Salsa > What's with the aggresion?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by SDsalsaguy, Apr 20, 2003.

  1. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Ok, this one has been eating at me for a while now… what the #$@%&! is up with the aggressiveness I am seeing in some dancers these days??? A couple of cases:

    (1) One of the customs here is a birthday dance, where a bunch of the women get in a circle around and dance with the birthday boy, or a bunch of guys get in a circle around and dance with the birthday girl. When it’s a guy’s birthday he’s the one doing the leading so that’s not really what’s bugging me, so let me turn to when it’s a woman’s birthday. To my way of thinking the purpose of such a dance – even more then usually – should be to show off the woman who’s birthday it is. Over the past two weekends I’ve watched guys hog the woman (meaning not pass her to another guy in the circle) and even jump in a second time before all the other guys have danced with her yet. I also see several guys (pretty much the same ones noted above) throwing tricks, etc., in – left and right – trying to show off their own "dancing."

    (2) I watched a really interesting preliminary round of a contest earlier tonight (its about 2:40am now) – there were 4 couples who all danced really different styles. I could have switched one of the two couples that advanced to the final, but I can also see how the judges marked it as they did. What I thought was just utterly atrocious, however, was the “4th” couple. There was practically no real dancing in their routine, but, rather, an ongoing series of tricks. While some of these could have been impressive in there own right, the manner in which the leader pretty much flung around his partner as if she was a rag doll was really abhorrent. Performance/competition or not, what ever happened to dancing with your partner?

    Where does this type of attitude come from? And why, unfortunately, does it seem to be growing?
  2. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    On your no. 1...

    This is done at the monthly swing dances here; I make it a point not to inform anyone that it's my birthday at the July dances since they are scheduled at the point in the month when my birthday falls. As it is I don't like these types of things period. This includes Foxtrot mixers and snowballs.

    No. 2...

    There are some follows who dance so wildly that it's hard to give a good lead; they will completely miss it since they are at such full throttle.
  3. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Fair enough. But I still don't see where this idea devolved into a "look-at-me" as oposed to a look at her!

    This may be, but I've seen this guy dancing for a couple of years and his leading has been visibly rough and aggressive throughout – I've also had that confirmed by multiple women who've had the misfortune of dancing with him.

    And, as long as I'm at it, let me add another...

    (3) What's with walking directly through the middle of a crowded dance floor rather then taking the extra 30-40 seconds to snake through what may be the crowded bar area? And I'm not even talking about hugging the edges of the floor here – I'm talking full-on, walk straight through the middle (length-wise!) of everyone. Saw it again Friday night...
  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    It sounds like both of the initial examples you gave, Jonathan, could fit into the category of "Flash and Trash". I remember this swing couble that used to win a lot of contests at clubs because he was a cheerleader and knew all these cool lifts. The funny things about it was he couldn't even do a (single rhythm} swing basic properly.

    When it comes to performing it's good to have a few tricks up your sleeve, but when tricks come before dancing, I call that trash.
  5. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    No arguments from we refer to such dancers as "star searchers." Still, I think there's a difference between the show offs and the trick obsessed vs. the aggressive dancer who throws these in regardless of his partner's ability level and/or tugs on her in order to "execute" such maneuvers.
  6. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Ohh does it drive me nuts

    Here in NY city each and every night we see the same behaviors. Guys thinking they are dancing for themselves. I had the pleasure of going to the NY Salsa Congresso this past weekend. I love to watch so, I went around and watch what was said to be the "Big Shots" in NY City dance. As they danced I couldn't help but to notice the looks on girls faces. Eyes wide open, a frozen smile, left hand going up continiously to cover, in hopes of preventing, an elbow to the face. Yes, they are good dancers and when they aren't given an ego boost, they mostly, seem to dance caring for the girl, but when the spot-light is on their ego. The Ego takes over and the dance becomes a guys dance. So many times I saw the sorry under the guys breath. Sorry, here, sorry there, even one of the guys dancing with one of the most sought out female dancers in NY city couldn't stop saying sorry from all the crashes and painful arm twisting manouvers he was putting her through, however he didn't stop, because there were spectators filming their every move. One of the girls even screamed out "stop, what are you doing?" when one guy spone her about 30 times in a row. It is all the Ego that causes it. Some guys want to be such individuals that they take the girl out of the dance. Yet, the applauses pour when a guys does this kind of show-boating for the people that are watching know less that dancers themselves.

    It is ridiculous but when we are young, when the spot light is on us, very few know how to handle it. Hence, the behaviour that torments those who see past the fancy deeps, moves, arial-tricks...
  7. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    Well, I recently sent out a newsletter and it dealt with a lot
    of the same things that we're talking about it, I had
    an article titled "3 Things I Hate About Salsa Dancing" you can
    read the article by clicking here:
  8. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Must say that I loved your newsletter. And to be honest they whole arial thing is getting me tired even up on stage. It is getting old, not to mention that I don't even think of it as dancing.

    The mambo vs salsa... Ahhhhhh... Give it a rest people... is was, was is, give credit where credit is due, but concern your life over it, I just don't understand.

    On1 vs On2. I find is disrespectful when someone asks me the what I dance on. I shrug my shoulders and say I just dance. Why would we want to limit our selves? yet, people do it over and over. :cry:
  9. xstasy

    xstasy New Member

    I know exactly what you mean by the stunts dancing that lacks...well... dancing.

    At the NYC Salsa Congress this past weekend I was awed by the number of original dance routines that performed. They were beautifully orchestrated. However, there were one or two that failed to entertain despite the many flips & lifts & spins....I actually turned to my partner & mentioned how it seemed like the guy in one of the routines had just finished weightlifting. All he dis was lift & toss the girl around the dance floor. I dont even think they "danced" for even 30 seconds of their routine. The performance prompted ooohs & ahhhhs, but at the end I dont think anyone was really impressed with the dancing- the gymnastics were incredible though.

    Regarding the aggression- it is a sad sight & I've unfortunately been the victim of such aggression too many times. I already have mental roster of men with whom I will not dance again as a result of being pulled tugged & puppetted by them. I wonder if these men have danced with women who were poor followers & decided to then be more firm the next time around. Whatever the reason, guys should get a feel for the girls' ability first before punishing her for another's flaws.
  10. nobodaddy

    nobodaddy New Member

    Gymnastics: The ladies really opened my eyes on this one. When I started out dancing, I was blinded by the leaders who could do the pretzel and endlessly spin their followers--the Flash, but then one nite I saw an older gentleman dancing with a younger woman--she asked him, and now I know why: this man was SMOOTH. It dawned on me the difference between dancing and an aerobic routine. Ladies love dancig with a smooth leader--whatever routine he leads; he doesn't yank, pull and jerk her around but leads effortlessly and plays with the music and pays attention to his follower. Now when I see the gymnastic routines, if I know the lady, I'll ask her--how was it?--and most of the time they answer "painfull!" But when you watch a smoothie lead his follower, most of the time a smile plays across the follower's face! I agree with Fernando, it's not how many crazy patterns you can pull the follower through, but connection with your follower and the music.
  11. dancergal

    dancergal New Member

    At the South Bay dance convention a few weeks ago, we were watching some of the competition for Hustle, NC2step, Waltz, and ChaCha. It also seems to me that most of the couples were depending on the aerial lifts and spins instead of the pure art of the dance to help them win. I wonder what the judges think of this? I didn't think it looked like dance to me either. It was like watching gymnastics. Later on in the competition a Pro couple did a really beautiful Waltz. The smooth flowing movement over the floor, her lovely form and expressive hands made the dance so beautiful, you wanted to cry. Now that's dance to me!
  12. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    nobodaddy...great to have you with us! :D

    Yes, I was much the same way in my earlier days...always blown away by the tricks, etc., and trying to learn as many dips, etc., as I could. It's almost funny to me now to think about how much time I spent and how many tricks and dips I learned...especially when I might use 2 dips (total!) in an entire night. It takes time for many people (and I was certainly one of them) to see the deeper level of dancing. Now I find myself groaning at what has to be un uncomfortable pattern while the majority of those around me oooh & aaah at the surface level theatrics.
  13. Vin

    Vin New Member

    How about another side to the coin. I live in a town where not many people dance. When some ladies realize I can dance a bit they want me to try every move I can with them and even get upset that I don't. In this situation I can deal with spaghetti arms but alot of the girls have really stiff arms and it can actually be quite uncomfortable for me and we end up getting into a complicated pretzel. Many are convinced they will be able to follow anything right away. I have tried the line
    "alot of moves I do, you need to know beforehand in order for it to work"
    But they still persist and want to try everything in one dance.
    So I guess my question is
    When there is space to do some tricky things how do you nicely deal with a follow how wants you to lead more than they can follow?
  14. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    You man-handle them! :lol: Just kidding.

    In the case of salsa, when this happens to me. I've found that the sensual side of dancing takes their mind right out of wanting to do all the moves they've seen people do. I treat them gently, I do a few sensual moves, and I seem to be off the hook for the time being. I keep it very simple no matter how badly they want to be led in a maze of turns. Instead, I play with the music to which, thus far, gilrs have responded nicely. By the time the song is over all I've really done is a few x-bodies, basics, and a few single turns from different directions. I only try those moves which are the simplest and easiest to lead with just about anybody. If there is space for a dip, then I might do it, but I hold the count a bit longer so she can stop laughing, or give her a chance to compose herself before coming up. Plus I really avoid the fast songs!
  15. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I agree 100% with borikensalsero.
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hey youngsta!

    Good to see you. And good to see you know how to treat a lady on the dance floor. :D :D Hope all's well with you.

    Take care.

  17. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    That's my specialty Jenn! :wink:
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sweetie pie! :D :D :D

    I hope I get to dance with you, one of these days.
  19. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I should be down in FL again in November!
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    You know the deal. Send me a PM and let me know when. :D

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