Salsa > Learning real Salsa

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by danceguy, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. danceguy

    danceguy New Member


    I just got back from my first Salsa workshop...and all I can say is...WOW! I recall some of the other Salsa dancers who started at Ballroom studios saying that they had to start over once they went to clubs and such..and its not mystery to me anymore...

    I'd say I'm certainly in the same boat now, but I am quite happy to be here. I was totally overloaded with new steps and blown away at the same time...I've never been taught anything like what I was shown tonight.

    It was a very good and humbling experience, but also seeing some really talented dancers and performers do their much to learn and so little time.

    Oddly enough, some of the basics I learned in dance classes did help...but they seemed so watered down and stripped of any flavor. At least for now, I've found some great teachers that I will be taking lessons from...I've got so much to work on...but this was just the kick in the rear that I needed to get me motivated! :p

    I'm curious to hear more stories from the advanced Salsa dancers here that started in Ballroom class like I did. I'm so overloaded right now I had to come home and really ask myself what I want out of dance, and I'm still deep in thought. :?: :!: :idea: :idea: :idea:

    Firstly...I'm going to focus on just Salsa for now...but at least I can see where I'd like to be someday...

    Best regards,

  2. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Welcome to the world of REAL salsa...! I'm sure what you have witnessed is the results of years of hard work from great salsa dancers (mainly in the 'studio' environment...?). They should be able to offer a different perspective to the Ballroom environment that you are used to, but ultimately, you wanna be out there picking up REAL sabor (flavour) from the people who grew up with salsa in their veins.....! These people may not appear as impressive/flashy but have a closer look......the emphasis isn't about looking fantastic out there, but TRULY be seduced by the music, together with your partner.

    That, to me, is the REAL salsa :wink:
  3. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Hi SalsaChinita,

    It was quite a day for me...actually the workshop was for ladies styling (there was about a dozen women and just 5 guys). But the instructors had so much passion for what they do...when they would move to the music I was awestuck... so fluid and beautiful. I'm used to only doing the mambo basic back and forth...but learning so many different ways to step and flow with the brain is still overloaded! :shock:

    Sabor - yes I understand. :wink:

    One of my greatest inspirations for learning Salsa is an older lady in her 60's that I befriended earlier this year. Unfortunately she lives far away, but she was heavily into Salsa in her youth and just hearing some of her stories and her love of the music is one of reasons I want to learn. At least now I found a place with several weekly dances and club style lessons...although I felt like I had two left feet today...I think I've been bit by the Salsa bug.

    To what extent remains to be seen. :)


  4. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    :twisted: MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Another one! :D
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yup. Salsa and ballroom are two different animals, aren't they? :D
  6. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Very much so! So then, what is the proper name for Ballroom Salsa...wait maybe I just said it. :shock:

    All in all though...some of the basics I knew, cross body lead, hand change behind the back etc, carried over to the club style stuff...but the teachers quickly corrected my form and gave it a new flair. Now to work on my hips...that's going to take a while... :oops:

    I'm still very thankful of how I got exposure to dancing...had I tried this wild stuff as a complete novice, I think I would have been scared out of my skin! Its going to be a while before I can use any of these fancy steps I learned today (they are called shines, right?)...but I'll keep at it until I can! :p

  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Just how much difference is there?

    Is the basic pattern a lot different from the one taught in the studios?

    Is it easier then the ballroom variety?

    Please excuse me if I asked this in an earlier thread. :wink:
  8. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Welcome in the salsaholic club 8)
  9. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Hiya SG . . . great to "see" you again! :D It's been too long!

    Anyway, I am probably one of the truest examples of the 'took salsa in a ballroom studio, eventually thought I knew what I was doing, went to a club, and then had to un-learn to re-learn.' Seriously, the first time I was at a non-ballroom salsa event, I have never felt so "white" in my entire life! :oops:

    One of the biggest problems, of course, is that many ballroom studios teach you ballroom mambo, but just put it "on1", and say that they're teaching you salsa. :evil: Unfortunately this is exactly what happened to me and, like many other newcomers, I didn't know any better at the time. It was an eye-opener (and an unwelcome one at that) when I first tried dancing in the clubs assuming I understood what to do. :oops:

    I think it is interesting that I have spoken with two different National Ballroom Champions (from different countries and dancing different styles) who were part of the movie Dance with Me, both of whom had the utmost respect for the street salsa dancers involved in the movie and both of whom would not claim to be salsa dancers. Why then are all too many far less accomplished ballroom "instructors" convinced of their own salsa expertise? * :?

    * Note: This is, of course, a generalization -- one of the best followers I have ever danced a salsa with was an instructor at the Boston AMI…
  10. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Salsachinita, I totally agree. This sums it up completely. It is truly about the music together with you and your partner.
  11. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    SDSalsaguy answered this one far better than I ever could, for it was exactly what I encountered the other night. My main goal was to move from Ballroom dances to what people do out in the nightclubs...and when I found out there were such a venue in my area I was pretty excited. But I didn't know just how lost I would feel until I watched these people move...

    I too felt very movements are so very jerky and rigid...and watching these smooth and sensual...there was so much beauty in their movements I was awestruck and almost in a trance. :shock: :? :shock:

    I'll be honest it was also quite a blow to the ego...I knew I wasn't a great Salsa dancer...but after a few minutes with these folks...I realized what I knew was even less than I thought. I wanted to turn and run out so many times...I was so embarrased and having a brain overload...but this was exactly what I wanted see how its done socially and not in the dance studio...and I was not dissapointed!

    How to sum it up...and I know so little so bear with me. I really went into the frying pan as I had no idea the workshop I had signed up for was a "Ladies styling workshop" trust me I was in for a real surprise! But despite all of that...what caught me the most was just how a basic movement can have such individual flavor...such passion and sensuality.

    While some of the basics I know did carry was like starting all over again. I was messing so many things up (I'd never heard of a V-step for instance)...but I learned so much...and the teachers were able to show those little intricacies that make all the difference. They also reminded me to smile and have fun...and not worry about the mistakes...of which I made many! :oops:

    Although I didn't dance much...I dreamed about Salsa last night...the music has been stuck in my head all day...and I have been practicing at every moment...and tomorrow night I'm heading back for more....I think I'm starting to understand what Salsa fever is....mayhaps soon I will leave the ERC club for good?!!?!?!?!?

    Very Humbly yours,

  12. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Now that is clear evidence that you really do understand what salsa is about -- in your soul if not yet in your head and body! Welcome to an exhilerating new world my friend! :D

    [Random note: this post is exactly # 2,500 for me]
  13. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Is this the one where you step forward on your left and back together with your right followed by stepping forward with your right and back together?
  14. Salsero_AT

    Salsero_AT New Member

    I thought of the basic step where you step back on 1 and on 5.

Share This Page