Salsa > You Fei Huo

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by esa negrita..., Feb 4, 2007.

  1. esa negrita...

    esa negrita... New Member

  2. alemana

    alemana New Member

    interesting. i've had some leads try to lead me like that... i thought they were just crackheads. turns out there is a logical explanation.
  3. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Cuban style is an entirely different animal isn't it? :lol:
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Por que ?
  5. tj

    tj New Member

    Yup, takes a whole different skill set.
  6. salsamale

    salsamale New Member

    I love watching salseras dance Cuban style. Something about the hip motion ...
  7. SalsaTO

    SalsaTO New Member

    Cuban or 'Casino' salsa

    WOW! Can they ever move! 3 minutes of heaven!

    Both of them even keep the 4 and 8 tap. Her turns running through 16 beats really show it off !

    What a great trip in the WayBack Machine. That was the style I was taught back in the 90s.

    The first thing I learned from my instructor was Cubano Hips. That was de rigeur in his classes. And, if you watch a hula dancer, you will see the hips come from the knees and the feet. He ensured all the women and the men in the class got their hips moving. And his rule was keep the feet moving! Stop only when setting up a dip.

    Most of what he taught started from closed or the old 'Latin' position. There is a whole repetoire of moves or patterns from closed that seems lost today. He even had us keep the 4 and 8 tap; regardless how fast the music was. Shines? Not in his vocabulary. He made us work and dance together, all the time, not apart. And this was his beginner class.

    His closed position was close, and I mean close. Not like today where a lot of the partnerwork is done at fully extended arms length, partners bent forward at the waist to increase that distance even more.

    Our casino shoulders flowed and moved, from the core, not the arms so any leads were strong, clear and clean. No "oil pumping arms" or "pump jack" arms here.

    All the turn patterns we learned were circular, not linear as is almost the rule today.

    There is an energy, an explosive dynamic in that style that the other styles of salsa cannot quite capture, especially those that incorporate elements of West Coast Swing.

    That circular motion, not broken or interrupted with the linear "stop and goes" builds the energy like an avalanche.

    Every so often, I score a dance with someone who can move like the follower in that clip. I don't find out they can move that way until the first turn and recover into closed. They must feel in the lead or something. Then you feel it. You feel it coming into you through their framing as it pushes through your shoulders right into your core.

    What a blast! You feel youself being launched into something as your feet light their afterburners and go. Its a subconscious thing.

    Complex LA or NYC stuff stays out except for a few dips and maybe a drop or two. They are surprised on how quickly they can go into into a safe dip, right back up within four beats of the music and into a turn. The smile says it all. Slow the turns or blast through them a tempo keeps that smile lit bright.

    No, they are not on crack as a previous poster quipped. They are moving to the music, playing with the beat and they are fully connected, feeding off their energy symbiotically. Nothing is held back, no retiscence whatsoever. I imagine that clip is what the term sabor conveys.

    Enjoy it when you get it!

  8. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    when somebody dances me like that, i immediately ask them if they're cuban... they have never said no...
  9. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    yah, true about the distinctive hips & constant circular movement. not my thing, tho... although my oldest friend in the world is a long-time salsera, and she says her favorite leaders are old-school cubans. maybe depends on how you get introduced to the dance. i'm coming into salsa steeped in new-school dancing. cuban leads tend to bore me after the first dance... no matter how "great" they are. i want a "ride" that's more interesting & changeable, and more smooth, less choppy...

    that's just me. cuban men, tho... one word: D.O.L.L.S.
  10. pr

    pr New Member


    Cuban style is actually very funny. :D I really like to dance cuban style to Timba songs. I like the grooooovin'... 8) I actually started with cuban style when I started learning salsa, but nowadays I'm usually dancing crossbody style ON1 (not to Timba songs), but would also like to learn ET ON2. :p
  11. englezul

    englezul New Member

    BOORRING!!! :twisted:
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Interesting how different styles appeal to different people? Isn't it? Personally I find the flashy linear styles not to my taste. However, while I don't find that appealing, I feel that good dancing should be recognized for what it is, no matter the style.

    That guy knows how to dance cuban style for sure. And he does it well. Another cuban dancer that I have seen clips of is yanek...I'm sure you can find that on youtube...
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    By what standard?

    Not your taste? Fine. You don't like the style? Fine. But there certainly is feeling there.
  14. noobster

    noobster Member

    Funny! I have never found those leads to be choppy - actually they are smoother for me than many slot-style leaders, because all the moves are slower and there are no sudden directional changes, so they flow into each other with a bit more ease. A mid-level Cuban leader is usually as smooth as a more advanced X-body leader IME.

    Someday I would like to learn how to 'really' dance Cuban style, as opposed to just trying to adapt and follow on the fly as I do now.
  15. tj

    tj New Member

    I'm not a Cuban style salsero, but having known a couple of really good ones, I can also attest to their smoothness (even while doing some pretty impressive pretzels) as well as floorcraft.

    So I'd say blame the dancer not the style if you're having choppy, sloppy, yanky dances with a Cuban style dancer. (Or if you're getting run into by one, too)
  16. gte692h

    gte692h Member

    dude, why don't you post your dancing video so that I can call it boring too ?
  17. gte692h

    gte692h Member

    he captured the style of the music well - van van always a continuous, driving musical style and that's what I saw with the dance. its tough to dance to van van without the right approach..
    but i'd like to have seen him more fluid. respect none the less.
  18. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I completely agree with all of that. I think that the perception of choppiness to some viewers is because of the constant hip movement and strong movements in the knees and feet. However, if you stay focused on You Fei Huo's shoulders and general frame, you'll notice that he's very smooth in that part of his body -- never once do you get the sense that his follower is being yanked around. I see much more yanking and cranking happening with some super-flashy L.A.-style dancers and some turbo-spinning N.Y. Mambo leaders.

    For another super-cool video of Cuban-style dancing, check out this clip of some dancers based in the Oakland/San Francisco area:

    The "bird's eye" shots in that video also give you a better sense of the smoothness of the actual dancing, since there's not as much visual distraction by the hips and legs from that angle.
  19. pr

    pr New Member

    My thought exactly! :) I usually find out that ladies dancing Cuban style is more smooth than cross body style dancers. I have also heard some ladies saying that leaders that started dancing Cuban style before crossbody style is usually smoother than they who started directly with cross body style. This seems too be true for ladies too... 8) I the end I think it has too do alot with which teacher you have and if you think that a lot of force is needed or not to do the moves...
  20. My thing is and has always been Puerto Rican (CLB) style. However, I love to watch Cuban style when it is danced like that, the real thing and smooth. In my first salsa years I danced with a number of Cuban leads, some were real good dancers, others were real rough. I also was in a rueda de casino dance group for a while and I love rueda.

    Cuban style can be very smooth. In Cuba many years ago I danced with a great lead, very smooth and elegant, it was a delight. This is to say that Cuban style by no means is choppy when it is danced the right way and at a skilled level. There are choppy and smooth dancers in every style, it depends on the dancer's skills.

    Yanek, oh yes, saw his video on Youtube a while ago, that guy has sabor! Respect for this Chinese guy! He does a great job with his Cuban style.

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