Why I don’t dance ... anymore

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Sabrosura, May 19, 2017.

  1. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    Someone posted this article on why she does not enjoy dancing bachata anymore and, while her comments are about the bachata scene, a lot of her critiques can also be applied to the salsa scene. Curious to hear people's thoughts--on either the salsa or bachata scene, or the Latin scene in general.

    vit likes this.
  2. Al Israel

    Al Israel Tumbao

    I was appalled by the part about her being kissed on the lips multiple times a night. In general, I have begun to enjoy Salsa & Bachata less and less as the scene has gone from one of casual social dancing to "performer-based."

    When I began dancing there were almost no performance teams, people were less arrogant, and everyone was friendlier. Now, performance teams are rampant and "authentic" dance instruction focuses on shines+rumba while ignoring the partner or "Bachata" with the woman as a doll who you send from dip to dip. I know many here will disagree with me, but the modern obsession with showing off through fancy dips/shines/rumba destroys the social part of social dancing.
    manzanadulce, tgharib, Marcos and 7 others like this.
  3. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    I think it has nothing to do with scene. She has just grown up or changed values or her dopamine receptors are saturated.
    Similar complaints are in all scenes always. This is our choice do we focus on things we like or what we don't like; and weight of various arguments will be different for everyone and change over time.

    I would bet on old age. :D "The youthful, kind of reckless enthusiasm of bachata parties feels a lot like a frat house to me. This was always the case, but now that the scene has grown so much, and become so young, it’s simply multiplied."

    There was a thread where Šibenik crowd was characterized as too young (spring break -- american concept). But in reality these people might have one of the highest concentration of PhDs outside academic circles. You just see a blonde dude in swim trunks or girl in bikini. But actually dancers are much more than bouncy booties.
    UchimaSalsa likes this.
  4. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    I for one very much agree with all of your sentiments. In my case it was moving from a friendly and open scene without performances at regular parties, to one characterised by performances, cliques and trying to be in the group. I don't discuss it much but my confidence has taken a huge hit. I'm really only completely happy and confident now when I dance when I'm travelling.

    I do dislike women being treated like dolls by some local dipsters, but unfortunately it's not as if they discourage it. I actually had a guy abandon me on the floor last time I went out as I wouldn't allow him to squash me against his chest during bachata (yes he was being a jerk, but it was upsetting for me, too).

    No, I haven't read the article, just taking the opportunity to vent :)
    Sabrosura, MAMBO_CEC and Smejmoon like this.
  5. Groove On

    Groove On Sonero

    I thought it was interesting that it was about "sensual bachata", I've seen a push back in some quarters calling out "sensual" as not really bachata - instead it's considered something new and different - with its own separate culture.

    I guess it's similar to Salsa, where the large influx of wanna-be performers naturally created their own culture along side the older one ... eventually taking over some locations.

    The irony is she's talking about the sexualization of the dance and yet ... the first image we are presented with is her posing sexily for the camera.

    I think the larger solution to all this is to clearly define the styles and admit that each type of style has its own unique culture in some cases developing in different parts of the world.

    Also being honest about why people are attracted to certain styles. People dancing sensual may think they are part of Bachata culture, when in reality, theyre attracted to something that isn't in "Bachata". So they think they're part of the Bachata culture when they're actually swimming In a completely different pond.
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  6. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    Way to scare one with that title, Sabs!!! :(
  7. elanimal

    elanimal Nuevo Ritmo

    Every dance has a personality. "traditional bachata" has a decidedly different personality than sensual bachata. I've been reading a book on advertising. It says good brands can often distill their entire brand to one adjective. For example, Volvo = safe, or reliable.

    Traditional bachata, to me, = playful, carefree.
    Sensual bachata, to me, = dramatic, serious.

    I've had this discussion before about how sensual bachata has changed, and the same argument is always "You just can't stand change, evolution. Get with the times, old man." Look, Casino, and all slot-style salsa variations look incredibly different and have evolved from their antecedents of Mambo, Son, Rumba, Hustle, Swing, etc etc etc. But those "brands," or the "personalities" of those dances do not differentiate from each other the way real bachata and sensual bachata do. Even the more showy salsa variations like LA-style may not be as playful, but don't have the overt sexualization of "sensual bachata."

    There really isn't much to do, but decide not to purchase brands we don't like.
  8. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    But isn't that the reason why - Sensual Bachata is so popular? (People purchasing the brand that they do like)
    wol, elanimal, vit and 1 other person like this.
  9. Chris_Yannick

    Chris_Yannick Shine Officer

    From what i have seen , people flock to what is promoted the best. Around my neck of the woods, it's sensual bachata. Even teachers i know who once refused to teach sensual bachata gave in when they realized that is where the bulk of the demand was coming from.

    Having said that, i still think performance teams kill a scene more than oversexualized dancing. I dance bachata very selectively, but i know a ton of people who love dancing sensual because it makes them feel good. It is a different culture here though. Sensuality is rampant. It is like a drug for some people.

    Sensual bachata creates customers, and until it stops doing that, we are kind of stuck with it.
    Marcos, Smejmoon, SnowDancer and 2 others like this.
  10. Dissonant Harmony

    Dissonant Harmony Rhythm Deputy

    Performance and Social are two different beats. (And I believe we all agree about it).

    *Can someone, though, please explain why it kills the social dance?
  11. elanimal

    elanimal Nuevo Ritmo

    Sure. I'm not debating the popularity, or advocating it be eliminated. Just explaining, like the author, our misgivings about that brand.

    We don't all have iphones, right?
    MAMBO_CEC and Dissonant Harmony like this.
  12. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    In every area, things are driven by good promotion pointed to majority of people ... so pop kills jazz and classics, sensual kills traditional, Microsoft kills other vendors, toy cars kill practical cars etc ... nothing can be done about it ...

    As about the girl who wrote that post ...well I partially agree, but everyone has the right to politely not accept the dance with partner with "incompatible" dancing style / chose the dance places where unwanted things are less likely to happen etc ... and if someone happens to be dancing with incompatible partner from time to time, I mean big deal ... girls that are good dancers generally have many strategies how to avoid being led the way they don't like, problem is mostly if the girl can't dance on her own and wants the guy to lead everything and it includes things she doesn't like ...
    Smejmoon and Dissonant Harmony like this.
  13. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    I recall there being fewer teams, but they were more cliquish and snobby than they are today. And while I find my local scene to be very friendly, the atmosphere at US congresses has gotten very performance-oriented and show-offy, to the point where I don't go anymore.
  14. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    If you are referring to the large picture at the top of the article, that is not her in that picture (she is the red-haired woman in the small photo below the big one), I think she was simply using that precisely to illustrate her point about the sexualization.

    By the way, for those who have not read the full article, she reveals near the end that she is based in London.
  15. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura Maestro 'Sonero' Lavoe

    But what she is saying is that it is not just *some* dancers, but the majority of the scene. And she is talking about deeper and more serious things that just incompatible dance styles.

    Saying "big deal" and "I'll take one for the team" and shrugging one's shoulders and moving on to the next partner is easy when only 5-10% of dancers/dances are like that, but if it's 80-90%, it gets to the point where there is no "next partner" and the person will rather quit/turn to other dances (as she did), and then if all those people who find these things bad enough to quit leave, then it is a spiraling-down vicious circle that leaves the scene in a pretty bad place. So I think it is important for these voices to make themselves heard, and for at least some of the scene to pay attention, rather than just shrugging our shoulders and saying "big deal"...
    SnowDancer, Marcos, vit and 1 other person like this.
  16. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Well, it's actually all about "incompatibility", or if you want, different approach to dancing overall in various things, and it's serious enough. And it's not only about bachata (actually, it's hard for me to believe that, unless she is from carribean, her bachata is much closer to dominican than what other people in her venue are dancing, just that she doesn't like dancing their way). It's the same in salsa, kizomba, zouk, wcs, tango ... And yes, it's similar in my venue, so I'm very well aware of that. Several years ago I danced or tried dancing with most people in the venue. But gradually, everything changed ... on one side, first generation of local salsa instructors, that were reasonably good (considering the size of the venue etc) were replaced by their students and students of them, with every generation being worse. Then there was strong push with some hybrid kind of on2 overall in Europe that divided the venue further. Then kizomba, which again divided into several streams (something traditional alike, something sensual alike, something urban alike, but mostly localized version of them), then zouk etc ... And all of those streams introduced some competitiveness, some snobbism because everybody thinks his/her way is correct and other are not ... Actually bachata had least negative impact here (not much people actually dance "sensual", and even kizomba is now less sensual than it was) ... but ... most people here don't dance the way I would like to ... or even if they do at beginning, after dancing with other people from the venue, they start dancing like most of them ... those that don't are in similar position like me being out of 80-90% mainstream and gradually stop dancing ... so the percentage goes towards 100% ... so I also gradually stopped dancing with most people because I don't enjoy with or they don't enjoy with me ... And there is no way out of that, no raising voice can be of any help, you can only search for better places to dance like you did, or adapt to how other people dance even if you don't like, or at least make some compromises ... just like you can't make people listening pop music start listening jazz etc, and I doubt many people would exchange their buggy smartphone for something oldfashioned and non buggy either and there are probably 100 other examples ...
  17. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    She makes some valid points, but none that have not been discussed before .

    The one thing that I will totally disagree with, is her description of "posture ". She advocates shoulders " back, when in the non B/room style of latin , the hold/frame should be more of an embrace.
    What she says , does not surprise me, as 95% of dancers that I see, look BR trained posture wise .
  18. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    It's not a surprise. Number of salsa/bachata/whatever instructors danced something else before they started teaching salsa (ok, my venue could be an exception where a number of them just started by dancing salsa a year or two ago) and it was hop-hop/jazz/ballroom/etc ... Actually I think minority of them came from ballroom (though it depends on venue), but in any case, dance they did before didn't have an embrace
  19. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Point is; transitioning from one genre to another, does not automatically mean that , ALL of the concepts from that previous genre, are suitable for other genres/styles.

    A good comparison, is the "tango" styles that are current. They all ( Intern.. BR and American styles ) come from the same root but are individual in appearance primarily due to Frame ( and to a large degree, music ) and , when I teach each of those, I treat each one as a different dance , with different styles of music and "Frame/Hold" .. .
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  20. UchimaSalsa

    UchimaSalsa Son Montuno

    I saw this posted on facebook few days ago, I think by the the Berlin congress organizer.
    I live in London and I'm surprised by her description of the scene. I a man and leader so my perception is certainly biased.
    Her face doesn't look familiar to me. I'd like to know where she goes out. I don't notice a party and drinking culture on the scene. People usually stick to water and coca-cola or sometimes a cocktail or a beer.
    Of course there are always the few drunk people/chaser who end-up in a parties because they want to dance "salsa" (salsa being any song with lyrics in spanish) and because in salsa is so "easy to get girls you know! that's certainly why you dance it so much bro...":meh:. (Bar salsa on week end, or sensual floors at el grande...).
    Regarding the sensual, their is clearly a rise of it popularity but I have the impression that it 's linked to some congresses especially in Spain and certain scenes in Europe and US.
    I would say that in London, for the majority of people, I'm talking here the ground of the scene, the "working class" of the scene, the 95%, not the "cool people" and the DJ booth cliques or the tourists, they dance a kind of undefined style mix of original, moderna and sensual. Sensual being simply the same two or three moves: guy behind the girl with body roll and the kind of move where both dancers go down on their squat and stand up in a rotative hip move. The DJ's play the entire discography of Romeo Santos and Aventura all night with very few dominican songs. I can't really say the sensual dance took over the scene. Sensual moves are really hard to execute and the majority of people don't have the patience to learn them.
    The social media and video stars certainly have to do with the popularity of this new genre.

    A good looking good dancer with women lining up for him. Some people may think "If I dance like him women will throw themselves at me", "If I want to get noticed by men and invited, I need to do these moves".
    I know some women who are really into bachata, I never heard them complaining and never saw a guy having a bad behavior with them. Actually some of them left totally the salsa scene and now just stick to bachata and kizomba. They have more fun, feel less pressurized for performance and get invited to dance despite not being pros.
    I'm not sure why men try to kiss the author of the blog at every party she goes and how to solve that problem.
    If she make a scandal or slap them she will certainly appear as a drama queen and I'm sure some people (men AND women will say she looked for it), if she says nothing some guys will see it as an invitation to do whatever they want.
    Teach and educate during classes? Why grown ass men need to be taught that you don't kiss or grope a woman just because she danced a bachata with you? If they do it they certainly already know it's wrong. I'm not even sure those guys are the ones who attend classes anyway.
    It's also very easy when things goes wrong (not restricted to dance) to blame the new comers, the strangers, the refugees...

    Anyway I'm sure that doesn't represent the whole London scene, just a minority of show-off and self-absorbed and guy who found the wrong place to get women.
    Seriously...London! Like there were not tons of places in that city for hookup easier that the latin dance scene.:facepalm:
    Chris_Yannick and Smejmoon like this.

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