Salsa’s Big Lie

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That is soo true. A while back I went to a "retro indie" club here in York, playing (mostly brit) indie and some mod music. I remember starting out thinking how it was so much worse music to dance to. After everyone in the place had had a few drinks you ended up with everyone hugging each other and singing every song word perfect. The dancing was restricted to basic jigging up and down but the arms were raised to the ceiling at all the right moments... I remember thinking at the time "this is the British equivalent of sabor! you can't get this anywhere else!"
speaking of british music sweavo, i grew up playing rock &roll on the quitar in the 70"s, of course we palyed british and american music, now the brits aways gave thanks to the american artists(black &white ) for the infuence they had on thier music, ok cool, but damm! bristish music to me never sounded american its so unique, super cool, i mean really who does not like zepplin or framton, pink floyd etc etc if you like rock &roll. that being said, true we here in america started certain types of music, but others took the grooves and made them thier own, and i think its great, i liken this too salsa, sure we dont take away respect for the (founders) but this it why people in my opinion should let this stuff go and enjoy dancing for dancing sake.you dont have too be italian to enjoy pizza...
 
FWIW - I have to guess this is because most Europeans tend to respond to the arts in higher numbers compared to the US.

I believe part of it is we have so much available, and it fragments almost all activities.

Most promoters can make more money in Europe because they tend to draw bigger crowds and/or people willing to pay more.

For example, world-class jazz musicians in LA will play in a club and 50-100 people will show up on a great night. The same group can travel to Europe or Japan and there will be 3-8 THOUSAND people showing up to see them.

Americans tend to have a mild case of ADD. I can listen to baseball from Alaska on the internet this week (my son is actually broadcasting play-by-play there tonight!), watch any of a few hundred channels on my DirecTV box, or do 20 other things this evening.

We can easily go dancing 6 nights per week in LA, and almost everynight I'll find someone from beginner to very advanced, and have a great time. Nobody worries about missing any specific event or night because there is always next week.

BTW - I think one of the real catalysts for the current rages are the partner dance TV shows. Off the top of my head I can think of "Dancing with the Stars", "So You Think You Can Dance", and Albert Torres getting his ESPN World Salsa Championships ramped up over the last couple years. I think there was something else, but I can't recall the name.

Millions of people are watching those shows regularly and a percent of them are saying "that looks like fun... maybe I should try it...". While many will drop out, the new people learning at studios and clubs around LA are higher than they have been in many years. I'm amazed at the numbers that are in the classes these days.

I may have it all wrong, but Americans tend to be spoiled with too many options.
It’s called being trendy. This happens to many music/dance “scenes.” It happened to hip hop a few years ago and today, it is happening in the electronic/trance/deep house music scene, as well as in the salsa/Latin music scene. (Anyone remember the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy and the surge in country and western music/dancing? I’ll bet all those who grew up on C & W music and dance were annoyed by that!) Trend seekers are too busy chasing after the latest trend/fad to be culturally appreciative of or connected to their latest interest, so they frequently introduce negative values and qualities to the scene. Fortunately, the “many who drop out” of salsa, including some of the latest self-appointed “instructors,” will be the trend seekers who with their “mild ADD,” are bored with salsa and in need of the latest trendy fad to latch onto. Easy come, easy go.
 
BTW - I think one of the real catalysts for the current rages are the partner dance TV shows. Off the top of my head I can think of "Dancing with the Stars", "So You Think You Can Dance", and Albert Torres getting his ESPN World Salsa Championships ramped up over the last couple years. I think there was something else, but I can't recall the name.

I agreed with everything in the full post Silver made, except for what I excerpted above. The TV shows and high-visibility comps are a result of the popularity of partner dancing, which has been growing - not the cause thereof. There have been little nodules of interest in various styles that have had small explosions, and i think those explosions made possible the pitching and success of the shows on a mass market level.

One nodule is salsa, which is partially motored by the increasing visibility of Latin cultural products. Tango, ballroom and swing also have their own little webs of interest, with a film or two each and Exposure Moments that capture the ADD-addled popular gaze for a few moments, before it looks to the next thing. Each community can be small, but put them all together, add the mania for reality and competitive reality television programming, and there are enough potential viewers to get a show like SYTYCD on TV.
 
I agreed with everything in the full post Silver made, except for what I excerpted above. The TV shows and high-visibility comps are a result of the popularity of partner dancing, which has been growing - not the cause thereof. There have been little nodules of interest in various styles that have had small explosions, and i think those explosions made possible the pitching and success of the shows on a mass market level.

One nodule is salsa, which is partially motored by the increasing visibility of Latin cultural products. Tango, ballroom and swing also have their own little webs of interest, with a film or two each and Exposure Moments that capture the ADD-addled popular gaze for a few moments, before it looks to the next thing. Each community can be small, but put them all together, add the mania for reality and competitive reality television programming, and there are enough potential viewers to get a show like SYTYCD on TV.
I'm fine with that... But living in LA I heard someone in the TV business say the first one of this series (I think it was the Fox show) was originally a summer replacement show, and the overall success caught them by surprise. The network had NOT planned on it continuing beyond the summer. They had to scramble to get more shows available for air...

Anyway, I think they reinforced each other so we are saying the same thing. The market was ready for the shows, then the shows expanded the market because people like my Mom thinks those shows are great. (She wasn't interested in dancing but now thinks it's wonderful that I "do that stuff they do on TV...")

I believe the shows have EXPANDED the people getting started, and I agree with you that the market had already grown so the shows just pushed the ball that was already rolling.
 
It’s called being trendy. This happens to many music/dance “scenes.” It happened to hip hop a few years ago and today, it is happening in the electronic/trance/deep house music scene, as well as in the salsa/Latin music scene. (Anyone remember the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy and the surge in country and western music/dancing? I’ll bet all those who grew up on C & W music and dance were annoyed by that!) Trend seekers are too busy chasing after the latest trend/fad to be culturally appreciative of or connected to their latest interest, so they frequently introduce negative values and qualities to the scene. Fortunately, the “many who drop out” of salsa, including some of the latest self-appointed “instructors,” will be the trend seekers who with their “mild ADD,” are bored with salsa and in need of the latest trendy fad to latch onto. Easy come, easy go.
I agree with that... the ADD crowd will stay interested as long as the trend is strong and the will move to the next dance as it's popularity grows. For those of us who love it, hopefully it will remain popular enough to sustain a wide set of clubs. Music, food and dance tend to morph over the years, and it isn't always in a positive direction from my point of view. And what is left will be different than today's version of salsa.

What is popular today is rarely the rage a decade from now. Thankfully some of the ties I used to like in the 80's are coming back in style. :)
 
It’s called being trendy. This happens to many music/dance “scenes.” It happened to hip hop a few years ago and today, it is happening in the electronic/trance/deep house music scene, as well as in the salsa/Latin music scene. (Anyone remember the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy and the surge in country and western music/dancing? I’ll bet all those who grew up on C & W music and dance were annoyed by that!) Trend seekers are too busy chasing after the latest trend/fad to be culturally appreciative of or connected to their latest interest, so they frequently introduce negative values and qualities to the scene. Fortunately, the “many who drop out” of salsa, including some of the latest self-appointed “instructors,” will be the trend seekers who with their “mild ADD,” are bored with salsa and in need of the latest trendy fad to latch onto. Easy come, easy go.
You continue to top yourself in this thread with ridiculous statements. You should be flattered that other people are taking an interest in Latin dance, not offended because they don't hear the music as well as you do. Part of enjoying life is trying new things, and often that entails participating in activities that come from other cultures. We should embrace this kind of multiculturalism, rather than dismiss curious newcomers for their lack of authenticity.

I cannot comprehend why you take so much interest in how other people around you dance. No one is stopping you from dancing in whatever style you wish. Being new to salsa, I probably lack that elusive "sabor" in most of my movements. But I take considerable pains not to get in anyone's way, I pay the cover to get into the club, and I give a decent tip to the valet. Since I have the same right to patronize the club as anyone else, I fail to see how my activities should be of any concern to you.

You seem to have a particularly negative opinion of people who attend a few salsa lessons because it's popular, and then decide it's not for them. I would guess from your comments that you view this as some sign of frivolity on their part. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but most people are not interested in devoting large portions of their time and thought to dance. Of course when a particular style of dance is popular, more people are going to take the time to check out what all the fuss is about. In so doing, some people will fall in love with it, some people will be modestly entertained, and some people will shrug their shoulders and walk the other way. This is an entirely normal part of social behavior, and similar spurts of interest can be observed in other disciplines.

Don't ever forget that the few dancers who can make a living out of their craft are able to do so because dancing is an activity that attracts the interest of the public at large. But maybe that's not your chief concern. I gather that you are more interested in sustaining the salsa club's cultural authenticity. Very well, but you should be aware that some cities (New York at least) have flirted with cabaret laws that threaten the very existence of some of these institutions. Now, which city councilman or councilwoman do you think is going to be more sympathetic to keeping dance clubs operational? The one who took a few salsa lessons, or the one who didn't?

My main point here is that the benefits of any sort of cross-cultural contact far outweigh the extremely subjective stylistic objections you have asserted.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
Nicely put-- just to reinforce your viewpoint, there is no one who is more interested in sustaining the " authenticity " than I, in the genres that I.
teach ( and dance ) .

Have lived and taught, thru all of these " flash in the pan " moments( for more yrs than I care to remember ), and ALL teachers will say-- thank g-- for those moments !!

Our business is driven , by and large, by trends . We are all well aware, that when new people attend classes, the attrition rate , on attendance ,is monumental . The upside of this ?--- there are always that determined few, who continue on, and add to the growing numbers .

As a teacher, I realise that 98% will never be more than average, at best .
Thats OK!! .We never know, from the classes we teach, what " nuggets " will emerge .
 
DanceDude. I agree with you.

I am a Latin. I have been an inmigrant for a long time and I know what is to be not welcomed and rejected as a foreigner of a different culture.

It is true, some people and clubs are not "authentic" but this rarely bothers me.

I didn't danced that much at home, in Miami and here I took some lessons to learn the technical part of the moves, and I do them with a lot of "authenticity" and "Sabor" that means flavor, taste, so I put my latin spice in the dance and I get a technical and flashy but yet "authentic" style plenty of dynamic and latin taste.

I go out and dance with all the girls I can. Some like my style, some don't. to each its own. I am happy to share my joy and my love with the ones that want it. And I am happy that this Salsa wave has taken the world by storm. Now I can go out in any city to a dance club and feel good and welcome.

So as a Latin I tell you, you are all welcome, and I am very happy to see so much people interested on my culture.
 
DanceDude. I agree with you.

I am a Latin. I have been an inmigrant for a long time and I know what is to be not welcomed and rejected as a foreigner of a different culture.

It is true, some people and clubs are not "authentic" but this rarely bothers me.

I didn't danced that much at home, in Miami and here I took some lessons to learn the technical part of the moves, and I do them with a lot of "authenticity" and "Sabor" that means flavor, taste, so I put my latin spice in the dance and I get a technical and flashy but yet "authentic" style plenty of dynamic and latin taste.

I go out and dance with all the girls I can. Some like my style, some don't. to each its own. I am happy to share my joy and my love with the ones that want it. And I am happy that this Salsa wave has taken the world by storm. Now I can go out in any city to a dance club and feel good and welcome.

So as a Latin I tell you, you are all welcome, and I am very happy to see so much people interested on my culture.
NOW HEAR THIS (now really i"snt that wonderfull? we need more Andresito"s and Boriken"s...And as a side note i agree with Tangotime
 
You continue to top yourself in this thread with ridiculous statements. You should be flattered that other people are taking an interest in Latin dance, not offended because they don't hear the music as well as you do. Part of enjoying life is trying new things, and often that entails participating in activities that come from other cultures. We should embrace this kind of multiculturalism, rather than dismiss curious newcomers for their lack of authenticity.

I cannot comprehend why you take so much interest in how other people around you dance. No one is stopping you from dancing in whatever style you wish. Being new to salsa, I probably lack that elusive "sabor" in most of my movements. But I take considerable pains not to get in anyone's way, I pay the cover to get into the club, and I give a decent tip to the valet. Since I have the same right to patronize the club as anyone else, I fail to see how my activities should be of any concern to you.

You seem to have a particularly negative opinion of people who attend a few salsa lessons because it's popular, and then decide it's not for them. I would guess from your comments that you view this as some sign of frivolity on their part. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but most people are not interested in devoting large portions of their time and thought to dance. Of course when a particular style of dance is popular, more people are going to take the time to check out what all the fuss is about. In so doing, some people will fall in love with it, some people will be modestly entertained, and some people will shrug their shoulders and walk the other way. This is an entirely normal part of social behavior, and similar spurts of interest can be observed in other disciplines.

Don't ever forget that the few dancers who can make a living out of their craft are able to do so because dancing is an activity that attracts the interest of the public at large. But maybe that's not your chief concern. I gather that you are more interested in sustaining the salsa club's cultural authenticity. Very well, but you should be aware that some cities (New York at least) have flirted with cabaret laws that threaten the very existence of some of these institutions. Now, which city councilman or councilwoman do you think is going to be more sympathetic to keeping dance clubs operational? The one who took a few salsa lessons, or the one who didn't?

My main point here is that the benefits of any sort of cross-cultural contact far outweigh the extremely subjective stylistic objections you have asserted.
After previous criticisms regarding my post, I made a real effort with this latest post to express my opinion in a matter consistent with the guidelines of this forum. In that spirit, my latest post was not personally directed at you or anyone else, but apparently I cannot say the same about yours. It is my understanding that name calling ("you" this and "you" that and "ridiculous") and personal attacks are not consistent with the guidelines of this forum.
 
After previous criticisms regarding my post, I made a real effort with this latest post to express my opinion in a matter consistent with the guidelines of this forum. In that spirit, my latest post was not personally directed at you or anyone else, but apparently I cannot say the same about yours. It is my understanding that name calling ("you" this and "you" that and "ridiculous") and personal attacks are not consistent with the guidelines of this forum.
i agree with r/r.
 
After previous criticisms regarding my post, I made a real effort with this latest post to express my opinion in a matter consistent with the guidelines of this forum. In that spirit, my latest post was not personally directed at you or anyone else, but apparently I cannot say the same about yours. It is my understanding that name calling ("you" this and "you" that and "ridiculous") and personal attacks are not consistent with the guidelines of this forum.
Indeed, I posted in direct response to a number of criticisms you have elaborated on in this forum. If you revisit my post, you'll notice that I never attacked you personally, although I did describe your *opinions* as being ridiculous. But I didn't just leave it at that--I went on to explain exactly why I disagreed with you. You were free to object to any of the remarks that I made. But instead of addressing any of my points, you've chosen to call "foul" and hide behind the forum guidelines. Well, that's fine too, but I think it sheds some light on the substance behind your criticisms.
 

tj

New Member
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