Salsa open diary

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by MacMoto, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    Tonight I was at the weekly bachata party and at one point I was standing and waiting for the next song (the DJ loves playing sensual crapchatas -- excuse me -- sensual bachatas :p ). My favorite bachata follow was there and I had already danced a couple songs with her, which were lovely as usual. :) She came and asked a guy next to me to dance. I didn't know him, but she seemed to really want to dance with him, or perhaps she really liked that song. She made these adorable doe eyes at him that were just irresistible -- but the guy turned her down, with a diva-like attitude of "Oh I don't feel like dancing". She tried again with an imploring expression that conveyed how much she wanted to dance that song, and the guy just sat there shaking his head. I was watching all this and feeling my blood pressure rise -- how could he say no to her when she was putting her heart out to him like that, and when she's such a lovely follow who is always friendly and pleasant and smiling during her dances no matter who she is dancing with. So, of course, I had to take action; as she walked away past me with a dejected look on her face, I took her hand and invited her to dance, and told her "he doesn't know what he's missing!" She laughed, and we proceeded to have a fun dance :)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  2. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    I have to come out and make a confession...

    I went to a salsa party this week -- a new party, organized in a beautiful space, with great music by one of the city's best DJs. Nevertheless, my dances were, as usual in this scene, of the musically-disconnected, going-through-the-patterns type. I've come to expect this in this scene so this wasn't a surprise and I tried to make the most of the night, as I usually do (leading a couple bachata and merengue dances helped me relieve my musical frustrations :p ).

    Here is the surprise confession part. I left that party early and went to a kizomba party with a friend :eek: Not only that, but I enjoyed my kizomba dances a ton more than the salsa dances I'd just had at that salsa party :eek::eek:

    I think at this point I am officially a kizombera..! :eek: :eek::eek:
    It all started with a random dance here and there over the past 1-2 years, but over time I've come to realize how much more musical and connected -- and thus, how much more enjoyable -- kizomba (and semba) can be compared to your typical unmusical monkey-pattern salsa dance which is unfortunately the norm, the "average", in most salsa scenes outside of NY.

    I'm still learning what kind of kizomba music I like, but so far I LOVE dancing to semba music :) The rhythm is so nice to dance to, and with a musical partner (which a lot more kizomba leads seem to be compared to salsa and even bachata leads), moving together in-sync to the music feels heavenly :) Like the songs below :)

    I suppose I'm now SF's only salsera-casinera-bachatera-kizombera :D
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
    cachondea, SnowDancer and Al Israel like this.
  3. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Oh, no, you've gone to the dark side! :p
    Those were good songs, and I also like the musicality in kizomba. The trouble, though, is that if I'm at a kizomba party (like last night), I get bored after a few songs. That doesn't happen with salsa.

    Another topic: Why is there so much less musicality in salsa? I see it too all the time, with leads running through patterns even when the song has a break, or has a strong romantic feel.
    Sabrosura likes this.
  4. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    So I suppose your next step will be kizomba/semba lead :p
    Sabrosura likes this.
  5. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    At least part of the reason must be that kizomba songs in general are much easier to interpret/anticipate, and of course most songs are much slower. Additionally, syncopated steps is a thing and a relatively easy way to express musicality (though leading syncopated steps really well isn't that easy imo). I've spent way more time on salsa, but find it much easier to be express musicality in kizomba (whatever that means, let's not get into it :D ).
    SnowDancer, Sabrosura and vit like this.
  6. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    I don't think that speed of a song has anything to do with it - you can have plenty of musicality in semba and there are many fast semba songs.

    For me the most important thing about kizomba musicality is the fact, that kizomba does not have a fixed structure/count. I don't have to lead the turn on a specific count, I don't have to step with the right foot on specific beats, etc. I can use syncopations and vary the speed of each step in a way that fits what I hear in the music and never have to think about finishing on 8-count. This makes it way easier and gives you much more freedom.
    LarsM, Sabrosura, vit and 1 other person like this.
  7. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    I don't dance semba, I'll take your word for it. And agree very much about the lack of structure.
  8. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Anyway, kizomba has some "frequently used moves" even if danced by native dancers and those or similar moves mostly exist in BR standard for ages under different names (and of course styling is considerably different), with exception of moves where you shift legs of the follower as in BR it's assumed follower can move legs on her own (in semba there are more tricks of this kind, used for fun). It's actually similar with timing - in BR there is standard timing for moves, but dancers on higher levels frequently change that (just that they usually increase the speed of the steps, while in kizomba they usually make steps slower) and make more or less turn etc. Of course, some teachers here were making claims that there are no moves in kizomba but it is pure improvisation ... and consequently, their kizomba looked considerably different than angolan, because they didn't make an effort to copy the dance in more detail ... semba is of course more problematic when danced by non-natives because of the speed and more variety, so not much chance you will improvise similar like angolan guy if you grew up in Europe ...

    Can't be different - some local instructors went to Petchu, attended 35 or so hour class for teachers, got a diploma and wow, now they are great kizomba teachers ... and some other went to some other mentors ... and other learned from those instant instructors ... in more serious genres you didn't even scratch the surface in the same amount of time ...
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
    Smejmoon likes this.
  9. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    Yep, already in progress :p Though I am far less motivated to learn to lead kizomba because kizomba leads are already so much more musical than bachata leads that so far following them is great :)
    vit likes this.
  10. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Well, tarraxinha can be even more musical :p
  11. Al Israel

    Al Israel Tumbao

    I find Kizomba music fairly boring and repetitive. I dance sometimes, but after dancing with 3-4 girls I feel like I have had enough. Salsa and Bachata music wake me up and keep me dancing till morning.
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  12. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    Ditto for Zouk. It seems very fluid and fun, but I can't see myself connecting to the music, in high emotional levels, and that's a very serious issue for my dancing.
  13. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    there, fixed it for you :troll:
    vit likes this.
  14. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    To be honest, boring and repetitive salsa songs are not that uncommon either ;)
  15. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    I can still forgive you for Kizomba, but once you cross into zouk, well that is unforgivable :D
  16. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Ditto! After a few kizomba dances, I am done. I dance Kizomba may be once in three or four months now. I been to Kizomba only parties only twice. Otherwise it is always a side room to Salsa at some festival. None of my local salsa events has anything other than straight up salsa with some great music. Those too, these days I only attend may be once every two weeks.

    Last weekend I went to a west coast swing festival. There was some pattern monkeyness, but overall musicality was amazing. Even intermediate dancers were musical. I was thinking the same thing. My personal conclusion is that it boils down to three things:

    1. Music - The salsa music is incredibly complex and multi-layer when you compare to other improvisational dances like WCS, Tango or Kizomba. For WCS any non-high tempo music works, as long as you can move to it. Most music they dance to is fairly simply rhythm when compared to Salsa. Kizomba has repetitive rhythm pattern and beat. Tango is more varied but not as complex and multilayered like Salsa (they share similar musical origins). Other than milonga, the Tango music tempo are very slow (compared to salsa).

    2. Dance Structure - This is important. Only in salsa, do you have this thing where you have to come back to 1 in the dance. Or to put it other way you are dancing within the structure of that 6 steps in 8 beats. No one teaches how to dance out of this structure. Not so in WCS, Kizomba or Tango. There are no basic steps or structure. You can single time, double time, triple time or stretch or hold your movement/step across multiple beat - you decide. Now try doing in salsa and you will get funny looks. You can do that right from day 1. That freedom to single time or double time, helps in interpreting the music. Also unlike in Salsa, in the other dances, you don't need to in a specific position of the first beat of eight count. Hence instead of concentrating on the beat, the dancers have more freedom to focus on the phrasing of the music. Advance dancers in Tango, Kizomba or WCS are more known for being able to dance to entire phrase which may be anywhere from 4 measures to 8 measures long. The structure of dance in form of single time, double time, along with no basic step (a la salsa 6 step basic) gives more freedom to show musicality to the simpler music. If you take these same musical dancers and ask them to dance salsa, I can bet they won't look as musical. The tools to be musical in non-salsa dances are available from the very start. For the salsa dancers these come in much later after they have mastered the basic fundamentals and technique. How to be musical within structure of that 6 step basic is more challenging plus the complexity of the music.

    3. Teaching - another major factor. WCS, Kizomba and Tango are taught very differently from day 1 than from salsa. Salsa dives directly into steps and patterns. Not so with others. From day 1, the emphasis is on stepping/moving to the rhythm of the music. If on the day 1 (or year 1) in salsa class you are stepping/moving to the rhythm, it is only by correctly stepping on each beat of 6 count steps.

    Can you double time or triple time or stretch/hold movement across multiple beats in Salsa. You bet, you can. But how often do you do it? :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  17. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Yeah ... musicality is fine ... but sometimes, watching some musical dancers ... I get a feeling I would like them more if they were not trying that much to be musical
  18. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    Any examples vit?
  19. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    There is currently a similar thread in WCS section of dance forums. In short, recently there is much focus on musicality while sacrificing the proper technique by champion dancers, which reflects down to ordinary social dancers (or maybe it goes in parallel)

    I'm fine if I'm dancing with a musical follower that is also a good dancers, but many times people just try to be musical and can't even walk in dance terms (both leaders and followers) nor they can actually follow the timing properly ...
  20. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    " Speed " per se , affects all dance styles , ergo,and the variety that fits within those parameters..

    Traditionally, slow music allows for more interpretation, and the downside ? , "filling the same "space " and creating movement that is not static.
    Offbeat likes this.

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