Why isn't Cali Salsa more popular?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by achilles007, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. achilles007

    achilles007 Descarga

    I am sorry if this has been asked before-- which Im pretty sure it has-- but can you all name some reasons for why you think Cali Salsa isn't as widely practiced as other forms of salsa?

    Even on this forum, it seems linear and cuban salsa get the most replies with marginal glances at the Cali salsa threads. Is it just that Cali Salsa is so new to the rest of the world that it hasn't caught on yet or what?

    Here is an interesting review speaking on Cali Salsa from a technical standpoint, saying the omission of the cross body lead in it's dance is what limits it. I have never heard this before and sure would like some opinions on this viewpoint as well.:
  2. olamalam

    olamalam El Sabroso de Conguero

    because we have only one Dj Ara in the forum :) He has to get some assistance :p
  3. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    There is a lot of misunderstanding about Cali style salsa. The fact is it does have a crossbody lead and a lot of other slot moves. In the regular South American style salsa or whatever we want to call it they don't have a crossbody lead. Most writers or dancers don't clearly distinguish between them. In the clubs people dance everything and Cali salsa is not a 'static' style. I think it has a lot of on1 influence now because the instructors have been influenced by foreign styles (including Cuban).

    What you see in the performances at congresses is also a performance style and not how they dance in Cali (basically same footwork minus acrobatics).

    I think Cali salsa will become more popular and every style has its plus points.
    azzey and DJ Ara like this.
  4. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    One reason.. the " speed ", thats true or perceived .And, its what I term a " busy " dance .
  5. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    The guy who wrote the review of the video has no idea what Colombian/Cali salsa is all about!

    There are valid reasons why Cali Style is not as popular as its Puerto Rican and Cuban Cousins, even if currently its popularity is increasing. One of the main reasons has to do with marketing.

    In the case of Cuban salsa, it is the name that sells it! In many countries any music or dance associated with Cuba holds a special status (and quiet rightly so) with afixionados and those interested in "Latin Dance". For example, if some guys and girls wonder into a salsa club and get interested in learning to dance, most times they will choose Cuban over Colombian, if offered the choice. For people interested in Latin Music/Dance, the name "Cuba" invokes images of dancing and bands framed by the romantic tropics - images that have been embedded in the western culture since at least the 1950s. In contrast the mere mention of "Colombia", until recently invoked somewhat "different" images.

    For these same reasons, Cuba has been a popular holiday destination for many westerners. This has helped people get exposed to its rich music and dance culture. In contrast, Colombia has only raised its profile as an exotic, cultural and salsa holiday destination relatively recently, as it has put most of its troubles behind and become one of highest growth economies in South America and probably one of the best places to live, also.

    Puerto Rican salsa's popularity has been mainly spread through its manifestations from New York and elsewhere in the US and was easilly accepted by Europeans and then by others in other parts of the world. The marketing machine out of New York and elsewhere in the US have helped its spread.

    The LA Style, which is somewhat linked to the PR one has gained a lot of popularity through its overt dance floor (more suitable dance stage) flamboyance - a weakness, IMHO, because of its isolation from its PR roots, as in the way it is taught by many ( I assume, not all) of its teachers.

    Taking the discussion to a technical level, the stepping emphasis of Cali Style (even if other styles have them too to a lesser, but "forgotten" degree), has not been as appealling to cultures where dancing is more about upper body movements (including spins, turns, etc). By extension, dancers from other styles who come in contact with it may see it as "too difficult" to learn and in some cases to "show off" to.

    Many times these dancers see the Cali Style performance videos and think that this is how it is danced on night club dance floors. This misconceptions comes from the fact that many non-Cali salsa "teachers" (giggles) out there fail to distinguish between dance stage performance salsa and night club dance floor salsa, when teaching their students.

    Plus, on busy dance floors, Cali Style dancers are relatively "docile", when compared to say, certain dancers from the more popular LA Style, some of whom will more often than not, take a lot of space, while doing non-stop turns, spins, patterns and waving their arms all over the place. This means they will be more likely to get noticed on the international dance floor and attract newcomers who will want to learn it. The LA Style is an extreme example that I used, but even people dancing normal Cuban and Puerto Rican Styles on dance floors are more likely to be noticed, because these styles by tendency use more upper body movements, than the Cali Style. Of course, this phenomenon holds true more in countries where local dancing has more upper body emphasis,

    Anyway, this is my partial take on the question. :)
    EMOYENO likes this.
  6. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    First... let me preface my comments.. there are NO "bad " styles of Salsa .

    Now to pragmatism..

    A vast majority of students,dancers, fall into the "older "category ( 40s and up ). The Cali style that normally gets all the press , is the v. fast high energy type, which many believe that, its the way ALL cali style is.. ( one could say the same about Salsa if you took congress performances to be the "standard " ) . That, therefore, is the major roadblock to its acceptance.

    One of the most attractive things about salsa, IS its choice of variety of styles ( not to mention music ! ) .

    And, Ara made a lot of good points, mine, is from a personal teaching perspective .
    DJ Ara and azana like this.
  7. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Huh ...by students, do you mean majority of people learning to dance salsa or something else and I'm missing the point ? In my venue I would say 95% of girls is between 20 and 40 and guys are several years older on average. And it was similar on congresses I attended in central parts of Europe
  8. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Speak as you find. In the locales Ive taught in here ( several towns ) the vast majority have been over 40. Metro areas, Im sure, pull a younger crowd .
    My very last Son class( a small sample ), out of 15 people, only 1 under 40 .

    My previous location, a small town, were mainly 30 and older .

    And.... That, really doesnt detract from the point that, older people tend towards more simplified styles ( Im using the fast style, thats the deterrent , when seen ).
  9. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    I see ... However, I gave an average age of dancers on salsa parties in the venue, that is obviously lower than on classes, because part of people learning salsa in classes never appear on the social dance floors for various reasons (job, children etc)

    Regarding the question in the title, I have similar one - why Kizomba is popular and Son isn't ?
  10. miércoles

    miércoles Nuevo Ritmo

    You obviously haven't seen me dance! :p Ba-dum-tish!
  11. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    I think terence didn't mean "personal styles" :D
  12. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    LOL !!!:)
  13. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    I hate to keep on quoting tampa.. but, the one venue I favored, you would be hard pressed to find anyone under 30. and many in the 50/60 even 70age range. But that, was a total 99% latino club.There was another club that attracted a muh younger crowd, but even there, many over 30s .
    Atlanta had a similar clientele base. The one teacher who only taught LA style, got the much younger crowd .

    As to Son.. possibly because it gets little , or no club exposure ( traditional style ) and, many do not teach ( or like ) it . Ive introduced it in small doses to my classes, but again, pragmatism rules.. they probably will get little, if any , opportunity in which to dance same .
  14. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Firstly, a lot of salseros really detest kizomba; I have yet to meet anyone who detests son. Indeed on the Cuban style scene son is taught and occasionally played at events.

    Kizomba is new - or at least new to the salsa scene - and features music that sounds similar to the music you would hear at a normal nightclub, albeit with an exotic twist. Son is old. Many people want to be associated with what's new and fashionable. Also, kizomba is seen as being sexy, due to the intimacy involved; most people want to be seen as sexy.

    This is how shallow most people's 'thinking' is.
  15. azzey

    azzey El Sabroso de Conguero

    A lot of guys like it for the 'closeness' and I'm guessing the girls like it for similar reasons but also for the body movement and novelty.
  16. azzey

    azzey El Sabroso de Conguero

    Thought that would be quite obvious... music. When do you hear Son played? Kizomba is danced to more general club type music and so it's familiar. If old classic Son music was really popular in every UK city then there'd be a high likelihood of lots of instructors teaching for it and so it would get a lot more exposure.

    Whereas Kizomba has mostly been learned as an associated dance through the congresses for people who already dance.
    vit likes this.

    EMOYENO Pattern Police

    I hate Kizomba!! No like... maybe some other lifetime I'll try it. When Im older :p
    I love Son!! romantic!!
    DJ Ara said all the right things about why Cali is not so popular. Yet, once people try it, they will know how fun it is. Most of the guys who dance On1 or On2 complain about Cali style, because it has very little patterns & spins and they cant show off!!
    flowrite and DJ Ara like this.
  18. SalsaGipsy

    SalsaGipsy Capitán Del Estilo

    I doubt that's the real reason. You can show off with footwork as much as with patterns or spins.

    For me personally, I have never found an example of Cali style that would make me think "That's how I want to dance". It doesn't inspire me, it doesn't move me, it doesn't make me want to emulate it. Something about the jumpiness and the stiff upper body makes me think of double-dutch rather than dancing. Just a personal preference. I might be missing something, so I'm open to suggestions to make me change my mind.

    I like the earthiness of Cuban style and the elegance of crossbody - the energy of LA, the smoothness of NY and any fusion of the two. But Cali style? The jury is this deliberating :)

    I agree with what others said about Kizomba and Son. One more aspect: I notice about some of those who prefer Kizomba to Salsa that they don't have the energy and the passion in their movement (maybe even their character, who knows) that is required for Salsa. If you don't have that, dancing Salsa will always be a bit of an uphill battle. Then suddenly they find a dance that is slower, looks more relaxed, uses music that matches their disposition better. And that's it.
    Smejmoon likes this.
  19. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    Once more people (and their "teachers" included) who think they are dancing salsa, bother actually to learn dancing it, then they will realize that salsa can be an extremely sexy dance.......;)
  20. DJ Ara

    DJ Ara Clave Commander

    You can only show off your footwork, if you have footwork. Remember, we are talking about an international scene where most dancers and many of their teachers included have not even learned the basic footwork from their non-Cali Styles properly.

    So, Emoyeno is right on the button!

    It seems that culturally speaking, dancers from most parts of the international scene identify more with upper body aspects of dancing than with footwork, which they find difficult and even intimidating, hence they ignore it, not realizing that it is one of their fundamental connections to the drum beat. I will also remind everyone that the PR and Cuban styles contain great footwork that seem to have been "forgotten" by some of the "professionals" in the international scene. This is a fact and videos have been posted by myself and others in the past to demonstrate the evidence for this.

    So, many dancers should be asking why they have not been taught this or even why their teachers do not demonstrate any knowledge of this.

    Different people will have different preferences. Like the saying goes, "para los gustos, los colores". However, as Terence hinted, there is not only one Cali Style (nor a Colombian style). On top of that, many people (not necessarily you), who are used to overt "show dancing", miss the subtlities of authentically danced Cali (also, PR and Cuban) styles.

    So, while I fully comprehend that different people from different national and even individual cuItures will have different Salsa "style" preferences, which is understandable, I still suggest that as far as Cali Style goes, you ain't seen nothing yet... ;)
    EMOYENO likes this.

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