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Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by SalsaLover
10/28/2014  12:20:00 PM
Hello to all , i would like to discuss some Stuff that confuses me .
I have been to ballroom and Latin dancing for a long while , but never started learning salsa . So i tried to start learning salsa with private and team lessons .
My problem is that after doing lots of lessons where ever i go it seems i cannot dance easily with people at parties and cannot also follow easily , after having a discussion with my teacher , i was advised that the ballroom / latin dancing American and international overlaps my style (Different styles when dancing Salsa )
So do you believe that for someone that wants to Master salsa should focus only on this dance ? (All kinds New York/ Cuban / La ) ...
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by Voco
10/28/2014  9:43:00 PM
Salsa is a club dance. It is danced in clubs disregarding the rules of International or American competition dances. For example, in the eyes of a trained Ballroom, Latin or Rhythm dancer, it looks downright ugly when the men dancing it in the clubs, back-weighted, stepping on the heel on nearly every step.

Mambo of American Rhythm is the closest relative of Salsa. But looks much better. Some Salsa dancers dance a version of Mambo and call it Salsa on Two.
Also, it seems that the more the dancer can pack into a measure, the more is appreciated, regardless of the quality of the movement.

You have to decide what direction you want to take. Copy the ugly moves of the club-dancers and be comfortable and accepted in Salsa social dance circles, or continue your more structured dances. Although there are a few dancers who are comfortable in both worlds.
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by terence2
11/2/2014  2:30:00 AM
Dont know where you are dancing your salsa, but its certainly not indicative of the genre. Are there people who use heel leads? yep, but its a STREET dance and has not been corrupted by B/room.

And.. to say one is "better ", shows how little you know about the genre.You also seem to make a lot of "blanket " statements that, are personal opinions, and not fact based.

Its akin to saying that Intern. Rumba is better than Bolero.
And, to make myself perfectly clear,you certainly have the right to express your opinions, and your personal dance choices, but.. one should NEVER denigrate another style, because of those .
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by Voco
11/4/2014  12:20:00 AM
Attn.: Terence2

RE: its a STREET dance and has not been corrupted by B/room.
Could you elaborate?

RE: personal opinions
Yes, you are right, of course, just an opinion.

RE: Rumba is better than Bolero.
I did not say that. They are both highly refined dances. They both can be danced beautifully.

RE: you certainly have the right to express your opinions
Thanks for the permission.

RE: denigrate another style
I did not denigrate it. Basically I said that in my opinion, Salsa is an unrefined dance, as most street dances are. Just fine, if you like street dances. The example, stepping on the heel, may look beautiful to you, and I respect that opinion, but it often produces a rigid or jerky motion. And that is fact.
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by Telemark
10/29/2014  12:23:00 AM
"So do you believe that for someone that wants to Master salsa should focus only on this dance ?"

No, not at all. But you are referring to mastery - whereas I'd aim to work towards competence first. However, anyone who posits the view that there IS a composite Ballroom/Latin style or technique just hasn't noticed that in International style there are ten dances, most of which are as different from each other as they are from Salsa. I'd immediately discount their opinion completely, and go looking for some real help.

If you're having difficulty following, is that because you are dancing with people who can't lead (there are lots of those), or is it because you have got into the habit of committing to memory extended sequences or choreography (which is bad BR/Latin dancing, not good BR/Latin dancing) and you are not actually following, at all?

My focus would be to count all the styles that you DO dance, including Salsa, and concentrate on what makes each of them distinctive, in terms of technique and characterisation: there is no generic 'Ballroom' dance. Rumba & Cha Cha have a common technique (but look and feel very different), and the 'swing dances' - Waltz, Foxtrot & Quickstep share fundamentals such as the walking action and the use of rise & fall (but look and feel very different).

No one will be able to diagnose your problem without seeing you dance. But find another teacher!
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by terence2
11/2/2014  3:51:00 AM

First...... You are like many that I have taught, that come into salsa after dancing B/room and try to make comparisons.

So........... "forget" what dance structure you have been taught, and find a teacher who is well disciplined in the style you want to learn ( areas in many cities/towns may be dominant in 1 style ).The Frame, Poise, and Hold for salsa are completely different, altho there are the many that, for some reason, teach a B/room Hold (?)

The most common, if you live in the UK is what they call Crossbody. This is taught breaking on "1". If you prefer to dance on "2", then the N.York style will work for you.

"Cuban "indigenous styles vary, and are limited in access outside of metro areas ( as a rule ).. they include .. Casino, Son and Rumba ( NOT the same as you know )

In addition, there is Cali style which is peculiar to Colombia and of little value outside of the country from a social aspect.

Post the general area in which you live, and I may be able to recommend someone.

NB..I forgot to mention " Music ": there are certain styles, that suit particular dance styles within the genre. Not all salsa music, is compatible within the different dance styles.
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by O.K.
11/4/2014  1:01:00 AM
There are Basic Steps in the Salsa just as there are in any of the other dances. Learn them and learn them well. No matter where you go in this world whether it be in the UK or Japan Maybe not even speaking the same language. You will know what they are doing and they know what you are about.This could be Cha Rumba and so on. Learn the Basic Movement.And Please in Salsa no heel leads and use the hips and not the shoulders.
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by Voco
11/4/2014  9:55:00 AM
Attn.: Terence2

It looks as if I am not alone disliking the stepping on heels in Salsa. (O.K.s comment above.) Actually I should qualify my comment: stepping on the heel with straight or slightly bent knee will produce a rigid or jerky motion. And that is what I see in the salsa clubs.

O.K.s advice is right on the money.
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by O.K.
11/5/2014  4:00:00 PM
Voco The trouble with trained Ballroom Dancers with the straight knee as in Cha Cha they do not bend the knee as it should be which is the one that is behind. That first step is a down into the floor controlled by the rear leg which is bent. The weight is also further forward because of this. As we are aware in the Rumba or Cha both knees are straight.
Re: Salsa Dancing Confusion
Posted by Carol
11/5/2014  6:10:00 PM
Perhaps what would help you fit in is to develop a knowledge & joy in the music. Listen to the "clave" beat. Many people who dance in clubs have not taken formal lessons--they grew up with the music & have their own quirky styles. Some people incorporate Afro-Cuban dance moves, swing dance moves, etc depending on their background. In my opinion, the fun in going to clubs to dance salsa is the challenge in adjusting to the different styles. It takes some patience, but is well worth the effort.

Also be aware that some salsa dance teachers teach sequences of steps or choreography that students can only do with students of the same teacher. Often the sequences are so complicated that they can't be lead--only someone who has seen them demonstrated & has practiced them can follow. So students from those classes tend to dance mainly with other students from the same class.

Find teachers who focus on basic movement & partnering skills, rather than steps or choreography.

Also, be aware that some people dance "on 2" & others "on 1". You need to be on the same beat as your partner!

Good luck & hang in there!

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