them. Or we might know them somewhat. We can also coordinate rides with others from the areas to help with expenses. These dance festivals can get very expensive. Most of them are held in 5 star hotels and hours of driving and flying are required. Dancers do not make a lot of money, so for these festivals, people share hotels and rides to make it more affordable.

I had the unfortunate event of dealing with a yogi who just wants to take advantage of everyone. When you first meet her, she is a lovely girl, positive energy and very polite. She talks sweetly to you to kiss your ass so you feel attached to her. Then she makes you feel bad about her situation and wants to help her. But really she is just manipulating you. A friend of mine and his friend introduced her to ride in the car with her from NYC to DC. She lived in Queen and I am in NJ. I drove over to Queens because she said that she would pay me extra. I asked for $40 for an estimate. When I got there, she showed me a jar in her kitchen when she puts her cash money. She gives me $20 and said this is all the case she has and she will be paid this weekend to pay me back. She told me she didn’t have a hotel and told me she was going to sleep in her guyfriend’s car. When her guy friend wasn’t sure if he was going to make it, she asked if she could sleep in my car. Are you kidding me? I am not giving her the key to my Lexus! When we got to the hotel, she asked if she could leave her things in our room, I said okay. Well, she stole one of our keys. She never took her stuff out. She said that she was staying in another room with her friend for free. But it’s a guy. So she is also playing nice for him like she likes him. There was four of us in the room. Friday night we said she could sleep in our room but we only have the floor available. She though she could slip into one of our beds. When she saw that there was another girl on my bed she slept on the floor. Next morning when we were all downstairs in workshops, she slept the whole day in my bed. When I came back and she was caught she said she was upset that another girl

I had the unfortunate event of dealing with a yogi who just wants to take advantage of everyone. When you first meet her, she is a lovely girl, positive energy and very polite. She talks sweetly to you to kiss your ass so you feel attached to her. Then she makes you feel bad about her situation and wants to help her. But really she is just manipulating you. A friend of mine and his friend introduced her to ride in the car with her from NYC to DC. She lived in Queen and I am in NJ. I drove over to Queens because she said that she would pay me extra. I asked for $40 for an estimate. When I got there, she showed me a jar in her kitchen when she puts her cash money. She gives me $20 and said this is all the case she has and she will be paid this weekend to pay me back. She told me she didn’t have a hotel and told me she was going to sleep in her guyfriend’s car. When her guy friend wasn’t sure if he was going to make it, she asked if she could sleep in my car. Are you kidding me? I am not giving her the key to my Lexus! When we got to the hotel, she asked if she could leave her things in our room, I said okay. Well, she stole one of our keys. She never took her stuff out. She said that she was staying in another room with her friend for free. But it’s a guy. So she is also playing nice for him like she likes him. There was four of us in the room. Friday night we said she could sleep in our room but we only have the floor available. She though she could slip into one of our beds. When she saw that there was another girl on my bed she slept on the floor. Next morning when we were all downstairs in workshops, she slept the whole day in my bed. When I came back and she was caught she said she was upset that another girl

A friend of mine and his friend introduced her to ride in the car with her from NYC to DC. Now, in the zouk social dance scene, people may know of each other, see each other around but they don’t really know them. Some relations in the dance scene is all fabricated. She lived in Queen, NYC and I am in North Bergen, NJ.  I drove over to Queens because she said that she would pay me extra. The drive was an extra hour in the other direction. I asked for $40 for an estimate. When I got there, she showed me a jar in her kitchen when she puts her cash money. She gives me $20 and said this is all the case she has and she will be paid this weekend to pay me back. She told me she didn’t have a hotel and told me she was going to sleep in her guyfriend’s car. When her guy friend wasn’t sure if he was going to make it, she asked if she could sleep in my car. Are you kidding me? I am not giving her the key to my Lexus! When we got to the hotel, she asked if she could leave her things in our room, my friend said okay. He is a very nice guy who always wants to help everyone. He told her that we already have 4 people in the room and she can sleep on the floor. Since she wasn’t paying, it is not fair to kick another person off the bed who is paying.

She said that she was staying in another room with her friend for free. So, she was just going be in our room for Friday night. On Saturday, she complained to me how her body was hurting because she slept on the floor and another girl on my bed. I am bisexual and so is she. So, she claimed that she was very jealous that I was sleeping with another girl in the bed. I went downstairs for workshop classes and when I came back. She had just been sleeping in our bed. We told her that she can not stay here Saturday night because she is not paying. Even when we still have room, why should I share my bed with someone who is not paying when I could have the bed to myself. She understood that but she still kept her things in our room. Saturday night, we already told her once to take her stuff out. Of course she didn’t.

She said she was staying with another friend for free. In my opinion, she is also playing nice for him like she likes him. There was four of us in the room. Friday night we said she could sleep in our room but we only have the floor available. She though she could slip into one of our beds. When she saw that there was another girl on my bed she slept on the floor. Next morning when we were all downstairs in workshops, she slept the whole day in my bed. When I came back and she was caught she said she was upset that another girl

When we got to the hotel, she asked if she could leave her things in our room. My friend is a very nice guy who wants to help everyone. So he said she could stay here tonight but we already have four people on the double queen beds. She can sleep on the floor. She said okay, she is a small girl and it is not a big deal. She asked for a key from my friend and he gave it to her. She said that the next day she was staying in another room with her friend for free. But it’s a guy. So she is also playing nice for him like she likes him. There was four of us in the room. Friday night we said she could sleep in our room but we only have the floor available. She though she could slip into one of our beds. When she saw that there was another girl on my bed she slept on the floor. Next morning when we were all downstairs in workshops, she slept the whole day in my bed. When I came back and she was caught she said she was upset that another girl slept in her bed and she really liked me and wanted to cuddle with me. We had affections and I liked her first at first and so we had a few intimate moments. Her phone was in my charger. She even kicked out my roommate in the bathroom and used the shower. At that time, we realized what was happening and told her she can’t stay here Saturday night. She never gave back the key. On Saturday night she still had her stuff here. She said she is just leaving her stuff here and was staying with another friend. In reality, she was playing another guy. She was playing like she was interested in him just to sleep in his bed. She never took her stuff out and she was still in and out of the room with the key.

On Sunday, we changed the reservation and had new keys made. We didn’t want her to have the key. Yet, she went to front desk and told them to give her the key. It was the hotel’s fault that they did not check ID and give the key to her for our room. Sunday, her stuff was still there and she was in the room, using my phone charger, taking a nap on my bed. I finally put my foot down. I told her again she can not stay here and she needs to take her stuff out. She said she have to run downstairs for rehearsal and she will be back to take her stuff. Upon my demand, she ran out of the room.

I knew she still had the key. I did not leave the room. All day on Sunday, she was nowhere to be found. I texted her Sunday night and said if she doesn’t take her stuff I will put it all in the hallway. She said she was coming but she did not come till I said I am leaving her things in the hallway in 5 minutes. Then she finally came. Upset with me, she took out her stuff. She said I was a negative person. She was crying that I was mean and unreasonable and that she thought we were friends. She said how my performance was so beautiful and how I am a beautiful person.  She said she had plenty of other people who offered for her to stay. She said she got me the new keys and that I should be grateful to her. I asked for the key back and she got upset and said I am negative and I am being mean. She said she could not find the key. She ran off without giving the key back. At this time, I knew I was dealing with a crazy. I called security and talked to the hotel manager and threatened to sue the hotel. I could not leave the room and go dancing knowing this girl is off with our keys. I immediately had new keys made. The hotel apologize. I showed them a picture of her face and told them not to give the key to her no matter what she says. I told her that if she doesn’t pay me upfront first I am not taking her back. She never paid me for the rest of the ride. So, then I text her and said that if she doesn’t pay me I am not taking her back. She said I am being bipolar and negative. She said I am just having one of my bipolar episodes. She said that money doesn’t make the world around. I said no bitch, money does and she just takes advantage of everyone around her. She said that if she called me a bitch one more time she will talk to the event organizer to never book me again because I am a negative person. Psh, yea right, they know me and no one knows who the fuck she is. She performed on Sunday was the act right after me. I realized on the performer’s list, it was not even her real name. She was added on to the performance last minute.

I noticed that the whole weekend she was taking food from us little by little. She is a small girl so she doesn’t need much. She takes a banana here, a cookie there and she is full. When we went out to eat as a group on Friday, she just got an appetizer for herself and was eating off of everyone else’s plate.

She never paid me for the rest of the ride. So, then I text her and said that if she doesn’t pay me I am not taking her back. She said I am being bipolar and negative and she said that money doesn’t make the world around. I said no bitch, money does. She said that if she called me a bitch one more time she will talk to the event organizer to never book me again because I am a negative person. Psh, yeah right, they know me and no one knows who the fuck she is. She performed on Sunday was the act right after me. I realized on the performer’s list, it was not even her real name. She was added on to the performer’s list on Sunday night. I don’t know how she pulled that off. She is a little 4-foot tall yogi. She has been to zouk socials like a few times. She spilled drinks and crumbs all over my Lexus. I have to go get it deep cleaned. It’s going to cost me $60-$100. Of course, I texted her and told her to pay me, she was no respond. She even blocked me on facebook. I called her and her phone number was no longer valid. I looked on facebook and there she had many accounts. The lesson of the story is, never do these things with people you don’t know. One of her friends who introduced her to us is even a well-known dancer in the zouk scene. She was friends with Mike Yang. I didn’t think that he even knows what she really is. No one can cheat me and I know bad blood when I see him. Some people are naive enough to believe their bullshit.

She spilled drinks and crumbs all over my Lexus. I have to go get it deep cleaned. It’s going to cost me $60-$100. Of course, I texted her and told her to pay me, she was no respond. She even blocked me on facebook. Her other friend who is a well-known dancer also blocked me on Facebook. I called her and her phone number was no longer valid. I looked on facebook and there she had many accounts. The lesson of the story is, never do these things with people you don’t know. One of her friends who introduced her to us is even a well-known dancer in the zouk scene. I didn’t think that he even knows what she really is. No one can cheat me and I know bad blood when I see it. Some people are naive enough to believe their bullshit.

This little tiny 4-foot tall girl created so many problems for everyone. For her friend. For my friend. For me. For the hotel. For the organizers. For the other people, she was staying with. When she walks is like volcanos are set off everywhere. She bullshits and lies her way in life. She takes advantage of people by kissing their ass and pretending to be their friend. WTF??!!!

The lesson of the story is, never coordinate with people that you don’t know well. Either that or have people pay you upfront before you provide the service. You don’t want this sort of situation to ruin your whole weekend of dancing fun.

When booking hotels, you can find roommates on the event facebook page. Make sure you check their statuses. Ask around if people actually know them. See their social media. Perhaps even meet in person before exchanging services. Have them pay you upfront before going on the trip. In return, you show them the registration e-mails. It is hard to coordinate rides with people you don’t know. You are stuck in the car with them for a long time. You don’t want to do that with anyone you don’t know. Put all names of people staying in your room with the hotel. Don’t worry about having to pay extra fees for each person. Split the rest. If it is not worth the split, don’t have five people in your room.

I have been going to these festivals for a few years now. Never have I had this sort of problem! It is definitely not everyone. But every once in a while, these situations will arise. Don’t let it ruin your weekend. Deal with the situation. In this case, the hotel managers were responsible for giving her the keys without ID representation. Overall, I had a wonderful time performing and dancing all weekend long! This is not a review of the event but rather a review of the situation that I was put in. I hope this would help some other to watch out for scammers.

Author:

Bridget Zhang is a dancer. performer. choreographer. teacher. writer. photographer. lover. daughter. granddaughter. niece. family. friend.

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