Salsa > Want a dance, not a lesson

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by dancedude314, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. dancedude314

    dancedude314 New Member

    Is there supposed to be shoulder motion in salsa?
  2. dancedude314

    dancedude314 New Member

    Look, I think this will be much simpler if I just tell you want I want to hear:

    Dancedude, that woman was completely out of her mind. I don't know what she thought she was dancing, but it sure wasn't salsa. Dancedude, you might as well have invented salsa. When I watched you dance, one friend exclaimed in amazement "that was awesome." My other friend corrected him: "no, it was outstanding." I simply shook my head, and said in a whisper, "no. It was ridiculous."
  3. noobster

    noobster Member

    Yeah, ditto. I don't like when guys teach on the floor either but I listen to all of it and try to think about it and incorporate it - at least for that dance.

    Some of the advice I've gotten over time has been directly contradictory (e.g., I need more tension in my arms/I need less tension in my arms), so I figure those cancel out. But if I hear the same thing from more than one guy (e.g., I'm hyperreactive to the lead) I take that as a sign of something I need to work on.

    But even if the person is telling you something that probably isn't relevant for your other future partners, it is relevant for that person. So I think that in the interests of trying to salvage your good time, it's useful to try and adjust the dance to the person's expectations. Of course if they are constantly giving you directions, that's no fun and I'd say you're justified in walking off the floor.

    Regarding hips, shoulders, etc. Disclaimer: I haven't seen your hips. They could be God's gift to salseras everywhere for all the data I have. I will say that if you are really not moving your shoulders at all that sounds like it is really difficult to carry off, and might look awkward as well. I've never found that I thought a guy moved his hips too much per se. Some guys just move them awkwardly though, in a jerky or forced manner. So if that is you (and it might not be) I'd say too little movement is preferable to too much until you are comfortable with the motion and can produce it in a relaxed way.
  4. azzey

    azzey Member

    Oh no MacMoto! Now you'll get him doing the gorilla dance..
  5. azzey

    azzey Member

    You're right DanceDude, how could I have missed it?

    Dancedude, you ARE the new Johnny Vasquez!
  6. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

  7. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Yes. But like hips, don't overdo it.
  8. azzey

    azzey Member

    Josh, are you trying to put this de-railed train-wreck back on the tracks?!
  9. tj

    tj New Member

  10. dancin/dj

    dancin/dj Member

    dude just say your really ticked that someone offended you, all else is, well ,fill in the blank. i think it"s funny, how can people (really know) whats happening in your story, so much advise,one thing is for sure, something called being polite something many people lack today(dancers, teachers, pro"s and amatuers) if you want to know if you move your hips wrong or too much,its simple ask about 8 women and say 3 guys,people generally speaking should give you a accurate picture more so the ladies, forget teachers just ask reg people, teachers always try to put people in there system,everyone think"s the average joe/or judy knows nothing ,wrong, they know, as for the teaching while dancing, you already know the answer she ticked you off. cheers,
  11. noobster

    noobster Member

    On a related note, a friend and I got some instruction from a bystander this evening. My friend was trying to work out a new pattern he'd learned when this dude in a gold chain and a James Brown wig steps in to help us out. I wasn't offended at first - thought he might have something good to say - but then he demo'ed something on me and he had a really rough, unpleasant lead. I was thinking, don't you dare teach my salsa buddy that lead! I've worked so hard on him to get his lead how I like it! :D
  12. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Ugh. Ressurecting an old thread to complain about a lesson-giver. I've danced with him a bunch of times and never thought there was a problem. This time, during a bachata (which i desperately wanted to enjoy), he grabs my hips and tells me to stop wiggling them (which i wasn't.. who wiggles during a bachata??), and basically cemented me to him and tried to MAKE me move the "right way". Of course I was totally thrown off, esp since bachata happens to be a very favorite dance of mine and I've gotten lot of extremely favorable comments from partners, and I got really rather stiff and self conscious. Then at the end of the dance, he complains I was too stiff. THEN we try a salsa, and he started to nitpick on what my feet were doing and my body movement. I stopped dancing and said EXACTLY what this thread is titled "I want a dance, (goofball), not a lesson." And I further told him that if he wants to change the way I dance, or has something he'd like to have me practice, he ought to come over some time so we can practice together. Then he shakes his head and emphatically decrees that he never takes lessons, never will, and is totally against this notion of "practicing". Hah. Which validated me even further and I ceased to care about his opinion.

    Still threw me way off though, and I sat out quite a number of dances. When I got back onto the floor, I was ot of sorts for like half the song until I got warmed up again and started dancing well, and with joy.

    What is it with these people? I mean, to be fair, I've stopped a dance to work on timing that was so bad it was painful... so maybe I'm a hypocrite. BUt grabbing my hips and telling me what I've done for a longish time with great reviews is totally wrong is quite annoying and not very encouraging. Like, why does he think that's ok? Hello?
  13. Josh

    Josh Active Member


    "It's... in my blooooood... claaases? Hahahah... Maybe youuuu need classes.... but... you have to dance from your heart...."

    Heard that before, from some of the worst dancers I've ever seen.

    When I hear that, I'm like........ "next?"
  14. tj

    tj New Member

    Ugh, that's awful, thespina! I hope you don't have to deal with the guy anymore.
  15. noobster

    noobster Member

    I don't know if timing can be taught per se. I mean, how can you teach someone to hear something he can't hear? Isn't that a bit like trying to teach a colorblind person the difference between red and green?

    I suspect this is a problem that is most frequently cured by just listening to hours and hours of music, until the timing starts to sink into the subconscious. But for a stressed-out beginner to be given a lecture on the social floor? I doubt it's very useful.

    I think the best thing one can do for a leader who is off time is try to gently backlead him into the beat... once, twice, maybe three times. If he well and truly can't hear it, well, my MO is to suck it up and follow him, painful though it may be. If I can't help him hear the beat, at least I can avoid making him miserable.

    (The only time I've counted for someone is if he's specifically asked for it - as in, "pssst! help! where's the one?" - which happens occasionally and it is always a relief.)
  16. SalsaManiac

    SalsaManiac New Member

    The fact that he even knows there is a 'one' means that he is light years ahead of some of the guys I've seen on the dance floor *chuckle*
  17. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Welll....hmmm...I wonder how bad I am then. ;-)

    You do touch on a pet peeve of mind. Classes - I don't find many that teach about dancing, but most teach mechanics. I do say that classes don't really teach a person to dance. It can help you to get ready to go there, but dancing is what one finds out him/her self, it has to come from within. This is what dancing means for me.
  18. tj

    tj New Member

    I agree that too many classes are the same, it seems. Nothing but patterns, technique, and mechanics.

    However, this is a necessary step rather than just skipping ahead to "dancing from within". To skip that step and lead sloppily is to make your partner have to endure 3-5 minutes of awfulness.

    Not saying that you're guilty of this, Sagitta, since you understand leading and following. Doesn't sound like thespina's partner knew what it's about.
  19. alb40

    alb40 New Member

    Yep, these exact word were told to me on Friday night... and then he said, you dance good but you keep messing up las vueltas!! and then he would stop and tell me to watch him and do it. I was so glad when that dance was over.
  20. tj

    tj New Member

    Welcome to DF, alb40!

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