What else can salsa borrow from the Dancesport world?

SDsalsaguy said:
Just for the record MM, I have shown up to a salsa club in a full tux!
And replying to Squirrel's remark: I have gone to McDonald's in a full tux before too (and not one of those "Beverly Hills" McD's either). :)
I was astonished last time I bought dance clothes in a sports shop. The border between ordinary and dance/sports clothes seems to vanish.

I found a pair of black trousers with excellent breathing quality that looked like “normal” trousers. Together with a jacket I can go to the office and no one will see that the trousers are made by one of the greatest providers of sport clothes. The logotype is almost invisible. My latest top – bought at the same shop - is of “nightclub style”. The loggo is printed with a black embossed types at the black background. You have to know its there to see it.

These elegant and very comfortable breathing clothes has been my “standard outfit” when dancing this summer. Ordinary “nice-looking-clothes” has been a kind of torture. It has been too hot.

I also found very nice looking “tops” for men which didn’t look like sports clothing. Logotypes discrete and no sporty patterns. I guess you can find that kind of stuff in a golf store. The humidity and temperature at a salsa club must be the same as when playing golf in Miami in summertime. The dress code is often very hard at golf clubs as well. No short sleeves and no shinos etc.

(I don’t know the common word for T-shirts, shirts, button-downs etc. Perhaps you cannot use the word top for men. If there is a common word please tell me!).

I forgot my greates problem when dressing....pockets…
The reason why I always wear trousers is because I need a pocket to put my money and credit card. I don’t want to have money in a handbag I cannot see all the time.

Putting money in the bra can sometimes be a solution. But having coins in that position could put you into trouble… or at least embarrassing situations :oops: . Paper money is OK…but coins… :shock:?... where do I put them....

There is also problem when I try to press down my astma inhalator in the bra.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Does anyone have a solution to this problem?
I’m a bit bored of the limitation to trousers. Skirts seldom have pockets. Ddo I need to “build in” invisible pockets in all nice frocks and skirts I’d like to wear. Or should I get myself a steady dance partner with big pockets?



Active Member
You need one of those dancers wallets all the women at the Congresses wear. They wear it on their arms, kind of an elastic armband with pockets.


Well-Known Member
youngsta said:
You need one of those dancers wallets all the women at the Congresses wear. They wear it on their arms, kind of an elastic armband with pockets.
Ditto!! I don't see why people don't wear it at the local scene. :?
I just love it. Thanks!

From Torres website:

"The elastic straps are adjustable and can be worn comfortably on the arm or leg." :oops:

"The zippered closure keeps everything safe regardless of how crazy you are on the dance floor." :D :D :D

It will be great!

It is my conclusion that the 2 worlds don't understand each other...
I was in dancesport in both Standard and Latin for 5 years. In the meantime I also tried to pick up as much Rhythm and Smooth--the American styles. One of the American latin (Rhythm) dances is Mambo. At the time I hated it. I did well in competitions in it, but just didn't feel it. You were supposed to break on the 2 and 6 but hold/pause/settle on the 1 and 5. It took restraint for me to stay on time.

Then I picked up salsa. I liked it better, because your body was actually doing something on the 1 and 5 at the basic level. Then I got into New York style and found that I didn't have to pause on the stronger accents of the music, 1&5 and 2&6. Actually NewYork salsa is very much like ballroom cha cha without the cha cha.

Anyway I digress...when I did competitive ballroom, the scene looked down upon salsa dancers...they were thought to be messy dancers. Footwork was sloppy. Posture was off. They did not know how to transfer their weight. No concept of frame...

When I got into the salsa world, the salsa dancers looked down upon ballroom dancers too. They were thought to be stiff and robotic...they didn't feel the music. They can't improvise.

Both these worlds have their social scene and competitive scene. I think ballroom's competitive scene is more mature and the dancers are ridiculously good. Salsa's competitive scene does not have the physical talent that ballroom has. Ballroom dancing is meant to be seen, and competitors learn it as a science, so I have to admit it is catchier to the eye. Salsa competitors / show dancers are more funky and have a sense of style so it is also enjoyable.

On the other hand, I think the social scene of salsa is more alive. The structure of salsa allows for creativity both in free style and while connected. The dancers are young, talented and more in tune with the music. The one drawback is that it is not as open as the ballroom scene where it's easier to get a dance.

Anyway these are my ramblings. Salsa as a partner dance can borrow from other dances...argentine tango, WC Swing, as well as dancesport.


Active Member
Hi LionHeart, welcome to DF! :D

Which part of the world are you in? I'm curious mainly because of your comment about the salsa scene being less open than ballroom...


Well-Known Member
Welcome to df Lionheart! :D It does take someone who has participated in both worlds to understand some of teh complex dynamics of these communities. I am interested, though, like MM, in your comment about salsa being less open. Where I am I find that both ballroom and salsa are similar in terms of openess. I am guessing that openess is a function of where you are? Just a guess...
I'm from the US. Thanks for the welcome.

Spent time in Northeastern cities, Boston, DC, NewYork...
But also visited a few salsa scenes in Vancouver, LA, Chicago, Dallas, and Austin...
But yes you guys are right openness has some correlation to location... and I'd add the club you visit has something to do with it too...the Texas cities and LA have a big hispanic population that frequent these clubs just to listen to the band/DJ, drink, and be merry with their friends. Studio dancers stick out like a sore thumb and are somewhat alienated. Boston and NewYork have a crowd that's a little bit more open...although some do give you attitude (in a playful manner)...I really had to work for some dances in NYC...but all in all I feel salseras are on guard of being picked up and are a little bit more threatened by random strangers asking them to dance in a dimly lighted club. The chances are way better at a Congress where it is assumed strangers are there to dance.
Pacion said:
:doh: Let me start again!

What else can salsa borrow from the Dancesport world

Someone/several mentioned that one of the things they love about salsa is the freedom and ability to do your own thing/be individual. YET I ask you, you have a room of salsa dancers just going through the motions, at the same 200 miles an hour, not interpreting or listening to the music, all dancing with bland faces and don't they look the same to you (even if they are doing different patterns/shines)?

Posture is certainly one thing salsa could borrow. Okay, maybe not the very arched back as you have with ballroom but still, a straight back! Uses of the arms. The lines of the feet - where appropriate, the ladies' foot should be pointed rather than the heel first which does look ugly irrespective of whether she is doing 1,000 consecutive spins.

What about dips? Again, this one is on the ladies but I have seen ones where the ladies knees are so far apart, as the spectator you don't know where to look and it looks uncomfortable.
I stopped reading here. Why would you assume everyone that dances to "Salsa" music is a dancer? Some people are just having fun. Those are the ones who are all over the place, off beat, don't focus on pivot, etc. That's your mom and pop dancing style. People dance all over the world but it doesn't make them professionals. I'm trying to figure out what you mean by "Salsa" borrowing from Ballroom. To my knowledge, "Mambo" not salsa, has been around long before Arthur Murray. And Murray didn't know how to dance. He just did steps like a robot. Yet he opened the doors for non-latinos to follow steps. Without Mambo, Ballroom could not exist as you know it. You might have a country, two-step, Paso Fino, Tango or American style of dance, but no "Latin Music aka Mambo". Just take Mambo out of the picture and What will Ballroom look like? So who really came first? As the old saying goes, "when you think it's new....it's already been done over and over" you just don't know it. Before RUEDA was called Rueda, people were exchanging partners and going around in circles at the Cheetah Nightclub in the 70s. I was there and saw it. It was a way of sharing/including people that were left out at the edge of the dance floor without a partner. You really can't compare Ballroom's beautiful sport of dancing to a group having a good time who probably will never seriously take "Mambo" as an art form. How about the disco clubs? Everyone on the dance floor is having a good time, but you can always spot the best. Why assume everyone has to or should dance like the best?

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
Hey guys, it is a two way street! We actually like stealing patterns from salsa and try putting them into our competitve routines. This works well for foxtrot and tango...they just looks goofy in waltz though. But there are quite a few "tricks" that we have gotten from wathing great salsa.

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