Salsa > Women who move their hands too much question

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by dcnewbee, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. dcnewbee

    dcnewbee New Member

    so when you do the basic step, you move your hands in a circular kinda motion. now, i am a guy, i have encounter women that will move my hands around (not into moves, just during the basic). what should i do, fight w/ her to move the hands the way i want, or smile and let her do her thing?
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Up to ya. If it is distracting take over and spin her into move after move....or never mind...I shouldn't be that evil.
  3. tj

    tj New Member

    You could always go the goofy/silly route...

    With a wicked grin on your face, stop... and start slapping away at her hands. (I do this when I can't get proper handholds, etc with a partner.)

    Done properly, most have reacted well to it in the past (for me, at least).
  4. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Moving hands is a sign that the body movement is not happening (after all, it LOOKS like you're doing a lot if the hands are moving, but in reality the hands should be moving as a RESULT of the body menchanics).

    It was explained to me like this once: Our teacher had our class stand in a circle, holding hands, in a 'frame' position (arms extended from the elbow, slightly forward). Then, he had every other person (alternate in the cirle) slightly move our bodies, and then see if we felt it from the next person. Most did.

    Then he had us try the same thing whilst jiggling our hands. NOBODY felt anything except the jiggling.

    His explanation: Hand movement without body movement is like radio static - it makes it harder to 'hear' what the other person is doing.
  5. dTas

    dTas New Member

    that is so true saludas

    and that applies to all dances, not just Salsa. all movement should come from the body no from the limbs.
  6. Medira

    Medira New Member


    This seems to be such a difficult concept for people to grasp, at least at first.
  7. lynn

    lynn New Member

    i find this to be a very common problem in beginner's class for the simple reason that saludas & dTas has explained. It's usually b/c the students are trying to isolate the hip movement but ended up moving the entire body (arms included) instead - which results in some awkward overall movement.
  8. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    One instructor called this "skiing" -- don't do it... it sends bad lead signals to the follow.

    Don't fight her, but steady your hands to let her know that you're dancing, not on a ski trip.
  9. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    This is a bad "habit" for both beginners and advanced dancers alike. I call it; the illusion. If a person doesn't really know where movement comes from, the person will attempt to copy what the eyes can absorb whitout first understing. Hence, forcing the arms in a circle-like motion while the body tries to step back and forth. Talk about a fight.

    I don't really do a thing to correct her. If it gets to the point where it interupts the lead, then the lead changes to compensate, as well as excluding those moves that will fail because of the sway. If I'm limited to 3 moves, then by golly, we are going to enjoy the dance with those 3 moves.

    Too, I grab her in a close position without holding my left hand to her right and dance that way. ...only grabbing her hand when a move is to be done. That way I don't have to sway side to side like a sail-boat in a storm.

    The only time that I will attempt any physical manipulation to correct a "bad" habit from a follow is when they bluntly ask. Other than that, you go ahead girl and sway until the time comes for you to actively change... If it never happens, I guess it was never a priority.
  10. dTas

    dTas New Member

    if you don't intend to dance with her again you could try moving your hands EVEN MORE than she moves hers. then perhaps she'll realize that moving the hands crazily is very annoying. :D
  11. macha

    macha New Member

    I practiced with my hands on a wall, pole (shut up :p ) or railing, but I don't know if it helped or not.
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    So macha is a closet pole dancer! hmmm...
  13. africana

    africana New Member

    sorry to contradict the statements about hand motion solely coming from body motion, it's not really the case in salsa. There are lots of lady styling instructors who teach followers to perform various hand and arm styling in salsa, and a lot of them are independent of body motion (Duplexxy, Estillo, and many lesser knowns) like hair combs, arms up/out, finger egg or flamenco arms/hands during basic, and many more figures. Some look great when done right (at the right time), some make me wonder "what are they thinking??" :lol:
    But, they are meant to complement body motion, to accentuate certain movements, to frame, to express femininity and so on, whether partnering/styling or in shines.

    However, when accepting the role of follow, one must provide the other half of the connection to be able to follow ;) and then (when that's accomplished) insert styling as unobtrusively as possible.

    oh yeah they move their arms/bodies which moves your hand? I've done that too, but it shouldn't happen so much when you're holding them to lead, the arms should be more relaxed and isolated from whatever body movement they are doing, and the lead should have more control of the arms
    Unless they're doing it because they are bored with basics? that happens too ;)

    I would suggest that if you have the chance, watch these 'problem' ladies with other more experienced leads and see what kind of dynamic goes on for dealing with moving hands.

    If a lot of women are doing it then I assume there's some info I don't have here to know what the problem is
  14. dcnewbee

    dcnewbee New Member

    this is happening to me in an inter. class. before we start into a combo, we usually do one or two basics.
  15. lynn

    lynn New Member

    hmm, i kind of assumed it as beginner problems b/c that's mostly where i see it - at that level, they aren't taught the arm styling yet...
  16. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Hmmm. I think I've just found my pet hate for the other thread. :lol:
  17. saludas

    saludas New Member

    I disagree. As in many things in dance, the 'illusion' is that these 'styling' things are not results of body movement, but as you get more advanced instruction, you will be shown how the body makes these movements look the way they do.

    A good example is the beginner's arm going forward on a backstep. Yes, it can certainly be done by simply extending the arm as you move backwards, but it takes on a whole new loon and meaning if the extension comes as a result of stretching the back muscles and giving contrasting extension from, say your hip.

    For example, in the prototypical group class, you get a demonstration of a 'move' and then a rudimentary 'monkey see monkey do' recreation of it during the class. Do people leave the class being able to 'do the move'? Not usually. That's because it is simply digested as a 'foot pattern' or such. It takes time to actually figure out HOW a movement works, dancewise.

    Technique comes in when you need to UNDERSTAND the movement, or apply it in a dancerly form. For instance, as in a similar thread discussion on 'spinning' the follow, it APPEARS that the man provides a pushing force and a rotary movement to make the figure happen, while in reality a very differnt way of making the spin happen needs to be done.
  18. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I believe the initial question/confusion over hand-movement wasn't stylistic, rather when someone does the basic (while holding hands) and the "natural" movement of the arms. Some dancers tend to overly move their hands in circular motion not consciously intended as extra styling but as what should be done, which is very annoying....

    Anything past the point of natural movement (as duplexy does) becomes stylistc rather than what is stressed from the posts above.
  19. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    It is a very good point and by all intentions very true. I'd also like to mention that while all movement does come from the core, a movement can also be disjointed. Which are wacky looking, but intended to be done that way. This moves, however, aren't very applicable in salsa, well, except if the dancer doesn't know that the full move done, is in reality, incomplete.
  20. africana

    africana New Member

    I'm not sure you're talking about salsa fact almost convoinced you're not because I have seen and heard instruction from technique-conscious instructors about arm/body movement where the aim is to isolate and highlight arm or upperbody movement independent of footwork. Also to maintain balance the lady in basic step and turns can keep arms up, bu the extras of finger egg and such are actually more cosmetic than functional

    The last part about needing to UNDERSTAND technique of movement and apply in a "dancerly form" I'm not sure exactly what is intended by that statement, so I'll ignore it at face value ;)

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