Salsa dancers towards Ballroom dancers doing salsa.

ajiboyet

Well-Known Member
#21
ALL dances have some " rules ", and salsa is no exception. IF you mean there is no written format, then I will agree, but, there are certain foundation principles ,that exist, and to avoid/ignore them, then they may undermine all else you dance in salsa.
I agree completely; maybe I didn't express my sentiments correctly.

For me, while dancing socially, the most important things are to lead clearly and to ensure the lady has a good time, enjoys herself. Of course there is a method to making that happen, which is where the rules come in.

But I don't (and I suspect most guys don't) need to worry about pretty, pointed feet. Hehehehe...that's for Latin moments.
 

ajiboyet

Well-Known Member
#24
So you don´t have a working dress with two-coloured zapatos and a stylish hat?
Buhahahahahaha!

I usually just wear a dress shirt and dress pants and this really comfy, flexible pair of leather shoes I own...definitely not Zapatos...and no hat...both my arm and lady's arm pass over my head too frequently for a hat to stay on...LOL
 
#27
Very interesting discussion!

I've been to Arthur Murray to find out about salsa and Argentinian Tango. Both dances were not on the form that they gave me to fill out. It was a form to rate my interest in each type of dance, so I had to add slasa, AT and bachata, and rate them as 'A'. However, they said they teach these 3 types too. Because they are probably the biggest dance school in the world, I thought at first it should be true, but now thinking maybe what they are specialised at is BR salsa which might be quite distinct to the one danced in clubs.

They recommended me to do several other BR dances along with salsa specially cha cha and rumba as they will help in learning salsa better and quicker, according to them. They consider cha cha and rumba as major dances from which salsa was originated, unlike what social dancers do in playing a single cha cha song among several salsa songs.

What you guys think?
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#28
thinking maybe what they are specialised at is BR salsa which might be quite distinct to the one danced in clubs.

They recommended me to do several other BR dances along with salsa specially cha cha and rumba as they will help in learning salsa better and quicker, according to them. They consider cha cha and rumba as major dances from which salsa was originated, unlike what social dancers do in playing a single cha cha song among several salsa songs.

What you guys think?
The chances are that, you are not being taught a "club" style dance, it will get you by, but the differences will become more obvious given time.
I have coached in some AM studios in the past, where there has been a decent salsa teacher , but that was a rare occasion.

As to origins, theyve kinda got it backwards . Without going into a lot of historical detail, suffice it to say that ,Salsa is a hybrid of Mambo .
Cha cha and rumba, come from different origins within the genre.
 
#29
For some reason, most ballroom dancers in the venue (at least 2/3) have problems staying in the rhythm even in ballroom. In salsa, their problems are much bigger because the music is more complex.
I wish we had more complex music in ballroom, as opposed to the (IMO) more sterilized, strict-tempo stuff that usually gets played. I really admire the richness of the music in non-ballroom dances, like the clave in salsa. I've only ever seen it happen once - ballroom dancers (Pino/Bucciarelli) actually hitting syncopations in the musical sense, to match the timing of a jazz song.
 
#30
... people are limited to small number of basic figures and very limited number of their combinations. So there is not much creativity here, the same small number of actions are repeated forever etc
Actually, I think that starting with a small repertoire is a good way to encourage creativity, experimentation, musicality. During the last 10 minutes of an Argentine Tango For Dummies/Ballroom Dancers class, the instructors took the three basic figures they'd taught us and demonstrated how to play with them to express the music.
 
#31
Depending on the area / competition / DJ I presume. I surely agree that BR music is simplified (compared to some other genres, especially tango), it has strictly defined tempo and simple rhytmical structure. So it's usually a bit funny for me when BR teachers start talking about musicality, because on competitions, everybody is dancing their fixed choreography on the simplified music and there is actually very little room for showing some musicality. I would like to see BR competitions where competitors would be forced to improvise somewhere in the future (like in some other genres)
From Jeanne DeGeyter's page:
...In a Strictly Swing Contest, you select your partner, but the music is selected for you “on the contest floor.” Both of these contests promote “choreography on the fly,” good social dancing skills and proper lead, follow & frame technique.

Dancers are encouraged to dance to the character, timing and hits of the music, rather than execute lengthy patterns “practiced” for presentation. Patterns that look like a routine, and obviously don’t fit the music, are generally scored lower than creative, impromptu
patterns that emphasize the music or lyrics...
I'd love to see a "Strictly Ballroom" contest.
 
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vit

Active Member
#32
I wish we had more complex music in ballroom, as opposed to the (IMO) more sterilized, strict-tempo stuff that usually gets played. I really admire the richness of the music in non-ballroom dances, like the clave in salsa. I've only ever seen it happen once - ballroom dancers (Pino/Bucciarelli) actually hitting syncopations in the musical sense, to match the timing of a jazz song.
My comments were about ballroom music played on the social dancing scene and to most extent even on the competitions. Shows done by good ballroom dancers are another story (for instance WSSDF), there is frequently great musicality shown there on much more complex music, so there is surely much more than one couple capable of doing that
 

vit

Active Member
#33
Actually, I think that starting with a small repertoire is a good way to encourage creativity, experimentation, musicality. During the last 10 minutes of an Argentine Tango For Dummies/Ballroom Dancers class, the instructors took the three basic figures they'd taught us and demonstrated how to play with them to express the music.
There is nothing wrong with using a small repertoire. Actually, salsa dancers that are using big number of complex moves/patterns are frequently giving me a kind of "intermediate feeling". I personally like using smaller number of figures and playing with varieties and with the music (some people agree with me in that and some not)

However, doing that in ballroom is, for some reasons, not that easy and especially on social scene, despite using small number of figures, I usually don't see any creativity
 

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
#34
Salsa is played to extremely strict tempo. There are no retards, changes in tempo like 4/5 etc. Perhaps when you listen to salsa you are listening to the rhythmical elements of percussion etc but they are not changing the tempo...
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#35
Salsa is played to extremely strict tempo. There are no retards, changes in tempo like 4/5 etc. Perhaps when you listen to salsa you are listening to the rhythmical elements of percussion etc but they are not changing the tempo...

Thats fundamentally not correct. " specific e.g..... Clave changes, and,
there are many songs, which do add several other concepts ,i.e. add Cumbia and or Guajira passages, and, increases in speed in songs, are very common .There are even songs , which completely change identity, from salsa to cha cha and back again , completely abandoning the original score .
Colombian salsa ,is notorious for changing to and fro with Cumbia, 2 separate and distinct rhythms . ( sad to say, most people dont get it ! ) .
 

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
#36
tempo is beats per minute. Clave can change but tempo does not change because clave changes. I agree that speed changes in many songs simply because energy changes from the musicians thop...
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#37
Salsa is played to extremely strict tempo. There are no retards, changes in tempo like 4/5 etc...
Salsa music is a big market and so you´ll unfortunately find a bulk of trivial pieces up to stereotypic pop songs, of course.

But there are a lot of complex pieces, with varying, concurring, perplexing and shifting rhythms.
 
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tangotime

Well-Known Member
#38
tempo is beats per minute. Clave can change but tempo does not change because clave changes. I agree that speed changes in many songs simply because energy changes from the musicians thop...
That was not what I implied ( I hope ) it was given to show that ,the "music " is not static, and, and beats per minute ,do change, frequently in many songs ( even some that actually slow down ). Cumbia insertions convert to syncopated bars , again. showing that salsa music does have "speed " changes . I have in my library ,songs that even include tango . ( one of Tito Rojas numbers, opens with one ) .

And, unless Im incorrect, is it the leader who designates changes in style and speed ? ( pre rehearsed, unless its descarga ) but not the musicians per se .
 

bookish

Active Member
#39
Salsa is played to extremely strict tempo. There are no retards, changes in tempo like 4/5 etc. Perhaps when you listen to salsa you are listening to the rhythmical elements of percussion etc but they are not changing the tempo...
Doesn't "strict tempo" refer to the selection of songs only within an extremely narrow tempo range? Not an individual song having a consistent beat. Most non-ballroom dances do have much more variety in their music, both in tempo and in the presence of breaks and more interesting phrasing and sectionality.
 

bookish

Active Member
#40
Actually, I think that starting with a small repertoire is a good way to encourage creativity, experimentation, musicality. During the last 10 minutes of an Argentine Tango For Dummies/Ballroom Dancers class, the instructors took the three basic figures they'd taught us and demonstrated how to play with them to express the music.
Using a small repertoire encourages creativity if you can improvise off of that repertoire, with variations, different timings, etc. In syllabus ballroom, you are not allowed to change more than some minor aspects of the step, and the overall emphasis is more on "correct" (i.e. same) execution of the figures. Of course, if you are not competing in syllabus, you can technically do what you want, but I find that the stricture of syllabus competition is so ingrained in the teaching and culture of ballroom that many beginning/intermediate dancers are convinced that you "cannot" vary ballroom steps.
 

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