Salsa > Does Corky Ballas have good salsa technique?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by nycsalsero, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I dont believe any one ( ? ) . was disputing that-- to suggest in any possible way, that it would be an unrewarding experience , ( even from my position as a prof. ) seems highly unlikely .
    To make a comparison, have heard from many ladies, over the yrs , who have danced with guys who look fab. , and yet, have been " pullled and pushed " for an entire song .--- so-- the old maxim--- never judge a book by its cover , should apply !
  2. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Just in case any would mistakenly associate Corky Ballas with a fly-by-night instructor with a video, he is a numerous-time US and world champion--just wanted to mention that.

    The video must be understood in its context. He is teaching the basic mambo step. He is not dancing this for a show, or in competition. You might look at the video and think it's very stiff-looking, but it's supposed to look fairly subdued and calm, because he is simply focusing on the basic step, and this is likely to be viewed by newer dancers. If you see a live mambo competition, you will see how un-stiff it really is :) This video is for instructional purposes and does not reflect how Corky himself really dances the mambo.

    As SD mentioned, ballroom mambo has the distinct sharpness in its execution as opposed to salsa, and this and other things give it a different look and feel. I would not dance salsa this way socially the same way I would for a mambo competition. It's just different styles for different situations. Sometimes unfortunately people seem to think that you either have style/flavor OR you have technique, but it just isn't true. The best dancers have both.
  3. noobster

    noobster Member

    Hm, I didn't think it looked subdued and calm. I thought it looked gaudy and overly stylized - meant, as SDsalsaguy said, for presentation from afar.

    I'm not sure this is about its being a basic video or not. I've seen plenty of DVDs where salsa instructors demonstrate a basic step and they look great to me, smooth and graceful.

    I think the difference is that I come to this with an eye that has been conditioned to look for the fluidity and connection that characterize good social salsa, rather than whatever it is (stylization or frame or whatever - I dunno as I don't dance it) that characterizes good ballroom mambo.

    Those of you who dance competition-oriented styles are used to this look and can evaluate it on its own merits.
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Quite fair noobster, as the first time I saw ballroom mambo in competition all it looked like to me was exceedingly rough and choppy salsa. Now that I am more familiar with both I've changed my assessment, but there certainly are different purposes and aesthetics involved in each, and I find it somewhat foolish to try assessing either by the standards of the other.

    Very good salsa dancers appreciate what very good ballroom dancers do, just as very good ballroom dancers appreciate what very good salsa dancers do. At the risk of sounding overly harsh, those who say otherwise (from either camp) tend to lack understanding, be insecure, or both.
  5. noobster

    noobster Member

    I don't disagree; but since nycsalsero was asking about using this ballroom mambo technique to improve his social salsa, I think it's fair to point out that social salser@s probably won't have the same high opinion of it that a ballroom person would.

    Well, I admitted myself above that I lack an understanding of/appreciation for ballroom (and Latin), so don't worry about my ego. ;)
  6. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I agree 100%. Likewise, just because I appreciate both does not mean that I do so regardless of context!

    But that's exactly the thing -- you state this honestly and then don't denigrate the other style, only say it doesn't suit you. Everyone has their own tastes, and even hating a particular dance style (as a style) seems more than fair to me. Saying that the style isn't legitimate dancing, however, is where I think some cross the line (again, not you!).
  7. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Yep, that's the point I think, you nailed it.

    Again, I'll reiterate though that it would be unfortunate for a salsa dancer to not incorporate some of the basic technique involved here, despite their opinion of the overall look, as it can drastically improve their dancing without in any way making it less "fluid"...

    I know this because I once resisted some of this technique, mistakenly thinking that it would "mess up" my salsa (when in fact mine was already messed up, silly me :eek:)--but in fact, it made it much better (and that's by anyone's standards I'd venture to guess).
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    One should never confuse " style " with technique . ALL movement requires some form of technique ( good, bad or otherwise )
    Techn. covers many aspects of " movement " in relation to music and dance . How, why, and where we choose to apply that knowledge , if done correctly, can have any desired effect we wish, on the eventual outcome .

    Even non trained dancers, may have a " naturalness " about some of the aspects, that formulate a framework, within which they apply that innate ability .
    The dichotomy ?--" street ", non trained etc. dancers, are using by and large, %90 of variations, adapted from the Ballroom genre , and modified to their particular experience . This is translated into a "personal style " .

    It can be in musical interpretation, and or , execution of the material they using in that endeavour .
  9. Musique

    Musique New Member

    But the girl has amazing legs. Her leg and foot action is ten times more interesting than those endless are-you-bored-yet turns.

  10. Shirley is a God in the Ballroom world. Not Corky.
  11. Blaxican

    Blaxican New Member

    I think it boils down to what do you want your dancing to look like. I started out in a chain ballroom dance school looking to dance salsa. It was not the same thing I saw in the clubs so i left after 4 months of being "coached" to learn Mambo, Rhumba, the Tango, and Samba, the Foxtrot, and the Waltz. That was not what I was looking for. I found a studio that only teaches salsa and I hit the jackpot,but I always find myself referring to some of those ballroom characteristics: frame, sharpness,etc at different points in a dance.
    It's like tea: sweetened or unsweetened;lime,peach,or lemon
  12. JennCPL

    JennCPL New Member

    Yeah, Corky is a "god" for ballroom... but Salsa really isn't a ballroom dance (that would be why salsa dancers can always spot a "ballroom salsa" dancer from a mile away)... besides, even if he is dancing Mambo, which is danced on the "2", he is dancing it on the "3"...
  13. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Jenn, welcome to DF!

    Not sure what you mean in the last sentence Jenn, maybe you're referring to how the audio and video is out of sync (see Tony's post, post #2)... ? I assure you, as a world champion, Corky Ballas knows the "2" from the "3".

    What you say is true--salsa isn't a ballroom dance, and shouldn't be danced as such, and since Mr. Ballas isn't doing salsa in the video, it stands to reason that it will look quite different.

    The tone of this thread up until your post has been very positive, especially SD's post where he says this:

    When we understand other styles of dance, and what they require to execute properly, it makes us better dancers, or at the very least, it expands our exposure to what else is out there, instead of keeping us in "tunnel vision" mode where we only see OUR style as good or valid. You seem to show that you have a pretty limited exposure to ballroom dancing when you talk about how 'easy it is to spot a ballroom salsa dancer.' Perhaps you could tell us the "correct" way to dance salsa, or even better, post a video of your own to "show us how it's done"?! I would love to see it... :)
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Just to inform you ALL Salsa IS Mambo-- but not ALL Mambo is Salsa.

    As much as " 3 " is concerned-- many, many P.Ricans break on 3---ya know -- the" people" that are given credit for its development , musically speaking, among other things .
    And by the way-- salsa dancers can spot etc ?--- I.m B/room trained for longer than you care to know-- but in the Latino clubs in which I danced for multi yrs-- everyone, just about, thought I was Cuban ( no -- I dont look cuban, its my dance style ) and many always spoke to me in spanish !
  15. JennCPL

    JennCPL New Member

    I apologize for the video counting, I found another video on google of the same video clip and the timing was perfect.

    Actually, it's funny how you say that, because I love ballroom dancing, and I have been doing Ballroom dancing 5 times longer than I have been doing salsa dancing. I dance salsa On1, On2, Cuban style, street style, and I also know the syllabus of steps for salsa usually taught in the ballroom studios... If I go to a ballroom studio, I will happily dance Mambo.... but what I don't like is ballroom studios marketing what they teach as great for the clubs, because its not. It's a different atmosphere. Their technique and movement may look very nice in a large ballroom, but he/she will likely step on a lot of people in a salsa club, and probably make a lot of dancers upset. I think this is one of the main reasons that club salsa dancers tend to dislike ballroom salsa dancers... at least it's one complaint that I hear a lot of in my city...
  16. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    I see what you mean, and yes, this can be a problem!
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    LA style dancers do exactly the same thing !!
  18. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Come on TT, that's quite a generalization... true in a lot of cases, but I think how much space someone takes up has far more to do with the person than the style.
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Josh-- , its more the norm than not .-- can only go by my experience .
  20. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    I loved the foot/leg action! Sadly, I see advanced/"professional" salsa teachers whose leg action or various stances look ugly, even when doing turns, at speed.

    Even if the basic technique did not improve a salsa dancer's dancing, it would certainly improve how they look out there.

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