Salsa > Difference in types of salsa?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ronalds, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Nothing is further from the truth, however, if you like, I will continue this via PM so as to not air personal stuff on the boards.
  2. Imbrace

    Imbrace Member

    Makes sense!

    Exactly :D

    I agree there are masculine and feminine movements, and think that most of us do. But you look like having a strong faith in Darwinism which is just an unproven old study. IMO when we don't have a real explanation of something (or don't get it somehow, probably for media influence), we tend to go for anything that sounds fitting to satisfy our feeling that we know.

    Let me assure you that I (and some others I know) got women way beyond social dancing from salsa, tango, zouk, kizomba, etc, and up until now I lose beats sometimes when dancing. Could have had so many children by now :D

    I think telling people to dance well as a way to having women/men or children may increase their desperation feeling (if they fail) or make then invest in the wrong place.

    Perhaps because I'm not into this kind of music or solo dance, I am not seeing how good this vocabulary is. But since you haven't shared any video of what you consider good vocabulary in partner dancing, I've got this video to share. It's a video that I posted in another thread long ago and still enjoy watching. I wanted to make it play @ 2:00 for a couple of cool body movements that takes place within the first 15 seconds of minute 3 (1st by Tanja & 2nd by both), but failed.

    Not sure how much you'd approve them this time. If still don't, I'm enough talking to you about it, because it's too hard to understand you without a visual example.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
    vit likes this.
  3. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The one thing I do not like , in ANY ladies dancing , is the overt usage of the hands/arms Its way too affected and stage like ( hand on hip ? ) .Otherwise, a good dance .
  4. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    By Darwinism, do you mean evolutionary theory? If so, evolution is a fundamental theory in biology and many related sciences. Many concepts cannot be understood without implicit acceptance of this theory. Since I study psychology, what I've mentioned before about male and female behaviors are supported in the literature. It's not just supported in the literature but also from casual observations in various contexts.

    Dance in most mainstream cultures is like a circus attraction. It's fun but it's not a staple for social interaction. There are many places to interact (work, school, bars, clubs, etc.) so dance is only a very small part.

    However, as is the case in non-dance cultures, there are usually more women than men on the dance floor. Thus, for a man to even get on the dance floor suggests he is confident. Since women find confidence an appealing trait, dancing scores points, even if he dances poorly.
    Then there are men who dance exceptionally well. They are rare but they exude confidence because they know they are good. It shows in their bodies and in the reactions of both men and women. However, these rare specimens rate very poorly in long-term relationships. So while they rate very highly in attractiveness, they rate poorly in commitment value. But, that doesn't mean they'll take anyone home. They have standards like everyone else.

    A man who's an 8 can get almost any woman. But a woman who's an 8 would rather be with a 7 for a long-term commitment since another 8 knows he can get a 9. Upgrading is all part of the game of attraction. You want the best you can get but also know from experience what that best is. If you're a male 5, from experience the best you can get is a 6. If you're a female 5, the best you can get is a 7 but he'll probably cheat on you.

    How does this play out on the dance floor? You'll notice that the best dancers prefer to dance with other best dancers. The mediocre ones with mediocre ones. The bad with the bad. Unfortunately, if you are the best dancer on the floor, 9, you'll have no one to dance with so you have to settle for something less, 7. It can still be a satisfying dance but you'd still rather dance with another 9. And if you're a 3 on the dance floor? Hopefully, your engaging and light-hearted personality will make up for it. Or just dance with other 3's and they won't know that you're that bad.

    I used the word "vocabulary" before in a technical sense, however, when dancing, you aren't actively thinking that way (or at least you shouldn't.) When you dance, you should be thinking in terms of feeling, connecting your emotions to the music, and if dancing with a partner, to both the music and partner. That video of the man just grooving is very good feeling. He's not thinking about moves, just moving to the music. That's dancing and he's quite good. He's not trying to show off, either.

    Showing off is unfortunately a huge problem in modern salsa scenes across the globe. Everyone is trying to show off at a salsa club. The men show off cool turn patterns and the women show off sexy short dresses and arm styling. This is the reason salsa clubs are referred to as "meat markets." It's an incredibly superficial atmosphere to demonstrate, not to dance.

    In regards to the video of Tanja et al, I see a lot of showing off, very little dancing. Even when they break solo, they are moving for themselves, not for each other. (They don't even look at each other.) Partner dancing is reciprocation, like a conversation. There is zero in the video. (How does it feel to have a conversation and the other person never makes eye contact?) They aren't even listening unless the music is simply a glorified beat counter. If it is, if salsa is simply a glorified metronome, then this argument is moot.

    It's difficult for me to watch that video again because it makes me feel uncomfortable. What I hear and what I see are two very different things. The lack of communication is another reason. The showing off another. Basically, I don't see dancing, at least not social dancing. Stage or movie dancing, maybe. I would have enjoyed watching this years ago when I was extremely ignorant but not now. Ignorance was bliss because I was so focused on the moves and little else.

    But watching that last guy embrace her in his arms and sway to the music, he essentially captured the mood of the music and took her along. He was the only one dancing. He made me smile. Too bad the music stopped but I think he had a lot to express. Just imagine him dancing with her for the whole song. It may not be impressive, (and I think this is really the issue here that so many people have like in tango), but that's social dancing. Showoff on stage, not the social dance floor.

    BTW, there was a cha-cha rhythm. Did you hear it? You definitely wouldn't have known it was there just watching. The beer handoffs were epic! :D

    Try this: Play "Black and Gold" and watch the dancing (mute the salsa). The music fits their movements way better especially when the beat is matched. The way she styles her arms and the turns matches the melody exceptionally well. But then as the song and dance ends, that last guy who really looked like the salsa, is now really out of place to Black and Gold.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Imbrace, I´m a biologist and I take my work serious. And our worldwide profession also really is so critical among each other.
    Indeed, it is much older as so many modern variants of creationism and id.

    Well, I consider myself as one of them, but I find that´s not completely true. There are several independent thresholds and pecking orders in a dance community. I get on the dance floor, only to give somebody (male of course) a wipe. I dance with the most attractive, with the youngest, and of course with the best women around. But I also dance with a social awareness (read my thread on courtesy, pity and other obligatory dances). Dancing got absolutely nothing to do with direct courting and crooning. Men dance for (in the sense of against) each other.
    Imbrace likes this.
  6. vit

    vit Active Member

    There is certainly an amount of showing off in salsa world. Sometimes, like on this video, it can't be avoided - once 20 people are watching you, you are showing off to them whether you want it or not, even if you try to avoid any eye contact with observers and other things, as I usually try to do.

    However, it's frequently not nearaly that "bad" as it may look like. Many times, people simply enjoy dancing and, especially if they have an amount of stage experience, it may look like a big show off although it's actually not the case. As example, several years ago, a girl suddenly appeared in my venue and came dancing salsa to one smaller club a few times. She was really a nice dancer (looked similar to above video) and once I asked her for a dance. It turned out she was really a nice person, born in my hometown but went to the States about 20 years ago, dancing there b/room, salsa, tango, even took part in one season of DWTS etc. Our dance was superb. After we left the floor, two local girls (one of them actually b/room teacher) immediately approached me and started talking to me that she was showing off all the time and didn't care about me at all. But, I wasn't the case at all. I've seen our dancing completely different than them

    If you achieve say 10% of level of dancers in mentioned video that you didn't like, maybe you will understand it better ;) however it won't happen if you continue thinking that almost everything is wrong in salsa world
  7. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    If what you say is true, that men dance to show off for each other and size each other up, then what is the function of the woman? A prop? Arm candy? A dance-floor accessory? (How do women feel about this? Perhaps they enjoy the subjugation.) But basically you're saying that when men dance, it's a competition to show off who's best.

    I've noticed that there are some men who won't dance with women who are 1) older, 2) unattractive, 3) wearing casual clothing. These same men will, however, dance with women who are 1) younger, 2) attractive, 3) wearing skimpy outfits, 4) act easy, outgoing, superficial. Notice that being able to dance well is not a requirement. It's usually the better, more experienced dancers do this because they have status. Thus, status allows first access to females. I think this is where the issue, which has been mentioned before, of the new (attractive) girl comes into the scene, is swooned by the advanced dancers, learns nothing, and quits a couple months later never to go back.
  8. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    It sounds like the two women were envious and had to bad mouth her. It happens all the time. It's covert aggression against the competition because, obviously, overt aggression would make them look like b*tches and they might break a nail.

    Anyway, it's a social dance floor. The dance vocabulary on a social floor is vastly different from the stage. On stage, you dance for the audience. On the floor, you dance with and for your partner. None of that happened in the video (except at the very end.) Even if there wasn't such overt showing off, the aspect of doing moves which have nothing to do with the music is what bothers me the most. And as a musician, I'm very attuned to the mood and meaning of the music. And as a dancer, seeing movement and music as one is what I find desirable, what I consider good dancing.

    I think I've achieved 110% of the level of the dancers in mentioned video. That's why I argue for something else, known as dancing. ;) Doing elaborate turn patterns is no doubt very fun to do. The more difficult the pattern, the more it feels like you've accomplished something, like beating a difficult stage in Angry Birds. But dance isn't a video game. The goal isn't to accomplish a new trick from that $15 turn pattern class last Friday night. The goal is to connect with your partner and the music. This sounds like the kind of thing those in the tango community say all the time.
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Please spare me to go in detail. And also concerning men who need to dance, only to get in touch with women.

    But what counts is the access off the dance floor. The access on the dance floor is highly ritualized (even in perreo or despelote).
  10. vit

    vit Active Member

    Well, the goal is to have the same or similar goal as your partner, isn't it. So if some people have different goals than your goals or goals in tango community (for instance "no doubt very fun to do" as you mentioned), I suppose nothing is wrong with that
  11. vit

    vit Active Member

    I'm not sure it works that way

    Yes, most men will choose younger and more attractive girl among two girls with similar dancing skills (that are not that easy to define anyway - many times it's nicer to dance with a girl that has not much "dancing knowledge" but moves naturally). And some men will dance with them to gain some "status". But I wouldn't say those are most advanced dancers. People get advanced by dancing much and by dancing with good partners and not by dancing with young and attractive partners that learns nothing as you say. Also, girls learn much more by dancing with advanced dancers than by dancing with beginners on the (usually low quality) salsa classes. Also, superficial movements on the dance floor usually don't get much attention by advanced dancers as you stated, because they simply don't feel nice
  12. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    This reminds me of an interview with one of tango's well-known stage performers. (Sebastian Arce? The interview is on YT.) He was at a milonga and was dancing with a young woman. He said he felt really connected and had a very good time. But at the end of the first dance, she looked at him and said something like, "why did you only do simple things with me? I'm not a beginner." Apparently, she was expecting him to lead her into the stage moves that he so frequently does when he performs.

    He thought they were having a good time but all she wanted to do were fancy stage moves. Since he was stuck with her for the rest of the tanda, he complied with her request but never danced with her again. In the interview, you can hear how disheartened he was that tango had turned into this. The irony is that he actually perpetuated this. The stage and the floor has blurred to the point where there is no distinction.

    If anyone views salsa in this light, where dancers take to the floor to perform and not dance, then you can understand how I feel. Performing isn't dancing when you're on a social floor. And if you watch that video again, you'll see that Tanja had no idea what to do when that last guy took her into an embrace. You can see that she wanted to do more, as if doing more equals better dancing. I'm sure that if the music had continued, she would have started to feel even more uncomfortable since she wasn't used to just moving to the music. She's only used to using the music as a vehicle to show off in, as were the other dancers. But I'm also sure that she would have had a change of heart once she started hearing the music and moving with it. She would have finally been dancing.

    There's no heart in salsa even if it's there in the music.
  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Finally, a post with which I agree ..
    Angel HI likes this.
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    If she had clinged at him, he would have lead triple-time vueltas and salti. Sebastián is kind of a chameleon.
  15. vit

    vit Active Member

    I'm not in tango world (yet) and didn't check that interview, but I suppose that most good dancers, no matter the genre, don't always dance only simple things when dancing socially. In my case, it depends on the mood, song, place, floor, partner (of course) at 10 other things so sometimes I dance simple and sometimes more complicated ... and I can understand that expectations of many women when dancing with well know dancer is that they won't dance only basic stuff, even if that basic stuff feels 100x better than with average dancers which usually does ... so for me this looks more like different expectations of Sebastian and that woman in particular moment and perhaps tone the woman used when making the question, and not really some general rule about some boundaries between "social dancing" and "stage dancing".

    I'm however aware of the problem that people, when dancing socially, frequently try things above their current skills, we have been also discussing these things on salsa forum, many times it indeed looks scary ... but ... it's also one of ways to improve in dancing and, unless someone gets hurt, there's nothing especially wrong with that

    However, in mentioned social dancing clip with Tanja, everything is well within social dancing abilities of those dancers

    Also, we have to be aware that people dancing salsa are (in most venues worldwide) considerably younger than people dancing tango, so they think differently. It's even more the case with brazilian zouk where people frequently do really crazy things (danced once with a girl from neighbor country and it looked almost like she was trying to do a suicide) so compared to that, salsa is still quite "normal"
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  16. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Women's arm styling is dangerous on a crowded floor. So are boleos. Both of these are only appropriate on the stage. If you've ever been whacked by someone's flaying arms, you'll understand. Just like backflips are inappropriate on the floor, arm styling is also inappropriate on the floor.

    That's what a class or practicum is for, to learn and try things out. Practicing on the social floor gets people injured, especially women. Not to say that classes and practicums are safer. I've even had my shoulder pulled out of its socket when a woman insisted on flinging herself into a fast turn. I couldn't even shift the transmission on my drive home.

    It's an incorrect assumption to assume that because the demographic is older that they think differently. They don't. Even the older tango crowd likes doing those fancy moves. Boleos, volcanos, burritos... whatever. Something about it makes them feel sexy or something, like living a fantasy.
  17. vit

    vit Active Member

    As about arm styling, I always prefer to dance near advanced dancers, even if they do much more styling and overall traveling on the floor, because they have all parts of their bodies under control and awareness of position of other dancers, so the can do multiple spins 5 cm from me without hitting me. I don't remember I was ever hit by advanced dancer, but was hit many times by beginners that move unpredictably. Besides, in above case, floor was quite empty, so they used the floor. On more crowded floor they would adjust the dancing

    Yes, classes and practicums are safer, but again it depends. In my venue, several places are actually halfway between social dancing floor and practicums. And number of injuries is still very low, no any higher than in the classes

    I think it's well known that people get more conservative as they get older and their physical abilities decrease, so you won't find a good zoukera aged 50 and probably even 40 doing wild things with head and hair, it's a dance for girls at age of 20 or so, but you will find many good tango dancers at age of 50 (but probably not at 20). However, I agree that we can find people of any age trying to do things above their abilities and/or dangerous to other people. In that regard, social ballroom was much worse than salsa in my venue, although people were on average say 20 years older than on salsa
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  18. Imbrace

    Imbrace Member

    True :)

    "implicit acceptance"! That is it. Where is the evidence? This is a science, not a TV ad.

    I think one of the most desperate cultures in the world is the American culture. They dance or do whatever, they remain behind Europe .. and of course countries like Brazil, Africa and part of Asia. Unfortunately :( But this is not what I want to say.

    Here is the thing .. Americans are maybe the extremist dependants on psychotherapy, psychiatry and stuff like that. It is just the way they are with lawyers. This means either psychology and its sisters suck or people are so screwed that nothing can bring them back to normal!

    IMO, if science serves the general public a tiny bit, it serves the business world tremendously, and the business has always the upper hand. Many medicines are available out in nature, but you have to pay big companies which hire PhDs for manipulating ingredients (and getting exclusive rights over them) especially for treating your pocket. (Now with insurance companies, you can lose the track)

    And where is Darwin? In the hart of official psychology and biology. He got in without a ticket. You and I need to prove our theories before they get accepted as facts or it they'll remain just probabilities.

    What's special in Darwin? Well, probably because he makes some since and is the only materialistic approach out there which does no harm to business if not serve it (at least by losing track).

    Is this about Darwinism again? If not, still you need to ask whom you're talking to (especially poor dancers) if they feel comfortable hearing you telling them "I'm helping you have children". I mean if that's help them or rather make then more anxious socially. You have already said "luckily" you're not a dance teacher :)

    OK, but I am only interested in finding out how a couple dance should look like.

    I'd agree generally, but don't you find yourself too negative to see any beauty which is currently present? I don't like showing off but believe it is also relative and subjective.

    And WRT the the video, I did not ask you to criticise it for me. I just asked to tell me your opinion in a couple of particular things in the first 15 seconds of the 3rd minute. It looks to me like they are in a party where they are having fun as a group rather than performing for strangers to watch. That what makes it alluring to me. And the last guy, maybe moved to music, but we want to see salsa movement or your previous booty shaking video was more than enough.

    All negativities I am hearing from you recently, but I agree you had some valid points to consider. So, no point in discussing the how with you again.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  19. vit

    vit Active Member

    Yeah, half or even 3/4 of his points are completely valid, giving the weight to his theories. Problem is that the rest is quite questionable
  20. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    This is off topic, but there is a huge difference between psychology and psychiatry/therapy. Psychology is a science while psychiatry/therapy uses little evidence to support clinical practices. It is unscientific in its methodologies and therapies.

    I gather that you don't know very much about evolutionary theory. If you learned it, you'd understand that this simple concept has extensive scientific support. If you've ever had a dog or a cat, they are the result of domestication which is selective breeding over many generations. This is evolution. If you've ever eyed someone whom you found attractive, that is part of the reason why humans continue to reproduce, why you were even born. This is also evolution.

    Don't take my statements out of context. Dancing has very little bearing of children in Western cultures. Only in cultures where social dance is part of the mating/courtship ritual does it become very important to dance well. As I said, just getting on the dance floor shows guts/confidence and women find confidence attractive, even if he has two left feet. As long as he is confident in having two left feet, the standards of dance are so low that women don't even notice.

    About teaching, I was a teacher for a long time and having expertise in learning and memory (psychology & neuroscience) I became a very good teacher as the result. I can pretty much teach anything so that students learn and learn it well. If I did teach dance (I do have some experience teaching dance, with exceptionally good results, btw) I would teach what I preach. They would learn to hear, feel, and move. But I'd rather dance, not teach it.

    The video is really an issue of experience and knowledge, or lack thereof. For the audience (which is us) they were objectively NOT listening to the music and most definitely NOT feeling the music for the reasons I've already stated. I did make a digression earlier and didn't answer your question because the moment you see real dancing, it becomes very obvious that it's just right. Unless, of course, you've been conditioned to think it's supposed to be something else. Take for example tango. Social tango looks nothing like stage tango, yet stage tango is taught by a lot of performers and teachers. If you were only taught stage moves and only see stage performances, seeing real social tango is... Snooze... It's so simple: hug, walk, turn. It doesn't look impressive at all. Until you actually experience it yourself. Then you'll get the "feeling" that so many tango-ists talk about. It's the feeling that matters, not the volcanos and boleos. And by feeling, I don't mean the pain that is experienced after you've been kicked in the shin by an errant boleo, I mean the emotional connection that you have with the music and with your partner.

    My only advice to you and anyone else who wants to truly appreciate salsa is to really learn to listen to the music. That is, don't just use it as a glorified beat machine. Try to understand what is being said, in the rhythm, melody, and in the lyrics. Without this knowledge and understanding, I'm pretty certain my words are being understood as an entirely different language hence the reason why you can't understand what I'm saying. You just haven't experienced it yet. Like telling a 14-year-old that his/her BF/GF isn't their soul-mate and that they'll break up in a week or two. They'l deny it and hate you for telling them that. And then a week or two later, they break up and he/she finally understands what you've been saying all along.

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