Salsa > Ballroom vs Street/club Salsa

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by latindia, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. alvaro

    alvaro New Member

    This is the first time i see someone saying this. For me Ballroom salsa is related to Ballroom dancing. Period.

    I've taken lessons at a Ballroom Studio, but with a teacher that doesn't do Ballroom (moot point) and is teaching NY on2: that's not ballroom salsa. On the other hand, if you take a couple lessons at your local club or sunday morning near the beach or whatever ... but the teacher has a ballroom background and teaches/dances a certain way, then you might be learning ballroom salsa.

    Argh! i don't even know anymore what we're talking about!.

    I'll just follow advice and go dancing tonight!
  2. kdogg

    kdogg New Member

  3. SalsaAmore

    SalsaAmore New Member

    Thank you for asking so politely. I didn't want to ignore your question, but that is a tough one when you don't have much dance exposure and you don't quite see the differences in the two. I would probably have to go into a lot of detail. When I have more time, I will PM you and try to elaborate. In the meantime, have fun dancing!
  4. elgrancombo

    elgrancombo New Member

    I live and dance in Chicago. When my schedule allows, I take classes. The VAST majority of people in these classes are Latin. In fact, I have Latin/Hispanic acquaintances that take Salsa/Mambo classes obsessively - I'm talking 30-40 hours a week. I have a Puerto Rican friend (a follow) that actually took an unpaid leave from her job so she could devote more time to studying dance. That's why I find this notion that Latin people don't take classes to be complete and utter BS. The really good dancers always strive to get better, whether it be via classes or as part of a dance company. Unless your parents or family raised you dancing, you need classes. Occasionally, I'll see a new face at the clubs. If they tell me, "I don't take classes because I'm Latin," it's a pretty sure thing that they suck.
  5. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    My studio in Miami, is full of Latinos that can't hear their music. About 90% of our students are Latin.
  6. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    well.. they are two different dances.. two different worlds.. why compare? just pick the one u favor and just do it..

    as for knowing about them.. well .. go see for yourself and experience it.. somebody else's views .. are exactly that.. somebody else's..

    thats only my view.. lol
  7. africana

    africana New Member

    This is probably the most important point that most salsa or ballroom apologists forget to factor into arguments as to way they are different or which style is better

    Ballroom dances come from a European/Western dance tradition, therefore the technique, posture, movement and the concept of partnering is strongly european. Today there are hybrids where ballroom (rhythm?) dances have borrowed latin and afro body movements

    Salsa has a strong African and Afro-latin root, both in the music and in the afro-cuban dances forms that preceded the mambo such as rumba/guaguanco, and so it comes with other movement empahsis and technique. You won't see a Cuban dancing rumba in the upright erect ballroom fashion. It would look ridiculous
    Anyhow some musicologists and historians describe salsa ancestors such as the Cuban son and danzon as creolized versions of french/european country dance traditions by the black slaves, but adapted to afro-cuban rhythms.

    Salsa is salsa because it also borrows many concepts such as european partnering technique, patterns and steps from other dances like swing, hustle, jazz even some ballet, as well as many other dance influences come from a worldwide mix of african, caribbean, latin, and whatever-else.

    So there are varying degrees of hybridization depending on country/geography.
    This is why it's difficult to define salsa on paper, at least the street non-ballroom salsa
  8. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    Boy Africana, I would like to play scrabble with you! Anyway, you are a bit off on Ballroom Dance Origins. Harry Fox from the good old USA invented Foxtrot which was first danced and taught in the U.S. Secondly, Cubans don't dance Rumba anymore. It is too old for them. The Rumba the ballroom do is not the Cuban Rumba.
  9. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    How does that, in any way, negate the point that Ballroom dances are based in and partake of a Western/European movement style and aesthetic???
  10. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    I am not sure what you mean. Styles in Ballroom dancing including Latin have changed and continue to change. Even posture has changed since the 70's in Ballroom. I don't think you can use such a wide brush.
  11. Canadian Guy

    Canadian Guy New Member

    I cannot say that I have read all the old posts about this topic but the ones I have seen - there is confusion / disagreement about what is Ballroom Salsa or even Street Salsa. Before you can compare them you have to define them. That may be the problem - Salsa doesn't like to be defined so we end by arguing in circles because everyone defines Ballroom vs. Street styles differently, not to mention what is Salsa.

    To me, anything street cannot be learn in a studio. By definition once something is taught in a school or studio - how can you call it street anymore - it's become mainstream. Street style dancers are self taught, they don't have coaches or teachers or instructors. They may share moves / styling with their peers but there don't have instructor/student type relationships. Applied to Salsa, these dancers would usually do little patterns but lots of shines and body isolations moves. They usually don't worry about being on1 or on5 or 2 and 6 counts. They don't count - they feel the music.

    On the other end of the speculum you have Ballroom Salsa which I guess is ballroom schools teaching Salsa with the sharp staccato style and many pre-set patterns. No shines or body isolations within their routines. Counting and being on time very important.

    In between these two extremes - I am going to add the Club Salsa. Most dancers at the club in my area have or are taking lessons with instructors who go out or perform at Salsa congresses. I think this is where most of us here are from.

    There are very few self-taught dancers or dancers at the clubs who trained at a ballroom schools.

    At the beginning level, there will be almost no difference between Ballroom Salsa and Club Salsa students. Students are just happy to be getting the pattern, let alone adding any styling (Staccato or otherwise). Dancing with students from other schools will almost be impossible because they have only been practicing with people from their own schools. Until they get more practice and more confidence they are not going to be doing any shines or fancy body isolation moves.

    Is one better than the other? Not really - if it gets people interested and started in Salsa, so much the better. As a dancer advances in level, they will develop their own style and will be able to pick and choose what they want to retain from their instructors or develop something all their own.
  12. alemana

    alemana New Member

    what a righteous post.
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Nice post CG :D
  14. africana

    africana New Member

    nonetheless there's a strong european-influence in the feel style of the dance, technique, partnering

    but of course! I thought it went without saying: The rumba I speak of has NOTHING to do with ballroom rumba. Cuban rumba is seen in the yambu or guaguanco dances which are african in feel and style, with the roster/hen mating roles lol definitely not ballroom

    that's funny because I first learned rumba from Cubans IN HAVANA, and subsequent workshops I've taken have been from cuban master intructors, with live drumming, singing, etc. Maybe you're confusing the rumbas. Moreover I have been at rumba gatherings in the states, so I know for a fact that cubans STILL dance rumba ;)
  15. africana

    africana New Member

    Word :D
  16. tacad

    tacad New Member

    And you're good at scrabble too! :lol:
  17. africana

    africana New Member

    agreed 8)

    although I think it's very nitpicky making the distinction between street/club dancing, but I understand why Canadian-guy does that, makes sense
  18. africana

    africana New Member

    baha! I haven't played since I was 10
  19. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    At my Miami studio, we teach Cubans day in and day out. For them, Rumba is old.
  20. africana

    africana New Member

    old and alive :D

    And by the way the last series of workshops I took was at the IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban festival in Miami, just 2 months ago

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