Salsa > Ballroom vs Street/club Salsa

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

  1. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

  2. africana

    africana New Member

    haha ballroom is old too but it still has its aficionados ;)

    Anyway Neri Torres is an excellent instructor in just about all the traditional Cuban dances. And my point with discussing the cuban rumba is to point to the main roots of salsa and son. The derivation is quite straightforward if one observes the basic steps in a yambu dance or guaguanco dance, the emphasis on the clave pattern is pretty much the same stepping as the "NY on2" or Son basic step

    Also the upper body movements (ribcage, shoulders, arm gestures) and rthymic plays are still used in street or club salsa/mambo
    So it aint that old
  3. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    I am going to take your advice to shut and dance. I am off to teach a class. Enjoyed the intercourse. :)
  4. SalsaAmore

    SalsaAmore New Member

    IA, I'm sorry to say, your argument is a bit illogical. Just because Cubans "you know" who go to your studio for salsa don't dance rumba anymore, because they think it's old does not dismiss the fact that there are cubans outside of your Miami studio or circle that still does the rumba. Maybe, it's not as popular to some of those "you know" who think it's old and unpopular, it doesn't change the fact that there are those who still dance it.

    Would you not consider the good old USA, foxtrot and ballroom - Western with European influence?

    It still doesn't change the fact that the European influence is prominent and the Westernization of the dance is obvious. Given that there are changes and regardless of the fact that there may be Latin people doing Latin Ballroom. And, that they may be effective and genuine in doing certain Latin dance, nevertheless, they still have to stick to European/Western standards that have been ingrained since the beginning of competition ballroom.
  5. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    No offense, but this is coming from an Asian in San Francisco? I have done about 300 TV shows on Cuban TV shows here. I am with Cubans outside the studio day in and day out. I think I have somewhat of a basis to argue. I am not sure what yours is? Again no offense :D
  6. SalsaAmore

    SalsaAmore New Member

    No offense, Altman. Oh no offense taken, but you wanted to use the race card, because you have no clue. Don't you know there are so many Asians who are from Central and South America. Because, you are clueless and illogical, I don't take offense to your nonsense. It's doesn't take an Asian to see you don't have the smarts to argue nor do you have any logic in your arguments.

    Also, if you can follow the point, maybe you can see I'm not arguing about how much I know about Cubans, but the fact that you can't follow a logical path to what others are clearly saying. Take a hint from the other posters, you don't have a clue. :roll: :lol:

    Gotta go, see you tomorrow. I'll see what else you have in your arsenal other than the race card maybe some smarts. Hahaha.
  7. Big10

    Big10 Member

    What the heck does her being Asian have to do with anything? :? :roll: I can maybe understand that you are trying to argue that there are fewer people of Cuban descent in San Francisco than there are in Miami -- but other than that, she's just like you....a non-Cuban discussing his/her perception of Cuban dance culture.

    I'm not Cuban either, but I happened to be at a house party two weekends ago with Cubans doing some Rumba.....just like they did at a different house party I attended back in June. The next time I see them, though, I guess I'll have to tell them how "out of touch" they are with modern Cubans, because a guy in Miami said so on the Internet! :roll:

    Hey, maybe I'll even print out a copy of your latest syllabus for them, so they can learn how to really dance Salsa..... :idea:
  8. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    I happen to know many Chinese Cubans. I do not want to argue on how to argue. I just gave you my experiences and if that is illogical to you then ok? I wasn't trying to play a race card, however, I do aplogize if I have offended you. Big ten I have no comment on your sly remarks.
  9. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    Yeah, race really shouldn't be an issue. SalsaAmore is right that there are plenty of Asians who have enjoyed a Latin-American upbringing, just as there are probably people of Cuban decent that may not speak a lick of Spanish... let's put that aside now, hmmm?

    Cultural experience can be relevant, though. I think that's what most of our passion in these “debates” is fueled by – our experience. No one can deny you your experience, so that's why I don't think people around here should be so exclusive. I can tell you in MY experience, it appears that the Salsa crowd is less accepting of ballroom interpretations than the other way around. It's true that there are some hot-heads in the ballroom circles (maybe even on this forum) that have been less accepting of the street/club salsa culture, but I choose to say that there is plenty each side can learn from each other.

    Ballroom can feed off the flava of the social dance world (salsa, swing, etc.) and in return, salsa circles can benefit from tried and tested methods of showmanship and technique – take it or leave it, just don't get mad.

    Just recognize that both sides have emotion, passion, and expression (that's right, both sides, not just what goes on in da club).
  10. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    I agree. Your point is well taken Porfirio. I sort of get tired of comments made like Big 10. He knows nothing about me, never seen me dance, nor does he know much of the WSF. I may have jumped on SalsaAmore, and I apologized to her. I was a bit hasty. Everyone has an opinion. I certainly have mine. I tend to agree with also on the Salsa thing. The Salsa World tends to be a bit more antaganistic to the Ballroom people more than the other way around. I have been changing that. Recently, on a site called Born to Salsa, one of my couples did a show at one of their socials. Although the boy was 15 and the girl was 12 they captioned the clip as "2 fantastic salsa dancers trained by Isaac Altman". Made me feel good as they are very Salsa oriented. Let me share the clip
  11. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Race seems to be an issue here - but that was disproven many years ago - after all, people are connected CULTURALLY but not racially to music - the old racist ideas that, for instance, black people had 'rhythm', or that latinos (who, by the way, are not a race) could dance naturally, or that Jews were Shylocks, or that Italians were gangsters, and on and on...

    I worked for many years with many Latin musicians, and I was always impressed how THEY were color and mationality - blind... the top movers in the Latin record world have been Jewish (along with many of the top players and arrangers).

    Point is, someone who comes from Austria does not 'naturally' know how to do a Viennese Waltz, any more than someone from a Latin country 'naturally' can dance Latin.

    Good dance is based on technique - I looked at many 'salsa' videos posted from a thread on this site, and the recurring thing with all of the GOOD dancers was not their ethnicity, but their expression and movement. Bad social dancing looks like bad social dancing even in a salsa club.

    One of the top ballet dancers in the WORLD left the NYC ballet recently to wide accliam - he was Latin. So was Edward Villella - a Cuban who changed the course of male ballet dancers - 30 years ago (he now runs the Miami Ballet). Did they have to overcome some wierd ethnic disability to become ballet dancers and free themselves from a 'natural' ability to do street latin (with the accompanying 'staring at the floor' and windmill arms)? I don't think so.

    Predjudice runs deep, and a basic premise of predjudice is that it is usually not seen by the predjudiced person. They can always rationalize their fears and 'facts'. Really, does anyone REALLY believe that your place of birth determines the ability to dance a very specific dance movement? Cuba is 90 miles from the USA - is 90 miles the demarcation line? or can anyone within, say 150 miles of Cuba 'naturally' dance salsa? That would certainly be news to the average 'guy on the street in Florida. Hey bro - you live in the correct latitude - you don't need to do nothin' - just go out and 'dance'...

    Probably the 'feeling' that you 'understand' the 'culture' makes you think that the music 'moves you' differently than it does someone from, say, a colder country, but here's a clue - People who live in certain zip codes have no more or less abilities than others. Same with certain climates. Your local weather pattern doesn't make you dance on clave time.

    An understanding of a culture, by the way, comes from being IN it as well as UNDERSTANDING IT. But, you don't have to be born in a culture to understand it - and most people don't 'understand' their culture anyway - the simply react to it. Understanding something requires vision and study - otherwise, only a Chinese person would be able to speak Chinese.

    one of the great writers about American culture, BTW, was European.

    Someone famously said that 'no great thinkers came from tropical climates'. You COULD rationalize THIS by comparing Einstein, say, with Imelda Marcos. Is THAT valid reasoning? I think not... it's racist too. I choose not to generalize and make broad blanket statements about cultures based upon 'evidence' seen only by looking out my front door (so to speak). Nobody can tell me 'everyone they know feels on1, so it means that it is the way and the word', for instance.

    Rant over. Back to your regularly scheduled program!!
  12. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    you go lantzman! :D
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    If that's an example, feel free to rant anytime saludas! :notworth:
  14. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Ahhh, Miss. SalsaAmore. Beauty and brains? Now I have not used this emoticon for some time but you so inspire me that I will dare to use it once again:

  15. latindia

    latindia New Member

    Wow, I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest here. Currently I don't know any cubans, rumba-loving or otherwise, so I shall refrain from discussing them :roll:

    But I shall apply my infallible engineer logic and state that there does appear to be significant number of cubans in Miami who do not rumba, while there are a significant number in SF who do. There...that should make everyone happy :lol:

    Anyway, Africana, your post above was probably the most illuminating for me, along with several others. I think I now am beginning to realize what people mean by 'Ballroom-style' salsa. It's salsa done in a more erect, formal style, making it look like a European dance.
    Street salsa seems to be the one which is more improvised, with lot's of 'shines' (I've hardly seen ballroom dancers lose contact with each other during a dance).

    I guess the style in 'Dirty Dancing' would be more 'Ballroom style'? The steps and footwork does seem to be salsa/mambo, but of course it's very erect etc.

    Another example: the other day I was visiting a dance studio and watched a group of dancers working on a cha-cha routine for a performance. They were very 'ballroom', erect, rigid-upper-body-frame etc. However, in the clubs I see latin people doing cha-cha in a very relaxed, flowing fashion. I assume that's the difference people are talking about?
  16. saludas

    saludas New Member

  17. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    Latindia, you need to know that the way Ballroom dancers dance for a show or comp is different than the way they dance socially. (in general). Do consider my couple doing Ballroom Salsa? Check out the video clip I posted earlier.
  18. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    By the way, the Colombians dance their salsa very erect. Many of their steps look like jive. You just can't say Salsa this or that with such a big paint brush. (I hope I haven't :oops: )
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Yes. :)
  20. africana

    africana New Member


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