Salsa > Is Salsa turning into a circus?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by NZ Girl, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. NZ Girl

    NZ Girl New Member

    Hello everyone, I am a first timer from New Zealand.

    I recently saw some clips online from the Mayan Salsa Competition and it looks like a circus! How can they call that Salsa?

    Sure, a few tricks here and there are good, but I think some of these people have lost the plot?

    Salsa is not about screaming for attention it is about your relationship with the music, letting the music move you - and "capturing" the audience - not SCREAMING FOR THEIR ATTENTION ;)

    If you need to do a bunch of acrobatics to get attention - then you can't dance.

    PS - Please don't send hate mail, I am only a newbie :)
  2. lynn

    lynn New Member


  3. genEus

    genEus New Member

    While I agree with what you're saying, there is a different side to this. How can you call English what we speak in the United States? Now I hear my co-worker ask me "Do you got a stapler on you?" -- Language evolves, music evolves, dancing evolves. Take it for what it is. You can make salsa your own through what you hear in the music and letting the music move you. Call yourself old fashioned if you wish but I'm sure you'll have a lot of people on your side.

    So, sit back and enjoy the acrobatics. They're flashy and hard to master, afterall, aren't they?

    Oh yeah, welcome! :)
  4. Rosa

    Rosa New Member

    You don't get hate mail on DF! 8) :D

    Welcome! :D

    Rosa :)
  5. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I've never been to the Mayan, but it's my understanding the audiences in Los Angeles (and especially at that club) respond very favorably to acrobatics -- so the competitors are just giving the crowd what they want. The first round winners (and maybe even the second round) are determined based on crowd noise, so that's another factor as well. If I'm wrong, then hopefully one of the DF posters from the L.A. area can provide better insight.

    Constant acrobatics are not my personal style of Salsa dancing, but some of the things that people do are very impressive and if that's how they "dance," then so be it. Salsa music and Salsa dancing have always contained influences from different areas, so it's tough to argue that someone has gone "too far" or picked the "wrong" influences. On the dance floor it's simply about what's acceptable to both partners, and in a competition it's simply about what those particular judges are looking for.
  6. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    But I know there is a growing amount of people who don't like it. ANd I was both happy an surprised when I read the rules for Torres new World Slasa Championship.

    A quote from that website:


    The Objective Of This Salsa Contest Is To See Which Couple Or Team Per Division Can Best Interpret The Character Of Salsa Music And Dance Regardless Of Whatever Tricks Or Moves They Do. In Other Words, Its Not The Tricks That Are Important But Making Them Be A Part Of Your Routine And What Salsa Represents. While Lifts Are Only Allowed In The
    Cabaret Division And They Can Be Impressive, Doing Them Cleanly Is Even More Important. I Again, If You Can t Execute Properly Don t Do Them.

    end of quote

    I was at the swdsih qualification - there was not a single dip or trick that lloked like circus. The one who did them managed to keep on dancing - all the time.

  7. DeeplyDippy

    DeeplyDippy New Member

    In your opinion.

    Personally, I dip and trick because it's fun.
  8. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Lost in translation is pretty much what you can call the aerial shows. I wonder why they just don't turn the music off and start twirling one another around.

    The entire music is really lost, which then creates gymnasts that are really just worried about what can be done through the beats of 1 to 8.

    It's a whole different world that has been trying to sneak by as evolution. Another aspect of a culture that deems "show" and the material world a zenith!
  9. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    But is there anything implicitly wrong with a show? Hardly. It's just something different - I don't think that anyone here would argue that dancing for the music or the connection and dancing for an audience are the same thing.

    I also don't think that one is inherently more valuable than the other.
  10. kdogg

    kdogg New Member

    That's why I don't go to a circus; I get plenty of circus stuff in salsa clubs, except that there are no poor animals involved. I bet they don't have tug of war in circus :wink: .
  11. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    True they are just as important to each perspective... The essence however, then becomes: Is it about the music? or Is it about the I? Filps and tricks are about a me me mentality, which again, has its places. Shows are good to watch, but to blend with the music... nothing matches... Misunderstanding creats an understanding that never really is...

    The issue with salsa and those who persue the music as more than just something to physically master, is that aerials and a me me attitude deminishes the essence of the music. Of course culture has a lot to do with this, as culture now days is more of a MTV show with physical supremacy at the helm, than anything else. So why seek self-less unity stirred by the music when we can have a show, make money, have folks idolize, etc, etc...

    It's cool, I enjoy watching the aerials, except they are miles away from salsa, which is what they are said to be dancing.
  12. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    I think this statement says it all. What makes Salsa dancing..Salsa dancing? To those of us in the "know", it's not primarily the tricks, flips, etc... Nothing wrong with watching a show but it is exactly as Boriken states. It doesn't match. The dance does not match the music. Isn't the music the very essence of Salsa? If that were not the case, you could dance to anything and call it Salsa.

    P.S. Welcome to Dance Forums, NZ Girl. Happy to have you here. :)
  13. africana

    africana New Member

    one can pretty much say the same thing about performances in general, it's all about gaining attention, prestige and all the trappings of 'salsa fame'

    good or bad ;) every generation of salseros has people that got great because they cried for attention. So no, salsa isn't turning into a circus, it has always been one.
    The only difference is that sometimes the shows aligns with personal or popular preferences and sometimes they don't.
  14. TheLetterJ

    TheLetterJ New Member

    I completely agree with the original poster. I watched the championship round videos online recently and was completely disappointed. Especially with the guys, who were basically standing around and supporting the woman who's doing all these flips, most of which didn't match the music. I especially agree with salsa dancing has to be integral with salsa music. If there's no match, then it's just acrobatics to background music.

    The reality is flashy flips seem more exciting to an untrained eye. Whereas someone who has a more keen eye for rhythm and the artistic side dancing will enjoy watching the partnership and flavor of a particular dance.
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    You better not. hate mailers are chained, and made to walk the plank.
  16. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    To each his own. Tricks are not my personal preference for dancing, though I know a few.
  17. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    :lol: ... Good one!

    While I somewhat agree. Having the pleasure of watching video footage from the 50s all through out, until the late 80s, it can be seen that while many dancers were indeed in it for attention. The attention that was generated was from matching music and rhythm to dance. Music, at lest from the videos I've seen and the folks from the era to whom I've spoken, always tell me that music was first, then dance.

    By watching the vidoes I do think to myself about some dancers, boy he/she is showing off, egotistical snob! However, I can not say that they weren't dancing, because they all matched the music too well. When compared to watching an aerial show all I can say is: Boy, just turn the music off! If the music was off, it'll be a hustle instead of salsa.
  18. alorafhs

    alorafhs Member


    Im pretty new too. So far everyone seems nice. :lol:
  19. NZ Girl

    NZ Girl New Member

    Thanks for all the welcomes :D

    I haven’t figured out yet how to reply to parts of other posts so I will do it all in one go….

    I agree that dance evolves like language and music – but using the “do you got a stapler” example – sure you can have variations on how you say things in English (just like you have different styles in Salsa) but you don’t just replace the entire language with another because it is evolving –just as you shouldn’t put on a salsa track, do a bunch of cabaret, jazz and acrobatics and call yourself a salsa dancer. I agree that you might as well turn the music off or you know what you could do – ever heard that clown song (da da dadadadadadadada - da da dadadadadadadada) - that could work :!:

    I am not saying to forget the tricks altogether - a few tricks here and there are a great way to spice up your dancing – but only when the music calls for it - like a really crazy high point where you just loose it and do something spontaneous – that has a WOW factor – It is all about musicality and connection with your partner. But I don’t understand how Acrobataholics can get satisfaction out of performing them continuously – sure you get a good audience reaction (from the untrained eye) – but that is pretty superficial really. Wouldn’t you rather feel the music, play every piece with your body (even if it includes a few tricks) and capture the audience with your passion? I would rather do that any day!

    I’m a real adrenalin junkie and don’t find acrobatics all that hard to do – it’s about momentum, balance and flexibility (still working on the latter). They just don’t impress me much when they are done for no reason.

    The rules from the Edie Torres competition wrap it up in a nutshell and I hope this is the way of salsa for the future.

    Is it fair to say that Acrobataholism does for Salsa – what Ferrari’s do for Men? Make up for lack of…

    I just love this no hate-mail Policy - and to any Ferrari owners out there - I would just like to say “How you doing?” :wink:
  20. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Way to go NZ Girl!!!! :kissme:

Share This Page