Salsa > Love/hate relationship between ballroom and salsa?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by pygmalion, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hmm. An interesting (and old LOL!) topic I found while browsing Bears a little discussion here.

    Here's the original posting from that BB, in part.

    Thoughts, anyone?
  2. David

    David New Member

    I started out dancing with Latin Ballroom Salsa, although marketed just as Salsa. Colombian style (1-2-3-tap-5-6-7-tap) with many, if not most, moves virtually un-leadable to anybody who doesn't do the same classes. Which I think is at least partially why it tends to be looked down on, not at all easy to walk up to somebody and just go for it (in the nicest possible context of course :eek: ).
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I never knew that there was any such thing as latin ballroom salsa!!! :)

    I'm not sure if it is much of a compliment to be told that your salsa is "ballroom". It is like being told that you are swinging to merengue. (What I used to do, since on my first exposure I was told just do your swing moves, while stepping to the beat, and shaking your hips :oops: ) If you merengue using swing style then you are not doing authentic merengue, so in the same way if you are called on doing salsa like ballroom, a person who is really into salsa, might not like being called doing salsa like ballroom.

    Then if there is such a thing as latin ballroom salsa...there are the differences between competitive and club dancing. These are different dance styles, so I wouldn't necessarily consider it a compliment if I was told that I was dancing ballroom style if I am dancing in a club.

    As for hating ballroom!!! Isn't that extreme? There are people who just like to lindy and dislike doing other dances, there are others who only do WCS, some who only like ballroom, and some who only do latin,...then there are others who spread themselves out....

    The description of 123-tap, 5-6-7 tap reminds me of a couple moves in salsa ruedea: "dile que no" (1st half of body lead), then there is "siete", and "vacilla" where the leader does 123-tap, 5-6-7-tap... Granted there are a lot of moves that don't follow that pattern, but interesting anyway.

    [Please forgive any corruption of the Spanish names for salsa rudea calls, I don't know Spanish :oops: ]
  4. redhead

    redhead New Member

    The only few times I've heard anyone saying that someone's salsa is "ballroom"... Guys they were talking about did have ballroom training, so they kept that ballroom frame and looked very stiff. Looks funny in a club, so I don't think it's a compliment.
  5. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    It's true. In a club setting the Ballroom couples always stand out as being more stiff compared to the rest of the 'Street Salsa' (as opposed to 'Ballroom Salsa', this term is widely used here) couples.

    'Hate' seems to be a strong word. I guess there is a time a place for different styles of dances......!

    My very first (salsa) dance partner was a ballroom instructor. I do value the techniques used in ballroom, and believe them beneficial to any salsaeros who want to have an edge for competition/shows.

    However, (this one is to you ballroom guys/gals) let your hair down and have some fun when you visit a salsa club :wink: !
  6. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I don't dislike ballroom dancing at all, but I don't think it has any place in the salsa scene. Salsa by its very nature is a street dance and when your style is very 'stiff' it doesn't represent the spirit of the dance. It looks very cold, calculated, and out of place (in my opinion). It would be like imagining ballroom style hip-hop! :lol: Yeah, get the picture now!
  7. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I'm guilty, I admit it, I am a ballroom style salsa dancer. Yes I am everything described above, stiff, calculating, looking more towards empty space on the floor than I am at my partner. I also learned how to dance salsa after I had started learning swing.
    It does not mean I am not having fun, in fact I am having a ton of fun.
    One problem I have seen with myself(and other "ballroom" style salsa dancers) is that I tend to want more space on the dance floor than others. This tends to be a problem in a club setting.
    I think one of the main issues for the people from south america is the idea that people put effort into learning how to dance.
    I have heard many times,
    "yeah he/she dances well, but they took lessons."
    "Yeah, they are good, but they practice together all the time"
    To alot of people who dance salsa, the dance is something you just grow up with and putting any sort of effort into it makes it seem less natural.
    Us "Ballroom" style salsa dancers have that unnatural look no matter what amazing things we do on the floor.
  8. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    This is a pretty funny topic... It usually follows this kind of train of thought depending on what side you are looking from. To a street dancer, those who have never taken a class, salsa dancers from studios are thought of as snots and they look good but too ballroom. hehe, that means they don't know what ballroom is, and have failed to realize that because they move to salsa, they aren't dancing it as per its basic requirements. If you don't know there is a basic, or that there is a beat to follow, you aren't dancing salsa. I'm sorry, but just like each language requires its speakers a coherent formation of words with 'logical' meaning and understanding, so does salsa dancing.

    To studio dancers, we look at people who can't dance the mambo style salsa as not knowing how to dance, they are merely grooving to the music, like a chicken with the head cut off. :twisted: At the same time we tend to look at studio dancers as stiffies, flavor less dancers, hence killing the dance. Never really thinking that street and ballroom salsa are two different things, hence not appreciating it for its own uniqueness. Before I set foot on DF, I was guilty of looking upon ballroom dancers the way I've described, but thanks to the many ballroom dancers here, I've began to appreciate their style and passion for what they do. Thanks guys!!! As a matter of fact last Thursday I had way fun with a ballroom dancer who seemed to be the only one to know how to follow a walking lead all over the floor. WEPA!!! I was beginning to get tired of seamlessly forcing girls to move from the slot when the floor is empty, util I found the ballroom dancer.

    To ballroom dancers we are... Hmmm, I wonder what we are to ballroom dancers? God knows what the prevailing thought about studio or street dancers is. :shock:
  9. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    I am familiar with this statement. I must be one of the few that 'corssed over'.

    While I've never really got trained officially in the ballroom environment, I did train with my very first partner (who was a ballroom instructor) thus set my style to some degree in the early days.

    Then I got into the club scene & started lessons at one of the earliest salsa schools (taught by a Latino) doing showy stuff. Around the same time I met my salsa mentor/ex who (is a well-known Latino 'natural' dancer) pretty much went into great depth to "unteach" me from all formal training/lessons, as if all were a negative thing.

    I guess my experience somehow won me lots of "brownie points" amongst the latinos (they seem to recognise it no matter where in the world I go); but at the same time I have missed out on sharpening some dance techniques.

    There HAS to be a balance between the two worlds. I am doing everything I can to achieve it (at least within myself).
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    :D :D Love, hugs and kisses to you from me, boriken. :D When I first started associating with salsa people, I thought they had a very narrow-minded view of the dance world. But because of you, your philosophy, your poetry and your insights, I see that what they have is not a narrow-minded view at all. It's an all-consuming passion. It's love. Nothing wrong with that. :D
  11. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    :oops: :oops: :oops: ... Thank you so much pygmalion. Not only for the the beautiful words but for your posts. :D :D I am so happy that to share this passion with you guys. Had it not been for you guys my world would have definitely been a little smaller today.

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