Salsa > Do all the better dancers, do it on2?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by road2graciousness, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    and my own answer to the OP's question from back in '08 would be...the best dancers dance on all timings, on1, on2, on3, onwhatever, and on no timing at all...whatever it takes to dance with the partner of the moment. :)
     
  2. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    I've no idea what on3 is (i.e., how one would dance to salsa or a related music with the break step occuring on 3) - is there a description somewhere samina? (oh hi there! :)). I've seen on3 mentioned more than once on the internets (including DF or SF perhaps), but never quite understood it.

    As to the OP's question, the non-pedantic answer is 'yes'. Generally, the salsa dancers who have some years of experience, and go after constant growth, are at least familiar with on1, on2 timings, slot and casino styles of dancing, and LA vs NY styles of dancing. Their own preferred style may be entrenched somewhere towards LA or NY style in the spectrum, but generally they'd have the ability to dance on1 or on2 timings, and dance either in a slot, or in a circular fashion (to either timing).

    Columbian style of salsa seems to be less common in the repertoire of dancers not specializing in that style. In Bachata, there is an increasing trend of knowing how to dance the footwork heavy Dominican style of Bachata (and let's not digress into whether Dominican style is really Dominican, or whether there is even an accepted style of Dominican bachata that's widely adopted etc ;-), in addition to dancing closed-position intimate Bachata. 'Better' dancers tend to know how to dance cha-cha as well, and they often strongly prefer to dance it on2 (regardless of their salsa preferences - this is even true in the heart of LA), and often have an understanding of how it's danced on1 and are capable of doing so under duress ;-)

    In on1 scenes, on2 dancers do tend to be better. As others have said it, this is often because those who go after a niche often have to do so by going through a learning process that's not widely available - which often results in active learning and better results.

    A very pedantic answer would be that 'better' or 'advanced' dancers are infinitely flexible enough to adapt to any timing whatsoever, can adapt to any kind of partner, and their soul is moved by the music, and they can ride any wave or subwave of the music whether it be rhythmic or melodic, and can simultaneously adapt to music, partner, floor etc. while keeping it fun, lighthearted, enjoyable and so on.... (your imagination is the limit to how much one could stretch this on and on ;-) )
     
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i've seen it discussed here...way back...and i've heard others talk about it, but i do not have personal experience with it.

    my salsa instructor, who does all timings, all styles, and has traveled the world for maximum exposure to salsa communities of every type, has summarized the timing issue as "the vast majority of salsa dancers -- around 80% -- dance with no timing at all. this is consistent around the world. only about 10% dance primarily on1 and another 10% on2."

    i found that summary interesting, considering how much debate there is about which timing is best.

    ETA: hi, quix! :) :tongue:
     
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Many PRs have used 2 as their break of choice for multiyrs, and , Cuban Son is often danced on 3.

    How do they do it ?.. they commence with the mans r. foot on 1 tap on 2 and break on 3 . ( my choice when Im not on 2 )
     
  5. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Sam.. they must dance on SOME specific time ,and to keep changing it would be a nitemare to follow !!
     
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    welcome to the world of followers... :tongue:

    no, they don't need to dance on a specific time. nope. that's the reality out there...
     
  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    TT, also...the great majority of salsa dancers on the planet have been taught informally, without instruction on timing. they dance by feel, and thus timing is a far more interpretive or flexible construct for them.

    but i regularly dance with dancers who have been taught in class where the basics of the break are taught, and they frequently do not dance on time.
     
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Why is it a good analysis? Conga and Clave (if there is one) rhythmically are so opposed to each other as could be.

    mmmh? Forgive me! You know, I am no Salsa dancer at all, but if I had to dance salsa, I would also change the accentuation within a piece without qualm if a break or a solo would draw my inspiration.
     
  9. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    Wow - this makes so much sense! I've seen casino dancers do this often, but for some reason I could never really make sense of it by just watching. I've asked some of them to explain their basic step to me, and since most of the local 'good' dancers of casino style seem to have learned organically through various experiences, their ability to describe their own basic step to me and teach me, so to speak, has been rather poor. When I think about your description, it's very clear. Thanks!!
     
  10. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    that does make sense, doesn't it. casino dancers feel so different, and it has always felt like more than just the circular trail of their dancing but i could never put my finger on it. i'll keep this in mind the next time i encounters some...
     
  11. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Thats exactly what " shines " do.. but.. to constantly change during a song, would cause utter confusion to the follower.. does it happen ? of course, by dancers who dont understand music and dance construction !.

    " Changes " should reflect spedific instances and, are not arbitrary as to " anywhere will do " .
     
  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Im more than aware of that having spent multi yrs in Latino clubs.. but.. my experience is different.. they( leaders ) are pretty consistent on their choices of "break " . The only difference is the beat they choose ( some are 1 others 2 or 3 ). The real Salseros do experiment far more but they are the exception ( take NYC out of the equation ) .


    As to class "people ".. of course they will get off time.. most are still learning ... even the teachers !!( Ive seen vids of some well known Profs (?) in salsa get off time ) .And, as to" teachers" in this genre.. 90% have never had any dance training other than that has been passed on by other non trained types.

    Ive taught Profs here recently, who were totally unaware in the differences between a Son, a Son Guajira ,and a Guaguanco , in fact they didnt know they existed !!.( dont even mention Clave !)

    It takes multi yrs of experience in this genre ,to come to grips with all the multi layered rhythms that make up the music,. not to mention the Son aspect of the genre .

    Its also worth noting that, it depends upon the clientele; clubs in Tampa for e.g, in some cases, attract a mature crowd who are more conservative in their approach, and other clubs and nites , are noted for attracting a younger and more adventurous types.
     
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Ok, but this should classify these dancers not as good dancers, in the sense of the openers question "Do all better dancers...". For my a good dancers changes his dancing according to the music style and the song structure, and he should be aware of this fact, and should be able to talk about it, too!
     
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Your last para. speaks volumes..


    1st.. para.. if there is no Clave then its NOT mambo/Salsa, even when not distinctive ,its implied ; proficient dancers know where the Clave falls in the music structure .
     
  15. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    because in this case I speak as a musician.

    I assumed that, too! But may be some readers around here do not know, that some bands do not use claves as an own instrument, or a sterotype pattern. Watch and hear Tito, though of course he follows the musical idea of the clave.
     
  16. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I was dancing to him "live " probably before you were born !!:rolleyes:
     
  17. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    oh :notworth:
     
  18. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    ????????.. but without out that "S/type" then it would again, not be salsa... it has to be a either 2/3 or 3/2.. the 2/3 ( a guaguanco rhythm ) is the most common in NY style salsa ,whereas Montuno, which may be in 2/3 or 3/2 , and is a more "folksie " style of the genre.. And yes, its often distinctive on Piano and Base. All those are S/type formats .

    And then we have Guaracha ( also a 3/2 clave ) with a 2/4 time ,very common in salsa , instead of 4/4 .Much of the old time Mambo was written this way .

    Do most dancers ( or teachers ? ) know the difference?
    probably not.. does that stop them dancing ? absolutely not !!... does it reflect in how one dances, knowing the Son rhythms ?, it should .

    Look.. Im not a musician, but if Im teaching a style of dance that is supposed to reflect the music, then its incumbent upon me to at least have a working knowledge ( as little as this may be ) .
     
  19. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    in some way you are a musician. Theory, history, structure analysis overlaps with the active teaching of dancing.
     
  20. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Well, thankyou for that.. tho I make no claims.

    My music knowledge in real depth, compared to a musician , is about as good as my knowledge on partical physics !!
     

Share This Page