Salsa leaders - your golden rules

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by MacMoto, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Or, the ability to teach same .
    I would offer this;
    IF I offered a course (free ) on the mechanics of teaching. the response would be practically zero ( and from Pros, the same )
    vit likes this.
  2. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I would come. :(
    (assuming I were nearby).
    terence likes this.
  3. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I disagree on the last point. I saw quite a few courses on simple mechanics of dancing (e.g. just how to achieve CM) that were packed. The issue may be that you need to be in the right geographical location for attracting the dancers.
    LarsM and Smejmoon like this.
  4. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    And where, exactly, would they have been and when ?.
    I lived in several major dance centre in the States and in multi years, can only recall one.
    Live2dance likes this.
  5. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I hate to say it but NY does seem to be a centre. I saw quite a few YT videos of really good dancers learning and practising basics. So geographically you may be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also quite a few in Italy and in my view there should be even more in China.

    Looking at it statistically, I would say you have at least three people already in this forum that looked at this thread in the last 24h, who are interested in the mechanics of the dance (and that is excluding you) and I would add even further the mechanics of the dance to enable an alignment between the music and the dancing (or musicality, if you like). An alignment which should be adaptable as music is varying and hence the mechanics should slightly vary too depending on the music. Here I do not mean an adaptation of the basic principles but more the elements that provide a dancing style within a certain musical genre (e.g. speed, hesitation/delay, etc).
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
    Dissonant Harmony and salsaImpro like this.
  6. Well it is true. I practiced martial arts 5 days a week during years. In that specific arts, most of the time we trained our basics. When your basics are good, you have a good fundament to build on. The same applies for salsa. The better you master your leading and all different turns, the better all your existing and future salsa will become. Learning new fancy moves do not improve a dancer so much. It is all about training the fundaments. Therefore, I am making videos about what one should concider as being important.
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  7. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I thought Terence spoke about the mechanics of teaching. x:
    vit, Live2dance and Chris_Yannick like this.
  8. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Sure did..
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  9. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I saw @terence mentioned both pros and non-pros and assumed he meant teaching the mechanics of dancing. If it is only about mechanics of teaching then I assume that only pros or wonnabe pros will be interested; in which case, he is right that the audience would be small.
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  10. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    Am fully with you apart from the emphasis on the turns. My emphasis is on the correct body movement/mechanics which then relate to leading/following, ability to move and musicality. In other words if I teach someone the basics they will be able to lead or follow any move or turn because they will know how to place or not to place the body in every segment of the move.
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  11. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Any move ?..I can tell you from empirical evidence , that does not always occur ( even with some Prof. ).
    Most dancers, are hard wired ,and don't necessarily respond readily to knew "leads "
  12. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    Indeed with most... but there are the few that do succeed!
  13. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    In the end of the day - there are forces involved...But what I suggest differs mechanically (and not a mere switch in perception).

    You are talking: "how much",
    and I'm talking "how".

    Your idea of leading is based on being considerably disconnected from your follow. Then you connect for a quick conflict (in which you win). Repeat.
    This is something I often nickname: "Communication at low resolution" - As you only really connect in separated "bursts" (of conflict!).

    Does it work? YES. Some of the more impressive LA dancers around here "speak" using that "language".
    But they barely really "communicate" - and they dance like robots.

    Two days ago I found in the Cuban Room a dancer who barely knows Cuban, but does know Zouk, Kizomba, Sensual Bachata and American Tango.
    Her dances with me were probably the most connected, expressive dynamic and special I have ever had,
    and we could magnify, reflect or support each other's ideas - because instead of moving like two separated dancers clashing with each other here and there...We danced like one unit - which tries preserving something mutual.

    The idea of preserving something together works at a "resolution" that the concept of merely "clashing" once in a few beats - can never beat!

    -And if you think she had experience with the moves that I did - you will be wrong.
    -And if you think that I had much experience with most of them - you will wrong again.

    But she was so connected - I could step wherever, and whenever, and move my body in whichever way I want...and travel around the floor, and rotate as I will, and change my basic steps, and change from fast to slow, or from big to tiny...And she would do the same at once! It could also micro-manage control her body movement using mine...And apply dynamics as well....This is "real" communication, at a very high "resolution", and you won't be doing that by clashing each other - you will be doing that by aiming to hold and to preserve something mutual together...

    Do you know what her flattery to my leading wast? "The way you MOVE- - is SO FUN!"
    -And it was fun because I moved in a way that worked with hers, and not against it.

    Then I'd like to suggest that the fundamentals be things in the sort of:
    "Frame", "Poise", "balance", "connection", "quality of stepping"...
    MrR, salsaImpro and Peason like this.
  14. Hi yes we all had these experiences, they are Unique indeed. These things are very hard to teach as they are subjectieve. Teaching online is different and objective, meaning which works for everyone and in all situations. If anyone is interested, i made a new video. The next one, i will start teaching turns and how to become very creative in dancing.
  15. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    While I heavily disagree with the methods you are teaching -
    it's awesome to see you taking and implementing (sometimes well, sometimes not) the tips you've got in pedagogy!!!
  16. Well that is ok, there are different views on everything in the world. Even on who or what creatief the different species :) that is the reason i post it: to hear the different views and put these next to each other. You gave some nice remarks on howto teach, the same ones i found in many of good YouTube video's on the topic. So i agree on some of these as they are obvious. Thanks ! The pitty is that there is a lot of ego in the dancing world. We are all semi blind, however looking together we could see ...
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  17. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Looking at your video, there are many questions in my head I don't find an answer, for instance

    - what is the purpose of flicking your left (and partner's right) arm in direction downwards and leftwards before beginning the "pull"
    - why she steps back with her right foot when you do that flick sideways
    - why you show the "pull" immediately after that during the explanation, and I don't see that pull anymore when you start dancing demo
    - why your partner looks that confused with your pushes and pulls to various directions
    - why you explain that her first step forward is so important for dancers to use more space, and then on the demo, she does even shorter step instead of doing longer
    - why is using as much space as possible important
    - why is the first step she makes forward indication to herself for the thing that she has to do afterwards
    - why you call it a step turn and then she regularly a kind of closes her feet somewhere in the middle of enchufla
    - why she is (in some cases) moving her feet in a way that she touches other foot with the moving foot before placing it to final position and what's the purpose of it
    - what is the purpose of constant moving partner from one side to the other
    - what is the purpose of endless combinations/improvisations you can do that way if everything in the demo looks pretty much the same
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  18. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    Because he said in the previous video that she always steps back on 1 (and also provided reasons why). I suppose the flick is irrelevant.

    But here's a different question:
    -If the key to turning is 'step-turn', and that back-step makes said technique optimal, then why does she backstep only on1, and not also on 5?

    I disagree. I see it. Except it's not as exaggerated.

    -Especially since it was explained in the video that you pull and push in order to make things clear to the lady.
    vit likes this.
  19. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    I don't see it for instance at pos 1:14, 1:19, 2:08 etc. He flicks the hand down/left and then immediately starts leading the turn in circular motion (what he calls push in explanation part), although she still steps forward a bit (though not much) for some reason and then usually ends with feet closed in the middle of enchufla ...

    I checked the previous video but didn't find explanation of why back step is (supposed to be) important in cuban salsa (can you post the link / position ?), though in her case it's usually more tap then step and frequently next step is rushed. It's just one of several reasons why there is no body movement in those videos and she turns like a piece of furniture and why his arm flick has no real function in his dancing which somewhat resembles casino in styling but not in essence

    Anyway, these videos are nice demos of most bad habits I see in local venue ...

    Note: as about furniture, it's actually connected with one tango promo class with a foreign teacher here a few years ago, when the guy, after dancing with one of local followers, said that he doesn't like to dance with a feeling that he is moving furniture ...
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
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  20. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I take it back - you are right! (though one may argue that he does push her hand away, as she's probably not doing that on her own).

    So far, his videos didn't get to break footwork down.

    His first video: I don't really remember what it was about. (it was hard to understand, and not very memorable).
    Second video: The "Step-Turn". (general idea + focus on the pull/push part + how it's related to turns).

    -I think the recent video is another attempt to improve the second, which is very impressive:
    -Getting exposed like that, receiving harsh criticism, learning from it, and trying again and again just to get "some more"...All in order to improve.
    I must give Catherine and Lawrence (I hope I spelled it right) their due!!!


    You are right again - he explains why pulling is important. My bad.
    (I do not agree with his reasoning - I claim that it's the complete opposite).

    1) When he says "Pull" - he doesn't state what direction you are pulling into...If the direction she's facing is 90 degrees to his and he is sending his hand forward/backward (in relation to the direction he is facing), then I can see how what he calls: "pull and push" looks to us like her hands are being swung from side to side...

    2) Perhaps this habit was born (and spread) from misconception of this:

    Agreed. :S

    Now, this is funny, the word we use in Hebrew for "leader" in dance ('מוביל') can also mean: "A mover". (Like the ones who grab your furniture, throw them in a truck and transport them to your new house). :D

    -To make things worse:
    a. The common word for "a leader" is actually 'מנהיג'. While 'מוביל' can work ('מוביל' is a continuous verb for someone who is standing in front and showing the way to someon who doesn't know it) it requires context.
    b. The first word that come to mind when you say 'מוביל' is "a mover".
    c. It could've been fine if the girl's role had been 'עוקבת' (a follower) - as it gives the contex needed.
    d. But instead, we use 'מובלת' (passive, female form of 'מוביל').
    e. If that's not enough: 'מובלת' has such a passive and negative connotation to it - you would only use it to describe something like a (chained) animal, grabbed (by force, against its will) to his death...or a bunch of people being tricked to go somewhere bad, (Like a trap) while being completely clueless.

    -So the word 'מוביל', without context, feels like the guy has to move the girl.
    -And the word 'מובלת' indicated that the girl a furniture, or clueless animal taking orders.

    -To drop the penny, I I often tell people in Hebrew: "It's called 'מוביל' because you 'מוביל' (verb) the lady to the right way; Not because you grab her, throw her in a truck with the rest of the furniture and then meet her again in the new house". To complement: I refuse to ues the words: 'מובלת', and I always encourage others to say: 'עוקבת' (which is the right translation to 'Follower' anyways) instead...
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    vit likes this.

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