What kills salsa

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Burritos, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    I should add that, like many clubs, they have an early and a late crowd, so they get a good late turnover nearly doubling their attendance in some cases .
  2. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Son

    For this conversation, mate, your contribution is golden ;)
    Looks like it wasn't the price of drinks for salseros that brought down the club after all.
  3. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    Whereever you are located has cheap drinks! At the place I am talking about Water is $5, shot of patron $11, mixed drinks like a mojito or LIIT are even more. And that is pretty much the norm here. I have been there nights where there have been aprox 800 people. I am talking about a latin club not strictly salsa. He wont do a salsa only night because salseros dont spend enough on drinks. But I am not going to waste anymore time arguing about this. You seem to think you know how clubs work. Btw I dont know many people out on the town drinking coke. And if they were it certainly would not be 2 bucks.
    wol likes this.
  4. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    mlemonl and Tomm like this.
  5. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    Curiously I've met quite a few people during last year who thing that schools define the dance and the rest is the icing on the cake. Very musical, excellent dancers, singers, salsa band leaders.. Things change.
    mlemonl, MAMBO_CEC and vit like this.
  6. khabibul35

    khabibul35 Tumbao

    The truth is, salsa has become a studio-dance and as long as it stays that way, it's going to be quite unpopular with young people. Firstly, they can't afford the lessons and secondly, they already go to school too much to go to a dance class for fun. Popular dances need to be something that you can learn on the street!

    It's clear that that the current globalized slot form is incredibly far away from a street dance. So why would any young person be interested in it? I think the Cuban version has a bit of a better shot, but as the popular version has kept progressing towards Reggaeton, I feel a little conflicted about whether a popularization as such is good for the dance.
    elanimal and Live2dance like this.
  7. mlemonl

    mlemonl Son Montuno

    There also might be a stronger influence of bachata nowadays than it was before, on the salsa scene. The younger crowd (undergraduates) prefer it a lot more over salsa because it's easier to pick up & get started, and more familiar remixes
  8. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Depends what you mean by 'young'. True, I don't see a lot of college students at salsa clubs, but most would be too young (under 21) anyway. OTOH, a lot of women in their 20's go dancing without taking any lessons. For better or worse, they learn from the guys. And then (I'm guessing), young guys hear about the girls going, want to join, and they end up taking lessons.

    When I started about 10 years ago, I felt that my scene's median age was late 30's, with lots of people newly single and looking for something new to try (and to meet people), Now it feels more like late 20's, though I'm not sure what the draw is. Maybe it's people tired of the regular club scene, and social dancing in general seems to have gained more popularity.
  9. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    That is an interesting point: The loss of attraction as a civilized mating scene. Fewer girls means the guys leave too (or stop joining and only the top few get their share of attention).
    (I am seeing a small scene suffering heavily from the main leads using it agressively as meat market, while every lively scene i know has a lot of mating going on.)
    With nowadays every half attractive woman get's tons of (accepted) platforms on the internet to be hit on, few feel the need to go out (on their own) and actually invest a lot of time (to learn to dance) to mate.
    Combined with the salsa music being quite out of date (even for the "girls" in their 30s), so that the ones who go clubbing with their girls don't end up in "high class salsa" areas but in clubs, where the skilled dancers don't show up. I know of 2 locations that are really frequented by skilled dancers and outsiders and those are the ones, outsiders get interested in learning the dance.
    The dance schools and regular classes attract over half of the people couples and many of the remaining girls being in a relationship too, just looking for some exercise or attention, but not really giving back attention to the guys. Makes it quite dull to learn a "flirty" dance, when there is nobody who wants to flirt with you, right ?
    (Remember, that leads - unless specially attractive or socially very skilled - often need around a year to leave the beginners hell. Without other motivation most just leave.)

    At the end it becomes just another dance for the ballroom dancers, i totally see @khabibul35 's point there. Our local crossbody scene has already a lot of the mentality, that kept me away from ballroom dance studios with the rueda dancers working hard on getting cuban there too.

    So, while often in the thread the position was held, that the "loss of salsa high culture" is the end of salsa, it is the opposite. The development of a salsa high culture bubble, which lost the connection to the needs of the masses.
    (There are several other points around this bubble i have in mind, but this one was the most recent :). As with every good model, it needs a lot of factors to be valuable.)
    Btw, i think that there needs to be some "high culture" core, to make a scene longliving. A core that has the energy to recreate the scene whenever the tides of time work against it. But this core must not disconnect from the basis and ask them, to join their superiority. In reverse, this core needs to search for the connection and be willing to reform and modernize again and again. Leaders, not cult preachers.

    And with bachata and kizomba. Those dances are pure mating without the need for flirting. And as the skill of a bachatera often enough is measured mainly by her looks and willingness to join the grind (at least by 9 out of 10 dancers and as long as she is able to do the basic booty moves) those scenes have the attention of everybody who wants to feel cool and pretty. The music is easier to approach and actually popular without the dance. And the guys go where the girls with the low self esteem are ...
    They have success because they are not yet in the high culture phase.
    They are inbetween the mindless clubbing (which mainly is about socializing and getting drunk) and high culture dancing. A gap salsa once filled and wherever it is really alive still fills.
    elanimal and Live2dance like this.
  10. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Not sure what you mean by "out of date " ?.. music being played ?.. or... Unfashionable ?, and the age reference .
  11. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno


    Here in germany most of the salsa music (aside from Salsaton and Latin-Pop-Salsa) is nearly only consumed by dancers. And some latinos and south/middle america addicts - mostly the elderly (starting in their 40s) so far i see - which mostly have a loose connection to salsa too. (Exceptions prove the rule!)
    But i know nobody of them who consumes the jazzy stuff many crossbody DJs love.
    While Latin Pop, often times with salsa rythm, comes over from spain every summer (summer hits, many of them originally from south and middle america). But many DJs reject playing that kind of music or at least trying to keep it down to a handfull of songs per evening.

    (If i compare that to what i have seen in spain during holidays, the music there had a much higher portion of what i would say is classical latin pop and the choice of music just sounded "younger". There the dancers per population rate was about 10 times higher than here, small towns having lively scenes, where all ages mixed. There were few people sitting there, silently enjoying the music. And no drunkards spilling their drinks on the dancefloor - those get attracted by reggeaton a lot, which was very low too.)

    The age reference is because people often stick to the music of their youth (or at least something similar to it).
    So someone in his 30s looks for 90s music. In my mind, the 90s and early 2000s (when people in their 30s now were around 20) are the great success time of Latin Pop - so if someone in his 30s goes to a "salsa and latin" party they don't expect, what is shown here in the forum as "good salsa", but neither Hip-Hop or Technoid beats (reggeaton). He expects something alike Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony. Look at the dancefloor, when that kind of songs are played !

    A song that just has been produced still can be of a kind that is aged - the date of the song does not matter, but the time, when the music was fashionable. I remember a comment somewhere about "Buena Vista Social Club" that said, the music was not only made by elderly people, it was the music of elderly people.
    While that says nothing about the quality, it is important for the reception of the music.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    elanimal likes this.
  12. mlemonl

    mlemonl Son Montuno

    Is it difficult to provide reasons for discussion without some sort of patronizing of females?

    Unless we really are responsible for destroying the scene because we refuse to mate on the dance floor. oops, my bad...
    Platypus, Offbeat, LarsM and 8 others like this.
  13. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    The real answer is that NOTHING kills salsa!

    Have other genres become popular? Sure!

    However, instead of following the weather-vane, I held the course and the events that I personal do remain the same; with salsa as the main feature and other genres are the "fillers." The other genres now have their own parties. Good for them! In any case, my events continue to do very well, and the versatile and less cliquish of those of the other genres frequent them as well.

    I've said this before, and I'll say it again: salsa DJs nowadays should spin music that is smoother and will more swing, and avoid making the dancers have to "run." Unless one wants to exercise, one would rather walk than run! That is an advantage that the other genres have; in addition to their over-sexualization. Salsa DJs should strive to get people to "feel" and "swing" to the music.

    Also, less turning would be a good idea! The ladies tell us that they don't enjoy being thrown around so much. In fact, turn patterns are not dancing! They are used while dancing, but are not dancing!

    Just my humble opinion!
    Offbeat, elanimal, LarsM and 7 others like this.
  14. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I think this is well in line with the comment of Maria Torres in the NYT article. The issue is that new "high society" has invested a lot of effort in inserting technique into salsa and of course this technique comes primarily from BR. On the other hand the simple latinos continue to see the dance as part of their culture and normal everyday body movement without the need for dance schools and fancy show-off performances. Most of the things being sold to us as "social" require strong dancing technique and especially spinning technique, which I think is also in line with what @El Caobo is saying.
    El Caobo likes this.
  15. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    What MrR describes is a very common phenomenon that occurs with all genres of music. The masses become sold on the music fed to them by the commercial industry, and those who delve deeper into a genre find that there is much better music out there that doesn't benefit from the powerful commercial industry that is able to make sure that you hear their music on constant radio and television rotation and see infor about it in print. The commercial music industry does its job very well! No one can fault them for it. Their job is to get you to hear their music very often so that it becomes your paradigm of what is "good" music.

    However, it is no coincidence that aficionados of any genre of music largely reject what the commercial industry is offering. Why? They discover that it is inferior to much of the independent music and begin to recognize that they have been lulled into accepting what the commercial industry has dictated to them. Remember, the Latin Grammys this year gave India the grammy for the best salsa album; for an album of Juan Gabriel cover songs. Can anyone assert, with a straight face, that India's album was the "best" of the year?

    Within every genre of music exists a dichotomy between the broad masses of people who only understand what is fed to them by the commercial industry, and the much smaller number of fans who listen to a given genre with a more discerning ear.

    So, the decision for salsa DJs is to either perpetuate the assembly line variations of salsa, or spin what is honestly much better. This is not as easy as it seems. First of all, the DJ has to recognize where they personally are on that spectrum. If the DJ is still locked into the sound of the commercial industry, he or she can only champion that until learning better.
    Offbeat, LarsM, mlemonl and 4 others like this.
  16. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    This recorded interview would definitely interest you, Live2dance!

    MAMBO_CEC likes this.
  17. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Agree 1000%...
  18. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    So do teachers. But they don't.
    And if that doesn't kill Salsa, what does?


    All I see them teach is steps. Steps and bad habits to do on auto-pilot.

    Once I had to ask a girl why she does what she does. What made her feel that she wants to do what she does.
    "Does my lead make you feel you want to do that? Or perhaps is it the music?"

    It took her a mere single dance to learn that many things she did were done for absolute no reason (just out of habit), to relax, and truly follow.

    And a second one to let go, dance from her heart and even GIVE meaning to her movements.

    From a barely leadable somewhat-beginner spending most of her time standing at the side to a girl who gets endless invitations in 2 dancers - and all I had to do was to say the word: "feel".
  19. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Last time I said that. I got slapped ..:rolleyes:
  20. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy


Share This Page