Is Salsa dancing (globalized slot version) is an American art form?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by MAMBO_CEC, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. wol

    wol Sonero

    So, what would they do in those sections, if not rumba? BTW, in my experience in cuban/casino salsa parties timba songs with rumba breaks are fairly popular. And to my ear only rumba fits those sections, which probably is not true, as I have watched too many rumba vids on youtube ;)
  2. DLD

    DLD Changui

    They do whatever anyone would do if something were were to be played that they didn't have much experience on: stick to what they know, which can be pretty much anything.

    I don't know where you live, and what the scene is like there. It's my experience that DJs play what people want to dance, and if most people at these parties have taken rumba classes and want to dance rumba, DJs are going to cater to that wish.

    I´m curious, though: since songs with rumba breaks are fairly popular where you live, what about straight-up rumba songs? Are they popular, too?
    wol likes this.
  3. wol

    wol Sonero

    No, no rumba songs. But yes, there are rumba classes and being able to dance rumba in those breaks is usually sign of a good dancer. But, of course very small percentage can do it reasonably well, and most people realize that. So, short rumba breaks is considered as an opportunity to do some learning, but rumba song would be considered non-danceable by most :) And yes, scene is in Europe :)
  4. DLD

    DLD Changui

    I figured that was the case. Everybody wants a "taste" of the exotic, but very few actually want to delve into the actual dances. Typical consumer attitude. I actually wrote something about this in my ow blog. Feel free to take a look at it whenever you want:
    wol likes this.
  5. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura El Sabroso de Conguero

    Okay then we are in agreement. Because most non-Cubans will continue dancing through it as if nothing happened. Actually that is true not just with rumba breaks but with any breaks/changes in any kind of song, sadly :p And not just with studio trained dancers but with a lot of Latin and Latino people as well, few of them react ot a change in style or tone or mood in the music. I found Cubans to be much more attuned to the music, on average, than other Latin and Latino people I have danced with--including Puerto Ricans, though they come a close second to Cubans. (It is of course possible that I somehow ended up dancing with better dancers than "average" while in Cuba...)
  6. wol

    wol Sonero

    Thanks, your blog already is one of my favorite casino resources and I appreciate your articles and videos very much :)
    DLD likes this.
  7. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'El Diferente' Canales

    Not disagreeing with anything you wrote, but in a more generic response to comments in this thread by others.

    @Regarding Cubans: If by street dancer we mean a non-schooled or non-trained dancer, then it would follow that they won't know how to dance anything other than what they have been exposed to as part of their cultural bringing up and what they see their peers do. No matter how rich a culture is, it is hard for an average citizen to know how to dance multiple styles. That takes some effort and immersion. A luxury that most people don't have. And especially if it is part of your culture, very few go out to learn beyond what they get exposed to in social settings. In short it is a very watered down version of the actual art (in this case dance) form. It is much easier to recognize the breaks in the song, than be proficient in reacting to those breaks with appropriate dancing. It won't surprise that they will be more tuned to those those breaks. A secondary question is what % of average older folks are able to do some semblance of Rumba or other dance forms, compared to an average younger generation member.

    As to the rest of local latin population in South/Central America or Carribean, their dancing appears to be vastly simpler than that of an average Cuban (or may be even average Puerto Rican). It would be high order to expect them to be cognizant of how the other styles of Afro-Cuban dances are danced to particular Afro-Cuban music. They are mostly grooving to the rhythm of the music. Since we are already splitting hair, I think we should distinguish between ability to move oneself to the music's rhythm from being able to dance to it with some level of proficiency. In that regards, a lot of people at Taino Towers for example were more proficient at dancing, than an average latin person from South/Central Americas of Carribean (Cubans and PR excluded).

    Why would average denizen of any of these places be better than an average Spanish would be at dancing Flamenco for example? A person studying Flamenco (whether Spanish or non-Spanish) would be more informed and better skilled than average Spaniard. In the same vein someone like Sabs is going to much better informed and skilled than an average Cuban or PR, because she has invested time in doing so, which average Cuban or PR hasn't. Though they may have been exposed to it for all their life. However being exposed to something is very different than having focused on studying it (informally or formally).Exposure and recognizing is different from being able to execute.
  8. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'El Diferente' Canales

    I am not sure what your argument is and I don't get it.

    - Something being American, doesn't mean it is not Latin (or Latino by DLD's definition).
    - It is not that something is either America or Latin only, but not both.

    I am not sure if you are applying the logic correctly. If you defined latin music to be only from outside USA and being from Cuba/Puerto Rico/DR/Colombia/Venezuela, etc, then yes the Salsa Music from NY can be termed as a distinct category of similar music genre.

    Unless we can all agree on definitions, we will see what we want to see in others' arguments.
  9. WessexSalsero

    WessexSalsero Rhythm Deputy

    Rhetorical questions, cheeky! You know the score already.

    Sure, Smejmoon, there's a lot to be optimistic about but as this OP proves yet again, it's important to remain vigilant.
    Worth keeping a close eye on the dance artists who have latched onto Salsa but don't particularly care about the music or the culture. They can do a lot of damage if left unchallenged.

    You recall the thread you started roughly this same time last year?

    Another General mobilising his divisions, of the social media kind.
    But the Prague Spring happened anyway!
  10. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    And there was a chocolate fruit fountain! But seriously it did not feel like latin/o, or american or some other narrow culture event. There were people who loved to dance to salsa music, who cared about music and dance. I conversed with them in approximately 5 languages, none of them of Latin origin. Ah, no French was there.
  11. Richie Blondet

    Richie Blondet Shine Officer

    Well Jimmy Yoon is sorely mistaken. And anyone who co-signs his idea that this dance is NOW, today, a Global dance, doesn't know what they're talking about and is uneducated. This dance has forever been a global phenomenon. It's arrogance by the youth (who else?) who assume that gatherings like Congresses have been the promoters of this dance culture. Every continent has experienced and has been exposed to this music and to this dance.

    No matter Jimmy's simple simon argument, this dance is based on expression that was rooted in Latin American culture. The music that one expresses the dancing to is interpreted predominantly by Latinos, wherever they may be. Because it is a Latin American sub-culture. An international phenomenon whose development and documentation (recordings) has been largely diasporic.

    Jimmy Yoon is an Asian-American who dances predominantly to Cuban Popular Music.

    The End.

    It doesn't matter where their head is at or how close or devoid of Latin American culture they are. Because a large segment of Latinos in the USA are as assimilated to North American culture moreso than they are Latin American culture. But the fact is that is the one element they concede to doing in Latin American cultural tradition is "Salsa" or however one defined this dance culture as being.

    In layman's terms, this is Latin Music. And the dance is a "Latino" or Antillean form of expression, by and large, with the occasional outside influence or element here and there. With its foundation being African in nature and "Salsa," "Mambo," or what have you, is the way African oriented expression gets expressed in the diaspora (Caribbean, South America, North America, Europe, Asia, etc.)

    By Jimmy's definition, he's just a U.S. American. He's not Asian, he's not nothing. I'm not Puerto Rican. We live in the USA. We speak English. Our ives are impacted by U.S. pop culture and customs/traditions. Therefore, we're no longer "X." We're "Y."

    No. It works that way only if you choose it to be. But his argument for "Salsa" not being a 'Latin' style of dance simply because its embraced globally doesn't alter the reality. The fact that you don't dance "Salsa" to country music, Rap or any other form of music, indicates it being limited to a specific parameter. Within specific musical aesthetics. Specific characteristics that are rooted in Africa and Latin America/Caribbean. Particularly Afro Cuban culture. Once you deviate form that you're no longer doing a specific genre but something else entirely. That specific genre is specifically a Latin American inspiration. It is influenced by a Latino community who came before and that people have run with ever since.

    It's pretty crazy that this is even being contested. But what else is new in Congressland. That crowd has forever been redefining and reinterpreting culture to fit their mindset. That too is nothing new.
    Slowdance, MAMBO_CEC, Nika and 4 others like this.
  12. kbitten

    kbitten Clave Commander

    thank you!!! end of topic kkkkkkkkkkkkk
    DJ Yuca and Smejmoon like this.

    MAMBO_CEC Sabor Ambassador

    For those of you who are still somewhat confused as to what we are dancing. Here is some stuff from wikipedia, which some of us like to quote:
    Based on what I have read and experienced in the salsa world I totally concur:

    SALSA DANCE Styles

    Salsa's roots are based on different genres such as Puerto Rican rhythms, Cuban Son, specifically to the beat of Son Montuno in the 1920s. However, as it is a popular music, it is open to improvisation and thus it is continuously evolving. New modern salsa styles are associated and named to the original geographic areas that developed them. There are often devotees of each of these styles outside of their home territory. Characteristics that may identify a style include: timing, basic steps, foot patterns, body rolls and movements, turns and figures, attitude, dance influences and the way that partners hold each other. The point in a musical bar music where a slightly larger step is taken (the break step) and the direction the step moves can often be used to identify a style.

    Incorporating other dance styling techniques into salsa dancing has become very common, for both men and women: shimmies, leg work, arm work, body movement, spins, body isolations, shoulder shimmies, rolls, even hand styling, acrobatics and lifts.

    Latin American styles originate from Puerto Rico, Cuba and surrounding Caribbean islands including the Dominican Republic, and then expanding to Venezuela, Colombia, and the rest of Latin America; Also, there exists the "Miami" style, which is a fusion of some Cuban style elements with elements of various North American dances from the USA.

    Colombian / Cali style
    Cali-Style Salsa, also known as Colombian Salsa, is based on geographical location of the Colombian City of Cali. Cali is also known as the "Capital de la Salsa" (Salsa's Capital); due to salsa music being the main genre in parties, nightclubs and festivals in the 21st century.

    The elements of Cali-Style Salsa were strongly influenced by dances to Caribbean rhythms which preceded salsa, such as Pachanga and Boogaloo.

    The central feature is the footwork which has quick rapid steps and skipping motions. Colombian style does not execute Cross-body Leads or the "Dile Que No" as seen in other styles, but rather step in place and displace in closed position. Their footwork is intricate and precise, helping several Colombian Style dancers win major world championships. Cali hosts many annual salsa events such as the World Salsa Cali Festival and the Encuentro de Melomanos y Coleccionistas.

    Los Angeles style
    The Los Angeles dance style (LA style) is danced strictly on 1, in a slot \ line, using elements of various North American and stage dances. It is strongly influenced by the Latin Hustle, Swing, Argentine Tango and Latin Ballroom dancing styles] LA style places strong emphasis on sensuousness, theatricality and acrobatics.The lifts, stunts and aerial works of today's salsa shows are derived mostly from LA style forms with origins in Latin Ballroom and Ballet lifts.The two essential elements of this dance are the forward–backward basic step and the cross-body lead. In this pattern, the leader steps forward on 1, steps to the right on 2-3 while turning 90 degrees counter-clockwise (facing to the left), leaving the slot open. The follower then steps straight forward on 5-6 and turns on 7-8, while the leader makes another 90 degrees counter-clockwise and slightly forward, coming back into the slot. After these 8 counts, the leader and follower have exchanged their positions.

    Albert Torres, Laura Canellias, Joe Cassini and Francisco Vazquez are credited for the early development and growth of LA style .Later, such dancers as Alex Da Silva, Edie Lewis, Joby Martinez, Josie Neglia, Johnny and Janette Valenzuela are often credited with developing the LA style of dancing as we know it today.

    New York style
    New York style is danced in an ellipse or a "flat figure 8" on the floor, with the partners facing each other most of the time. Unlike other styles of salsa, New York style is danced on the second beat of the music ("on 2"), and the follower steps forward on the first measure of the music, not the leader. The etiquette of New York Style is strict about remaining in the close dance space, and avoiding traveling dancing in a sandbox area with a lot of spins, turns and styling. There is greater emphasis on performing "shines" in which dancers separate themselves and dance solo with intricate footwork and styling for a time—suspected origins from Swing and New York Tap.

    Though he did not create New York style salsa, Eddie Torres is credited with popularizing it, and for having the follower step forward on the second beat of the first measure.

    There are two distinct developments of New York salsa as a music and dance genre:

    1. Primary evolution from Mambo era was introduced to New York due to influx of migrating dissidents from all the Caribbean and other Latin migrants during Pre/Post Cuban Revolution in the 1950s and 1960s This era is known as the "Palladium Era". At this time, the music and dance was called "Mambo" — connoting the general term without being specific. The most famous dancer during this era was Puerto-Rican descendant Pedro "Cuban Pete" Aguilar,[6] also known "The King of Latin Beat".
    2. Secondary evolution during the late 1970s, Latin Puerto Ricans migrants, contributed a lot to the New York salsa development during the "NuYorican" era of Héctor Lavoe which greatly popularized salsa and modern Latin music throughout the world. Puerto Rican salsa superstars were the most important musicians during the era, such as Ray Baretto ("The Godfather") and many others. There are also salsa artists that transcend both periods, notably the legendary Puerto Rican Tito Puente ("The Mambo King").
    These two developments create a fusion of a new salsa music and dance genre, different from its Latin American and Caribbean counterparts.

    New York style salsa emphasizes harmony with the percussive instruments in salsa music, such as the congas, timbales, and clave, since many or all of those instruments often mark the second beat in the music.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
    premier likes this.
  14. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    Wikipedia is a rather poor tool of getting precise information. This is a good example.
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.

    MAMBO_CEC Sabor Ambassador

    Why? it doesn't fit with your narrative? Feel free to ignore it. It concurs with what was written in Juliet's Book "Spinning Mambo into Salsa". One thing I would have added was the influence of LATIN Hustle (Noticed I stressed LATIN as developed by the Puerto RIcans and Blacks in the NY Barrios) on the NYOn2 scene, as was mentioned by Mama whom you like to quote.
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  16. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    That is exactly why I said it is not precise. No mention of hustle for NY and too much focus on ET. Also, where is Bermudez for LA? And are we abandoning Cuban style? Why not mentioning Casino?
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.

    MAMBO_CEC Sabor Ambassador

    Actually it did mention Casino, Casino-Rueda even Miami-style Rueda, I picked the styles that I thought were relevant, also there is a 10000 character limit to what you can post here I can give you the link if you like.
    You can't talk about New York On2 without mentioning Eddie Torres, a lot of the NY teachers now are protégés of his: Franklin Diaz, Frankie Martinez, Wilton Beltre/Tomas Guerrero- Seaon Bristol, the list in endless. like I said feel free to ignore the info:
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  18. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    You are right! It is much better in full version though I still feel not fully accurate. For example:
    "New York style is danced on the second beat of the music ("on 2"), and the follower steps forward on the first measure of the music, not the leader. " but we know there is still on 1 and even on 3 in NY. But much better in the full version. Thanks for sharing.
  19. flowrite

    flowrite Sonero

    Any videos of early NY salsa 70s or 80s?

    MAMBO_CEC Sabor Ambassador

    Here are two clips, both musical, but it also includes some dancing I am think middle and late 70's


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