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. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member


    All I can do is shine!

    Expect for dancing with people from the same salsa class as I attend, then I can dance salsa connected as well. I have big problems to follow other people who want me to take steps and patterns that are unfamiliar for me :? . I can however follow the dance teacher and the coo teacher…so there must be some hope for me in the long run… :wink:

    Well back to the topic. Several years ago (being very young) I learnt the Hustle who is a stripped version of salsa (or vice versa ..salsa has probably taken inspiration from Hustle and evolved from it …I don’t know for sure).

    Therefore all my freestyle disco dance follows the basic pattern 1,2,3_5,6,7_ but it doesn’t look Latino at all. It’s more like a mess of classical, jazz, rock and African dance.

    I know I’m good at it. People have told me for all my life. But sometimes I tend to scare my partners; they don’t have a chance to follow me. So last years I’ve tried to “tune down” the amplitude of my expressions. Saving my bad legs (pronation) and not scaring the guys.

    Now for the big question
    Can I use my very personal body language in Shining? Or should I evolve it further to the Latino style, not scaring people and not being to extreme. How free am I to express what’s already in my body? Is it Ok to mix styles as long as I can count to 8?


    Almost daily I take a “freestyle salsa” in the living room. It makes me feel good and its good exercise. Then it’s also a good time to figure out new shines and mix the shines from the salsa classes with your own personality. Why don't you try it!
  2. Danoo

    Danoo New Member

    aa i see

    im thinkning of giving the woman and guy freedom doing half-flares and suzi q's and that :)
  3. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Salsa should be just about that, self expression, however you must take your partner to that crazy world you speak of, well, at least help him...

    As long as you don't look like a chicken with the head cut off you are fine doing your own thing. Be unique, cultivate what you have and use it in salsa. There is no rule that say you must look like this or that, that only comes in when you try to dance per a given style's techniques...

    Keep the beat, don't look wild, which means you must always look to be in control, kind of like a descarga, the band is going nuts but they have control and a purpose, which in a dancer relates to looking "clean" and in synch with the music, despite how "wild" you get, control is key!

    If by latino you mean, afro cuban feel in the music then, it is perhaps a benefit to be able to incorporate it to your style...

    Remember that there is such a thing as dancing a given dance to a music, yet still not be dancing the music...for if you dance hustle to salsa you will look like you are dancing hustle to salsa and not dancing salsa...
  4. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Thank’s Borikensalsero, you express it so well!

    I just love "however you must take your partner to that crazy world you speak of, well, at least help him... "

    I guess I’m too occupied by learning to follow...especially patterns I never done before…that I have problems with my own expression. I don´t dare or have the time until I can manage the basics.

    The afro cuban style is there - as long as I dance connected anyhow :wink: ; . The Hustle is gone for ever. Only a few fragments have survived… a few shines me and my former dance partner created (built on hustle, swing and rock).

    (Sometimes I really long for my old dance partner, especially nowadays. But he moved over the Atlantic several years ago and he is probably both fat and bold headed and not the excellent dancer I remember :lol: . Or perhaps he is a excellent salsero…who knows)

    Sometimes I believe the problem is that my body language is to “experienced” in that way that people who dance with me believe I’m a better dancer than I really am. After a few seconds they start patterns I havn’t a chance to follow. I try to give them a hint…but perhaps they don’t listen or perhaps they are too occupied by performing well themselves. Or perhaps I just need a few more classes and some more night clubing. I don’t know.

  5. Big10

    Big10 Member

    Advanced body movement, beginning follower

    Here's my theory on your so-called "problem" -- your development seems to be the opposite of most Salsa dancers.

    In other words, most of us view complicated shines or expressive body movement during Salsa as an advanced skill. It was stressful enough for us to learn to match the basic to the music :oops: and then trying various turns/patterns....such that truly feeling relaxed enough to fit in creative shines was something that has taken a long time -- and some people unfortunately never get. Using my primary Salsa instructor as an example, his "advanced" level of classes devoted more time to body movement, weight distribution, and looking authentic/natural (skills that show up best during shines) -- rather than the patterns that took most of our time at the beginning and intermediate levels.

    Hence, when a leader sees how comfortable/free you are with the music and the beat and moving your body, the leader will simply assume you've reached an advanced or at least high-intermediate level of Salsa dancing. The partnering and/or lead-follow training are so often the preliminary stages before reaching your level of body comfort, that we make the assumption you learned Salsa the same way we did -- even though it sounds like those foundations are where you feel the need to develop, almost in a reverse fashion.

    So much of dance is an unspoken communication between a leader and a follower. However, given the "problem" that you seem to be experiencing with Salsa leaders who assume too much about your following skills simply from watching you, perhaps you need to just go ahead and verbalize the issue. If a man asks you to dance, say something like "Yes" (of course :wink: ), and add "but I'm still learning how to follow." That should give him a clue that even if he sees you bust out some awesome styling, he still needs to be attentive and cautious with his leading of patterns.

    I don't think you should deprive yourself of the joy you feel while moving your body and "shining," so it's just a matter of making sure that the leader realizes how he should handle you during the partnering moves. Good luck!
  6. Istel

    Istel New Member

    Yup, just like what Sagitta had said. As it looks like the scene from the Titanic, hence it's namesake (courtesy of my instructor :lol:).

    Lucretia: What I would give to have your problem :p j/k
    However, I think you should tell your partners that you're experienced in other dances but not Salsa. I think that would put less pressure on them to perform, it's a male ego thing I guess :wink:

    I wouldn't be surprised that the guys you're dancing with, were freaking out. Hence, out comes all the fancy patterns to eh make up for his lack of potency in body expression and musical appreciation. :)

    If he's too dense to get it, it's time to print out the 10 commandments of Salsa from this forum and slap it on his face next time you're out dancing :p
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Let's stay away from the violence, shall we!! Particularly as this is not an egregious case. Now, if you suggested that for the guy who bugs Shydancer all the time I have no objections. :wink: We can take this guy out and have a firm discussion with him. As to what that involves I leave to your vivid imaginations. :)

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