Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ronalds, Mar 18, 2013.
yep but I find the best females there
I did say "where I go"........... so that is not generalizing
I don't live in LA any more so when im in town I have limited time for salsa so I go where I like it
Have you road tested this by teaching a reasonable number of people using this approach?
How do they do when they go dancing across a range of clubs while dancing with new people?
You make some very strange assertions.. Of all my yrs teaching/ dancing and training, with literally, world champions, have I EVER heard such nonsense .
Para. 1.. What keeps us " upright, is our balance and BODY .
Para. 2... I know not, of ANY trained dance Prof. who does not speak about Poise, Frame and Balance ( you make too many assumptions , there are many who do).
Para. 3.... The WHOLE point about commencing to dance, is selecting the beat on which we choose to express the music.: we "prep" our intended choice in some cases ( 2 for e.g. )for those that may have problems getting in/on time .
And yes, rhythmical interpretation, is the hallmark of good dancers, but, that expertise take many yrs, to become part of ones dance reportoire, and most of what is being discussed here is, the average club dancer. The majority of people who take lessons ,NEVER go beyond a very basic conceptual idea, of how to negotiate a song during the physical act of " dance ", And in partnership terms,rhythmical experience only occurs, when both lead and follow have that type of background experience .
And, by the way, if you cannot even name WHAT the correct term is ( as in ANY "footwork" will do ) for what the foot/feet are doing, then your posits have little meaning.
FOOTWORK and FOOT positions, are 2 different " animals ". So, may I respectfully suggest that , you learn the correct dance terminology, before you lecture me, or others , again .
Lastly.. ALL social dances that are universal, and there many, need a universally accepted commencing point. Of course one may vary how to begin ( I change my "start " with some ,in fact ) BUT, one has to consider that, the average club goer, is not as sophisticated,dancewise , as the minority of occasional attendees, at most social events.
Now heres some advice, that I give you freely..
There are 3 things that control EVERY dancer no matter the discipline..
1....... Balance control
2....... Timing control
3....... Muscle control
Lose any ONE of those, and all 3 are lost.. the words of a 10 time world champion...
NB.. the problem with salsa in particular, are the numbers of " cowboy " teachers that proliferate the genre.. thats where most of the problems in dance emminate from !
I've never taught salsa the way I suggested: to listen to the music first before letting the body be compelled by the music. What this implies is that salsa is a cultural form and that people from certain cultures are better able to hear it because they grew up listening to it even if they've never danced to it. Salsa is usually complex with poly-rhythms that can be difficult to learn to hear and comprehend. This is why teaching music is far more important in the long-term than teaching dozens of turn patterns. One allows you to dance. The other makes you look cool.
It's not nonsense. If I can lead an absolute beginner (and I mean the person doesn't even have to know what salsa is) into these long turn patterns, then I've provided evidence for my point. Anyone off the street can be led into these turn patterns without any prior dance instruction. This includes simple turns, double spins, even triple spins as long as the person is focusing on the upper part of the body. I've done it. This is why I say what I said.
You're now talking about semantics. I was not writing in technically correct language as I am not a dance professor nor trained in dance kinesthetics. I was writing in a way that I hoped others would understand.
In the social dance sphere, it's not necessary to decide On1, On2, or onClave. Those who do are simply following their dance teachers' instructions and not paying attention to the music. And those who have problems with the tempo or the rhythms of the music are beginners. Since it is the music that decides the form of the dance, the music is the authority while the dancers are the interpreters.
Don't be arrogant.
Maybe I misunderstand what you mean by "commencing point." You mean when to start the dance or how to start it? You can start the dance whenever you choose and how you choose. You can dance salsa solo or partnered; most of the music is ambiguous in this respect.
i love when people who werent born into a culture tell the rest of us "how it is"
what a load....
does music theory help partner dancing?? or having played an instrument?
yes at the extremes of the art the very begininng to "learn rhythm" ,and at the top level to "maximize musicality"
in the middle it creates brain noise that interferes with posture, technique and body movement mechanicS, emoting etc etc which are the hallmarks of the intermediate dancers learning process
i know... ive been there.
- a non technical term, I think
The Noisy Brain
Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-958786-5
The activity of neurons in the brain is noisy in that their firing times are random when they are firing at a given mean rate. This introduces a random or stochastic property into brain processing which we show in this book is fundamental to understanding many aspects of brain function, including probabilistic decision making, perception, memory recall, short-term memory, attention, and even creativity. In The Noisy Brain we show that in many of these processes, the noise caused by the random neuronal firing times is useful.
Just because someone has heard music all their life has little to do with their ability to dance. One doesn't equal the other. Lots of great dancers didn't grow up with salsa music.
If you're going to recommend a specific path for teaching/learning, it's helpful if you actually try it with a few dozen people to see if your theories actually work in the real world. Anybody can have a theory...
Any one person can make anything work, but the test is does it work when you start with a broader set of people. One method rarely works for all, even if one person became excellent with a specific technique. What they did may or may not work for others.
But interesting to hear your theories.
I respectfully disagree it's primarily extra noise in the intermediate stages.
It may or it may not, it depends where someone starts and how they apply it. When applied correctly it can make someone appear much more advanced than they are, at all levels.
I totally agree it CAN have some people over thinking some aspects of the dance. Anything you mention can create brain noise. The focus on technique, footwork, posture or 100 others things can be brain noise, depending on the individual.
Lots of people would do much better getting a grounding in the music earlier in their dance journey, but there are many paths to excellence.
That musical practice is also often OFF the floor, so that it is less brain noise when physically dancing, it's more a part of the process but not taking up so much bandwidth.
One size rarely fits all.
you are a fantastic diplomat...........
didn't really say that............
for salsa ill agree ...as often as we learn it we listen to the music more at home etc other fun dances like WCS hustle and AT as well
not really groovin to waltzes in the car myself tho
My point is if I was dancing waltzes, I would be listening in the car, at the gym, while in the shower...
Any music that someone is dancing to should also be listened to off the floor. I don't think that is style/genre specific.
Waltzes also follow a similar form (structure) to most other dance music, it's just they have have a three primary pulses per measure instead of the four in some of the other styles.
All to say, if you're dancing to a style of music, it should be something we are regularly grooving with off the floor.
BTW - We agree on the brain noise stuff. Lots of people who don't know the music well enough will go slightly backward when they learn more about the music during the initial stages.
They have something else to think about, and depending on their prior experience it can be another factor that muddies the water rather than clarifying it. That is short term, but I've seen it happen hundreds of times.
The Noisy Brain
Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-958786-5
Interesting, but I note that in the downloadable pdf file, "brain noise" is not found. "Noise" on the other hand is - many times. That perhaps is not consistent with the rest of the text.
And it seems to refer to the process of attempting to "analyze," "understand," (pick your own word here) whatever is being perceived. This is consistent with the presentation in "Guitar Zero," that there is a large amout of activity in the brain, until a pattern is discerned, stored, and eventually stored in a less active, more primitive area of the brain. I'm not sure though, that this is exactly what the authors are describing. Rather than describing experimental measurements, they seem to be moslty working with models.
A noisy brain, it seems to me, is one that is learning.
The probelm with eliminating "brain noise" such as music at any stage of learning to dance, as I see it, is that the learning takes place in the absence of components such as rhythm. Students are learning to to move independent of music, rather than in response to, and with it.
And that explains a lot about what I see with most dancers, which is that they AREN'T dancing to the music they are doing moves while music plays.
Interesting book, though I'm sure. Perhaps one day I'll take the time to grapple with it. (heh heh)
I wish I said it that well:
"... they AREN'T dancing to the music, they are doing moves while music plays."
Perfectly stated... and yes, I see the same thing all the time. Not such a big deal for someone dancing the first couple months, but for those who "put it off" they are often still doing the same thing two years later.
I'd like to request some names for who you consider great. Do you mean competition-wise or social dance-wise? I'm only interested in the social dance.
(What you say reminds me of how some Latinos complain about how Americans don't know how to dance, as in doing steps [On1, On2, etc.] instead of responding to the music which has no steps.)
The ability to dance is ingrained in us. It doesn't require any kind of instruction. All that is needed is music with a predictable beat and rhythm. This is why my 2-yr-old nephew grooves to any music. He's been grooving since he was one years old and he's never been taught to dance. Everyone can do this but that ability is eventually lost to those who grew up in a non music/dance culture like in mainstream America.
This is also why I severely look down on most "dance classes" because it is a sham. Students are taught things that don't work in a social setting or work only with those who've taken classes with the same teacher. Want to do double or triple spins? You have to dance with someone in the same class or learned the same techniques. This is choreography, not social dance.
How about you provide little clips of you leading a new follow through double or triple turns, mildly complex patterns.
There are people who grow up organically dancing. They will dance their own style but rarely are they able to dance with a wide variety of people outside of people in their social circles (who grew up with the same style of dancing.)
You have said yourself, you haven't taught many people to dance, especially adult learners, people without your music background.
You're right music has no steps, it's a learned thing. Just like the noun/verb order of languages. In English I would say "red car" but in Spanish the same thing would be said in the reverse order ("car red" Except in Spanish that would be: "coche rojo")
Is one order better than the other? No, but each language has a set of conventions, just like dance (and music).
In English I can say "car red" but most native speakers would conclude I'm an inexperienced speaker. They could understand me and figure out what I'm saying, but it's not a smooth, easy conversation if someone mixed the conventional order up in all their communications.
Same with dancing, there are conventions and if you want to social dance with a wider cross section of people, you follow the conventions. Nobody has to do that.
The music doesn't tell you anything directly. If it did there wouldn't be half a dozen different salsa timings and style. Nothing says I SHOULD step forward or backward on count 1 or 2, that is a convention that makes it easier to have fun dancing with others you don't know in a social setting.
In language, dance and music there are conventions that nobody has to follow, but doing so makes it far easier for people to dance and communicate. You can use any words you wish, but there is an established framework.
Within a smaller language or dance circle, anything goes (young twin children often develop their own language they understand between them, but later adopt the language of their surroundings.)
Also, this is interesting: Some of the others you are having this discussion with have taught thousands of people to dance over the years. Those people are out today dancing with hundreds of others. You mentioned you haven't taught many, so I find your confidence in your untested methods interesting. (What works for you and/or your family (or mine) is NOT a decent test of how teaching works...)
If your methodology is workable, lots of the instructors would love to find a way to help many others, so they would adopt your methods if they worked AND they are teachable.
Go out and find a couple dozen students to teach your methods, report back with the results, and you can make big bucks teaching the instructors some improved methods. Maybe you have some new magic most of us have missed before.
As for social dancing, that's all I do. I have never been discussion competition dancers.
My definition of great social dancers are people who can dance and reflect the music, dance with a wide selection of people and scale their dancing for a wide variety of skill levels, from beginner to years of dancing experience.
Para..1... Here, we have complete agreement... however
Para..2.. It depends upon the "teacher ".. styles tend to creat specific objectives in partnership, BUT, there are fundamental core foundational techniques that, apply to ALL dance forms .
Educating students to understand basic musical structure ( beats and bars ) and standardised technique that, should be ( N.B. , SHOULD be ) taught from day one ,in a class or private lesson .
heres the irony.. whether we want to or not EVERYone dances some form of Choreog. every time we dance. We are programmed to dance set sequences that, we have become familiar with in our muscle memory .
Then comes the difficult part.. re-tooling that process ,when the music in the song does gear "changes " . That I believe, is the crux of your posit. However, that process takes many yrs of immersion ,into the genre one is attempting to perfect , and in a manner that ,is unique to the individual, personal style, if you will .
ALL of this, can only be achieved with a solid foundational understanding ,in the concepts that apply, to all who dance ,within that genre .
And, " we " should dance "IN " the music, not "on"..
Separate names with a comma.