Salsa > What else can salsa borrow from the Dancesport world?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Pacion, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Hmm... I suppose there are arguments for or against the perceived rigid structure of dancesport/ballroom. It's nice to have at least some structure for beginners to start out, but one of the most interesting competitions I've ever had a chance to see are Latin finals. There's certainly a different style of expression than salsa, but still... the sort of "jungle lust" that you can see in ballroom I suppose is just too funny to export into salsa.

    I also guess i am not as knowledgeable about variations of salsa music itself, but ballroom/Latin dancing does have the "variety" enforcement of learning not just one style of dance. That means that the people who think that all salsa songs sound completely alike get bored (I get this complaint more from swingers than ballroomers, but that's probably sampling error). Ballroom at least has varieties of speed and expression that salsa does not always lend itself to. But then again, I could be completely wrong.
  2. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    that's a nice observation, I'm not sure if this will help any, or just my comprehension skills but here is a verbal sampling of salsa.

    Mid 60s to 1972 - Salsa didn't really have a homogenous sound, which means that parts of salsa music was from different genres. In 1972 it is said that salsa got its homogenous sound, finally incorporating all other genres into it without having to do away with the basic foundation.

    From 1972 to 1976 I believe the salsa's first boom and commercialization started in 75. Salsa coming out of NY from this period even pre 72 was trombone driven, jump at you salsa, while there were 3 "schools" of thought on salsa, avant-garde, danceable/"lyrical" equality to instruments, and I forget the other... Still, they were all more of upbeat sound, talking of the harsh environments in the streets of el barrio. They spoke of crime, sex, politics, etc... The schools of style are heard by listening to the music from leaders of each school of though (Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri, and Ray Barretto, you can throw pacheco there too)

    Eddie Palmieri was the avant-garde of the group, almost creating undanceable music.

    Willie Colon was the more equality of instruments to vocals, even having the vocals arguably be the leader in salsa, something latin dance music really never was.

    Ray Barretto was in the middle of both, he could go either way, plus had a huge Jazz influence in his music. (you can leave him in the air, or add him to either group for he fits with both schools of thought, but I believe he was the leader of the third one)

    Johnny Pacheco created the Matarenzisation of Salsa, where old cuban music was recreated with Salsa beats. Even though, I could be wrong, he wasn't thought off as leading the other school of salsa style, he did create an entire “new” feel to salsa.

    Now, from the boom of salsa in the late 70s, there came more "mass-oriented" salsa, where the instruments took the background and the vocalist became the focal point, still this music was intricate and lively when compared to post 80's salsa. A lot of junk came out of this period, for the market was over saturated with FANIA hoping to capitalize on the hunger for salsa, eventually killing it.

    From the early 80s came what is known as Conscious Salsa, a movement where Willie Colon and Ruben Blades took salsa to a socio-political status and created music with a conscience, speaking of “embetterment” for the latino world, el barrio, union of lations etc. This music was almost thought off as undanceable as well but managed to prolong salsa classic's life until the mid 80s.

    Now mid 80s, actually beginning in 1982 was the raise of Erotic Salsa/Salsa Romantica, which was in totality driven by the vocalist, trumpets were set back, and the beat brought down because it took on the vocal equality of boleros and balads, the singers couldn't sing over the instruments so something had to be done, that something was taking the music down 20 notches to what was created then...

    By this time Puerto Ricans had already been in the vanguard of Salsa, with Colombians, Dominicans, and Venezualans closely following. Each incorporating their regional style upon salsa, hence creating yet another difference in salsa styles. However, Colombians during this period, never followed the trend set by the ricans and new yorkers to create "erotic salsa" and kept on the avant-garde of Salsa, some of the best salsa during the 80s is said to have come from colombia, BTW, I don't feel colombian salsa, it just sounds so cumbiash to me.

    In the 90s salsa took another turn, Tropical/Pop salsa was beginning to brew, which is what we had until the turn of the century, the metamorphosis of salsa... Actually the metamorphosis of son.

    Today, there is yet another change in salsa, which is said to be coming out of cuba with the likes of los van van and Alberto Alvares, Cubans finally decided to pay attention to what salseros were doing, and arrived at gestations of the salsa or son sound... Now salsa is taking on a Pop/Reggea feel to it...

    hopefully I have brought across that salsa isn't all the same… I’m still learning about the dates, and exactly what and when of salsa so I can very likely be off in some of the dates and info, but still that is a rough idea of what was going on, who changes took place and how regional tastes gave salsa new feels.
  3. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

  4. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Boriken, do you mean Elegance in the way it's promoted, in the interpretation of the dancers or something entirely different? Just curious... :) I think I know what you're getting at but.... :)
  5. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    The way the dancers present themselves on the dance floor... You look at a ballroom event and bang everyone looks their best... even if different worlds, you look at a salsa crowd and it looks like they just came out the gym. sweat pants, sweat shirts, then use sweat and not being able to dance in nice clothes, comfort, etc...

    i don't know much of ballroom, well nothing, but It doesn't come across as those guys are complaining that dancesport should allow them to compete in sweat-pants because it is more comfortable, use sneakers as they can dance longer in them, all because of sweat and comfort...

    If you asked me, if someone can't dance dressed up because of discomfort, then I think they ought to practice a little more, when you can dance you can dance regardless, comfort is a state of mind...

    There is nothing worse than going to a hot salsa event advertised as dress to impress and people show up with ripped jeans, girls in hip huggers, tube tops, sweat pants, etc, ready to pump iron or run a marathon....

    Yeap, we need a little more elegance...
  6. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Yup! Thought so and very true. :) I watch alot of dancers and take note of how their dancing changes in regards to what they wear. :wink:
  7. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Great point Boriken - that's something I had not considered and we've discussed this a lot in the past. ;)

    I love to dress up when I go dancing...since I dress casually at work part of the fun is changing from "mr computer tech" to "mr. salsero"...just some nicer clothes that make me look and feel more confident in myself. :)

    A friend asked me once about how people dressing up for Salsa, and i mentioned that some do, some don't. But I love it when I meet dancers who really put some effort into their attire...I remember meeting two Latinas at a big club one time...these ladies were dressed to the hilt...not overdressed nor undressed...but they looked great! I love to see people put some spice not only in their dancing, but their whole approach to it.

    When we take the time to invest some care into what we can make it that much better. 8) :D

  8. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Interesting... I guess I could transport that into swing as well. There is a certain attitude one can carry if you wear something that says, "umm..umm.umm... sexy". Lindyhop attire seems to say, "I just want to bounce around like I'm a teenage sugar addict."

    I don't know if I see that many salsa dancers in sweatpants (granted, I don't see many ballroomers with purple headgear and shades either...), but I guess elegance wouldn't be too bad.
  9. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Well, you haven't seen the Latin portion of ballroom competitions. All I can say is... oiy!

    Sweat pants no, but Latin jazz pants are extremely comfortable. Just watch out for those sequins.

    Sounds like the bouncer isn't doing his job then. ;)
  10. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    Wow! I'm glad I'm living in a country where the people are perhaps the best-dressed in the world! Never seen sweatpants or tube tops at a dance event. The ladies always look their best and the men wear nice slacks(not jeans) and shirts with collars(some T-shirts, but these are the sweaty guys!). I think that's how it should be for any social dance event!
  11. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    Norwegian men aren't exactly slouches either :wink:

    I read somewhere that someone(s) suggested that the jazz sneaker (eg Bloch) which was so popular with salsa dancers, had a lot to answer for in terms of salseros dress. From a female perspective, you are not going to want to wear a skirt/dress with jazz sneakers are you, which means trousers. This in turn can affect the female decision in terms of the material of the trousers selected. Similar for guys, apart from the dress or skirt bit unless there is something you would like to tell me :wink:
  12. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I'd like to have some events where people where dressed to the T, but not every event. It's nice to me when the street dance actually looks street.
  13. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    The thing is that some people just dress very badly!
    Yes, it is a street dance, but this means it originated on the streets... and it is a dance, after all! I mean, it's something you do in the evening (after work... more or less :wink: ) and usually in weekends... :wink: :wink: So, dress up!
    But I guess now dancing is perceived differently... which is sad...
    It kind of makes me think about what "going out to eat" used to mean and what it means now... I am not generalising, I'm just calling it as I see it... in my country, I mean...
    In the past, "going out to eat" meant going to a restaurant (expensive or cheap, depending on the budget) and dressing up nicely etc... Now it means going to McDonalds!!! Gosh...!
    I think going out should mean something! Salsa is sexy, sensual... what is sensual about dance sneakers and sweat pants?! I agree being sexy is more than dressing up, but dressing up sure helps!
  14. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    Some people make an effort to look nice, care about how they are perceived yet others don't give a hoot. That's where the slovenliness comes in.
  15. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Don't get me wrong... I sometimes go in jeans to dance Salsa... but I usually put on a nice top... and the jeans are tight... :wink:
  16. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I'm with you Raluca -- I want to see more effort especially from guys. You go to a club on a Friday night, you see plenty of girls in nice dresses and sexy outfits, and guys turn up in jeans and washed-out cotton t-shirts! You don't have to wear a tux and bow tie (though it was really great to see guys looking smart at the salsa ball), but at least change into something that says "I've come here to thrill the ladies"!
  17. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Just for the record MM, I have shown up to a salsa club in a full tux!
  18. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Hmm, at least where I live, it seems like the guys dress up more than the ladies! I remember telling the DF member who wrote the article about Salsa that I wished more ladies would wear dresses, and its the honest truth. Mostly I see guys like myself in nice top shirts and dress slacks, but the gals mostly just put on jeans and a t-shirt. :?

    I spend a lot of time getting ready for Salsa...I like to look sharp and while I never judge someone on their appearance, it is a nice touch to add to your night out. :D

  19. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    So... in your area, guys do not only outnumber women but also dress nicely? :shock:
    I've GOT to visit your scene some time. :wink:
  20. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Sure... let me bring my entire closet full of dance clothes... ;) And don't tempt the purple outfit!!!! :)

    I personally like dancing with my sports stuff, but I think that's because I like not having a massive transfer of sweat going on. Of course at salsa clubs I will wear button-downs because that is the rule. I have worn a skin-tight dry weave shirt before though... though i don't have the awesome body to attract the attention of any women.

    Of course, if you want "awful" fashion sense, go to some swing dances. The stereotypical "I'm a geek" people show up and look fine. Bowling shirts and so on. ;)

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