Salsa > It's definitely NOT over!!!

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by lily, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I don't know whether it was an ego thing or not, but I know for sure that he was a jerk!! It's a shame that the dance world seems to attract so many of them -- you know who I mean -- the know-it-all's. Grrr. :evil:
  2. lily

    lily Member

    And it's especially annoying when these so-called experts give contradicting advice. I was told a few months ago that I didn't move my hips enough, so I started to try and dance with a little more hip motion. But then the other night I was told that I'm moving my hips too much. Aaarrgghh! It's very confusing as each dancer will have different tips.

    The same thing happened when I started Swing. One guy told me that my arms were too limp so I stiffened them up a bit, only to be told later by another dancer that my arms were too rigid.

    What do you think: Should we ignore advice that other dancers give us or should we wait until at least two people have offered the same advice? It's difficult because when a guy dances really well I want to take his advice but what if he's wrong?
  3. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Just do your own thing and let those teacher-wannabees go! Listen to your dance instructor! And that's all!
  4. saludas

    saludas New Member

    I find that the louder someone is in these situations, the poorer dancer he is.

    Remember the axiom 'the best dancers can dance with anyone'.
  5. Lita_rulez

    Lita_rulez New Member

    First off, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) justifies for a lead to shout after a follow if she does not understand neither his lead nor his advice. He is not paying her to do what he wants, so she does not have to, she is not paying him to teach, so he should not even try to...

    Sometimes, giving a few pieces of advice to someone may be OK, like helping out someone who does not get the basic correctly (and I mean a real beginner, not someone who can follow you correctly but you just happen not to like that she might get lost once or twice in the song...) or explaining a particular move that she could not follow and asks you to explain) but that's it.

    Shouting ? You better not try to do this to anyone I know if you don't want that tone to get slapped out of your mouth...

    Now there is a somewhat harder topic.

    Let's drop the issue of wether you asked for the tip or not, the result is the same : you have been told something you are doing wrong or should improve, and now you are wondering.

    Well, just look at the guy, the way he dances, and what follow that seem at ease with him look like.

    If he gave you a styling advice, do the follow he invites look like anything you'd like to ressemble ?

    If it is about your arm's stiffness(or lack thereoff) what do you think of the frame of those follow ? Do they look relaxed to you ? do they look up tight ?
    And more important : did you have trouble understanding his lead with your regular arm stifness ? do you have trouble with other leads ? If you have troubles with him and no other leads, chances are he is lacking in the leading area, not you in the following...

    Basicaly, any advice about styling, you can look at what he likes, and tell if you want to look like it.
    Any advice about follow technique, check what other leads think, because every one dances differently, you will never please a 100% each and every lead.
    Any advice about technique, well... best to just make a mental note to mention it to your instructor before learning something incorrect just to please that guy.
  6. saludas

    saludas New Member

    As you get better, you will notice that 'dancers' that you thought were the 'good' ones start to not look so good, as your 'eye' gets better.

    Also, note that in a crowd of lower level dancers, even a poor dancer looks good. It's when they are amongst the better dancers that the comparison becomes obvious to even the beginner (2-4 year) dancer. Sort of the 'stand in a crowd of short people and you'll look tall' philosophy...

    'Good' is relative, after all... When you have only been doing it for a year, anyone with good balance and poise looks better than you simply because they have had the necessary time to develop these things (yes, these things are only developed over time - so keep dancing!)

    One other point - when you dance with folks who dance with each other regularly, they tend to assume each other's good and bad points - and they will sometimes tell you that move 'x' doesn't 'feel like Joe/Jane'. This is because (as your coach will tell you) eventually even a BAD movement starts to feel correct. That is of course why you should always aspire to dance with better dancers - and why it certainly should NOT matter to you if someone compares you to another person they know!

    People dance together for reasons totally unrelated to the art of dance - friendliness, looks, and availability are 3 reasons mentioned frequenty here - that you find dancing with someone a good experience. However, if you notice, NONE of these charactaristics have ANYTHING to do with movement. So... don't limit yourself to your local 'scene' or such... you'll find that you'll grow as a dancer and person if you look to dance outside the 'comfort zone' you feel. You will, unfortunately, have to 'kiss a lot of frogs before you meet the prince' especially in a social setting...
  7. Lita_rulez

    Lita_rulez New Member

    I am not sure I understand you correctly ?

    I am reading here that someone who has been dancing 2 to 4 years is a beginner in your eyes ?
  8. saludas

    saludas New Member

  9. Lita_rulez

    Lita_rulez New Member

    Hum... and there goes my week end...

    I just took a huge step back from intermidiate-advanced dancer into not-even-beginner.

    Oh well, guess I am not dancing this week end anyways, so I might just get drunk and forget I thought I kinda knew how to dance...
  10. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Ha ha LOL!!

    If you're HAPPY with how you dance, that's all there is, right? Just remember, comparing yourself to others is not a 'nice' process. if you want to 'pump yourself up' about your dancing, just remember how you were a few months ago when you didn't know anything. You've improved so much since then, you have a RIGHT to be proud of your accomplishments.

    Remember, it's a 'journey' not a 'destination'.
  11. Lita_rulez

    Lita_rulez New Member

    Well, it might not be nice, but it is what you are doing yourself non the less :

    I am not happy to be where I am now. Strike that. I am not satisfied to be where I am now. I still see a huge gap between me and the dancers I admire, and I know it is going to take me a lot of time and efforts to get where they are today (and they will have mooved even further, so chances are I'll never get as good as they are).

    This does not prevent me however from seeing that the difference between me and some dancers that looked so good to me when I started dancing is now the other way around, or from seeing that advance follow come and invite me while intermediate follow shy away...

    I can look at a video of me taken a few months ago and see a hundred things that need to be worked on. I know some have been corected, some haven't, and some I'm still working on.

    However, that same video does not show what I'd call a beginner dancer, and I know I have improved since then.

    So yes, thinking of myself as a beginner just because I have under 2 years of practice does bother me.

    That it takes time to become a great dancer is no surprise for me.

    That one could say " 2 years means nothing" is flat out nonsense because someone that has been dancing for 2 years 5 nights out of 7 will be a far better dancer than someone that has been dancing 6 years 2 hours a week in classes and one social event now and again.
  12. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Well, of course you are right, the more time you spend working on your dancing, the more advanced you might become. And, it is good that you are looking to become better. Many folks on the social floor are just satisfied to be there at all...
  13. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    what a great quote...

    We tend to look for lables to feel worth, to feel acomplishment, in a sense to feel empowered about our status, all while still looking ahead forgetting the very world we are currently experiencing, going over speed bumps... We seem not to realize we are missing the entire world because we are so consumed by what is ahead of us; our goals; goals seen as what our life will mean, what will equate part of us...

    As long as we seek to be our statinary selves, we have not to worry about others, we find ourselves on the dancefloor and the skills of Mr. Wonderfuly advance will mean nothing, because it doesn't matter how good he looks, how much more he knows, what we are currently feeling is more to us than anything he will ever feel, for no matter how great his feelings are to him or wanna be onlookers, our feelings are our feelings, for his can never be ours...

    I see myself dance today, and I see the joy that it is to dance, whether I dance next to Frankie Martinez there is no way that I will ever envy, or wish to dance like him, for what I am now is way more satisfying than any future feeling might bring, for it is happening to me now, therefore I will enjoy the now and forget about the future until the future becomes... well, now... For what I am and will be will always be enough for me, for I am there doing it, because that is what I am to do with my dance world... To be what I can be, dispite what others are, measure isn't needed for the goal isn't to move a body in outmost repertoire usage, but to feeeeeeel...

    well, at least to me...
  14. Patapouf

    Patapouf New Member

    We're getting some very good discussion here! Well, I personally agree with saludas, that it takes time to develop control and balance of your body, so it takes time to be a good dancer. However, I don't think we need a time frame here, i.e. 2-4 years is beginner. I have seen people who have a dance background (ballet, etc) who very soon can dance very well (say 6 months), since they have already develop very good balance and gracefulness. I have also seen people who've been dancing for over a year still dancing without proper frame and in "I move forward you move backward" type of dancing, though they may call themselves intermediate dancers.

    I have noticed that dancers and non-dancers (here I define them as someone with and without dance background) focus on different things. The "dancers" who can learn quick and move forward faster often want to go back and work on their basic, such as rise and fall in waltz, because they think that's what makes them a dancer. The "non-dancer" however, often urge the instructor for more complicated figures, because they think that's what makes them a better dancer, although they're still dancing without proper frame and basic rise-and-fall.

    Well, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I agree with both Saludas and Lita, but using a time frame to define a beginner or advanced dancers does not seem like a very good idea to me, mainly because some people can learn faster than the others because of individual talent or a prior dance training. So what defines a beginner? I don't think I have an answer here, so perhaps some of you do! :)
  15. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    The other night my lady love and I were talking just about that, what creates an advance dancer. I might have to say, that the main belief here in Manhattan, NY, is the more complicated the pattern the more advance you are, regardless of, well, just about anything...

    I think it is created by our "instant" gratification need to feel accomplished/accomplishment... we worry more about how much we can do, rather than how we can what we do.

    While she did and didn't agreed with me that most social advance dancers aren't advanced, she looked at it as important to studios because we live in the day and age where more = better, there likely nothing socially geared studios can do to properly tell this kids that a flawless foundation and slow speed today will equal to quality tomorrow, and why today, when a dancer becomes advance, the worrying about body movement starts, for they figure out that their basics don't equal to advance but mediocrity... in a sense, their eyes get so good that they realize an elevated status isn't reached by numbers but quality... Something we can't tell a materialistic individual until they experience it on their own.

    More over, a lot of social dancers don't particularly care about "proper" they just want to do... The don't see a need in proper as long as goal is obtained, the goal is my question...

    In a sense, they settle for sloppiness because they see no need for anything else in a social dance floor, some just don't know better, others see the Oohs and Ahhs of the crowd towards the thought to be advance dancers, and fall pray to monkey see monkey does....

    It is a vicious cycle, lets create dancers like McDonalds creates burgers, in great quantities with little nutritional value, if any... Dump them out there, become famous for generating fast with little quality product, everyone is happy because they get what they wanted in very little time, until they figure out that, hey, this McDonalds thing isn't all that great after all, leave it to the kids that don't know better, Imma go back to tofu, lettuce, tomatoes and water...

    But to some status will always be more than value...
  16. lily

    lily Member

    I agree that a time frame, for various reasons, is often inaccurate. I think the problem is also linked to the words we use. We usually only hear people talking about beginner, intermediate or advanced but surely it's not possible to put all dancers into these three catagories. Someone who is attending his first dance class is a beginner. After a few months of regular lessons he knows more than he did at first and he can also get by on the dance floor. He is not yet intermediate, but he is no longer the beginner he was at the start. Maybe we should use titles such as I've seen in language learning: Absolute beginner, false beginner, lower intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate, advanced :?: :lol:
  17. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I spent so long on this post I was logged out!!

    Count me in the feeling camp. If someone asks me I say I am a beginner. I am a beginner as I am only now beginning to grasp the ability to connect with people. I hope to increase the people whom I can connect with so that I can get that wonderful feeling. As boriken expressed so well I too am a connection junkie, an eye contact addict. I seek to maximize the connection that I have with those whom I dance, compromizing if necessary, so that we are in synch. Dancing very differently from someone else can be a very jarring uncomfortable experience no matter how well they dance. There are many different ways to dance and I think that when you adnec with each person you need to adjust to dance well with that person. And this isn't only the follower's responsibility.
  18. Patapouf

    Patapouf New Member

    :lol: :lol: What a funny comparison! What to do, this's America, and everything has to be fast, fast, fast and fast. :)

    :shock: :? Now it's getting more and more complicated! (let's see, am I an absolute beginner? false beginner? "real" beginner?? intermediate??):lol:
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    How about you are you as you exist and as you act at the present. What you do now will change what you are in the future, but that does not matter. All that matters is now.
  20. Patapouf

    Patapouf New Member

    :applause: Excellent! Philosophy of Saggita! :lol:

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