Salsa > Does height matter in salsa dancing?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by EvaDarling, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. EvaDarling

    EvaDarling New Member

    I'm 5'6" and I wear 3 inch heels when I dance and guys often seem to bump my head when we dance. I even had a guy in my dance class tell me last week that I'm "too tall" after I bumped my head on his arm. I was mildly insulted to say the least, especially since I found him to be kind of short.:rolleyes: I do notice that I tend to dance better with guys who are around 6 feet tall or taller. The shorter ones who don't bump my head tend to be very skilled dancers. Is there such a thing as height compatibility between salsa dancers?
  2. Andresito

    Andresito Member

    I'm 5' 11" ( 1.80m) and I find the girls 5'6" ( 170cm ) are the ideal height for me.

    I dance with shorter and taller women, but I find that when they are shorter than the shorter than 5'3" or taller than 5'9" it becomes more a hassle not to pull too much her arms or not to touch her head during turns, so I have to be more concious of that and less about the dance itself.

    A 3" heel could be too high for you however.
  3. EvaDarling

    EvaDarling New Member

    I guess then that height compatibility in salsa dancing and I do notice it's more "work" for a shorter guy dancing with me. It makes me wonder if some guys avoid dancing with women who are too tall or too short for their taste. As for the heels, 2 1/2-3" is the most common heel height found in dance shoes though yeah, I've considered wearing lower heels to suit my partners better and for the comfort factor.
  4. MarkoBarko

    MarkoBarko New Member

    i'm 6'1" and i find that my ideal partner is about 5'7. anyone too far out of that range and i have to concentrate on being careful. and i hate concentrating :)
  5. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Much better things to concentrate on. We even have a thread on one of them in this section. ;)

    But yeah, height definitely does matter.
  6. nowhiteshoes

    nowhiteshoes New Member

    once a guy gets enough moves id like to think everyone caters their moves for different partners. i have certain moves i don't do on much smaller/taller/larger ladies. plus maybe the guys aren't looking at you to see if their arms are clearing your head?
  7. salsamarty

    salsamarty New Member

    Yes, height matters for me. As a leader, too small is worse than too tall. If there is a sufficiently large height difference then there are some patterns I just can't do. At some point it just becomes too limiting and the dance isn't as enjoyable as it might be.
  8. Posh salsa girl

    Posh salsa girl New Member

    I think it matters more in bachata - feels much nicer to dance with someone of a similar height if you enjoy flirting with your dance partner(everything kinda fits in place better ;))!
  9. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Really? I know of one couple where the lady is really, really tiny (well under 5 feet and small-boned) and the guy is average height, so there's probably a whole foot of height difference. They dance together all the time, look great, and obviously enjoy dancing with each other. Her partner is a terrific leader (I've danced with him) and he knows how to adjust to followers of different sizes really well.
  10. Salcero

    Salcero Member

    Good point. Think about Dan and Ahtoy, for instance. Ahtoy is probably only 5ft2. There are a lot of turn patterns you can still execute when there is a significant difference is heights, but you do need a repertoire. As far as concentrating, this becomes less of an issue with experience.
  11. I feel this way too. Shorter women tend to throw me off balance when I turn or spin. I think this is mainly because we are too far apart and I find it more difficult to consistantly stay close to them, esp. the not very experienced/trained dancer. So, most of the times I either release the hand to do a free spin or just skip it completely. With taller women, they are usually very concious of the size of their steps they need to make when there's a height difference. So, when they are aware they have to take smaller steps and you are aware you have to take bigger steps, there's a common goal to stay close. And that makes a big difference. Not that I saying shorter women are not aware they have to take bigger steps. I think it's more of a personal space issue or that they are afraid of getting accidently hit. I don't know. :confused: Just my 2 cents
  12. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    The best follows in the world tend to be smaller. i.e. Liz Lira, Alien Ramirez, etc. etc.
    Their small stature allows the to have better centering control. This is common knowledge in all forms of dance.
  13. salsa es mi vida

    salsa es mi vida New Member

    I would say after dancing salsa for over five years that it matters.One is dancing better with person who is same height,taller.The pain and agony that was inflicted,o.m.g :(.
  14. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    There are moves that are harder to lead when the leader is significantly shorter than the follower. There are also moves that are harder to lead when the leader is significantly taller than the follower. Good leaders know which moves to avoid.

    Although it's true that many female salsa stars are quite short, there are also many male salsa stars who are quite short...

    My friend and I were talking the other day about Mushi and Emma of Salsology. They look spectacular dancing together. Mushi is quite short and I believe Emma is a good bit taller than him in her heels. My friend (lexperienced eader) reckons some of Mushi's trickier moves are "only leadable by short men".
  15. facfiles

    facfiles New Member

    One of our best leaders, Michel,is about 2 m high. And his girlfriend he often dance with is 1.55...
    Well, it's really uncomfortable to danse with big different in tall, but it's not as critical as in ball dancing, there are lots of ways to repair the situation

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