What kills salsa

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

  1. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    When I wrote that "nothing kills salsa," what I meant was that despite there being some serious issues that need to be addressed, salsa has survived and will continue to survive. Of course, those things do need to be addressed!

    I'll repeat it a third time: Salsa DJs need to stop making the dancers have to "run." Instead, make them guide and swing to the music.

    Also, Dissonant Harmony has a great point! Instructors need to teach fewer dance patterns; which is very difficult because beginners tend to want to learn them. The ladies simply do not enjoy them so much! I'm bewildered as to "why" more of the instructors have not realized this. It is quite obvious!
  2. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    1... learning how to make beginners lessons fun and interesting, and stressing the importance of foundation material..

    2... Because many teach the way they were taught ; as the saying goes ; " If you don't know technique, teach steps ", and that's what happens.

    3.. I wish that it were !
    mlemonl and Dissonant Harmony like this.
  3. mlemonl

    mlemonl Son Montuno

    I do agree that the general salsa education has a lot of work cut out for them if they want to truly develop the dancers. But I feel that most often than not "feel the music" is useless unless there is already a good technical basis for the dance and for the music. I'm sure she did a great job - but if someone told me to just feel the music when I was starting out - I would dance. But it might not be salsa and it probably won't be on time.

    I'm sure it does not apply to you but quite often I hear leads use "I don't care for on1 or on whatever, I just feel the music." or "don't count, just feel" - which may be doable after you've been dancing for so long that the music and rhythms are internalized.
    wol, Dissonant Harmony and Slowdance like this.
  4. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    To quote an instructor friend, quoting a club-owner he used to work for:
    "He has kept stressing to us: "We are not a Salsa School - We are a Latin Club; people need to believe they are making progress"".

    "I don't agree with his approach", he added: "Because I don't believe fun and professionalism can't go hand in hand".
  5. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Well, there are actually several problems here (partially related, partially unrelated)

    1. Some indeed don't know the technique (I would say majority of dance teachers in my venue - including salsa, BR, kizomba etc ... only zouk and WCS are exceptions atm, and it's just because there are only a few people teaching that in the venue and they know the technique and let's say they are a kind of successful in teaching it)
    2. Some have technique, but don't know how to teach it - most of those that started dancing very young - they developed as dancers early, but have no idea how to help other people that started dancing aged 20, 30, 40 ... in that direction. Reading a few books and doing some dance exams doesn't seem to help much either (in my venue at least)
    3. Some invents a technique of their own - these are actually quite dangerous, because part of their teaching is sound, while other part is just made up
    4. Some are well aware of importance of the technique and would like to teach it but .... people don't like boring technical exercises that are always pretty much the same and are not aware of benefits; new moves/figures/steps just sell much better. It's actually hard to make usefull group technical classes - in-person correction is essential
    5. Most are well aware that teaching steps without much technique can keep them in business much longer than teaching much technique and little steps. One can be inventing new combinations indefinetly
    6. Part of really good teachers are not available for social dancers at all, except for privates (case of BR), but even if they were, people wouldn't recognize them anyway
    7. etc

    Not much can be done here, if anything at all ...
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  6. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Even in BR ?.. I'm not saying that, BR is not a victim of this, but I guess in small towns , it's possible...And, it also is no guarantee that, those who have qualis are good .

    For social dancers, there are no good teachers in those levels ?
  7. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Yeah, this is relatively small venue, but social BR is de-facto outdated here, most people dancing it are above 50 or 60 ... some teachers tried making it more interesting by adding some figures from smooth etc, but didn't help ... "old-fashioned" music is probably playing important role here, like in salsa ...
  8. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    In a post filled with laughable and very stereotypical/outdated views on the genders, this takes the cake. Kudos. Girls who dance bachata and kizomba have low self esteem. Got it. LOL.

    Note: I abhor the so-called sensual bachata, but do dance kizomba casually.

    Strong dancing technique? Yes, to a certain degree. But honestly dude. Learning to do a double spin isn't exactly rocket science. If you want to emulate Magna's endless spins then sure, but that is in no way needed for, well, anyone.

    I don't know if you go outside your own scene much, but this is _not_ what I see in my local scene OR at congresses. Sure, you'll see SuperMario do "endless patterns class 1" then "endless patterns class 2" the next day, but you'll also see ballet teachers doing classes on the importance of posture, pitch and using the floor to your advantage (!!!! HIGH SOCIETY ALERT!!11!!), or Chip McClure doing one of her (very good!) musicality classes with very few if any patterns. And not to mention what a private with her or other good teachers are like - you'll get patterns if specifically ask for them, sure, but otherwise - noooope. Maybe your view is a bit limited?
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  9. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    Sorry, that my view of a the mating reality of a lively basic scene does not come to the etiquette of your ballroom salsa scene. And to remember: this is just about the general functionality, not about the single individual.

    And i never said, that bachateras and kizomberas have necessarily a low self esteem. But there are more than enough women/girls with low self esteem that get their confirmation by showing availability to men (and in return getting A LOT of attention) and the bachata and kizomba scenes i know support that behaviour - making it very easy/low cost to get in as a girl, that already has the looks and mentality. And those are attracting beginners in the masses from which later the "dancers" can recruit.

    It is not that i support that behaviour - oftem times i am quite disgusted or at least annoyed by it. I have gone so far asking pretty girls to replace some of the sexual in their bachata by an actual sensual. (Usually just decreases the amount of available partners by 1 - mostly not a big loss.)
    But denying it's existance does not help it - i know, there are societys where denial of reality is a virtue, i prefere the label insanity for it.

    And another view of the ballroom bubble.
    I know plenty of people that have no problem with rocket scienes (or alike nature- and ingenieur scienes) but struggle heavily to get the body coordination for a clean double spin. Does not get better when they start dancing in their 30s, don't have access to good trainers that can help them develope their technic and usually dance on very bad and crowded floor, where spinning isn't much fun anyway.

    It is exactly what i see at congresses.
    If you get to know the good teachers over time you can filter out. But if you just go to classes randomly, you will more often than not get a class about "what" to dance, not about "how".
    The majority of the festival crowd does not visit more than 1 to 3 of them a year (i am not speaking of your bubble crew, but of the majority). For them each of the teachers is "just another star" and their word is law.
    And it does not matter what kind of classes. I have seen partnerwork-pattern classes with really good explanation of the backgrounds and variations. On the other hand most "technic" classes, solowork and men-/ladystyling are more of a zumba group activity (enjoyment for people who already know the majority of the stuff done), than a class where you learn and understand it and the last 2 musicality classes i have seen were quite a good teaching, but sadly the teachers did not tell us anything about "how" to understand music, but more "what" we have to feel and to do at what kind of music.

    For me, this ballroomization does not "kill" salsa, it transforms it. To another style of ballroom-like dancing. Not necessarily official ballroom dance, but a scene similar to it.
    I would not like that, because the bubble with it's shallow and fake etiquette and the preference of "the dance" over the people is what is keeping me away from ballroom. So it for me it is a problem.
    Your whole post makes it seem, like you are already full heartedly part of this ballroom bubble society and completely lost the contact to the basis, the part where the scene (re-)grows. So you are part of my problem.
    Live2dance and vit like this.
  10. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    Ballroom salsa scene? Talk about laughably wrong preconceptions. Honestly, just because I used some harsh language you should take it in stride rather than get all heated about it and make up facts.

    Not really interested in discussing congress classes, as my post was directed towards mr D Harmony's somewhat stereotypical view of classes/teachers, when there are in fact several who aren't like that.

    For the record: I DO agree that many/the majority of congresses classes are bad, but I DON'T agree that all of them are like that. Nor do I think it's even remotely achievable to have all stellar classes fitting the desires of salsaforums.com.
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  11. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Well, his posts are definitively on radical side, but there are many things to think about in his posts
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  12. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I may have not expressed myself correcty:
    She sure had to have some foundation; She had been dancing Salsa for a few weeks already. (And apparently an ex Hip Hop dancer)...But her 'following' was full of...things she did for absolute no reason: Rushing through the 3-4, pulling me on the 1, over-rotating her body every step...And you could tell that instead of following, she played the: "What does he expect me to do?" game.

    Those were all gone within 2 dances. In fact - during the second one, dancing with her became an absolute joy: Very light, very connected, very accurate...and later very "tasteful".

    I observred her following other guys later - She didn't seem to struggly anymore, and she also appeared very radiant. :)

    -"I don't care for on1 or on whatever, I just feel the music" atually does apply to me: But a couple of dancers should have something "mutual" that guides both - to assist them to keep themslves extra-synchronized. Give me a follow I have great connection with, however - and we will break every rule. Without minding.
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  13. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    This is definitely what I see in my scene, and at also at congresses and festivals (with gust instructros from abroad) here.

    Instructors that truly care about making your pennies drop are absolutely rare.
    I try my best "fix it" by saying the right things: tips, advices, insights, short explanations during class. (Either personally, to the one I am daning with, or to the entire class, as some instructors actually invite their students to share what they think or feel).

    It's not rare that I get thanked by the other students, or the instructors. Here and there an instructor would even admit that he had never thought about what I said before.

    As I said: There are no "Salsa Academies" here. Peple slowly build their knowledge during their dancing 'career'. Instructurs who have never really thought "deep" about their dancing aren't...that rare.


    Here's an example from last week:

    -I went to a Bachata lesson. (My knowledge in Bachata = I took a few entry-level lessons).

    -At one moment she explained that the hip moves all the time. (And not just when you tap on the 4 and the 8). To demonstrate, she showed (and verbally explained) how she taker het right to the right on count 1, and so her hip is hip is on the left side.
    She said nothing about weight transferring, beding or streightening the leg, and also didn't define what "hip is on the left" mean, but since I (personally) know how this works from Salsa, I could fill the rest.

    -But what bothered me was this:

    *According to her explanation and demonstration: Her right leg was merely placed on the floor on count 1. Her weight was definitely not transferred to there yet. (Otherwise, her hip wouldn't "on the left side").

    *But as far as I know (Talked about it once with a friend, who's a Bachata instructor) - Bachata is based on Merengue steps, and the weight should be transferred on the beat! (So if she counts: "1" - then her weight should already be on her right foot, and she should settle on the right hip).

    -So I asked her if we just place the foot "on the count" and only transfer our weight later, or we place it a bit earlier, so we can transfer the weight exactly on count. She looked curious herself, told me she'd have to think about it, tried it herself, didn't get to a conclusive realization and added that we should try further and talk about it after the class.

    -During the class she taught us a move in which you "change the girl's timing to a guy's timing": First she taught the girl's moves: It had a 180d turn in it, and also a tap (rather than a step) with left leg on the 2, followed by a step, also with the left leg on the 3. When she taught the guys how to lead it: She explained that the guys should "push the girl a little on count 2, so she knows to to just tap". Putting what I think of using the word: "push" in classes aside (as well as my assumption that the action she's taught as was probably simplified, and not the "correct" way to do it) - this raised the question from earlier!

    *If we should end transferring our weight on count 2 - then leading the girl to just tap (and not step) on her leg on count 2...is too late! Therefore we either marely place the foot on the beat, or the lead should be done before count 2!
    She one again - had to think about it, tried it, didn't have an answer, looked curious and asked if we could go through this after class.

    I don't dance Bachata - and you could argue that my mere questions taught her more technique than she taught me in an entire 1-hour lesson.
  14. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Well, it seems to be how majority of people dance in this part of the world and some other parts ... it looks like it's impossible to change that ...
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  15. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    I honestly asked - because I wanted to know. (I am not a Bachata dancer - it's a new world to explore for me - and I am the type to get too curious, down to the little details, too early).

    Since her dancing didn't match what I knew - I felt obligated to ask.
    And since what she later explained about how to lead that move also didn't match with what I knew (According to it - leading on 2 would be too late) - I had to ask again!

    She didn't get me an answer, though. :S
    vit likes this.
  16. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Sounds familiar :(
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  17. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    OK: A person I trust explained to me that while 'Dominican-Bachata' is closer to its root and original principles, the 'Modern' way of dancing is more 'open', and less 'bound'; people borrow from other dances and do what they know.

    In order words: When you dance 'Bachata' - you go the Merengue way.
    When you dance 'Modern' - you do whatever. In my scene: the 'Whatever' norm is delayed motion.

    I find his words really reassuring - beause if it's true, then I don't have a "switch" to work on doing, as this is what I do in Salsa: Delayed in linear; putting the foot on the floor a little before the bit and then transfering weight on the bit in Cuban.

    MAMBO_CEC Sabor Ambassador

    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D Dude you're killing me.!!
    You mean these "Ballroom" salsa dancers:
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  19. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Yeah, this is complex subject ... from my observation (partially in person, partially from youtube), most dancers from latin countries, America, Africa tend to transfer weight on the beat, no matter what it is - salsa, casino, merengue, kizomba, bachata. From Europe, most tend to place the foot on the beat and step later, although some regions are exceptions ... it seems to be a considerable element of overall difference in dancing ...

    Now, it looks like most teachers here are whether not aware of that or they can't do much about it ... so the question is, does that kill salsa as well, or we are killing salsa by pointing out that it is "wrong" or "removed from the roots" or whatever ... or we are killing dancing by pointing out differences between salsa and ballroom ...

    Do you see differences between Chip McClure and Marie in video section regarding this for instance ?

    However, I wouldn't like going further with another hip movement discussion here and make it off topic like we did with some other ...
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  20. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I agree with you! But to complement what you said, those who were trained in Europe from latinos dance the way you described (transfer on the bit). The others must be getting their stuff from BR because this is how BR latin steps are made (foot placement first on the bit and weight transfer later). Also for @Dissonant Harmony , there are three different things the instructor should consider to give you an answer:
    - foot placement
    - weight transfer
    - hip action (settling)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
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