Salsa > why is salsa so hard for me??

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by esther87, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    As her coach, I have had to learn the substanitive from the B.S. regarding dance. You are now making attacks on me and not my argument. Right away, my B.S. flag is raised.

    You are correct CasaSalsa, she is not an advanced dancer. She is a professional dancer. She has numerous trophies, receives income from dance, teaches, and has commercial, t.v. and film credits as a dancer.
    I will P.M. you a link of her dancing.

    Sorry Josh, I promise, this is my last post on the subject.
  2. casasalsa

    casasalsa New Member

    sorry josh, didnt mean to make an attack on him personally, He brought missy into it...btw nice LOVE to dance with her.......let for the sake of this debate.....barrefly......did you notice that missy wasnt dancing on1 the whole time in the performance video? this is exactly what im talking about =) thanks for the vid...and seriously....she is obliously a great dancer =)

    i wont make this personal anymore panding answer on video, .....sorry
  3. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Syncopation ???.. a " single note as in "2" is NOT a syncopation.

    Musically speaking, a syncop. is the " joining of 3 notes with the middle note of less time value than the other 2 ( as 1 and 2 or 4 and 1 like Cha) .

    These " time " values, should determine the speed at which we move or allow us to experiment musically .

    And to compare a Guajira based rhythm ( "1" accent ) with Guaracha or Guaguanco ( most Salsa/ Mambo ), makes no sense . Guajira rhythms which is rooted in a "3and 4" section of the bar, is generally accepted as appropriate for dancing on "1" ( as in the dance of Guajira ) and is decidely more dominant.

    And lastly, telling a beginner student to identify Clave, may be well and good.. but.. its not the answer to the immediate problem...

    And do you seriously believe that teaching people to dance on "2" is easier than on a " downbeat " ?... not in my 50 plus yrs experience !!
  4. barrefly

    barrefly New Member


    I am in complete agreement with your post, but can't understand why you quoted me. It seems that on2ers who say that on2 is better because it is synco., are not as musically knowledgeble as you are. They believe that the clave is a syncopation. I do not (to any significant degree).
    "It is also one of the easiest syncopations to produce in 4/4 time". (Re: Clave rythym, from wikipedia)...hence, my "bit more syncopated" Accenting a weak beat seems their idea of a syncopation, not mine.
    I've also used the chacha reference.

    It must really peeve you when you meet so called salsa musicallity experts that know absolutly nothing about music. LOL

    Thankyou so much for your post.
    P.S. you made me feel much better about the training I have been getting my daughter the last 13 yrs. I hope that you get the opportunity to adjudicate her one day. She's a wonderful latin dancer. (and A/T dancer)
  5. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Apologies if I mis quoted and took the post out of context...

    PS.. take W/P with a grain of salt ( in many cases ).. Dilettantes abound in the world of dance...
  7. barrefly

    barrefly New Member for me, I tell people, "you can't bullshiat a bullshiater". As for my Daughter, she is the least "dilettante" dancer you will ever meet. Perhaps because she just dances for her dad. (I dunno)
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

  9. casasalsa

    casasalsa New Member

    i never said that he original poster should learn to find the clave, it was reference as a reson why its not as easy as you make it, look from page 5 and read......the poster need to learn to find the "1" to impact her dance now, and THEN learning everything else i spoke of will do her justice......i dont think you read my posts

    Dilettante?.....i hope your not talking to just gave the most general and INCORRECT explanation of finding the 2 would be right if you were listening to a song in 3/2 clave. THIS is EXACTLY what im talking about! lol, you probably dont even know what im talking about, and if you dont, please read up on it before replying..........its because everything play "in clave" and a song in 2/3 would have a less "impacted" 1st note. ive heard people explain salsa like this and its just simply wrong.........clave throws a monkey wrench in this......and once you learn about it, it will change your dance......

    i have to dance on all 5 clicks.....did you write the "clave bible" ....musical interpretation come through feel of the dance, not the visual attachment....
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    First.. the Diltt. was in refence to the WP site ( now whos not reading posts ? )

    As to knowing what you think is correct..I was dancing and teaching this, probably before you were born. AND, the simplest method of finding ANY beat of a given bar is from its FIRST note . What follows whether 2/3 or 3/2, does not change that fact.

    If you believe you have a simpler method of getting results ( you are a teacher ? ) then please let us know.. after all, the method I described from a " teaching " perspective has been use by EVERY trained prof. that i know..
  11. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    Many years ago, I wanted to learn piano. (I love jazz.) I took lessons with some very good instructors. I spent more time analyzing for the pupose of simplifying so that I could understand the functionality of the chords, lines etc. than I did practicing my music. These jazz pianist just seemed to me to understand their music so well, that I thought the key was in the understanding. Who would of thought that the key was in.....lots and lots of practice. Their understanding came after their years and years of practice and training.

    This is why children are so much easier to teach than adults. Many piano instructors do not like teaching beginner adults.

    Anyone want to buy a used piano?
  12. I think all those pages of dance and music theory probably went all over the OP's head. All she wants to know is how she can learn salsa and be a better dancer.

    I think there is not only one right answer here. People from different cultural backgrounds have different ways of learning. I had to take a salsa class (actually a class in what was then called mambo but wasn't mambo - remember Dirty Dancing in the 80s?) to learn the basics. Timing came real fast with practice. And what made me progress fast as a follower was that I got to dance with different leads who were all better dancers than I was at the time. And the better I became, the better were the leads that asked me to dance until I had danced my way up to the elegant Puerto Rican leads in my local scene within 2 months.

    I think I would not have gotten to that level that fast just taking classes because the leads who take classes with you are at the same level as you and are learning as well. And often it takes them more time to learn. At least that is my experience with classes. Don't get me wrong. I am all in favor of taking classes! But at the same time you have to go out to the clubs and practice what you learned with leads that are more advanced than you.

    Now, I believe that the OP, being a Latina, approaches learning a new dance very differently. At least that is my experience in the Latino world. Most Latinos do not want to learn in a structured way like we non Latinos do. They have grown up with the music and most of the time they can move very well to it, so that they do not need the theory of many of the moves we have to learn step by step. Also, the women have learned what we take "styling" classes for while growing up and watching their mothers and aunts walk and move. It is a natural movement for them.

    I think all the OP needs would be a basic salsa class where she learns the basic step and some basic turns. Once she has the basic step "ingrained" I believe salsa will come naturally for her. And don't forget, we followers learn new turns best by doing them with advanced leads on the dance floor unless the turns are long and complicated.

    And for me basic step is basic step no matter the style (PR, LA or Cuban style on1). The only thing that, yes, matters, is whether she wants to learn on1 or on2. And that would probably depend on her local scene. If she wants to dance in Latin America or with Latinos from different Latin American countries, then it would be advisable to know how to dance on1. If, however, she will mostly dance e.g. in NYC, she might want to learn on2.
  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Well, let my give you my experience as a teacher.. for many yrs, in a large metro city , 90% of my salsa students were Latino; in addition to dancing and working with them ( prof. )for multi yrs, I can assure you they have as much difficulty in conforming to current trends as do most.. possibly more.

    And as to coming " naturallly ".. I WISH !... I would grant you this.. the majority of latino dancers in clubs, have little or no interest in changing their dance style, or increasing the variety they dance. ( the men are more apt ) .

    And i do agree with your point about the original poster , by and large. However,I would not agree with the posit that she ( or most people ) will learn from JUST dancing.. were it that simple..
  14. tangotime, I agree with most of what you said. I probably did not explain myself enough. Most Latinos I know who already dance salsa have no interest in changing their style, that is also my experience. And most of them neither have much interest in conforming to current trends, like you also stated. And yes, if they want to learn all the shines and complicated turns etc. that are "en vogue" they also need classes and it might not be easier for them than for the rest of us. But is that really the OP's goal?

    I rather had the impression that she assumed she knew how to dance salsa but then realized that she does not dance the same way as her partners, i. e. she did not really know how to dance salsa. This might be because she developed her very own style without a partner without following a basic step or the "general rules" of dancing salsa with a dance partner. Now she simply wants to learn how to coordinate her moves and steps in a structured way, i. e. do the basic step and some turns with a partner. And for that she will need to take a class. But she might not want to study all the "salsa science" about instruments, clave or every single salsa beat.

    No, I did not want to say that most people learn from just watching or dancing. At least I don't! I agree with you that that is not the case. What I meant in particular is that many Latinas do not need to take e. g. styling classes later because they have grown up moving that way (without dancing) and those moves come to them naturally (already as children they learn how to move in a sexy way so that men notice them, which we do not). However, I think after learning the basics it is better to put into practice on the social dance floor what you learned first before you take more and more classes. Classes only might make you a technically good dancer but do not make you a dancer with "sabor". And as a follower with good basics you progress faster when dancing a lot with good leads than by taking more classes with leads at the same or at a lower level than you (which is mostly the case in classes, at least in my experience).
  15. casasalsa

    casasalsa New Member

    hi salsera alemana...based on your name, and where u live, im pretty sure i know exactly who you are =) (dont know if you want me to use ur name) ..its Christian from Ft lauderdale =) The only thing that brought us through this conversation is the fact that the OP said that she had no idea where the beat m y suggestion is to get this person to find the "1" first, regardless of what style she is learning, she can feel confident that she is at least starting the basic step on time when we teach it to her......i know everything else was probably over the OP's head, but i think that this conversation has changed from giving advise, to proving a point on whether or not timing is important beyond 123...567... my opinions are al over this.... Whats your take on it? BTW, hope all is well =)
  16. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Not saying that I am that great at salsa, but what helped me (I believe) is learning to slower music at first. Initially, the music felt so fast (as it was for Viennese Waltz) that I felt that I could not keep up! So I used slower music (even Rumba music), so that I could focus on technique and other things.

    It's also good, I think, to just give yourself a break and have fun, even if you don't feel like your salsa dancing is quite where you want it to be yet. One day that breakthrough will come through; for example, something really came together in my Waltz, I feel, after seeing some YouTube clips of Victor and Anna and also Larinda McRaven...
  17. furgll

    furgll New Member

    I Agree just go and find some good teachers there are a lot out there..:)

    Good luck


  18. amanda1

    amanda1 New Member

    Just concentrate, work hard and you'll be winner in SALSA.;)
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Correct on both counts...
  20. I agree...Your steps are the foundation.... they won't necessarily take away from the "feeling".


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