Salsa > Shines

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Pacion, Jun 12, 2004.


Do you like shines?

  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. All the time!

    0 vote(s)
  4. Occassionally

    0 vote(s)
  5. What are they?

    0 vote(s)
  1. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    OK, please pardon the extreme stupidity of this question. My only excuse is that I'm starting my second month of Salsa tonight (this is ignoring previous Salsa instruction from about 4 years ago, a few months of intermediate followed by a few months of beginning).

    Just what are shines?

    I know that it's when the couple breaks away and each dances on his/her own. I know it's meant for individual expression and for showing off.

    But just what are they?

    In warm-up at the beginning of class, we do the basic step, and the turns, and cumbias, and cucarachas, and forward and back breaks, and hook turns, and box steps, etc.

    Are shines basically just combinations of those? Such that you make up a shine by stringing together those steps? OK, you may add some body stuff (arm styling, shoulder stuff, etc) -- in fact, that should be where the artistry of the shine is -- , but basically you're just piecing these steps etc together to create a shine. Right?

    Curious gringos want to know.
  2. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Shines are meant to be the solo expression of each dancer while keeping a connection without touch.

    They are a string of steps, either made up, or taught like patterns for couple work. You do them when you pull away from each other. There it is time to use what you have been taught, or be creative and make up your own body movement/steps.
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Dwise! check out the building a shine repertoire thread. It has some links to a couple shines that are broken down for you, as well as other useful info.
  4. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    I'm fairly late on this one (pokey ol' me!), but I just had an experience last night that reminded me how nifty shines can be. You know those moments of utter inspiration you sometimes have while dancing, when you feel as if there were tongues of flame leaping up from the top of your head? I had that with someone last night while shining...he was giving me so much to play with, such great intensity, it was...WEE-HAW! I doubt that I could remember and repeat any of what I did if I racked my brains for the rest of my life, but that feeling is going to be giving me goosebumps for the next good while...Zow!!

    I have to agree with those who have been stating that you need a certain amount of confidence and comfortableness within the dance as a whole to feel good about doing shines. I know that when I started dancing, I'd fairly break into a cold sweat at the mere thought of shines. :shock:

    The importance of knowing a bit about the basic structure of the song(s) can't be underestimated, either (IMHO); the music is your framework, the structure on which the dance rests and which gives it its forms and possibilities. I think that if you listen to the music alone, just dancing to it, not thinking about any sort of partnerwork imperatives, you'll discover a whole bunch of nutty stuff that just works, and you'll hear more clearly those moments when you have the chance to (ooh, bad pun at ten o' clock! :oops: :lol: ) shine. Then it's easier to work out how to best accomplish specific movements and footwork combinations; once that's done, you can forget it all and improvise whatever fits the moment.
    My (admittedly rather simplistic) take... :)
  5. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Well said, Kali Ma 8) !

    This is where musicality comes into play, big time. It never ceased to amaze me how many people think of it as an afterthought :shock: ! Hence the needs to "rote-learn" shine routines intead of freestyling :roll: .......

    Here's the "Musicality" thread: if anyone missed it. It's another must-read!
  6. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    This would not work if you are out and hearing a song for the first time. BUT, listening to the music will certainly help :banana:
  7. Danoo

    Danoo New Member

    if u ask me shines bring salsa together
    some shines are firtly and nearrly all shines you stare at you partney :wink:
  8. Ray

    Ray New Member

    salsa and shines = ultimate salsa

    salsa without shines is ehm.. so robotic ;)

    the shines/moves makes the dance.. everybody can do nice combinations..

    its the style the movement you do with it

  9. Danoo

    Danoo New Member

    exactly my point :p
  10. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Mmm, my emphasis was actually on basic song structure --not on knowing a specific song note-by-note-- but I'll have to disagree. If you know the basic "pattern" of song structure within a specific genre, it's much simpler to adapt your dancing (shining) to any one specific song, generally speaking, and make educated guesses about which direction an unfamiliar song might take. That has been my experience, in any case, and it has worked for me. :)
  11. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    And this was the main point the teacher made at the "musicality class" I attended -- he said salsa music is formulaic, meaning that salsa songs were often structurally similar, making it reasonably easy to guess how long each phrase might last and what might be coming next.
  12. Istel

    Istel New Member

    Sorry for digging up another old thread :roll:

    I'm having problems trying to make ladies look good while dancing with me, so is there any threads addressing this problem? Also, when the girls are doing shines while in Titanic postition(eh... I wonder do we use the same terminology...) what should the guys do? Just holding her hands and stand still (that's what I do normally, maybe I'll do a few butt shake if I'm feeling it...) How can we guys amplify her shines, so that she really shines (pardon the pun)on the dance floor?

    (C&P from another posting in another related thread...)

    P.S. Just a tiny request. Is it possible to put up a sticky for all these valuable information? I think it's really useful for noobs like me :)
  13. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    When a guy releases my hands it is usually a sign to start doing some shines. Most often,(in my situation anyhow) it is the GUY who wants to do some shines- sassy footwork or some spins or funky techniques he knows. Sometimes we do a little shakin' together, sometimes we just do our own thing, all the time conscious of what the other is doing(FUN to watch!). Somtimes the guy doesn't do much of anything, but that's cool, too! He's giving ME a chance to do my shines(& I LOVE shines!). I suggest you do your own thing, whatever you feel most comfortable doing, whether it be fancy footwork or just following the music with a basic!
  14. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    "Titanic position"... I don't know the formal name either I assume that you mean that you're holding the lady out in a "cross" but that both of you are facing the same direction (and not each other). It's probably better for you to hold your ground, do nothing, and let her do whatever she wants. Give her enough stability to do whatever shines she wants.
  15. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I have done the cross, but then the lady asks what to do! :) Well, beginners do and some of the intermediate dancers. It isn't that common in my area - the cross.
  16. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Istel, I love your avatar. Too cute! Etchuck is right. It's probably better for you to hold your ground, do nothing, and let her do whatever she wants. Having said that, when doing shines, the best answer I could give you is to "play" off of the follower's shine. (They in turn, may/should do the same.) Use the action/reaction technique. Even when you are apart doing shines, you are still somewhat connected. That's where "play" comes in. If the follow does a body roll, spin, or slide, try reacting (flirtatiously) to it. I love it when my leads does that and when they do, my shines become flirtatious (amplified) as well. :)
  17. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I think you are referring to what is called the T-Stance in New York City. The couple is facing each other, guy creating a base for the lady to hold on to, with arms comfortably extended (somewhat wider than shoulder width) but not in locked position at waist high. Here the lady is asked for a shine display while holding the guys hands as a base...

    I like to keep beat with my upper body. Meaning that I move it side to side in either 2,3,4 6,7,8 counts, or 2 and 6... If not moving the upper body I also like to slowly move my right or left foot in a circle while she is stepping, again keeping beat... another nice one is the circling motion of the buttocks during the entire 8 count.

    However, the leader must be responsible for that base, and the ladies safety first! If you are still a beginner then stand there and only hold base, don't let your arms move all over the place, etc...

    To enhance it, then you pick which beat you want to enhance her steps on, then using your upper body (not the arms) generate the lead/motion where you want her to step "bigger/louder" by moving your upper body towards a given side. Girls usually have a sick repertoire of shines for this position so enhancing it really isn't a worry...

    In all, what you do is really up to you... Think of what you feel like doing and do it... as long as you think of her first.
  18. Istel

    Istel New Member

    Thanks peach, am glad that you and Sagitta like my avatar enough to comment about it :D

    As for the cross/titanic/t-stance. I guess I'll just stick to being stable and maybe moving my shoulders a little, while at it (I'm thinking of doing the lap clapping as a reaction to her flirtatious shines? Would it look uncouth when I do it while she's bending her body or moving her hips?)

    Just for fun, sometimes I'll also like to swoon at her when she's doing her shines(when apart and facing her that is), would love to try out the heart pumping madly thing mentioned by sabor :lol:.

    However, I think I'm having problems with body isolation, it's like when I'm doing those little movements i.e. twitching my shoulders, other parts of the body would act up, thinking they deserve a part of the action as well, instinctly moving/stiffening up... :roll:

    Thought of taking up latin jazz classes to train up my body expression but, too little money, too little time :cry:

    Anyone with similar problems? Would love to hear how you managed to overcome it.
  19. Danoo

    Danoo New Member

    sry i dont understand
    u dont hold your partners hand while doing a shine
    and when the wonman does a shine
    doesnt mean u do the same
    shines are random lol


    do u mean when your behind your parter hollding both her hands ( when leonardo is being that woman :p)
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Danoo there are different ways of "shining". What we are referring to here is providing support so that the woman can do things that normally she cannot do while solo dancing. Often the leader can make the follower do swivels, and pivots, and other moves in this position; but the leader can also allow the follower the freedom to improvise and respond to that improvisation. :)

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