Salsa > 1 or 2 beats behind the music

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by aimerrouge, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Brendan

    Brendan New Member

    Could have just been a frame of reference thing. I initially had real problems with the timing of the accent on son which came on 4 and 8. I couldn't quite get it when it was told to me just by counts but then one of my drumming teachers mentioned they thought of it like yambu and in terms of the clave rather than the count. Once he said that it made it so much easier. Sometimes people need to take different routes to get to that 'aha' moment.

  2. SurfSalsa

    SurfSalsa New Member

    Josh, I apprecaite the problem - very well, actually - for all you or I know I was (or maybe still is!) one of those off-beat buggers!

    But as a teacher you can stress the importance of beat regularly - make people more aware of it. Spend a few minutes of each / some lessons on identifying the beat of the songs you are using. As a student, especially when I just started say moving into intermediate level, that would be helpful.

    I agree this is easier one-to-one (that was how I was taught the importance of beat and of music interpretation - but that was just a chance that it happened like that...), and I agree even more that it is useless on a day one or even a day 5 course... but as your students get more towards intermediate level, you can stress the point more and more. The fact that you stress it often must get the point across - even it will not help for everyone (no guarantee) but at least for those where it would help, the point would come across.

  3. Actually I think that rule is implied in a partner-social dance.
  4. africana

    africana New Member

    thank god for shines

  5. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    You're right SS. My point was basically that it's impossible for an instructor to make sure that everyone in a class is on time. And that people, especially in a large class, tend to get antsy with timing. I need to look for some new ways to introduce it actually.. thanks for reminding me of the need to examine my approach! :)
  6. alemana

    alemana New Member

  7. africana

    africana New Member

    just thought of the perfect solution!

    The instructors should be required to dance the opposite role, ONLY, alternating weeks, for a whole week (minimum of 3 nights of social dancing per week).
    So the male instructors have to follow all their male students during this time, and female instructors (if they dominate the instruction) have to lead the followers

    I think this punishme...err i mean exercise should instil some empathy. And I'm sure some will be "inspired" to figure out some creative ways to teach partnered timing
  8. aimerrouge

    aimerrouge New Member

    Actually, my instructor does this a lot more these days (as there's been a female shortage in my class). All the guys HATE leading him. My instructor is by his own admittance a heavy follow, you HAVE to lead him correctly to make him move.

    One of the things he constantly says in class now is "The guys in the class need to step it up. Even if you can't lead everything, you're timing should be better."

    The girls in the class are enjoying the new found humility of the guys.

    If you're a nice, humble guy who is open to correction, remember - there are not enough of you around.
  9. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Have a flash for you--- all b/room teachers are taught to dance as man and lady and must pass exams demonstrating both skills ( men figures only -no partner-- I know, sexest thing,dont make the rules only follow them, no pun intended ) but most male teachers do follow , if correctly trained ,think its a very important skill that is sadly neglected , to a greater or lesser degree .
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    By the way-- the cha cha guy-- he was a drummer !!!
  11. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I do that all the time and don't see it as punishment. How on Earth am I going to be sure the gals are following properly and not anticipating the lead if I don't dance with them? :)

    Anyway, I usually teach as a leader (and I am a female...). Love it!

  12. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    That's funny, all the guys in my class, while they do get a little nervous, seem to get a kick out of it, and probably enjoy leading someone who can follow well :wink: ... Oh, and I would never tell my guys that they "need to step up"... sounds a little arrogant to me, and that method (calling them out, and especially in front of the girls) rarely works with guys who have at least a little pride. It puts pressure on them, and when they screw up they get frustrated. I'd rather just help them do it better and show them general principles of leading, and let them get better at it.

    Yeah, I may not social dance following the guys, but I'm a better follower than most ladies who have been dancing for a year (as I'm sure you are a better leader than most guys in your classes squirrel :wink: ... that's a humbling experience for them I know).
  13. aimerrouge

    aimerrouge New Member

    Calling them out in front of the girls? How is this an issue? The girls already know who can't lead, and in most cases, have been corrected by the guys. In my class, the guys are in some sort of denial.

    Is this a guy thing :wink: I wouldn't understand?
  14. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    (First of all, I'll say that what your instructor did may not really be "calling them out" ... but it's sort of close to it)

    Let's put it like this--they may deserve to be called out if they're not leading something well, or slow in getting it... but, will it be effective? Here are some reasons why I won't call guys out in a group setting:

    - for many guys, being called out and being told they need to "step it up" will set up a barrier to improvement, because they may feel inferior, like they're not doing well, and it will only depress them. Especially the perfectionists (like me *sigh*).
    - I want to show the guys respect, since they have so many things to learn in the beginning, and have been in their shoes, not being able to juggle all the responsibilities of a leader yet. If I call the guys out in front of the girls, the girls will lose even more respect for them, and I don't want prima donnas coming out of a class having the "if I get a good leader, I can dance well" mentality.
    - I'm not running a boot camp, and these are paying clients. Unless they're being ridiculous, they deserve my respect based solely on the business aspect.

    Now, if a guy openly says something that shows a disrespect for someone, or if he is giving incorrect information to others in the class, then I will correct it.

    Finally, let me say: this applies to guys as well as girls! I wouldn't openly embarass the ladies in a class either, for the same reasons listed above.
  15. africana

    africana New Member

    nuh uh you don't get off that easy :nope:

    You have to dance the opposite role of what you teach and social dance, meaning you have to follow the leads that you are teaching to lead ;)

    And social dancing is a lot harder than the class setting where students merely go through the patterns, dictated by the teacher, uniformly, and without music

    The exercise done in a regular social dancing environment should bring out all teh myraid issues that are dumped out there outside the classroom for the rest of us to deal with

    aime sounds like you teacher knows what up :)
  16. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I also follow my students outside of class.

    There are not many people who I can choose to dance with anyway, as our scene is pretty small.

    Of course, except for 2-3 advanced leaders, the others never invite me socially. :)
  17. africana

    africana New Member

    well, being the teacher you have to invite them, and look happy doing so ;)
  18. basicarita

    basicarita Member

    1) Not. If. They're. Off. Beat.
    2) A follow (read: woman, for the most part) is not a car.
  19. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    Ron: never compare a woman to anything ever. Even shakespeare only got as far as "shall I compare thee to a summer rose?"

    And anyway the car analogy is bad, they're more like skittish horses.

    (I was going to put joking aside and reply to the OP's question, but that was three years ago now, and I expect progress has been made! I don't know what's better in the case of being led off beat, if it were me I'd probably go for the quiet life, and choose simply to follow off beat. Generally guys need to approach learning in their own individual way in their own time and persistently reminding them about their timing is just extra workload in the middle of a class.)
  20. redsalsero

    redsalsero New Member

    I like the car idea though :D but i use it for a different analogy.
    and that is for ladys who look good and ladys who follow good.

    Now leads would u go for the looks or the nice handling?

    in time i have learned a nice handling is far more better than good looks :cool:

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