Salsa > Asking experienced followers to dance.

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Jamie, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. azzey

    azzey Member

    You must not get much value out of a congress ;)
  2. tj

    tj New Member

    Well, this isn't particularly helpful, but it will "enlighten" you as to how some of the more snobbish salseras think... knew a salsera who declared that she goes to the Congresses to only "dance with the best", meaning that if you're not a "name/performer", she doesn't want anything to do with you.

    Luckily, I'd say she's the exception rather than the rule. But she was an example of some of the poor attitudes that one can come across.

    Hey, anything to let me hurry up and get past her so I can dance with like minded individuals instead!
  3. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member


    Now I found a text I wrote a few days ago, before this post was so long and had so many good advices. But I forgot to post it. So here it is…perhaps a bit late...but this how I worked on the confidence part. Confidence to my own resources and confidence in the leader. Mutual trust.

    Why don’t you go to a Salsa Congress ow some looong workshop?

    Last weekend I was at a small kind of Congress. We had classes all day building up a great atmosphere of joy, trust and confidence. Everyone made mistakes – all the time. Giggling with all kinds of dancer helps to breaking the walls – the walls that surround a person who lacks confidence.

    The meals I took together with completely strangers - just to get to know more people. To build up a "community" of leaders and salserafriends. It was never hard to ask for a free chair when I knew that everyone in the restaurant was there for one thing. Feeding to be able to take next class. Feeding to have a good time.

    The rueda class in late afternoon was a great appetizer before the BIG party. A Swedish smorgasbord or perhaps Spanish tapas. I had a chance to dance with every guy and decide if they tasted like have more or not.

    More giggling – the teacher only spoke Spanish and only one student understood what he said. Very often there where one, two or more girls left alone in one part of the room. And one, two or three guys left alone in the opposite direction. LOL! Rueda classes are very joyful and relaxing.

    The first day built up my confidence a lot. I had several dances with guys having a style perfect for my level. (i.e a bit better than me but not too complicated)

    Then late in the evening I saw one of the greatest dancers I've ever seen sitting alone. I decided to make a move for a dance and started to discuss something trivial. He was a very nice and humble guy and when there was a batchata I asked for a dance. He told me he wasn’t so good at this dance. I said “GOOD, we can warm up so I dare to take a salsa with you later on!”

    We laughed a lot on our way to the dance floor. He had told me he was no good at Batchata. I had told him I wasn’t as good at salsa as he was. We had lowered the weapons for protection – or the shelters were torn. We exposed ourselves a bit. A good start!

    In my case I wasn’t interested in this guy in any other aspect than dancing. But this was a big big challenge anyhow. I had seen him for the whole summer and admired him and his dancepartners(s). And dance we did. But it was hard work for both of us. I hope no one really saw us.

    Next day I had the fortune to take a class together with this guy and the teacher forgot to rotate the partners. I had him for 30 minutes! We really learnt how to connect and cooperate. Later we had lunch and discussed some of my special problems. He had brand new theories about them and gave me a lot of good advices.

    WHAT A WEEKEND! It really built up my confidence.

    Have you ever tried to break the wall by a chat or laughter or anything else that lowers the guards? You will se the girls will not bite you. If you don’t know what to talk about - just pick one of the subjects you see in the DF index. I had many chats about these subjects with completely stranger during my salsa weekend. These subjects seem to be universal.

    Build up your own "community" of followers. The one you miss dancing with - tell them you like their style. The one you dance with - speak to them as well. Build a network of salsa relations. Some day you can bring home the harvest of the seeds you spread. I'm sure.

    And then...go for a Salsa Congress. Or at least - take classes at different salsa schools. It will widen your network and give you more skills.

    Keep on dancing!

  4. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    I believe I know what you are talking about although I never have practiced it on a salsaclub. This is how you best cope with animals. Make them do what you want them to do and sometimes get a message from them. It is really strange, but I do believe in a common subconscious stream that everyone is connected to. You just have to open up your sences.

    (Sometimes I believe this is how I know a lot of people I'm not supposed to know anything about. For examle pregnanzies before the mother herself know anything about it. A bit scary isn't it.)

    More thoughts off topic...
    I guess this effect is close to whats happening when meditating. I know reasearch has been done on munks doing their daily mediatation. The part of the brain that controlls the "ego" seems to take a snap. This decrease of activity is happening at the same time as the monks have a strong feeling of harmony, love and all together living in perfect harmony.

  5. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    wepa!!!! Yeap... along those lines Lucretia... with time we can connect through the dance with that same harmoney, love the monks do while meditating.... all it takes is a bit of practice and the open mind to think past what we see....
  6. Jamie

    Jamie New Member

    Thank you Lucretia.

    I am now thinking to treat each salsa dance as a moving meditation ... for each dance it is the peace love harmony and sense of connection / oneness of all things ... that you bring to the dance ... that is the important thing.

    And if I ask a follower and she says 'no' ... then that is OK too ... I can still be polite and kind and respectful.

    I have to say ... the standard and high quality of replies on this forum is amazing me !!!! ... and I would like to thank you all for your kindness and taking the time to express your views.
  7. Jamie

    Jamie New Member

    I am (or was before I started salsa) quite shy with girls ... so just talking and chatting and small talk does not come easy to me ... but the more salsa I am doing ... the more it is helping me to relate to women in general which is fantastic.

    I am already building up my community of followers who I feel at peace with and love to dance with and even talk too ... and even making friends with the guys and everyone really ... I also try to be encouraging to newbies and anyone who is struggling ... I see the same problems that they have in myself ... so by helping them I am helping myself ... clever huh !?

    I hate all this snobby stuff.

    I would love to go to a salsa congress ... just missed the UK one though ... have thought about going on a salsa holiday ... maybe barcelona ... dance the nights away and recover on the beach ... sunbathing all day long ... ahhhh ... bliss !!!.

    Love the idea od spreading it around too and having different teachers ... think that's very wise.

    Thanks for all your suggestions Lucretia.

    - Jamie
  8. Jamie

    Jamie New Member

    borikensalsero you are a star my friend !!!

    I think the energetic aspect is the most interesting ... I did tai-chi for some time and I am trying to bring those same principles (the flow of energy) in to my salsa dancing. Your post has given me a lot to consider. Thanks.

    Also one thing I am just thinking right now ... re: the shyness and feeling of inadequacy ... is that it is OK to feel like that ... and to accept how you feel.

    I think to change something like this you have to accept it emotionally and be 'OK' with it ... rather than fighting or stuggling against it ... accept it and accept yourself and love yourself and things will change as if by magic.

    All the time we are told that confident and loud is the way to be ... I do not think this is always so ... be quiet / at peace / harmony / silently powerful / connection with yourself and everything ... it is all good.

    Hope I don't sound too crazy !!
  9. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Jamie, You are perfectly (in)sane. Watch my signature below.

    Last night I was wondering what I really did write about subconscious streams. It doesn’t need to be a hocus-pocus wordless language. It could be a stream of body language, posture, mimic, eyes, pupils, wrinkles, scents of hormones and other stuff. Signals we all can take in but have forgotten to interpret. Well we do interpret but we have locked the door between right and left hemisphere. So the message never comes to the half that has the language. I guess it here meditation, tai-chi and qui-gong helps.

    But sometimes a message comes to your awareness. And you don’t know from where. You just know.

    I also believe you can send a message in the same way. If you focus on what you want to do – you really see it inside your mind – then the body takes the appropriate actions for you to reach your goal. If you would like to invite a beautiful girl for a dance your back strengthens up, you posture changes, you look big(ger) and strong(er), your eyes turns black when the pupil widens up etc etc. You are focused and you send that message to the girl.

    I guess Borikensaleseros connection theory helps him in this work. A mental projection of what he wants. I will surely try it next time I go to a salsa club

    Open your senses!

  10. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I'm sure there will be another UK congress next year -- and if you can't wait that long, there are tons of smaller weekenders happening in the UK before that. See the Annual Salsa Congresses & Events sticky -- there are four coming up between now and the end of this year: Salsa Cubana 2 (Parkfield, England -- Pacion and Timbafreak are going 8)), Salsa Max1 (Blackpool, England), Latin Explosion 2 (Brean Sands, England) and 5 Star Salsa Congress, London (I'm going to this one 8)).

    As for a salsa holiday, I went to the SalsaMed Festival (near Salou, Spain) in May this year and would recommend it to anyone. The company that organised this holiday also runs regular salsa (and other dance) holidays to Spain and also Cuba. And there's always the Cannes Salsa Festival, which comes highly recommended by Lita_rulez (and I'm planning to go to next year :D).
  11. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Thank you so very much Jamie!!!! THANK YOU!

    Indeed, do not fight your feelings, rather understand them, feel them, live them, become them.... You are feeling them because you must, there is something that needs to grow and feeling them will be the only way to transform those feelings into a different truth of who Jaime is and will be.

    Note that all of the illuminated beings known to history have all reached a state of silence, peacefulness, harmony, connected to everything, yet they have all exuded a sense of quite confidence. For there is no choice for one who becomes in harmony with all to exude a sense of comfort with who they are, hence that comfort translates to others as an innocent awareness of the person’s confidence… Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus, I forget the Indian dude’s name, etc, even when in hush silence people are said to have seen peace in them and their body reflect the confidence others lacked… Hmmmm …as if they knew something others didn’t…

    So while in the western world confidence equals to loudness, the spiritual world and to oriental religious thought, loudness is an enlightened ego that lacks confidence and must “attack” the physical world to attempt omnipresence in a material world it doesn’t control but wants to portray it superiority to others. In all, the ego tries to become something it isn’t; confident… When a person is confident they need not say it, nor act it as per its material manifestation in the western world, for simply being lets the self know it is, hence others see that confidence that says nothing about actions towards the outside but rather the knowledge that it is…

    Any person that mistakes their actions as a creation of confidence is a person who lacks self esteem, who isn’t confident, but has surely mistaken it as an ego seeking to bring worth to itself through its material status… Kind of like the guy with the expensive auto, everyone sees he is compensating for self esteem, yet he says that he is confident, and his daring actions and loud mouth towards the outside world, should let us know that his egotistical trip should be seen as confidence…

    Where there is true confidence there is no ego.
  12. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Indeed lucretia, indeed... my other form of connecting to "metaphysical" world, is to use the Santeria way, and ask the Orishas to join me in the dance... This one I rarely use, for my lack of knowledge on the subject prevents me from understanding it more in depth... never the less it has worked like a charm... Such a great presence of energy causes those around me or immediately connected to me, to feel what I feel... A girl I met during the congresso this year told me, I felt you from the moment you touched me. (I extended my hand out and she grabbed it, to which she attributes why we had such a great dance) She went on to explain how she felt everything I was feeling, how it went into her and she felt it, she really felt it. :)

    Everything we are was first a thought, it first lived in the metaphysical world, it was nothing more than an idea with no physical "value", yet today that idea has become us, it has manifested in this very physical world. To become a salsero, get a job, etc... all ideas that weren't and now are indeed "alive" have first lived in the confinements of thought.... the same with the metaphysical world, if we think "impossible" it will be impossible, but as you say, if we open our senses, they will become a "physical" reality....

    I think we all are sounding very insane right about now. :D
  13. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Actually, I definitely go for the workshops more than for the socials... how'd you figure that? :)

    But a bit more seriously, I do judge a social dance by how beginners and new faces are treated and make my local recommendations accordingly. I probably should write up a scoresheet and indicate on it the relative value of the criteria I hold for certain dances.
  14. Jamie

    Jamie New Member

    Sorry to bore you all again with another update ... but I just got back from another amazing night of salsa (I am on a bit of a high right now).

    Anyway ... with every dance I had tonight I was focusing my attention primarily on the energetic connection between myself and my partner ... and I can honestly say that for me ... it was a resounding success !!

    I felt much better connection with my partners and relaxed and happy and chatting. Not only that ... but because I was focusing my attention on the energy ... I had diverted my attention away from thinking about the moves (so everything came natural and fluid like).

    Going to do this every night now ... connect connect connect ...

    I am becoming deangerously addicted to salsa now and I am sorely tempted to try this geneve congress ... a flight was only 60ukp return ...

    Actually ... I am still a baby in the grand scheme of things ... but there you go ... thanks once again borikensalsero for sharing your insights.
  15. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    No need to apologise -- it's great to hear you had a wonderful night. What you wrote has made me want to dance with you -- looking forward to a chance to meet you!

    I know the feeling. 60 pounds!? Where from? The cheapest I can find would still cost me more than 150 pounds... :(
  16. Jamie

    Jamie New Member

    I am determined to get to some of these pontins things and maybe the geneve congress too ... so I'm sure we will meet MacMoto (looking forward to it too ... hoping u'll be gentle with me though).

    It's with easyjet, only one catch, it's flying out of east midlands (nottingham) airport. Great for me (I live in Sheffield) but if you're in Scotland, not so good.

    EMA direct to Geneve. If you go out on the 28th OCT and return on 2nd NOV (time for sight seeing in Geneve) if cost 60.98 GBP.

    See you there then ;-)
  17. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    :banana: :banana: :cheers: :banana: :banana:

  18. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Yes it helps to have direct flights from your local airport :(.
    Hmm, I haven't thought about going via East Midland, but if I connect to the flights you are talking about from Edinburgh, it works out at 96.86 pounds, which isn't bad (even though it means leaving early, coming back late and lots of waiting at EMA).

    Of course, staying in Geneva longer means higher accommodation (and feeding) costs. Going out on the 29th may be more feasible for me (only 10 pounds more for the flights).

    I'll PM you on this.
  19. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    It is all my pleasure Jamie! Looking forward to more stories of great salsa nights from you!!!! Hope you enjoy each night more than the one before... :D
  20. rails

    rails New Member

    You know, I don't often ask much more advanced followers to dance and I feel fine witht that. I don't recall ever being turned down by one, but with rare exception they all were obviously bored during the dance. I wasn't being insecure--the body language was unmistakable.

    They were all polite (except one who thought it was a good idea to lecture me during the dance about how she didn't feel the lead clearly enough here and that move didn't fit the music there etc).

    However, I want to have fun when I'm out dancing and I sure as heck am not having fun dancing with a bored partner. What I end up doing in this situation is readjusting to a practice mindset to get some benefit out of it. I pay attention to her and work on connection and precision and all that, but I just completely leave off the idea of connecting in the squishy, spiritual, musical way because there's nothing there.

    I do, however, dance with followers who are a little or somewhat more advanced than I am. I usually am able to connect well with them. I know they'd rather dance with the advanced guys and I completely understand that. I would too, but they still seem to enjoy themselves and that's what's important to me.

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