Teachers That Don't Teach What They Dance

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by khabibul35, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Maybe if virtually all casino teachers didn't market their classes and events as being 'Cuban salsa', they would have more right to complain about the effect of salsa on casino.
  2. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I think the ones who market their classes and events as 'Cuban Salsa' are the ones that don't complain.
  3. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    That's virtually all of them. And who can blame them - they need students, and the general public knows what salsa is and doesn't know what casino and timba are.
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  4. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    Keep in mind this lead (great guy & good friend of mine and we've chatted many times about dance) dances this style because he likes it and prefers to dance this way, not to impress the tourists. It's his personal style. Therefore the 'bad/crap' qualification you give is wholly your own own. I understand your point of view, but to me if something--including dance and music--is not changing, it's dying. Victor is part of the very few Cubans among the young generation who still enjoy Cuban popular dancing--as you are well aware, most young Cubans prefer to dance reggaeton, the only young Cubans nowadays who dance any type of casino, and dance it well, are mainly the dance instructors and the jineteros; and as you can tell from the video he dances because he truly, truly loves it (unlike the many Cubans who never danced in Cuba and all of a sudden when they get to Europe they are 'authentic dancers' :rolleyes:), so to dismiss him--and other young dancers who dance this fusion style--as 'crap' because it isn't 'traditional enough', to me is like giving the kiss of death to Cuban popular dancing. Like it or not, if a dance is not changing and evolving, it's dying. In Cuba, the baile popular (whether we call it son or casino or something else) is already dying, and guys like Victor are among the very few in the new generation who are keeping it alive, so you can say 'he's not traditional enough, out with him', but then...what's left? Probably only Yoel Marrero, except he lives in Miami, or France now, I believe, so I suppose if we want 'real' Cuban dancing we need to go to France. :p

    And I too used to be a 'purist', but have long realized it's not a useful 'label'--dancing with Victor feels amazing (he's an exceptionally good lead) and it's always a joyous experience of sharing our mutual love of Cuban music--to me, that's what dancing is all about, so once that condition is fulfilled, all these other 'good/bad' qualifications to me don't mean anything.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  5. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    I only watched the 1st couple of minutes, but aside from the opening few seconds they don't seem to do anything in closed position. You're referring to the opening seconds?

    The tourists I know who have gone to Cuba only want to see 'authentic' Cuban dance and would be put off by anything they knew was otherwise.
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  6. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    The students you are talking about - are already the teachers of today.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  7. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    There is a lot of dichotomy at play here. Whether someone is a really good dancer is not the point. E.g. FM is an excellent dancer, but some may not like or appreciate his stylistic preferences or view it as authentic Afro-Cuban.

    Yes the art evolves. All art including dance is living and breathing. Otherwise it would die. Interesting question about evolution is, how far has does it evolve from its roots (aka authenticity?). At what point does it takes a different form of its own and only tangentially related to its origins. In short, what is authentic and what is not. Or what remains true to the label as understood in its temporal context.

    If we use the label of ‘Cuban salsa’ or ‘salsa cubano’ would that video fit it? It is already being called hybrid style in the thread. For arguments shake if this hybrid style takes off – could you still consider it ‘Cuban salsa’ as we currently understand it. Part of that answer will depend on where it takes on. If it takes on outside of Cuba, say ten years from now and even if no one dances much salsa in Cuba, no one will say it is Cuban salsa (it will be put in same bucket that we put sensual bachata or urban kizomba in today). On the other hand if it does take off within Cuba, then it will still be considered Cuban salsa. What we considered Cuban salsa today, will be called old style and less popular style.

    Evolution vs death. Progress vs authenticity. Very interesting dynamics at work! More pertinent question to ask may be how can you get both evolution and authenticity? Perhaps that is an impossible goal.

    P.S. - on a side note if your unintended argument leads to conclusion/outcome that to not tdie or remain popular, the Cuban salsa has to turn more linearized then it gives me perverse delight (at expense of casino/cuban style dancers who sneer at anything linear as ballroom) :)
    khabibul35 likes this.
  8. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    :rofl: :D

    I'm responsible for organizing all classes for the local salsa club here, we teach both casino and linear - and we use "cuban salsa" as a term, even though everyone knows it's not correct. The argument goes that it's harder to recruit non-dancers to the beginner classes if you call them "casino" instead of "cuban salsa". I'm a sucker for naming things correctly (engineer, duh!), but have to admit I agree.

    On a completely unrelated note, some want to call the linear classes "puerto rican salsa", since linear salsa sounds more boring than the exotic "cuban salsa". I....find that hard to swallow. Please back me up :D
  9. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    Casino in Cuba is dead in the current generation, as I said above. The same happened with boogaloo and pachanga and mambo in NY, the only ones who still dance it are the old guys in Harlem and they are dying out one by one. Then came Eddie Torres who popularized his style of on2 so that became 'New York salsa'.

    I never implied that the *only* way for Cuban baile popular (to avoid the other contentious terms) to survive is to turn it linear. I only said that right now, the people who are keeping it alive in the young generation dance a more fusion style. I think 'authentic' is a useless word that is only good for marketing. Within the same country, you find 1,000 styles of dancing the same dance. Take bachata in the DR--clear differences between the dancing of people from one town compared to another. And the dance instructors get plenty of inspiration from the internet on how to improve their technique and use better footwokr etc--does that make their dancing 'undominican'? To me, no. Even in merengue you see differences. Yet people from one of these towns (or dance instructors from abroad who spent a week or two there) go and label their classes 'authentic Dominican bachata'. Same with the 'authentic Cuban salsa'. So I propose we eliminate this word 'authentic' from our discussions. :p

    Let's end this idea. The ones who sneer are the ones who want to make money by saying they know something that's 'better' than linear (+YM :p ). They are not to me real dancers, they are the soulless kind of dancers that are there to make money.

    And certainly the Cuban dancers on the island don't sneer. Victor, for instance, or most of the good young dancers I have met in Cuba, always watch with intent curiosity and admiration when they see someone dancing linear. There is one guy in Havana who always asks me to practice on2.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  10. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    That's good, because on 2 comes from Cuba.
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  11. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    It's actually simple. You can set the "root point" anywhere in the timeline, be it a.d. 1950 or 1800 or 1 or 2017 ... all of them are pretty much equal. Then just measure the time distance between it and now :cool:
  12. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    I get the impression that the vast majority of 'Cuban salsa' instructors outside of Cuba have a low opinion of slot style salsa. Many of them criticise it to their students. (A lot of them don't think much of music from NY or PR either, unless it's Marc Anthony or similar.)

    I imagine they want to make money too, which is a natural desire (or at least in today's world it is). I don't see most of them as being soulless. (Maybe the clown referred to above is.)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  13. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    What about calling it Salsa on1 or Salsa on2. I think that would sound better than linear. Puerto Rican salsa sounds strange.
  14. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Not to PR's ...:rolleyes::D
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  15. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    This discussion is deviating quite a bit from the original OP. We are again ending up into comparisons of linear vs non-linear. I don't know about authentic, but any dance style that forces me to follow a certain restriction with no technical reason other than stylistic purposes, is a no-no for me.
  16. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    I always had reservations about that term since days of DJ Ara and many who supported his salsa world view :D

    I am glad you are pointing out that there is no uniform style/way that any particular group dances. There are always variations and one can only say “I prefer xyz” than say “My thing is true and yours false”.

    Those who sneer are a tiny minority. And then these are those who are dogmatic. I always liked Cuban style salsa and I can fake it enough that some Cuban followers think I can dance it. There is some music where Cuban style seems better fit musically. However 90% of timba is something that I will never acquire taste for. Plus it is only a recent development.

    p.s. I still think sensual bachata and some of the kizomba is crap :D
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  17. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    I dislike the terms linear and slot. I prefer PR style as that nomenclature provides direct contrast to Cuban style. I also prefer salsa cubano to casino. Best way would be to say circular salsa and linear salsa :D
  18. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Then what would salsa on3 and on5 be ? :D
  19. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    You only see what you want to see :). No we are not getting into one vs the other unless you drag that in.

    “Style” by definition is inclusion of something and exclusion of something. Without some ‘restrictions’, you won’t be able to two way conversation in anything from dance to music to sports to you name it. Rules and convention lay down restrictions, don’t they? There isn’t always a rational for a rule or convention. And then there is that thing about breaking the rule!!
  20. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    Well, in our case two elements set restrictions. The music and the technical capacity of the human body to interpret the music. The rest are style. Each one can chose what they like (or what they can achieve)! :)
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