Salsa > Who Have You Danced Salsa With?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by DancePoet, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    haven't seen one.
  2. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Okey-dokey! Here's me, starting my first ever thread on DF...

    (Hi, Sagitta! :-D)
  3. Kali Ma,

    This is exactly how I felt when I got to dance with him at the Stuttgart in Salsa Congress last January. I was on cloud 7 for several days afterwards!!!! I felt soooooo flattered, not only because I had a dance with him but also because he asked my husband if he could have a dance with me (I did not have to ask him and would have been too shy to do it anyway), took my hand and off we went to the dance floor. I consider myself being a good dancer but I "only" dance on1, not on 2, which is certainly extremely boring for people like him. But we had a lot of fun dancing together (I certainly did!!!!) and he did not look bored at all. At the congress he talked to us on several occasions and seemed to be a very nice and down to earth person.

    I also danced with Angel Ortiz on several occasions, we had him and Ady Rodriguez (Angel Rodriguez' wife) over for dinner at our house a couple of years ago when we lived in the Netherlands and they gave workshops there.
  4. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Wowie-zowie, you, too? Isn't he just amazing? I hadn't asked him to dance either (can't do it-- nopenopenope! Gotta start, though!). It's funny, 'cause I'm just learning on 2, and actually briefly considered asking him if we could dance on 1, instead. But, then I just held my breath (and my big yap) and followed him, and I'm really glad I did. At one point, looking at eachother, we both broke into these HUGE grins; it was one of those moments in which you're so in tune with your partner while dancing that everything just flows, and you both realize it in the same instant...a moment of total recognition, if that makes any sense. It had been some time since I'd last had a moment like that.

    Ooh, how is dancing with Angel Ortiz? I've seen him cutting some serious rug, but I have no idea whether it feels as good as it looks...spill the beans, Ma'am! :grin:

    Gee, you seem to have lived in/ traveled to quite a few and varied places! (Insert impressed/envious feeling here) Is that a career thing, or just 'cause it's fun? (Please feel free to ignore that if it's too personal a question!)
  5. Kali Ma,

    Isn't that GREAT!!!!! I know what you are talking about! How boring would life be without moments like that, that is what my salsa girlfriends and I say sometimes. There are people in this world who do not have any passion like that. It doesn't need to be salsa, not even dancing, no matter if you dance, collect stamps or fly kites, it is just great to have so much passion about your hobby and to get those "highs".

    It is great, too! I have always been a lover of Puerto Rican/NY salsa, so dancing with a great PR/NY style dancer is always wonderful! They just have the smoothness, elegance and "sabor" that I love!

    Yes, I have, and I feel very fortunate because of that because I love traveling. It is not mine but my husband's job that takes us to different places and for me it is fun, too. But believe me, consider yourself lucky to be in Germany (where in Germany are you???) because it is a good place for salsa!!! We spent the past 3 years there (again) and got back our motivation for going out and for salsa, did a lot of things! By the way, we met in Germany dancing salsa. Many places to go and a lot of different events (normal parties and clubs, congresos, boat rides on the Rhine, Main, Mosel, Lake Constance, Neckar, all kinds of festivals in the summer with a salsa stage etc. etc.). Now, after two months back in the US, our motivation already begins to die down again because of lack of good salsa and we start to get bored. We went out dancing in many different places (countries) but often it was pretty disappointing. We are too spoiled and too picky, I guess. Before we went back to Germany (we lived outside of Kansas City then) we had almost given up on going out because it was not worth the effort. So appreciate what you have!!! I miss Germany now!!! You should try out salsa in Italy, we spent 5 fabulous days in Tuscany at the beginning of August and went out to 2 nice outdoor clubs, one at the beach, plenty of salsa in Italy, too!
  6. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    I am so in agreement with you on this that I had to boldface it. That is such a good (and true) point!

    Mmmm, yummy! I'll have to try to get a dance with him the next time we're in the same room. It just seems exponentially harder to ask one of the instructors/performers to dance than it would be asking an anonymous good dancer. I'm not sure why that is; I suppose it has something to do with not only being intimidated by a person's demonstrated skill (the 'I'm-not-worthy' effect), but knowing that one will be an object of (not necessarily positive) scrutiny while dancing with a so-called star.

    Well, I live in Berlin, and as far as events go: yes, we are blessed in that aspect. It's possible to go dancing here every night of the week in roomy clubs with good floors (we've got a few top-notch DJs, as well), and there are so many open air events/salsa boats et al in the summer that it's difficult sometimes to choose between them...

    My only real complaint is that Berlin is sorta pokey where the dancing itself is concerned, which is something I realize very strongly each time I travel to other European cities. Perhaps we do not have enough good teachers/personalities to help push the scene forward? I mean, take London as an example; they have people like Super Mario, Leon Rose and Susana Montero, who are excellent dancers and teachers. Berlin has no one like that, or even remotely approaching that level of skill. That is not to say that there are not some good dancers in Berlin, no. But those good dancers are not the ones teaching/promoting/performing, etc. The bar has been set very low here, and there appears to be no desire for any sort of development in any direction. It's still possible to receive many nasty looks here for dancing LA or NY/PR style, which perhaps says alot about the prevailing attitudes. But then again, the nasty looks may well be a reaction to the way these styles are being danced here by some of the few who do (HUGE steps, general lack of floorcraft, what have you) rather than to the styles themselves. Conundrum.

    Well, I do what I can! :mrgreen: Oh, yeah, me and Italy are gonna have to get acquainted; I've heard some really good things about salsa in different cities there. There is also an annual event that Tropical Gem does that I must try to get to this year (sometime in December, if I remember correctly) that's supposed to be a blast. Salsa in Tuscany sounds totally HAWT, though!
  7. Kali Ma

    If you live in Berlin, then you really cannot complain! We had one of the best times (!!!!!) in Berlin in August last year. Spent 5 days in Berlin at my sister's and went out EVERY night, danced until we dropped (when has that been the case in the past years?). Thursday and Sunday Soda Club, Fri. and Sat. Havana. On that Sunday night we danced for about 5 hours without a break (we NEVER do that anymore), just took short breaks to drink some water. The music was FANTASTIC for our taste (when is that ever the case anymore???) and we thought it is now or never! We really took advantage of it. My husband usually is very picky with the music and dances only certain songs. And he is too hot easily (and that place was packed and hot!) and always takes breaks. He was in such a good mood that he was unstoppable (great for me)!!! When the music stopped at 3.00 in the morning, I was physically exhausted, my feet were totally dirty of the dust of that wooden floor and I was ready to go home. And he was still jumping and bouncing around, even without music. Very unusual these days! And it was all thanks to your great DJ Ronny Sanchez! He made our night on Friday and Sunday. We had a great time also on Friday in Havana, but not on Saturday, it was another DJ who played the ususal stuff that we hear all the time and that is not so much our taste. And to top it all off, we became good friends with Ronny (the DJ) and he even took us home on that Sunday night! We had a blast! ALL songs he plays are danceable! No matter if it is PR/NY, Cuban, Colombian or whatever salsa. He played all our favorite songs without us asking him. Then he asked us what he can play for us, what we want to hear and we didn't even know (wunschlos glücklich!!!) because he played one great song after another. He is the DJ also on the salsa boats in Offenbach, that is why we went twice this summer, we knew the music would be great, and it was! Great boat ride and a nice big boat!

    I can't believe it, really? The salsa scene in Berlin has always been very Cuban and nothing Puerto Rican, I guess. I have to admit also that I have not seen many great dancers in Berlin and there were hundreds of people in those places, the places were big and real packed. It might be that those who think they are the greatest dancers do not frequent those clubs anymore where "everybody goes". In Havana we got to talk to (and later dance with) a couple who were good dancers. She danced and moved like a Puerto Rican but she was American.

    The HUGE steps backward are a problem everywhere in Germany, you don't know how many people have stepped on me, kicked me etc.

    But I know a lady from Berlin who is a fabulous dancer, her name is Nina, I don't know her last name. I saw her doing a performance with Alex da Silva in Karlsruhe about 2 years ago, wonderful! She was his dance partner for a while. I am not easily impressed by shows anymore but this one impressed me. It was a similar routine as he did with Ruby Karen this year at the Mayan competition but I liked it better than the Mayan one. It had a lot of lifts (very well and very smoothly executed to the music) but still it had very good salsa dancing also. I am not into all that acrobatics but this was very well done. They did salsa and right after that tango argentino, just great! I took a workshop with her in Mainz shortly afterwards. Do you know her?
  8. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    As far as events go, I'm certainly not complaining! :-D Like I said, we're very well served in that respect...and I'm so glad to hear that you guys had such a fabulous time here! Absolutely agree with you about Ronny; I always have a wonderful time dancing to his sets, and he never fails to most pleasantly surprise! The DJ on the Saturday was probably Michael, with whom the ride is mostly a little bumpy. ;-)

    This, of course, is a possibility. I've personally danced just about every place that offers salsa in Berlin, and besides discovering a few very excellent Cuban style dancers who avoid the beaten track, it's been about the same.

    Oh my gravy, I've just about had a heart attack! I think this might be me!!! If so, I certainly I remember you and your husband; my partner and I noticed you guys immediately because you were both so graceful and danced so wonderfully! (We also knew you couldn't be from Berlin, and we were right in that supposition!) I thought some of the things you were mentioning sounded awfully familiar, but I figured it would be too big a coincidence if you were that sweet lady I met here last summer. After dancing with him, I literally raved about your husband's leading/dancing to my partner until his ears wore out! You guys RAWK! :bouncy:
    If you're ever back this way, please do let me know. I would love to see you guys/watch you dance/dance with your husband (with your kind permission, of course!) again! I'll PM you a picture of myself and my partner (actually, he's not really my partner, we just dance together more often than not), and then we'll know for sure.

    Yes, I've met her-- she seldom comes out dancing, though. I also saw her perform with Alex da Silva; she just partnered with Fernando Zapata (Berlin tango/salsa teacher and dancer) at the last congress in Berlin, where they gave a reeeeeally nice show. She's got ballet/ballroom/standard training, so it's not surprising that she's got a level of technical skill that many here lack (self included!). Now, I don't mean this as any sort of criticism, but I find her as a performer much more impressive than as a social dancer. The girl is BAD onstage! But, although she's something like perfect on the dance floor, I don't think I've ever seen her seriously get a groove on, and that is the thing that just makes it for me when I watch someone dancing. She's an excellent performer, though, who makes all that crazy stuff that an Alex da Silva can throw at her look EASY, which is nothing short of incredible! I've seen him dance with four different partners now, and she was the only one who actually seemed to be like, "Yeah, so? What else ya got?!? Her damit!".

    Wow, small world, huh? :)
  9. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!! Yes, it's a small world, isn't it? S. from St. Louis? I remember you very well because I loved the way you dance - like a Puertorican! And I love that style!!!! No wonder that Jhesus Aponte enjoyed dancing with you!!! Before we talked to you at the club, we tried to guess where you are from but we didn't know. We did not think you were Puertorican, but since you danced so Puertorican you could not be Cuban, we figured... hahaha

    If there is nothing Puertorican in Berlin, how did you learn to dance like that? Of course, you can go to congresos and take workshops but to dance like you takes more than that. So I figure you sometimes long for one of those "highs" we talked about. Your dance partner also is a great dancer, I really enjoyed dancing with him! Didn't we all have a ball that night?!

    I can imagine! I loved her tango with Alex da Silva!

    I hear you. I know what you mean!

    YES! YES! YES! I found her performance incredible! The acrobatics was not just acrobatics, it was very well and very smoothly incorporated into her great salsa and tango dancing. Over the weekend I watched the videos of the 3 Mayan competition winners and have to say that I am not impressed (not that I ever could do all that stuff!). Yes, I liked the winners (although I liked Alex better with Nina, as I wrote before) but the other couples' shows were not so much my thing, although I like LA style when the dancing is good and when it is not all about "who can run the fastest and do the most spins", let's put it that way: when it is smooth and sophisticated dancing!

    Of course!!! Con mucho gusto! Who knows when we will be in Berlin together again, now we are far from Berlin...

    Now where did you learn to dance the way you dance? Was it difficult for you to change from dancing on1 to dancing on2? I never wanted to learn on2 but after seeing you and my friend Claudia in Stuttgart I am tempted, too.
  10. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Yep, that's me! :)

    Well, allow me to return the compliment!
    I do have to giggle at the thought of you guys trying to figure out from where I might be, though; I get that a lot.

    Ah, flattery-- yum! :lol: Seriously, though, I have tended to avoid taking classes. When I started dancing salsa, I did three open beginner classes in one day before going out dancing that same evening (I was in love with this dance before I ever did one step of it; I just had to get onto the floor as quickly as possible!). Since then I've done a total of maybe ten hours of workshops at congresses, and a two-hour workshop here with Leon Rose. That's it, though. I know that workshops/classes can help one with technique, but I don't wish to become a victim of the cookie-cutter effect that I've seen practically ruin some potentially good dancers (doesn't have to happen, seems to fairly often, though). I prefer to just go dancing as often as possible, and to dance with as many partners as possible. I feel that I can learn quite a bit that way without having to worry about sacrificing all the quirky weirdnesses that make my dancing...well, mine.

    As for dancing Puertorican, I can't really claim to know with any authority if that's what I'm doing or not. But if it's good enough for the Puertoriquenos, I'm mighty fine with that! :-D

    In a word, YES!! I wish I had been able to catch up with you guys on the Sunday in Soda, but I managed to wind up sick. Summer flu is the worst!

    I'm learning to dance on 2 by watching people, basically-- observing feet and body positions when I see a couple who dance on 2. The real difficulty is just keeping myself from slipping back to the one after turn patterns, etc. My feet are always desperately tempted to do the habitual, but that usually disappears after I've had a few consecutive dances on 2. I think you would be fantastic on 2! You've got that whole feminine elegance thing going for you, one of the things that seems to be a hallmark of the best of the on 2 dancers that I've seen.

    Okay, there's certainly more we can talk about, but I am starting to feel kinda bad about the hijacking we've given this thread! :oops: I'll PM you with more questions and stuff!
  11. Big10

    Big10 Member

    Well, Kali Ma, you certainly broke out of lurker mode with a vengeance! I've done a lot of my own lurking over the past week, and it was pretty funny to see how this thread developed between you and salsera_alemana....Ha ha!

    Have the Salsa gods sent down a bolt of lightning to strike you, yet? :shock: It's downright Salsa heresy to put my name anywhere near the list of those other guys you mentioned!!!

    Of course, now Kali Ma is up near the top of the list of Salseras I'd really like to dance with someday....
  12. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Giggle! I know; once you get me started, the 'off' button starts malfunctioning...

    Funny, idn't? It's great stumbling across her like this!

    Hmmm...(checks for crispiness)...nope! Hah! I challenge ye, O Salsa Gods! Send down big, bad-boy bolts of the the shocky stuff to strike me, NOW!
    ...Yeah, I thought so! :lol:

    Aawww-- thank you! I really hope to make good on that sometime; from what I've seen of your writing about the subject, I'm positive that to dance with you would be an absolute pleasure! :notworth: :-D
  13. Big10

    Big10 Member

    :oops: Well, that's certainly a lot to live up to, but I'll try to do my best whenever the big moment arrives!

    Note to self: Start writing badly, in order to lower expectations of female readers....;)
  14. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Hahahahaha! Too late; we've got your number, Mister! :twisted: :lol:
  15. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Hmmm... My list is not as long as others'...

    Luis Vazquez, Francisco Vazquez, Super Mario, Leon Rose, some guys from Salsa Dance Squad (Amsterdam), Manuel Mascarell, Juan Matos, Al Espinosa... and others, who are not so famous to you, maybe (like Alex, from Alex and Flo - Brussels, Rafael - the organizer of the Regensburg Salsa Congress, Anuar from London, Malik from Bordeaux...). I am now looking forward to dancing with Pedro Gomez (Italy), as we are organizing a workshop with him in Bucharest.
  16. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I try not to pay too much attention to salsa celebrity but it exists . . .

    From DF
    I have danced with Africana,
    I danced with Youngsta's dance partner

    All the wonderful DC area girls, I have also danced with Kindra, Leah, and Mathinal(j/k girls). I also danced with Orlando once or twice.

    Joy from Joy and Beto

    Lucy Lui from Atlanta

    Lily(Lili?) from Art in Motion out of Philadelphia

    I also danced with one of the girls from Carribean Soul, I didn't know it until the next day when I saw her performing.

    On top of that I have danced with many wonderful women who never get a "salsa name"
  17. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Gotta update the list! :-D

    I danced with Slawek at the Warsaw Congress; he is such a gentle lead, and he has a HUGE smile on his face when he dances (on 2, so's ya know!). Sweet!

    I actually screwed up my courage to ask Super Mario and Henry Knowles to dance, both of whom said "yes". I let Super Mario off the hook, though, 'cause the man never seemed to get a break! We'll dance at some other congress soon, though (I've seen him so often in the past year that he seems almost like a cousin, or something).

    When Henry came to 'pick up' his dance, there was a salsa song playing, but the DJ chose that moment to segue into a chacha. So we danced chacha, although I've hardly ever danced it before. It was wonderful! He is certainly one of the smoothest things on two feet-- clean, gentle lead, very flowing movements, and (how could it be otherwise?) a feel for the music that is phenomenal.

    I also danced with the lovely Pawel of Mambo Dream Team, who proved himself just as nice a guy as he seemed when I met him in Berlin. He has incredible energy, and (luckily) a matching sense of humor. (I had my hand too low at one point and kinda got my fingers tangled in his, stuff, and he laughed like a fiend. :oops: Gotta like a guy who can laugh at that!)

    I did not ask to or dance with Orville, although I'd actually intended to do so. He was fairly invisible on Friday & Saturday; when I saw him dancing on Sunday, I noticed that he never seemed to be looking at his partners when he danced and that he was doing one of those eighty-moves-a-minnit thingies of which I'm not so fond. I'll try to catch him somewhen/where other, though, and check the lay of the land. He may have been just having one of those nights-- who knows?

    @squirrel How was dancing with Manuel Mascarell? I've always really enjoyed seeing him social dance; he seems to take really good care of his partners.
  18. yola

    yola New Member

    Yeah.. he seems to have 'moved on' ... I danced with him about a year ago.. he was very nice and gentle :D. smiling, enjoying the dance. Great guy too... danced with him again this summer, he's still a nice guy to talk to, but his lead has become too powerfull. he was leading things too fast for me and not adapting, just using more power.:(. hopefully it's just a phase..
  19. africana

    africana New Member

    this weekend at the SF congress: Manuel Mascarell, Jayson Molina, James Cobo, Ismael Otero, Seaon, Sekou Miller, Victor (Burju's partner), Shaka, Osmar Perrones and several other instructor/performers :D

    i was too intimidated to approach Francisco vasquez or Al - so many tricks, they are so exciting to watch!

    Also danced with youngsta :D

    whew! what a weekend :D
  20. Kali Ma

    Kali Ma New Member

    Yeah, that seems to coincide with what I observed; happy for you, though, that you got him when the gettin' was good! ;-)

    @africana You danced with one of them thar Cobos? Yowsa! And Sekou Miller? I am so impressed with his dancing; how is he as a lead--or, more precisely: how did you experience him as lead?

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