Salsa > Too much salsa?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by dancin_feet, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    OK another first for me this weekend. I went to a latin / salsa club for the first time on Saturday night. Had a great time, but a couple of things struck me as a bit odd.

    Firstly, the mix of 85% salsa, 14% merengue, and 1% RnB bugged me after a while (the first hour actually! :evil: ). How much salsa can a person do over the course of 5 hours? Obviously a lot from the number of people who were constantly on the floor, or doing shines on the edge of the floor by themselves.

    There were 3 of us girls and we had one male friend there that we knew (he has taken classes at our studio). So we did mambo, samba, lambada, cha cha to the salsa music. The looks we got ..... :shock:. As if you can't do anything else other than salsa to salsa music! When the RnB stuff came on (about 4 or 5 songs over the whole night) all the dancers separated and did salsa shines in a circle to it. :?

    Are salsa dancers not interested in knowing anything else, or is it a case of wanting to perfect their craft? Don't get me wrong, I had a great time and some of the dancers there were awesome to watch, but the same dance over and over and over and over ..... well, you get the picture.

    I'm not having a go at salsa dancers, just curious how you keep it interesting doing the same dance all the time. I would love to go back again, but to be honest, if I hear any salsa music this week, I'm going to turn and run the other way!! :lol:
  2. jenibelle

    jenibelle New Member

    I don't know, but I could go to a salsa club with 99.99% salsa, with a break for maybe 1 bachata and 1 cha cha chá, to give me time to go to the bathroom.

    Jeni :D
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    When you dance there is much more than the dance style. The music played varies in tempo and mood, each dance with someone new is to categarize them as "all salsa" misses the point. Now if you know a variety of dances and like them all quite a bit then going to a night that is predominantly salsa may get to you. There are people who just like lindy, or just like WCS, just as there are those who like salsa and can do salsa all night.
  4. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I know there is a different tempo and mood, that's how we picked different dances to do to the music. I have been watching dancing for over 20 years, and in the beginning of the night, it was like, wow, these guys are great, but towards the end of the night, they all started to look the same to me. I could pick out the different salsa styles and little tricks that were individual to some dancers, but it did seem rather repetitive. Maybe this is an area I just need more education from some salsa dancers such as yourselves to be able to appreciate it fully.

    Maybe it was also the fact that no-one other than the one guy that knew us, actually asked any of us to dance. :( Towards the end of the night, we seemed to be singled out, with some of the obvious regulars standing in front of us so that we couldn't see what was going on on the floor! :x Is this typical of newbies to clubs in the states, or are you more accepting? Maybe they just didn't like us coming in there and not dancing salsa all night? I admit I was a little intimidated watching some of the really good dancers, and wasn't game to ask someone myself. :oops: Maybe next time.
  5. Lita_rulez

    Lita_rulez New Member

    I don't mean to be rude, but I just had a terrible evening, and I'm in a verry bad mood, so I'm just typing as it comes.

    I am always amazed at people that go "I went to a salsa venue, and all they played was salsa90% of the evening"
    It is not called a "Salsa club" because they play pop music from the 80s !

    You know what ? I went to Disney World last week, and everywhere I looked, it was all Disney, Disney, Disney... I mean, I like Mickey Mouse as much as the next person, and I have been watching cartoons for 20 years, but how much Disney can one man take ? I mean, there could at least have been like Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck, or Tom & Jerry, but no, Disney, Disney, and nothing but Disney.

    Anyone reading this would go "what an idiotic looser, he went to Disneyworld, he should have known what to expect. If you don't like Disney characters, than don't go to a Disney spot" and yet, people are surprised to hear salsa in a salsa club...

    Well, you can, but just because you could does not mean you should !

    You know, you can play football on a football field, but you can do other things too like play soccer, play catch, or even have a picnic. Now try and do that in the middle of a game, and tell me what kind of looks you are going to get...

    You cant get into the ring with Ali and act surprised he hit you, when there are so many other things you could do in a ring...

    Well, I for one am interested in many other things. Wich I do do at home, or at other places those things might take place. I do not rollerblade in a salsaclub, I do not play basketball to the office, and I do not cook in my bathroom? When I want to rollerblade, I hit the street that are fit to do so. When I cook, I like to do it in a kitchen with every thing in handy. When I want to play ball, I hit the playground.

    Well same goes for salsa : you want to do it, you find a place to do it, and you go there SPECIFICALY to do it. No wonder you don't do something else
  6. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I think you need to take a chill pill Lita_rulez. I am just sharing my experience and asking questions as I have never done this before. No need to bite my head off!! :shock:

    For me, dancing is not like football. There is more than one dance you can do to different types of music. Mainly I was amazed at the looks we got, as if you aren't allowed to do your own thing and you must do salsa!!

    Anyone else with something to share or some insight into the salsa dancers mind? :?
  7. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    dancing_feet... I have to say I am a Salsa addict, therefore a little biased...
    You know, I only listen to Salsa! Any other type of music just isn't for me! Don't know why... :lol: :lol: :lol:
    The DJ of the club I go to (the only Salsa club in my city) plays a mix of Salsa, merengue, bachata, cha cha, latino pop (sometimes house, R&B, hip hop, oriental music...). I hate him! He's playing one hour of Salsa and then one hour of merengue!
    I would have loved the club you went to! I don't dance all Salsa songs (some just don't seem fit for dancing...) but I do enjoy listening to them! I just sit down and sway to the music and hit the accents with my hand! :lol: :lol: People must think I'm nuts! :shock: :shock:
    About dancing cha cha or something else to Salsa music... :) I dance Salsa (or merengue or cha cha) to any other music that fits! But not to Salsa... :lol: I dance cha cha to cha cha and bachata to bachata... and merengue to merengue... but I dance Salsa to R&B! Or to pop music or oriental music!
    It's nothing wrong with dancing something else to Salsa (as long as you keep the beat...) but I just wouldn't do it! I guess I am a hopeless Salsa junkie!
  8. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    :lol: D_F, you are forgetting that many of us salsa dancers are salsa addicts! We just can't have enough salsa, never mind too much salsa. Like Jeni, many consider merengues, cha chas and bachatas as "rest breaks". At my no. 1 favourite salsa monthly, the norm is about 2-3 non-salsa songs (either merengue or cha cha cha) and the rest various strains of salsa from 9pm to 1am. This is considered a good mix by salsa addicts. At the Latin Splash after party, we didn't get anything other than salsa! When the salsa ratio goes below 80%, we start complaining...

    Some salsa songs are good for Cuban style dancing, some made for LA style, some very mambo (NY on2 -- although I can't dance that style)... As a follower who knows the local scene, I can grab the leader that dances the style that suits each song, so I can get variety. I suppose things are different for leaders...

    This is very common. I remember only December last year, when I went to a dance and was asked to dance by maybe 5 men max :shock:. I had to sit out most songs and was pretty miserable by the end of the night. It was not long after I started social dancing, so people didn't know me. When you are a new face, regulars don't know you can dance salsa, so you are not asked. And because you don't know anyone and are not confident, you don't ask either... :( If you keep going back to the same club, people will start recognising you, realise you can dance, and will ask you. Then you will not feel so intimidated to ask guys. It just takes a bit of time.

    Now I'm a regular, and my first priority tends to be to make sure I get at least one dance (preferably two or three) with all my favourite dancers. That maybe takes about half the night or more, then I dance with everyone who asks me. I also want to dance with regulars/friends and also guys I've seen a couple of times before but haven't danced with yet. Also take away a couples of songs to use as breaks to get drinks, go to the restroom, etc., and I'm left with about 5-6 songs spare to ask new faces to dance.
  9. Lita_rulez

    Lita_rulez New Member

    No biting your head off anywhere in my post. As I said in the first line, I had had a very bad evening, and was not in a mood to tell a short story long.
    As a matter of fact, I just read my post again, and I actually expected to see something more agressive. I do not see anything worth getting offended by.

    Anyways, the post is not directed against you specificaly, it is just as you put it "sharing my experience and asking questions"

    How come every exemple I have given strikes every one as a "stupid situation" or as "something that could/should never happen", yet when it comes to salsa, it seems natural and legitimate question ?

    You are even offended by the mere fact that I could compare your question with the fictional ones I have given, but come to think of it objectively, if you replace every "Disney" term by a "salsa" term, you basicaly get your first posts (I know, because I just did the contrary to come up with it ;) )

    Now just to be clear : I do not imply that you are crazy for thinking what you think, or for asking the questions you have asked. I am in turn wondering why these questions tend to come up so often when it comes to salsa, and yet never do for other subjects.

    Now to answer you in a "rounder" way : it is not that a salsero does not like to dance anything else than salsa (some might, some might not) it is just that when you go to a salsa club, you are surounded by people that have come to this club specificaly to dance salsa, and have chosen this club precisely because it (almost) only plays salsa. So yes, people around you will almost only dance salsa, all night long, it is something as serious as going league bowling on thursday or practicing martial arts : it is hours non stop of one thing you love, and thus does not seem "too much". You have signed for this, and you come back each and every week (every night for some) asking for more.

    So obviously, someone coming to that particular place to do something else does stand out, and will get peculiar looks.

    You didn't like the footbal image, then maybe this one will suit you better :

    If you go to a painting class, you will see 25 people all sitting towards the same model. Well, there are many different things you can do with paintings, but if the subject of the class is " flowers" then everybody is going to be painting flowers. Someone in the midle of the group painting the other ones painting will stand out, and will get funny looks. Not because you should not paint others, but because this is not what you came here for.

    If you just go to a park and paint, then paint away my friend, and do what ever you please. And if you are in a dancing club that plays salsa, bachata, merenge, latin pop, RnB, Jazz, and so on, the you can dance whatever you fell to whatever music, hell, you might even find a few salseros there moving a way you had never seen them before.

    But in a salsa club, run by salsa lovers, for salsa lovers, and specificaly to play salsa and dance salsa to, well, chances are, you are going to get a whole lot of salsa.

    My appologies if my first post has offended you, it was most certainly not the object of it, and I know I should not allways write when I am in a foul mood, but hey, only human :?
  10. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    A recent conversation with a salsa friend: she and some other salsa dancers were invited to a wedding. Dancing started, with the DJ playing mostly chart songs, but the salsa dancers couldn't dance like other, "normal" guests -- they just kept going back to the salsa step without even realising... :lol: :lol: I know, we salsa addicts are sad people, but it makes us happy at least :wink:.
  11. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    I think dancin feet may have gone into the Salsa venue with a latin mindset. Many of us do dance other dances to salsa music, especially if there is a strong samba or cha cha sub beat.

    I find it very hard to spend 3 hours in ANY dance style. However, if I went to a Salsa dance, I would expect to dance only salsa with maybe a merengue or cumbia thrown in.

    That is why I usually go to mixed format dances, where I can dance a large variety of dances including Salsa.

    We are all dance addicts, it is just the form our addiction takes that makes us different. :wink:
  12. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    MacMoto... I can sooooo relate to that! I went to a wedding on Saturday evening... nice people, nice music... not Salsa... but I kept doing the Salsa (or merengue or cha cha) to any song! I tried to dance it as the others, but couldn't!
  13. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I find that if I listen to nonsalsa music too long I actually get restless, dare I say I get the shakes. It is even worse when I go to a dance club and there is no salsa or true salsera's to dance with.
    HELP, I am a full blown addict.
    I need to find more addicts to form a support group, then we can all go salsa together:).

    To answer the original question, I agree with the others. If you went to a swing dance no one would be surprised that they only played swing.

    The swing dancers would reply, but it's not just swing, it's east coast, west coast, lindy, jitterbug, charleston etc etc etc.

    We say it's not just salsa,
    it's NY style, LA style, Cuban style, Colombian style, Puerto Rican style, African style, etc etc etc

    I do understand your frustration however, and fear not, most places that advertise a salsa night actually only play about 20-50% salsa. A "Latin" night will have even less salsa.
    Of course the less salsa they play the less likely you are to get one of the truly wonderful dances. Most salsa dancers will shy away from places that are less than 80% salsa.
  14. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Vin.... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
    You are a hard-core Salsero!
  15. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Hmm... I certainly agree with D_F that sometimes having so much salsa played really gets very monotonous (though I still will dance to it anyway). I probably fit her camp as wanting more variety in my dancing outings, but I also admit having gone to many salsa clubs before (and having once been addicted to salsa in my early days), I don't usually expect anything less than 90% salsa in one evening.

    But I do go dancing at other clubs, and I know that the tempo and son of salsa music many times sounds very similar. Compared to swing dances anyway, there are variations in speed and style (just as in salsa), but maybe it's the places I tend to go... there's not really a salsa version of balboa so far as I know (or maybe that's "merengue").

    I certainly understand your feeling though of being ostracized. I have tried dragging people who love swing or salsa music to ballroom dances that I organize or play music for. They know they won't be dancing as much, but fortunately the people that attend our dances will ask those sitting out to dance, maybe even teach them a few basic steps. Almost the same thing at swing dances I attend. But take anyone to a salsa club, it's like gritting your teeth when you are told that the next dance is a social. Almost no experienced women want to dance the socials, and the novice women are afraid of dancing with any of the experienced men. There's a reason why in our club, swing is the predominant club dance in parallel with ballroom/Latin, but no one really gets excited about going to salsa dances (like I would or would want).

    I don't see that in salsa clubs unless it's a salsero trying to flirt with a really hot wallflower. Personally, I have no fear and no shame in asking a woman to dance socially ;) , but I do tend to want to sit down and listen to music and watch others dance a lot. Take notes... try to recreate moves in my head and try to do them the next time. Still, seeing an Asian guy dancing salsa... I may not have cared about being ostracized when I knew no figures*, but I certainly realize that not fitting the demographic or speaking the language gives other people some pause before dancing with me.

    I personally like to organize Latin nights where it's mostly salsa music, but I will slow the speed down to rumbas and tangos just to give some of the ballroomers a chance to feel the music we're addicted to as well. (Not to mention, we are a ballroom dance team and not strictly salsa.) Of course, given what I know now, I may also play a few West Coast swing songs next August if there's a good Latin R&B song at appropriate speed for it.

    * I will admit to having been graciously accosted with racial slurs after dancing (this is many years ago), though I will naively attribute that mostly to alcohol intoxication rather than any sincere anti-Asian bias.

    P.S. Can someone point out the nearest "grinding club" to me? And I don't mean Starbucks. :lol:
  16. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    WOW, my sentiments EXACTLY! That's why I am not crazy about "salsa clubs" because they play nothing but salsa! I LOVE salsa, but I also love bachata, merengue, cumbia, etc and the MUSIC so why limit latin dance to just one style?! REAL LATINOS taught me to dance, to appreciate the music, so I have no bias! I love it all and the more the blend, the better!
  17. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Ok, Salsa isn't as much about the dance as it is about expressing a love we have.

    For example, you are totally in love, I mean so in love with this one person that you turn to moosh just by his mere gaze at you. Well, that is what happens with salsa, however, unlike the period of love that is preceded by infatuation, that infatuation never ceases for a hardcore salsaero, it instead is multiplied as the songs play during the night, as we dance with different partners.

    The reason why we dance salsa the same night 100% of time is because we love Salsa so darm much that taking that object of love from our hearts is like breaking up with your first love. It hurts as if life was about to end.

    SO if you were to tell me, boriken, we are going to a Salsa club that plays 80% salsa, 15% Merengue and 5% bachata, I would tell you, NO thank you! If it isn't 100% salsa, I am not going!

    Every other dance becomes salsa because our hearts hear nothing but salsa whenever we hear music. We look for the clave, we look to fit our steps to the song.... It is basically like looking for the person you love in other people.

    Don't look at salsa-holics as dancers, for you will come to the conclusion that it gets boring to dance the same dance, look at us as creatures that are there to love the feeling risen within us from a beat, and I hardly believe that someone would get tired of having their heart stroke by the greatest love of their life, over and over and over!

    Remember, when we are out there, we aren't thinking, for the mind is the one that deems repetetiveness as bordome, we are there to feel and love with the heart and soul, only then can you do the same dance 7 Days and Week, 24 hours a day, and not get bored... For making love to the most amazing deepest love of your life will never get boring...

    It is all about love and the feeling of a balloon-like inflating heart when the music goes on!

    Dancing-Feet, that is the mind set of a hardcore salserso, hope it cleared some confusion.
  18. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    boriken... I can definitely relate to what you have just written!!!
  19. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    :notworth: :notworth: :notworth: :notworth:
  20. Vin

    Vin New Member

    Wow Boriken, awesome post as always.

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