Salsa > Should styling be taught if......

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by salsachinita, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Hey, Thespina! Thankyou for rescueing my old thread :D..!!

    .....And congrates about the pregnant news too :eek: yay!

    I love the table manner analogy. Every teacher should be using it! Imagine the difference it would make :banana:.......

     
  2. sweavo

    sweavo New Member


    Heh. I don't know about over there (I know you spell Kebab wrong over there) but here, "Doner Kebab" is the kebob, and "Donor" is what you call someone with one of those cards, especially if they also have a motorcycle.
     
  3. tj

    tj New Member

    Lol, not knowing what donair was, I looked it up on wikipedia and look what I got: (the link)

    (so I get the joke now...)
     
  4. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    a problem that i observe and experience with lady styling is mostly that of poor judgement.. meaning that if they do know how to do it well, and they look good and on time.. still, many a time they lack the sense of follow needed to co-ordinate their styling with the lead.. and also.. to do it when it makes most sense musically .. for it to work smoothly, the connection has to come first.. if u gona play.. better be pretty good follow.. feel your partner.. ofcourse that goes to the lead as well.. then style the heck out of it..

    on the other hand .. if u are out their just to have fun .. then nothing really matters as long as u are happy
     
  5. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Sigh. Another perfect picture, Sabor.

    And in respose, I agree... although there are ways to "style" that actually facilitate following.. like not leaving your free arm limp by your side, but keeping it up with the palm turned out. Or getting it up over the head during some turns to keep it from getting caught on the inside... these things LOOK better but also make for an easier dance.
     
  6. Sabor

    Sabor New Member


    really? thanx .. nice hand curviture i guess.. jaja
     
  7. Don Silver

    Don Silver Member

    I've seen this from a few perspectives. To provide context: I teach bootcamps as the lead with Edie the Salsa Freak in LA (two 8 hour days), my own "beg/int" classes at nightclubs, classes at weekend salsa events (Palm Springs) and privates.

    The nightclub classes are totally different from all the other events. When I started club teaching, I was focused on foundational materials, because I had such success in the other venues with that approach.

    Then I got hit in the head by a few issues: Most club students don't care about the fundamentals. They can't do basic to the music, but they want a pattern or move. And they want partnering as soon as possible. If you did an hour of basic footwork, giving them the tools they need to succeed, they are bored to death. So as an instructor IN THAT CONTEXT, I've had to realize why most people attend the class.

    They may wish to be good dancers, but they really want to meet people, have fun and not feel stupid. Some start the night with a drink, before class starts! The club scene is primarily a social location and a stress release. The dancing for most people is a vehicle for meeting people. Some people are there because their significant other (S.O.) wants them there, some to check out the women/guys, some because they thought it looked cool on TV last week. That makes it a different crowd.

    The people on this list don't go dancing for the same reason most attend clubs. Sure we like meeting people, but we also want to dance well.

    I have no chance of teaching someone good foundational materials if they are not having fun. So the challenge is to make it fun, give them as much foundation as possible, but keep it light. And yes, I ignore some people who are totally in the wrong zip code.

    It amazes me. We turn on music to practice and I walk around asking almost every couple if they have any questions. A guy can be TOTALLY out to lunch with the footwork, pattern and/or timing and he'll look me in the eye and say "No thanks... I've got it!" If I stop and "fix" those two guys (who don't really care, they won't be back next week), the rest of the class suffers.

    You can only help those who want assistance. I agonize over what to leave out because in my mind, that is the art of teaching, knowing what to leave alone until the student is ready to learn.

    And there is the hidden monster few discuss in the club scene classes. The owner wants numbers. And he wants people to return week after week. If your numbers aren't at a reasonable level, and climb a bit over time, most club owners will replace an instructor with someone else.

    I've seen students attend classes with a flashy dancer, who taught things almost nobody could do, but the attendance numbers grew every week, because they like him, even though the students learned almost nothing usable on the floor. The club owner loves the guy...

    This means most club classes ARE focused on the numbers, which means fun first, get people returning, teach them some every week, help the ones who want it, and let the others have enough fun that they seek you out later.

    The people who want the details ask questions. I always mention/show that the dance and the music work together, but some totally ignore me. I love the musical aspects of dancing, but that doesn't mean I can actually teach much of that in a beginning class, because most club people want action, not theory.

    Many people will drop in once a month (more or less), so you can't assume what you taught last week will have been practiced. Some do, some don't, so you teach toward the middle of the class, knowing your primary job is to get them interested enough to continue their education when they are ready. I also focus on the social aspects of the dance, facilitating meeting people, so they will return to be with "friends" next week.

    On the other hand, if I get someone at a camp, dance studio and/or privates, those people want to learn to dance well, and they understand and appreciate a building block approach. You still need the fun, but it's wrapped around "here is what you need to succeed over a few months... Yes it's slower now, but here's what you'll be able to do when you master these foundational moves..."

    Totally different set of students, a different approach.

    Being someone who values the fundamentals, and a teacher long before dancing, I see that in the club classes a different approach is required.

    I probably teach more fundamentals than most, but it's always less than I'd like in a club.
     

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