General Dance Discussion > What ballroom dance is the least aggressive with male spinning?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by wiseman, May 4, 2012.

  1. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    I've mainly been learning Salsa for the past couple of years. Even though I'm a guy, we are required know how to spin well. Even in partnerwork, guys need to know how to do 2+ spins and due to the amount of practicing I've been doing and how hard it is for me to learn, my right knee is starting to experience some minor discomfort. It seems like a very minor arthritis because I only experience the discomfort at certain times, not all the time. It's not painful, but like I said, it's just a little discomfort. But even then, this doesn't sound healthy. Since all the spinning seems to be doing harm to my knee, I'll need to stop putting strain on it. I hate to give up dancing altogether, so I was wondering if there are any other dances out there I can switch too that doesn't require a lot of spinning for men. Anyone have any ideas? Hustle, Swing, Merengue, Waltz, etc?? I was leaning more towards Hustle, but if that also requires a lot of spinning for men, can anyone recommend anything better for my situation?

  2. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    What kind of shoes are you wearing?
  3. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    Take some private lessons with a qualified teacher and tell him or her about your knee problems. Spins, when done correctly, should not hurt your knee. I don't want to say anything bad about your teacher, but it sounds like they didn't teach you how to spin safely.
  4. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Jazz shoes.

    I went to the Santo Rico Dance School and from my research, they are considered one of the best Salsa schools on the planet. So, I doubt they're teaching is bad. Either my learning ability is bad or I'm just not cut out for spinning.

    My mom goes to a private instructor who teaches her several ballroom dances. She talked to him about my knee issue and the instructor was shocked why I'm learning so much spinning since I'm a guy. He was telling my mom that in partner dancing, guys should focus more on their leading more than anything while spinning should be taught more to women. He said if my knees hurts, then it's probably best that I stop doing spinning. He recommended to my mom that I take his Hustle group classes. His class isn't that aggressive with male spinning since he think it's the woman's job to spin when it comes to partner dancing. So that's why I'm considered switching to Hustle.

    I kind of agree though. I can be the best male spinner in the world, but if I can't lead properly and make the follower comfortable during a dance, then my spinning ability means nothing. I think he makes sense.
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    It is not a question of a specific dance or style. It is a question of your ambitions and goals.

    Look out not to end like me, compagñero! Change to the other leg, though it is unusual, or leave spinning at all. Even with refined technique you cannot compensate if your in-born hard ware isnt that sturdy as someone else´s is. I´ve worked with Alexander technique, and took lessons from a ballet teacher when it already was too late. Dont make the same mistakes. Sorry for bad news.
  6. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    I want to leave spinning. So, that's why I'm wondering which dance won't require me to spin.
  7. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    3 common things that cause knee pain in spins:

    1. Not releasing the heel before, during, and after the spin.

    2. Using the knee to manage the momentum after after the spinning foot has stopped moving (hyper-extends the knee and the ankle).

    3. Sticky shoes--particularly in the ball of the foot area (self-explanatory).

  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    None! As I wrote above, there is no dance and no style around I could recommend. Either of them has aspects or components of spinning on one leg. You will come to the same point with any of the cited dances. I am a tango dancer and when I copied this choreo step by step (0:18 ) my knee conked out! To much (though slow) planeos on one leg. And I do know that planeos are also danced in son cubano. So

    Simply change your attitude and ambitions and keep on dancing salsa!

    There is still so much to learn.
  9. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    How can I continue Salsa if my knee is rejecting it? If there's no dance out there that will be easier on my knee, then maybe I should stop dancing altogether and find a safer hobby. Isn't that a better idea?
  10. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Change your shoes. I know they make 'Salsa' sneakers etc. Jazz shoes may be your problem - that and poor instruction...
  11. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    This is the best shoe I ever had. It´s also for men and it looks soooo cool. It got three different sole materials for different resistance and purpose. I started on latin zapatos with high heels but soon changed to sneakers.
  12. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    I thought Jazz shoes are the proper shoes for Salsa?
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    There is no "are the proper" try, feel, and dance
  14. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    How do I changed my ambitions and goals? I go to group classes and I have to do what the instructor teaches. Should I try another school that will cater to my ambition?
  15. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Who says that men have to spin excessively in salsa? The street salseros that I've watched don't spin much and I'd bet you $50 that they didn't learn salsa at a studio. Maybe if you're doing comps it's a different story or maybe it's different at your location / club(s).
  16. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    In that case I'd recommend spending more time working with the instructor. Have you done any private lessons? Does the instructor know that spinning is hurting your knee? This may be something with your dancing that requires personal attention that isn't always possible in large group classes. If you're already doing private lessons, try it with a different teacher. Just because you haven't learned how to spin safely doesn't mean you're incapable, it means what you're doing now isn't working and so you should try something else. There are phenomenal, world champion teachers I won't work with, not because they're bad dancers or bad teachers but because their teaching styles don't mesh with my learning style or vice-versa.

    As for why they're having you do this much spinning, that's hard to evaluate without seeing what you're doing but there are several possibilities:

    1. It's not as much spinning as you think it is, it just feels like a lot because you haven't done any before.

    2. You don't have to do a lot of spins in salsa but when you do spin they want you to do it right so they're trying to give you a lot of extra practice.

    3. There are dozens and dozens of sub-styles of salsa; this style may use a lot of spins for the lead, or challenge steps where both partners spin.
  17. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Give some other dances (ballroom/latin) a try, see what else you like. As others have mentioned, most dances do not emphasize a large number of spins for the guys. A variety of movements is good for the body. Each dance (salsa, waltz, whatever) has certain characteristic movements that get repeated frequently. Doing a variety of dances gives you more movement variety which may reduce repetitive stress on your body and help you get stronger overall.

    Something else to consider - what are your dance goals? (Are you doing this for fun? For the social aspect? Are you trying to get really really good for competition or other purposes?) Are the classes you are taking meeting those goals? (Maybe not if there is a heavy spin emphasis at the moment...) Are there other classes you could take where the patterns or emphasis is different and there aren't as many spins for the guys? If not, how about private lessons to focus on your own goals and get more technique help than is possible in a group class?

    When you dance outside of class (do you go to parties or other places where you dance socially?), as the leader you can choose what patterns to lead. You don't have to lead the ones that require you to spin if you don't want to...
  18. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    What are your dance goals? (Are you doing this for fun? For the social aspect? Are you trying to get really really good for competition or other purposes?)
    -For fun

    Are the classes you are taking meeting those goals? (Maybe not if there is a heavy spin emphasis at the moment...)
    -Not really. It's going way beyond what I expected.

    Are there other classes you could take where the patterns or emphasis is different and there aren't as many spins for the guys?
    -Not at the school I'm going.

    If not, how about private lessons to focus on your own goals and get more technique help than is possible in a group class?
    -I will see. Right now, I'd rather go to group classes because I prefer practicing with different partners. And plus, it's cheaper. ;)

    Personally, I like Hustle. I've seen people dance it. The music is real groovy and the dancing looks like a lot of fun. The thing is, it doesn't seem to be a very popular dance. Seems like Salsa is the big thing today.
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    most men -- even good, nay excellent leaders -- spin very infrequently when dancing salsa. they pull it out if they want to, but there's no reason to if you are prone to injury when spinning.

    but i also wonder about the shoes. be sure you have shoes with suede soles.

    also...have you been taught to use your hips to bring you around in spins? perhaps not doing so is causing inordinate strain on your knees. just an idea.
  20. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    a) You don't have to spin, as the man, in Salsa. You lead, you choose.
    b) Knee problems associated with spinning can come from a number of causes, but the first things I would look at is shoes that grip the floor too much, how centered you are, how you control the spin with foot. Spinning should not hurt the knee.

    If you don't want to spin, go for ballroom. All the latin and club dances give the man opportunities to spin.

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