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

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

  1. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

  2. saludas

    saludas New Member

    One thing Salsa can borrow from Ballroom is - safety.

    I've never felt threatened by theft at a Ballroom event...
     
  3. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    Hi msjanemas and welcome to DF.

    Let me ask you a question. What makes someone a dancer or what differentiates them from "Joe Public"? Training? Amount of time they spend in clubs/lessons? Natural ability? Yes, some people are just having fun. However, I think you are missing my point. Some of those same people "having fun" can be more considerate AND show more expression of enjoyment than what I might term "dancers". Nothing wrong with that.

    My original post (if you read that :wink: ) was inspired by a Dancesport/Ballroom event and as you see, it got me thinking. From the responses that I have read, it seems that whilst DFers want "individuality" they also want the floor-craft, etiquette, politiness etc etc that is shown at the dancefloor Dancesport/Ballroom events. (And, will "borrow" a step or two along the way :wink: )

    Okay. Your statement above may prove that "the chicken came before the egg". BUT there are still somethings that the chicken could learn from the egg, no? As a "famous person" once wrote: I am not young enough to know everything :D

    Actually, I think you (or at least I) can :wink: . Ballroom dancers have a good time and as I saw at this particular event which was "Joe Public", they were clearly enjoying themselves and displayed the various things as mentioned before - floor-craft, etiquette etc etc. Why should ANYONE, whether they are the best or not, when having a good time not display these things?

    Incidentally, I cannot say hand on heart that I have never seen anyone at a Ballroom dancing social openly chewing gum (and by openly, I mean mouth open chewing :shock: ). Perhaps one of the ballroom dancers can help out here. But I have seen it several times at salsa/mambo events. :roll: Maybe I am getting "old" :lol: but that to me is a no, NO! :evil:
     
  4. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Wait... which patterns are these???!!!! For example, I cannot imagine doing a copa in Am tango or foxtrot.
     
  5. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Your knowledge is incorrect.

    Arthur Murray was teaching dance as early as the 1920s. The mambo was created in the late 40s.
     
  6. msjanemas

    msjanemas New Member

    I didn't say Arthur Murray didn't teach dance before Mambo. I said exactly what you quoted:

    To my knowledge, "Mambo" not salsa, has been around long before Arthur Murray.

    I was only referring to MAMBO not other types of dances Daddy Murray was teaching. In other words, long before he started to teach Mambo to the American Public. So the borrowing comment makes no sense.

    Mambo arrived in Cuba via Haiti.

    http://jazzsmithsonian.org/latinjazz/latinjazz_education_tl.asp

    The Mambo was still evolving before it arrived in NY where they took it to another level. Augosto Coen was one of many who were playing Mambo among other rhythms in the Caribbean before he and many others moved to NYC. What NYC did to get the Harlem Gazette's attention was to mix Latin with Jazz. It was around before the 40s. What American mainstream heard was Xavier Cugat, Perez Prado and Desi Arnaz (copied Valdez). While mainstream was hearing them and the media giving them all the attention, my grandparents were listening and dancing to the music below. This music was much better than the 3 commercial fellas. Take a look at the groups from this great collection which I will share with you. For the record there were some Mambos that were more advance than others, recorded better and simply worth the vinyl. You never saw a Cugat, Prado or Arnaz 78 in a NYC latin home.

    1929 – Bandleader Duke Ellington hires Puerto Rican trombonist Juan Tizol. Tizol composes several Latin-influenced pieces for the orchestra, including the classics “Caravan,” “Perdido,” and “Conga Brava.”

    FOTOS DE MUSICO LATINOS: You'll find names like Coen, Tizol, Socarras, Valdez, Los Happy Boys, Celia in her youth, Matancera and many many more who were swinging long before 1940. Hello to everyone and thanks for the welcome. Peach I'm still around but busy! I will answer you "Pacion" as soon as possible. It's late here.

    http://groups.msn.com/Fotosdemusicoslatinos/shoebox.msnw?albumlist=2
     
  7. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Haven't got a clue what a copa is..is it cool? I might have to look into that one...

    I have no idea what your names are for things, so I will resort to my ballroom names. One of the fun ones we used to do way back in our rising star days (boy that made me feel old) was a neck roll from a chase turn into a drop where I end up parallel to the floor supported just by Steves wrist, then he pops me back up right and off we fly. That used to be in our foxtrot, we are working at reviving it in our tango now. The one where the guy catches the girl neck on his ankle behind him also looks pretty fun.

    Playful things like these... :D


    welcome msjanemas.
     
  8. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    dont u worry!.. i knew a dancer who had this problem b4.. took some prescribed medicine.. a couple of sessions with psychtherapist and now she's as good as new! :p



    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Copa!! I know that. Haven't done it in a while. :oops: Tonight, perhaps...
    You start with by doing an inside left turn for the follower in 4 beats, right hand to right hand hold, ending up with her to your right, her left hand out, your right hand on her right shoulder. Then in 4 beats you do outside cbl (vs normal cross body lead that you do), veil on the next 4 beats to prep for cbl, followed by normal cbl. I think that's what I do.
     
  10. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    actually, I think a copa (just learned what that is tonight!) would actually work really well in am. tango . . .

    and again, I'll make this point:

    WHY do all salsa people think that ballroom dancing is emotionless and prescribed? We improvise, are spontaneous, and emotional, too!!! Sure there are syllabus steps, but higher level dancers (as well as people who are just really comfortable leading/following) frequently feel no real need to stick to them. Almost every time people from salsa talk about ballroom, they say that it's stiff and boring - well, here's some news: that's BAD ballroom dancing. There are plenty of people being stiff and boring doing salsa because they just aren't good at it (yet), and there are lots of ballroom dancers who are free and expressive. Why are salsa people so harsh and judgemental about ballroom dancing??

    aargh.
     
  11. clave

    clave New Member

    Perhaps it has to do with the way it is taught? And with the feel of events where people go to social dance or to watch performances?

    When I first started taking salsa lessons, I went to a large studio for six months or so. In retrospect, they taught me the basics well, but didn't teach me how to actually dance if you get my drift. I suspect most ballroom instruction is like this. Then I moved to another part of the country, and upon arrival checked out every teacher in town. I kept taking lessons from two I liked the most. Within a couple of months I was truly dancing (those of you who left beginner hell know what I'm talking about). Another couple of months later I joined a team, and five months after that had my first performance during which we were having a blast flirting with the audience who had to be goaded to the edges of the dance floor to make a bit of room for us, and who were going nuts and screaming their lungs out because our ladies were nearly having sex with them bless their behinds in hot pants, after which we were instant celebrities and couldn't sit down because everyone wanted to dance with us. I have never seen a ballroom event with this kind of atmosphere, not on tape nor in real life. All I see are mostly-empty gyms with a few scattered spectators and a bunch of glittering couples with prisoner ID numbers on guys' backs jerking through robotic motions and showing off their fake smiles in silly competitions.

    Lest you think I'm too infatuated with salsa to see the beauty of ballroom, I know zero about swing dancing but once accompanied a friend to a swing party, and saw passionate people who were having a blast just like salseros even though the atmosphere was completely different and I could only sit and watch. Meanwhile ballroom folks keep talking about "bronze" and "gold" and placing in semifinals and finals and crap like that--maybe I could be passionate about all that if I were an accountant. But take me to a ballroom party where people have to change into a dry shirt three times an evening and get high on endorphins so they can't sleep for three hours after coming home, and I'll publically change my opinion on ballroom. Until then, it's stiff and boring. :wink:
     
  12. msjanemas

    msjanemas New Member

    Pacion:

    Let me ask you a question. What makes someone a dancer or what differentiates them from "Joe Public"? Training? Amount of time they spend in clubs/lessons? Natural ability? Yes, some people are just having fun. However, I think you are missing my point. Some of those same people "having fun" can be more considerate AND show more expression of enjoyment than what I might term "dancers". Nothing wrong with that.

    JM:

    What makes someone a dancer? Everyone dances, unfortunately not everyone executes style in a way that leaves you breathless. You can be taught, or be a natural, it doesn't matter, what matters (if you dare carry the title of Professional or "Great, a word constantly used) is your ability to simply shine. Too stiff is robotic, too lose and all over the place is sloppy. You should be able to dance as if you can carry a glass of champange and not spill a drop. Sexy, alive and in control. Unfortunately people without taste judge others as great or professional. And that's how ok dancers get in the game. In Ballet you must shine, you must dance and execute or else your out. The same vision can be applied to Mambo or what some of you call street dancing. I never danced in the streets. This term is assumed to be of a lower class, as if wearing a 1000.00 dress would make a dancer better.

    Pacion:

    My original post (if you read that :wink: ) was inspired by a Dancesport/Ballroom event and as you see, it got me thinking. From the responses that I have read, it seems that whilst DFers want "individuality" they also want the floor-craft, etiquette, politiness etc etc that is shown at the dancefloor Dancesport/Ballroom events. (And, will "borrow" a step or two along the way :wink: )

    JM:

    Everyone borrows, changes it a little and make it their own. Blend it with another style or whatever.... Basically if you can do it, who cares.

    Pacion:

    Okay. Your statement above may prove that "the chicken came before the egg". BUT there are still somethings that the chicken could learn from the egg, no? As a "famous person" once wrote: I am not young enough to know everything :D

    JM:

    What do you exactly mean? Learn what? Again, you can't compare your average Joe and Jane who go out to a club 3 times a year, who know nothing about dancing to comport themselves as you. There are always a few bad apples. Without them your dance floor would look like a syncronized swim team from a Ziegfield or Gershwin 40s movie. With them around your spotted, as in.... "Wow that couple look great on the floor."

    Pacion:

    Actually, I think you (or at least I) can :wink: . Ballroom dancers have a good time and as I saw at this particular event which was "Joe Public", they were clearly enjoying themselves and displayed the various things as mentioned before - floor-craft, etiquette etc etc. Why should ANYONE, whether they are the best or not, when having a good time not display these things?

    JM:

    Why? Because it's not mandatory in nighclubs to exercise etiquette, only respect?

    Pacion:

    Incidentally, I cannot say hand on heart that I have never seen anyone at a Ballroom dancing social openly chewing gum (and by openly, I mean mouth open chewing :shock: ). Perhaps one of the ballroom dancers can help out here. But I have seen it several times at salsa/mambo events. :roll: Maybe I am getting "old" :lol: but that to me is a no, NO! :evil:

    JM:

    No your not old, just picky! Were they loud? Did they dress with bad taste? Were they poor or uneducated? Come on, really. All I'm getting here is Ballroom people have class and Salsa people do not. I've been in Mansions and in studios. After a while space is just space. What's important is the atmosphere. Now I'm not saying poverty is better, I'm saying after a while I'd rather be alone in a small space then a big house with a jerk. In other words, I want to have a good time, laugh from the gut and let loose on a Latin Music night. It's a lifestyle of passion, love, energy, laughter, jokes, and having FUN.

    Pacion:

    I'd rather go out with people who (please excuse me this is not directed at you) want to have a good time and who do not have their noses up in the air, not assume the dance floor is THE STAGE and expect me to perform with him/her. What about a Smoky Jazz or Rhythm & Blues club? Imagine if they had to follow the rules of Ballroom etiquette? It would be Jazzy, would it?

    JM:

    Bottom line you'll find jerks everywhere. Even at the Symphony. And you'll find people chewing gum. Just don't invite them to your table and continue to enjoy your party.
     
  13. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Hmmm. Ok. I can't order my thoughts on clave's post so they will spit out semi-pointless. I do mostly ballroom. I gave up trying salsa recently in part because I didn't like the class. In part because right now I don't care to put in the effort to break into the salsa world. To get to the point where I can experience that passion. I may eventually do it but not right now.

    Besides, right now I'm totally into my ballroom classes. I find the process of learning technique fascinating. I always have, whether it was technique for tennis, or technique for karate, I have always enjoyed technique.

    Now I totally get into the passion of it all as well, but I have to admit that there are not so many women that either want or are able to reciprocate. Of course I'm just starting to express passion as well so that may not be fair. I love doing cha cha with one particular woman. I would put us up against anyone in the salsa world for passion. I've had a few waltzes that were extremely romantic. Foxtrot (of all things) is my favorite and I seem to be able to create my own passion on that. I had a number of incredible dances with a woman the other night but she was actually an Argentine Tango dancer!

    Hmmm. I'm pretty close to being pretty comfortable with the current level of class I'm in. Maybe before I go for the next level I should take a look at some of these other dances because I do totally enjoy the passion. Maybe they are more intrinsically passionate. I don't know.

    Ok. That was my final edit!
     
  14. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    :)... People tend to get all emotional over simple issues... :)

    I have a friend... he's from Puerto Rico... he's never had one minute of formal training... yet he is one of the best dancers I have ever seen... yes, the world's champions included...

    He just glows on the dance floor... he's into it... he goes with the music (on1, on2, on3... it doesn't matter to him...). He taught me about elegance and looking good and feeling the music and letting go...

    Then I watched the world champions doing their stuff in shows and competitions... and I saw none of that... what I saw was a display of technique and moves that left people breathless... all on fast music... no feeling... no enjoyment... :(. I felt sad and dissapointed... I was watching a competition in gymnastics, if you asked me, not dancing... that was not dancing!

    Dancing socially and competing/ performing are different... are two different worlds and two different ways of thinking...

    I admire Edie the Salsa Freak and Al Espinosa... still, I don't see in their perfomances anything else but gymnastics... then you see them in clubs... or get the opportunity to dance with them... and they just dance!

    Dance is about having fun... enjoying yourself...

    If I go to parties, I don't have fun! Eversince I started Salsa and focused on getting the right technique, my ability to have "just fun" shrinked a lot! I cannot dance on "normal" regular music anymore... as I don't know how... and I feel stupid just waving my hands around... I saw hiphoppers and know I cannot move like them, thus I sit down on hiphop... I saw Shakira dance, I cannot do like her, I sit down... :(. I am not having fun!

    Then I see my "non-dancing" friends, waving their arms around, dancing something they don't know how to, just enjoying... and I envy them!

    I lost that... for ever! I do Salsa... and when my partner makes a mistakes he spoils my fun! Because I am all "technical"...

    When dance appeared, it was something simple... ancient savages were doing it... for various reasons... and "technique" had nothing to do with it!... Then "the educated humans" took all the fun out of dancing... they put rules to it... they took its soul away... used it to display a "mastered technique" instead of a soul's expression...

    I love technique... but tehnique is not all... :)

    My 2 cents'...
     
  15. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    Robotic smiles and numbers on guys' backs is a factor in dancesport competitions, not an aspect of ballroom dancing. There are social ballroom events were people are excited and sweating and having a good time, who have energy and stay out late. I've been to ballroom socials with live music and hundreds of people in gorgeous ballrooms where people dance until the wee hours of the morning. You say the events are lethargic and stilted, but that's not the dancing, that's the scene wherever you were. The dances themselves are beautiful and expressive and full of energy, when they're done well. They're taught the way that they are because for most people it takes a great deal of precision before you're able to access that kind of depth in them - that's why they're not street dances. But just because these dances require more study before you can really "dance" them, doesn't mean that the dances are boring. They're complex. It takes a lot longer to get to that "really dancing, not stepping" place in ballroom than in salsa, but it's there just the same. A true dancer should be able to see that there's expression and beauty in all styles of dancing when it's done at its best. Don't confuse the performance-oriented competitions with the heart of the dancing - I don't look at salsa competitions and say that salsa's all flips and tricks and showy moves - that's just a crowd-pleasing performance, not the core of the dance. I'm suprised that more ballroom folks around here don't seem to take issue with the fact that the salsa community sees our dancing as completely bland.
     
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Well said, dlm. 8)

    I've given up taking issue with things I see and hear in online forums (well... mostly. :wink: :lol: ) Usually, it's just a lack of understanding that causes people to say those things. And that's why I'm here -- to help foster understanding, like your post just did. 8)
     
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, and btw. I don't know when you're headed out, but if I don't "see" you before then, have a fantastic, fun and safe trip home. 8)
     
  18. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    Oh, I'll be out and about visiting people until mid-January. :) Thanks for the good thoughts, though!
     
  19. tj

    tj New Member

    As a salsero thru and thru - one thing that I do admire about the Ballroom events that I have attended (I could count 'em on one hand, actually.) The people (while it was an older crowd) were more genuinely friendly than what I typically get from the salsa club scene.
     
  20. tacad

    tacad New Member

    tj, have you ever been to a studio setting for a salsa dance? I have not. I wonder if what you speak of is simply a night club atmosphere and I wonder if it is different there?
     

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