LA style or Cuban?!?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Martialdog, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Martialdog

    Martialdog Changui

    Hi All,

    I'm new to the site (and salsa) so would like to say "HI" to ya all :D I also need some advice!

    I'm very lucky to live in an area of London where I can not only go to excellent LA style teachers but also the IDO world champions Chris and Jackie who run a superb cuban class nearby as well.

    As I said I'm new to salsa (about 2 months) and VERY addicted (go to about 3/4 classes a week) and found I love both styles of salsa dancing.

    In my opinion Cuban is a fantastic freedom inspiring type of dancing where LA is equally as great in the way its disciplined yet quite technical.

    The main problem I have which I'm sure others have faced is the ladies from each style find it VERY difficult to adapt to moves from the opposite style. This causes problems cos sometimes I automatically go into certain moves that practiced so much that I can do them without thinking and it can all go pear shaped.

    Now I know whatcha gonna say and yes, I'm a newbie and probably not the best of leads but without blowing my own trumpet, I'm not that bad either.

    What should do you think? sacrifice one to get good at the other? I dont really want to give up cuban or LA.
  2. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Martialdog, welcome to SF! :D

    I also dance LA and Cuban (and have also started learning NY on2) and like them both. When I can get only one, I soon start craving for the other! I'm lucky that I live in a place where I can get both.

    I don't think you necessarily have to quit one or the other -- I have met guys who dance both styles well, so it can be done. However, you do need to be able to keep the two styles separate to start with, and it can be confusing for a beginner to learn both at the same time. It may make sense to focus on one style for a while then pick the other up again later.

    As a follower who has been dancing both styles, I find it harder to follow a leader who does a "mix'n'match" of both styles, with no clear indication as to which style he wants me to follow in. You see, there are moves in LA and Cuban that start in a similar way but end quite differently. In LA style the follower is expected to stay in the slot (unless otherwise guided by the lead) and move in a straight line, while in Cuban style the follower is supposed to keep moving around. As a result, the follower may respond to the same lead in different ways depending on the style you are dancing in at the time. If I'm not sure which style I'm supposed to be doing, I can screw up the move by ending up in the wrong place because of this difference.

    So, when you dance with a girl who has only learned one style or the other, it is best to stick to the style she is familiar with. You can experiment with style mixing if the follower is familiar with both style, but it will help her if you signal clearly when you switch from one style to the other. (I tend to assume that an LA style move is to come when a guy leads a crossbody lead, and Cuban style when he does a dile que no. And if you think "but aren't they the same thing?", there's an old thread discussing this topic somewhere...)
    Slowdance likes this.
  3. DeeplyDippy

    DeeplyDippy Pattern Police

    Excellent 1st post :D Welcome to SF, Martialdog !

    I'd echo MacMoto in saying don't give up on one style for the other.

    However, I do like to mix them up (sorry MM), dancing in a slot yet round and round the lady, shooting her out, on the line for a CBL or open break.

    On the other hand, I danced with a friend at the weekend and the perfection of keeping in that slot is seductive in itself :D
    Smejmoon likes this.
  4. pr

    pr Capitán Del Estilo

    Welcome to Salsa Forums Martialdog!! :D :D
    I also mix both styles a like DeeplyDippy does. :) I started with cuban style and after I had seen a good dancer dance in a different way, I found out that there were more styles :oops:, so I started with LA style. (That's what he was dancing...) Now I more or less have "converted" my old cuban style moves to LA style. :p
  5. Martialdog

    Martialdog Changui

    Great replies..cheers folks! :D

    As I tend to go to more LA classes, it sounds like I should get my head down and become competent in that style first then try cuban.

    I went to Bar Salsa for the first time last night to see my teacher perfrom but I have to admit cuban dancers look REALLY cool!

    (shamed to admit I spent the whole time in the club with my mouth open going "wow!" alot and only danced with one person!) :oops:
  6. kdogg

    kdogg Changui

    Like MacMoto said, try to learn one style first and once you get comfortable you can always learn other styles. I often see LA dancers mix in some Cuban moves, but I haven't seen the one way around. I'm not so much into Casino Rueda, but I do like Cuban style.
  7. peachexploration

    peachexploration Maestro 'Timbalero' Puente

    Great, I think that's a great idea, Martialdog. Keep us posted on how it goes. :D
  8. praecantricis

    praecantricis Descarga

    I have been taught a fusion of all styles from my first class. I have found in clubs that I am led in a fusion all the time unless I am in a 'cuban room' or something. Do what you enjoy and simply lead each move well. London is a great place to learn as styles are far less polarized here.

  9. Martialdog,
    I can so relate to going to the club and watching all night. When I first started I might dance 3 or 4 times, and that was only b/c I new this one other girl from beginner lessons. Then after I thought I was hot stuff in Memphis I went to L.A. and the same thing happened. Finally some guy that I had met made me start dancing, and then I couldn't stop!
  10. JonesNikka

    JonesNikka Rhythm Deputy

    That is one thing I love about Montreal. Nobody gives a whit as to what style you dance, as long as you are having fun. I know local dancers who can mix and match LA style with Cuban Rueda moves and cumbia patterns all held together with smooth NY styling an if you are having a hard time following it, they can switch from the On1 timing to On2 just to make it easier if you prefer.
    Slane likes this.
  11. Montreal sounds pretty awesome, here in Memphis its all on 1, and we only have 1 professional instructor and all the best dancers are on his dance team. SO there is not the much variety just yet. SO you live in Canada, Orvil Small wouldn't happen to live around Montreal would he?
  12. JonesNikka

    JonesNikka Rhythm Deputy

    According to rumor, Orvill Small used to live in Montreal but moved to Toronto a few years ago to dance with Anna Hovanessian (I hope I got the name right), one of the best dancers in Canada.
    Seems they are not together anymore and now he seems to spend a lot more time on the road than in Toronto, which is near (by Canadian standards- this is one BIG country), if you consider an 8 hour drive near.
  13. salsachinita

    salsachinita Nuevo Ritmo

    I can only give you the follower's perspective......

    The main clue was the placement (ie slot vs. circular). I can often tell by the way a guy places me what his primary style is. In the case of "mix & match" (which I like, if the guy is competent/confident in his leads), I would normally assume nothing until I'm sure....which means I sometimes miss a prep for a spin or two :oops: ......

    As for my following, I generally hold my centre of gravity higher (between navel & rib cage) for LA type leads, and lower (navel & hip) for Cuban leads; either on the balls of my feet or flat on the ground.

    When in doubt, I hold mine higher, because I'm more comfortable in Cuban, I can easily switch back ;) ........
  14. TheSnukfin

    TheSnukfin Changui

    Hi there i dont know where else to post this but im curious is there cuban moves in Crossbody/LA style salsa? Ive seen Echufle looking moves on the dance floor as well as patterns that have a more circular footwork. Id show a video but i cant do it yet
  15. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    I think the right answer is - it depends on where you live, what scene is there and what schools are there. Salsa is a hybrid style, so in some places it's pretty common to mix everything in it.
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.
  16. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    I think these last 2 . are the oldest posts resurrected from original ( 2005 ) . Made me wonder.. how DID he resolve the issue
  17. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    Well, in London, I don't think it's the problem; they've seen it all and there are numerous styles on the dancefloor at the same time.
  18. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Your post, is a non sequiter to my caption.
  19. wol

    wol Sonero

    I almost never mix LA and casino. Moves are different and even if girl can suddenly follow casino move in a LA, dance becomes a mess. With very good follows, who knows both styles, I sometimes switch between LA and casino, if music suddenly changes, but I do make sure follow notices it.
  20. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    sofar, LarsM and Live2dance like this.

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