Salsa > Are You Born With It?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by salsarhythms, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    Body structure.



    Does any of this influence how well you salsa dance?

    If you were to ask me this a few years ago, I would
    have said: "YES" no question about it.

    Now, though, my opinion has changed...

    Let me tell you a story.

    I went to school with this guy Mario.

    He played every sport you can imagine. So of course,
    he developed an athelete's body. He's big and strong
    with a lot of muscle mass.

    He was so good in baseball, that he was actually on
    his way to the Major League. On his way to the top
    though, something terrible happened.

    He injured his knee...

    At this point frustration and depression set in. He
    truly loves the game, but now his dream of becoming
    a MLB player were pretty much gone.

    So one day he decides to take up salsa dancing.

    Of course, being as big as he was made it a bit
    awkward at first.

    Can I tell you what though...

    Not only did he learn to dance salsa, but he's known
    in NYC as one of the top male dancers in the area.

    Of course, I lost contact with him through the years, but
    then I started hearing about this "big guy" in NYC that
    was amazing people with his ability.

    I did some investigation and when I saw his picture on his
    web site, I immediately recognized him. I called him up, we
    caught up on what has been going on in our lives, and we
    continue to talk at least once a week.

    Ever since then, he's been in movies like "Empire" and he is
    also in an off-Broadway show called "Latin Madness" which
    performed at this years LA Salsa Congress.

    In chat rooms all over the Internet, people talk about him and his
    style of dance. But what really amazes people is...

    "How can a guy that big, move so well??"

    What am I getting at here?

    Nothing stopped him.

    Facing such a tragic blow, he continued. Even though you
    would not think of a big muscular person as being fluid, he
    has accomplished it.

    Instructors and dancers alike invite him all over Europe and
    the US to teach...


    He just did it.

    He practiced hard, he kept going to his classes, he did every-
    thing he could to make sure that he was at the top of his salsa
    dancing game. And now, he's recognized as one of the top
    male leads in NYC...

    All this from a guy that you'd look at and say:

    "He's gotta be a football player..."


    "He's gotta be some kind of athlete..."

    But as it turns out, he's a top Salsa Dancer...

    All because he made the decision to do it, and stuck with

    So again, it doesn't matter how tall you are, or how big you
    are, or how short you are, or how whatever you are...

    If you really want to, if you really have that desire, you will
    accomplish it.

    By the way, if you want to know more about Mario (he goes
    by Mario B) you can check out his bio on his web site:
  2. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Which reminds me of one lady I know here who is quite large and stout, but in spite of this she is very light on her feet and moves quite well on the dance floor. :D

    So there's no doubt that what you say is true. :D
  3. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    I think that a certain body type may put a bump in the road to learning, but I don't think that bump will develop into a roadblock unless that person decides not to TRY.
  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Some of the greatest athletes were not born with it. Often when something comes too easy for someone, they fail to appreciate their blessing, unlike someone who has struggled long and hard.

    Pete Rose didn't throw well, didn't hit well and wasn't strong, but became something great.
  5. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    I personally feel that there is nothing that will stop you
    if you really want to try...

    Just look around and you'll find people of all shapes and
    sizes dancing...

    There's a web site called:

    I stumbled upon it a couple of days ago and I really thought
    that it goes to show that you are only limited by your own
  6. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think sometime people get too caught up in the competitive aspect and forget about how fun dancing can be. It is important to really make the "fun" part of your personality before adding the "competition" part.
  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    I think that this is the image of ballroom dancing for many people; the competitve side of it, the fancy costumes and routines, but for the most part people are dancing for fun and that's all I do it for. :wink:
  8. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator


    I'm sitting here saying to myself.. He's gotta be talking about mario... Hmmm that has to be mario. =)

    Well, here is a little something something I think of this whole thing of being born with an extra physical edge. Yes, hard work can get you there no doubt. It can even make you the "best". But desire and physical ability aren't the same. Desire is what at the end gets you there to a particular point, ability is what gives is know as the potential to get there. Regardless of whether you do or not it still doesn't make for the fact that people's physical abilities have a great deal to do with the ease at which a person performs a given something right off the bat. Hence, why men are naturally stronger, faster, jump higher than females... Leaving desire out, which again is the one thing that makes the difference between achievement or not...

    When a pesron is physically gifted they tend to do easily achieve physical tasks. For example if someone is faster than you, there is no way that you will be able to keep up with him dancing a song ala La Banda from Spanish Harlem Orquestra. He will look like he is breezing through it as opposed to you that will look like you are struggling to keep up. Hence why some dancers can't keep up a solo shine routine to a faster song because their phsyical ability prevents them from doing so. Just as the same when a bigger guy can tame a wild girl as opposed to a smaller guy having difficulty to achieve so. Example, one of my best friends is a great lead. Yet when he finishes dancing with new wild dancers he always comes out complaing about how hard he must fight to tame her, as opposed to me who I'm physically more imposing and have no problems dancing with the same girls...

    In all when it comes to doing any physical task it will be a lot easier to accomplish for someone who nature has gifted with physical abilities. Ala Barry Bonds, He doesn't have to try very hard to better than everyone else, while Pete Rose had to bust his butt to get half way there yet not in the same realm as Barry Bonds. Just like Larry Bird was great, his physical abilities kept him from being in the same level with Michael Jordan. All because of physical ability... Desire is another token... The one that will eventually point out how great you will at the end be.
  9. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    Hey Borinken...yeah I'm talking about you know him?

    Well in response to what you were saying, I agree somewhat.

    Of course natural physical ability is needed to reach certain levels.
    But then again, I would have to attribute desire and willingness more
    so than anything else.

    Barry Bonds, Jordan, Kobe Bryant all these guys we see as gifted
    physically, but at the same time, these are the guys that constantly
    played and practiced since they were children...

    I think the desire of wanting to be great at a very early age had a
    lot more to do with their outcome. For this reason I don't feel that
    you are "born" with it...

    I think it's an issue of where you place your wants and desires. I mean
    if all you want to do is hang out with your friends doing nothing, then
    no matter how "gifted" you are, chances are you won't do much.

    Now, if you sacrafice the things that people that get to these levels
    have had to sacrifice, then you can achieve what you want. Of course
    the desire has to be there first...

    I personally feel that things start with a thought, a desire, a want,
    and then everything else responds around that.
  10. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    No doubt, desire is what makes the difference at the end. Hypothetically speaking, taking desire out of the equation, physical potential sums up what you have a chance of being, not that you will be, but that your chances are greater because of physical ability. Hence, when pro sports players are given money and are selected in a give position, are done so upon potential and not desire. For they are really looking at what a person can possible become on the physical side. however, we all know that potential can't do a thing without desire.

    So while they Kobe, Barry, Jordan all strived as kids their venue to becoming who they are was easier because their physical abilities always made them seem like men amongst childern. All the potential in the world is just that potential, not until desire arives in the scene is potential manifested as being. All physical ability does is offer you the opportunity to become someone in the physical world, as where desire is what makes such ability manifest itself...

    While on the topic, when two equaly expirience athletes face each other chances are that the more physically gifted athlete will win, for in the game of physical supremacy a willing mind can't backup an unable body. The good old, mind is willing but body isn't able...

    It is more I know of him than I know him. I've met him a number of times, he has always gone out of his way to ask for my permision to dance with the ladies I'm with and small talk. He is usually in the places where I dance. The dance scene in NY is very small so we all have seen and spoken to each other in one time or another.
  11. dancer at heart

    dancer at heart New Member

    Speaking personally, with no prior dance training whatsoever and no natural talent, learning to dance is the hardest thing I have ever tried. I had started out with a good friend of mine taking private lessons together. She had natural ballerina feet and an instinct to follow, therefore it was a lot easier for her to learn the basics initially. I had realized that though I love to dance, I need to work much harder than others especially starting at such late age in my late twenties. My friend was never very serious about dancing, so though she really had great natural gifts for it, she had lagged behind and never really pushed the learning curve.

    Desire aside, physical ability and age in which you start will definitely matter in terms of how good you can become. I have the desire to dance, and I'll just see where my physical ability will allow me to take it to and have fun while at it :D
  12. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Wow... You and I are the same. I started in my mid twenties... When I started I couldn't even dance merengue. :shock: I went to a couple of classes and thought I would never get it. Then love took over and now all I want is to dance. As you I too wait and see where I'll be taken. Exciting!
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Me too! Started mid-twenties...and, originally, not even because I was really interested in dance...and now look at me :lol:
  14. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    You know the saying "born with a silver spoon in your mouth?"

    Doesn't apply here . . . I was born with pink ballet shoes on, but when my Mom tried to put a tutu on me, I had the doctor "slap" her!

    All kidding aside, I believe "you are" born with something . . a gene for musicality, a gene for rhythm . . . a gene for larger or stronger muscles . . . ???

    This "something" gets you to a higher point quicker than those not born with it! Could Ken Griffey, Jr. get where he is today if he didn't have the genes from Ken Griffey, Sr? I really do not think so!

    I don't believe this contributes to a better race, but certainly to a better dancer, sport athlete, musician, etc.

    This gene maybe nothing more than access to dancing, sport, or music at a very early age . . . maybe while still in the womb???? Is it not true that studies have proven that "reading to fetus and playing classical music for the fetus contributes to a higher learning curve for the eventual student and possible IQ? Apply here???????

    My Mom certainly was dancing while I was still in a "wet and warm place." She also said that as I came out . . . I wasn't crying . . . I kept repeating . . . 5,6,7,8 . . .5,6,7,8 . . . 5,6,7,8
  15. mellody43

    mellody43 New Member

    Musicality, joy, and ability to communicate physically with a partner are much more important factors in defining a great dancer than physical body type. :)

    A guy who has won a few salsa contests in Seattle is a short, somewhat stout guy.
  16. SalsaGeek

    SalsaGeek New Member

    I wasn't born with a musical or dancing gene but my stubbornness got me where I am now. :lol:
  17. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Same goes for me too SalsaGeek! :wink:

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