Salsa > Who learned dancing in Salsa?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by HM, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. HM

    HM New Member

    of course, you have to learn dancing Salsa if you want to become a good salser@...

    but what I mean:
    who learned actually dancing through Salsa, i.e. the flexibilty, body-coordination, fluidity, musicality.... everything that makes the difference between "moving to music" and "real dancing"?

    As I noticed almost everybody who is good in our scene came from a dancing background (hip hop, jazz, ballroom, ballett...) and I think there's only one guy who w/o such a training became one of the good ones.

    I don't have any previous dancing training and find it very difficult to acquire all those skills just through Salsa dancing. I started to go to jazz classes - and it helped a lot! Not only for new steps but for the whole dancing. But the training concept was also complete different from my salsa ones: more technique, more exercises, more variation.

    What do think:
    Am I just in the wrong Salsa school or is Salsa more for the natural talented?

    (Sorry, but I'm a bit frustrated w/ my Salsa b/c only learning new patterns and imroving in following doesn't satisfy my "dancin-needs" and isn't enough to become a better dancer :( )
  2. I learned how to lead primarily in private salsa lessons (combined with "real life" dance-floor experience, of course). I've also learned some things about balance. I think my coordination has gotten better through taking salsa lessons and classes. I've learned about ways to move my body (as a whole, rather than particular arm or foot movements) as much from actually going out and dancing as I have from classes. In particular, I think I've picked up on how my partners move and sometimes borrowed from them (not necessarily consciously). Some partners just move in ways that I like, and so I may imitate them a litte (hopefully not making myself look too feminine in the process).

    I did have some previous experience with dance (a little bit of African dance a long time ago, some circle/line-dancing, and most recently jazz samba), but not very intensively.
  3. africana

    africana New Member

    great topic!

    I started with salsa and everybody I tell that seem incredulous that I had absolutely no dance background before that. I mean I'd gone out clubbing before 2 or 3 times to hip hop clubs and liked good beats in music (including rock alternative) but I didn't grow up dancing. And that's the one comment I've very frequently since I started dancing (even before I took my first class): people always assumed I learned alot of dances and have been doing it for years, and generally ask where/how I learned to dance

    But I started with salsa and since then I've tried 15-20 different dance forms, most of them African or afro-latin, and some others like ecs, waltz, wcs, hustle, and ballroom samba. I was told I had a natural way of moving, and I was learning quickly but those dances didn't appeal to me mainly because the music didn't compel me to dance the way that salsa does
    Plus I really LOVE the freedom of movement exploration I found in salsa, being creative and coming up with interesting moves that fit the music...that is my thing :D
    I've found that taking classes is great for starting out and essential for learning how to follow, but that's a couple of years. after that the majority of my dance is self-expression. And I take occasional workshops (mostly at congresses) to be exposed to new styles/patterns/footwork, even if I mostly don't use them. Classes can be tedious though, I cant imagine taking as many as some people do, I get bored.
  4. SalseraLaura

    SalseraLaura New Member

    i have done african dance but im self taught so there was noone to teach me any technique apart from that i only have done salsa and most of my technique just comes from working on things and trying difficult moves that require me to learn the technique to do those moves. I cant do the splits or anything acrobatic but thats fine with me because you can be a great dancer without having to do anything flashy like that. There are plenty of salsa teachers at congresses and maybe even in your own city (if youre lucky) who can give you things to practice with regards to improving technique, so dont get too down about not doing other forms of dance.

    Edie is an amazing salsa dancer and apart from doing some flamenco classes to help her hand styling she never did jazz or ballroom, same goes for frankie martinez i cant speak for any of the other high-profile dancers because ive never talked to them about it, but i have talked about this with frankie and edie. I think if you go to the right people you can learn sufficient technique to do most moves!!
  5. Shooshoo

    Shooshoo New Member

    I have started with salsa/latin ballroom more or less at the same time (less than a year ago for partner dancing and two years for salsa aerobics) and I never ever danced before. People would always make fun of me because I was too stiff and couldn't dance. But I have always been good with coordination and in sports.

    So I think part of dancing is a state of the mind and also practising/being used to move your body.
  6. nikita

    nikita New Member

    Oi Shooshoo-
    I think, most Salseros don't have any dancing background. And it's also not necessary.
    Of course you learn quicker, when you did something else before. But you have the same effect, when you practice as much as you can, especially in the beginning, when you have to get used to the rythm:p .
  7. I started in salsa... its not that rare.
  8. clave

    clave New Member

    Salsa was my first partner dance. I'm by no means a world-class dancer but in this here neck of the woods I'd probably pass as "one of the not-so-bad ones". More importantly, I'll never become a world-class dancer precisely because I only started with salsa in my mid-thirties. I do do a couple of extreme sports on the side, however.

    Of the world-class dancers I know, not a single guy started with another dance form, but as a rule all of them either started at a young age (<25) or were into another kind of activity that requires similar skills, such as martial arts, boarding or surfing. A few later expanded into other dances when they exhausted what salsa had to offer.

    The situation is quite different with girls. A vast majority of female world-class salsa dancers I know started with another dance form. Ballet as a kid is common, jazz, bellydancing, ballroom. I know a few girls who reached the "amazing" level without any prior dance experience (not formal dance, anyway), but they're the exceptions.
  9. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    I've been dancing since I first started sneaking into clubs at age 16, yet I had never taken a real dance class since my first salsa lessons began several years ago. With the salsa, I have learned numerous other latin street dances and have been able to incorporate some hip-hop moves with those, making my repertoire even more flexible.
  10. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    My dancing life really begun when I took up salsa......... I was kicked out of ballet school when I was little (because of my feet) & everyone, in cluding myself, believed that I would never dance.

    But salsa (well, I started lambada around the same time) changed everything.
    I realised that I was able to find my own place within the music that I love.

    And I found that once my head/heart was in the right place, everything else eventually followed :cool: .

    The most beneficial part in my learning is simply by dancing with others....I am one of theose people that just do not do well in group classes (therefore rarely took any).
  11. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    well.. dancing other styles has made me a better dancer .. or at least i feel it like so..

    but u have to love the dance u take up and not just do it for the sake of feeding into another dance.. cause if your heart is not into your movement .. your movement gets sterile.
  12. Shooshoo

    Shooshoo New Member

    Same here, I was disastrous in ballet and I quit so quickly. Just hate the spilts and the torture of ballet. And you have to be so skinny, ugh.

    Totally agree. Really find it very pleasurable dancing with others (another don't HAVE to talk). It's funny cause I used to make fun of my mom that she used to go to dances when she was young. Never thought I'd start partner dancing.
  13. Shooshoo

    Shooshoo New Member

    That's very much true. I think also dancing depends on how much one likes the music. I can never enjoy a merengue or waltz. I just don't like the music of either.
  14. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    I did a little swing before I started salsa, but I find that whatever I do feeds into each other. Meaning if I experiment with tango it is better because of salsa, and then my salsa gets better because of what I can take from tango.

    Lots of ways to learn focusing on one dance...salsa in this we have mentioned before. Working on isolations, listening to the music wherever possible... I would say most of my improvments in salsa are becaue of what I have put into the dance, which, as Sabor says, is because I love teh music so much. This past Friday I had a great time. This was dancing with partners and also dancing by myself. IN fact my housemate said that I entertained the people sitting out quite well. ;):cool: Then this rumba came one of the "danec with me Soundtrack"....I went wild and after that 4 people came up to talk to me about the song, and what was I doing, and what sort of dance it was.
  15. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    I started with salsa one year ago, picked up the other club dances outside of classes, and have now started to focus on other standard and latin dances. In just the month I have been learning waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba, cha cha, viennese, swing--my salsa has improved as a result. Learning salsa first causes me to love it the most out of all the dances I'm learning. But the others (especially the latin) help to round out a dancer, keep him/her from becoming one-dimensional in styles and different techniques. Of course, if you don't mind knowing only one or two dances, then don't worry about the others. But they will almost certainly help your salsa, if you keep doing salsa at the same time as the others.
  16. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I started with tomatoes and worked my way to salsa.
  17. That's logical.
  18. alemana

    alemana New Member

    no dance experience here, either, prior to salsa. but like africana, i saw fairly quickly that studying other styles would help.

    i know a fair amount of women who have had prior dance training, but i think that's mostly because, well, little girls get sent to dance class much more frequently than little boys.

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