Salsa > Why do people enjoy salsa dancing so much?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Charli, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Charli

    Charli New Member

    I'm studying salsa for my Social Anthropology degree and was wondering what are people's inspiration for taking up salsa or carrying it on?

    What does this dance form have that others don't?

    If anyone could give me their salsa stories or stories of others that would be great!

    Many thanks
  2. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    I don't think Salsa is any different. There are people in every dance that absolutely love their form of dance. For example, many swing dancers think they have a lock on dance love.
  3. Apache

    Apache Member

    For some of them its not even a think, its a "know". Hahaha.
  4. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    It's definitely more energetic and fun than others. And more social and playful. When my salsa lessons end I feel like a little kid when recess is over and I have to go back to boring school. Hehe. Esp. when he decides to switch to.. tango.. :p
  5. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Welcome to DF, Charli. Sorry I'm a bit late. :)
  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    No more than R and R.. I teach both and the enthusiasm is about equal, maybe even more so in RandR...
  7. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    It is my personal opinion that is better than the rest (What's R&R?) but I am certainly biased.
  8. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Rock & Roll
  9. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    It's not that people enjoy salsa so much more than other dances, but they enjoy it more now. Dances are often fads, and right now we're in a salsa fad (the tail end of one, I believe, but that remains to be seen). A dance fad may be kicked off by any number of factors: being prominent featured in a movie, a band that plays that style may be kicked off, or an underground movement explosion, are some of the most prominent. The end result is that a lot of people who'd previously rejected dance are exposed to a new dance.

    Because the dance is new, it doesn't carry the same baggage and associations that follow classic ballroom and Latin dancing. Although a salsa club and a studio's Latin party will feature the same music and the same dancing, they go by very different social rules, and many people will be more familiar with the club or appreciate its other amenities (such as alcohol). Furthermore, because people are aware that the fad is new, they often feel that it is more acceptable to be a beginner. Because the fad dance is seen as part of popular culture rather than dance culture, it is a more accepted tool to meet people for romantic or sexual pursuits. All of these combine to make the fad dance seem more appealing and acceptable to the dancing public than classic ballroom or Latin.

    Note, however, that fad dances are not limited to salsa. Before salsa there was a huge swing fad, and before swing there was hustle. Tango goes through a resurgence every few years, usually in conjunction with a movie reminding the public about its existence.
  10. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    It could be a fad, but if people go and learn every style of dance in a sort of sheltered environment where there's no emphasis put on particular trends, and you just found salsa to be the most fun, and if many people fall in love with it the same way... then it has to be something more than a passing fad.

    I do agree about tango, someone comes along and makes it look cool, the difference is, in my experience it's an uphill climb to get to where it is enjoyable. Just my two cents.
  11. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    New ??... its been going since the 70s and is just now picking up steam !.. and that carried over from Mambo.

    As to studios playing the same music in latino clubs...none Ive worked in, they tend to play " commercial " salsa( salsa Romantica ) as opposed to Dura , and the dance styles are totally different between club and B/room .
  12. JasonOne

    JasonOne New Member


    I started a salsa dancing class at the beinging of the year and i’m really enjoying it. It’s helping my confidence and it’s great mixing with a group of people who are all really nice. It helps that they are at the same level of experience as me so no one is trying to show off. :) Time will tell if i’m actually any good but i’m trying.
  13. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    And during the previous fad the "new" dance was a dance from the '30's. The mainstreaming of a dance effectively makes it new from most people's perspective. Compare the experiences of a salsero who's been dancing since the '70's (or mambo since the '50's) with a dancer of any level who's just started in the past five years.

    And to respond to a previous poster, there will always be some dancers who respond better to some dances than to others, for no discernible reason, if they're all exposed equally, but that doesn't create dance crazes or it wouldn't be a craze - it would be an ongoing favoritism. Personally, I'd love a waltz fad, but I'm not holding my breath.
  14. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    The 'fad' concept rings true.
    In this area, Salsa is one of 3 dance styles you are likely to encounter on a social/ night club level.
    (Hip-Hop and Country being the other 2).
    Pretty hard to find a club where they play Foxtrot, Waltz or Tango........
  15. bas

    bas New Member

    I don't see the link between something fad and the fact that you encounter it in a social/ night club setting.

    At the time when lambada was popular I didn't encounter that (aside from the occasional song ) in social /night club setting. If we reason along this train of though that means Lambada was not a fad.

    Hip hop has also been around since the 70s so I don't think we can quite call that a fad either.

    And just because English is not my first language I decided to check


      /fæd/ Show Spelled [fad] Show IPA
    –noun a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc., esp. one followed enthusiastically by a group.

    fad (fād)
    n. A fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time; a craze.

    [Possibly from fidfad, fussy person, fussy, from [FONT=arial,sans-serif]fiddle-faddle[/FONT].]
    fad'dism n., fad'dist n., fad'dy adj.

    I realize 'temporary' and 'brief period of time' are relative but as 40 years is longer than I have been on this planet I find it a bit hard to see that period of time as temporary :)
  16. BD-DV07

    BD-DV07 New Member

    because my wife says I look like sex-on-a-stick when I do dance, and that usally turns into a "great" evening of Marrage :raisebro::raisebro::raisebro:
  17. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    A fad doesn't mean it goes through a period of existence but a period of increased popularity. Salsa has been around since the 70's (or the 50's if you count mambo) but it has surged in popularity in the past couple of years (five years to a decade depending on how you clock it). How long it needs to remain before it stops being a fad is a matter for debate, but I'd say ten to twenty years.

    It would be interesting to get into a studio's inquiry sheets and chart which dances were the most requested by new students each year.
  18. bas

    bas New Member

    Thanks. Sometimes the intricacies of a language are harder to grasp unless you have spoken it all your life.

    Wouldn't that make all dances a fad though? After all, all of them have gone through a period of increased popularity before settling down at a certain level.

    It has surged in popularity before but the fact remains that it is still growing in popularity, worldwide, despite having been around for more than 20 years.

    I'll gladly admit that there is one very big problem though. The dance has evolved... a lot.

    Salsa today is nothing like it was 20 years ago. Just like salsa 20 years ago was completely different from salsa in the 50s (mambo and rueda).

    Just looking at LA Style salsa it has been around for more than 10 years now but, as we know it today, less than 20. NY style though has been around longer and is still popular worldwide today. Actually, it's popularity, at least in Europe, is rising again as well as a lot of more experienced On 1 dancers also want to learn to dance On 2 around here. As for Cuban, well that's an entirely different story again that I have never really looked in to.

    All in all I think it's too easy to write salsa off as a fad but then, I'm biased ;-)

    Although I agree it would be interesting, I'm not sure it would help.

    It seems salsa is not very popular within 'traditional' studios whereas other dances are not that popular in 'salsa' studios.

    If I look at studios in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium that have diversified almost all of them have failed but at the same time studios focusing exclusively on salsa continue to soar which makes me believe it will be very hard to get an accurate view of the situation.
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    40s.. but whos counting ? ...:rolleyes:
  20. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    Some 'fads' last longer than others.
    Some, sadly, outlive their welcome......

    Salsa as a form of dance isn't a fad, Salsa as one of the most popular nationwide (possibly even worldwide) dances is.

    Waltz has been around for roughly 200 years and popular worldwide for much of that.
    I guess Foxtrot has been around for about 80 or so, and while not necessarily a currently 'popular' dance, it survives quite well in the form of 2-Step, which is very popular indeed.

    I'm hoping Hip-Hop won't be around for quite that long......

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