Dancing with people and the dancing community...

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by etchuck, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    just one beso!?!.. i'd think besos y besitos would be so much more approriate.. followed by timely adios moving on to the next dame :lol:
  2. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    besos and besitos are fine... adios no!
  3. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Okay, I'll crank a couple of turns. Everyone else seems to get the right point that the focus is to make sure we don't exclude beginners. The more cliquish we get, the less likely we'll be able to share the love of (salsa) dancing.


    Well... that explains why some guys who start out dancing don't "practice." :)

    Or learn to lead...

    Well, Linford runs as a "professional", so that's not quite the point. Linford doesn't run to express himself.

    On the idea of "forcing people" to dance. You shouldn't be forcing anyone to turn, forcing a follower to do the moves YOU want to do, forcing yourself to lead patterns you like that are beyond the scope of the follower. Sure everyone has the right to say "no", but if you alienate someone, that person is going to tell other people, "I didn't really like going to salsa dancing because no one danced with me." Or "don't go to this lounge because the people there would rather dance with people they know." Or "the guys there are only interested in you if you doll up and then they'll molest you on the floor with their moves."

    Everyone was once a beginner. Some really excellent dancers may also have horrible technique and frame (I have noticed). If you're not interested in making sure you SHARE your enjoyment for dancing, then by all means keep dancing up the chain of command. Of course, this assumes the people above you want to dance with you too.

    Is this a problem in other dance communities? I don't know where you are, but the swing community here is huge. The advanced dancers identify the new people and they make an effort to dance once with that person. Maybe more than once. The example for advanced dancers to dance with with newcomers has been established in the swing community here, and thus, everyone dances with everyone. As a result, swing is huge... and I mean huge. Salsa does not have as strong a following, partly because in my opinion you have the attitudes listed above. It's okay personally, but remember your decision not to dance multiplied by many more dancers who think like you result in a very alienating experience. Believe me, I should know (even as an experienced dancer).
  4. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator


    very well said etchuck!!! Very well said!!!!
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Though I barely do salsa, some of the present issues seem completely general across all types of dancing

    I disagree... unless someone hates their job and feels really out of place, doing it well most likely is a form of self expression.

    If someone's idea of dancing is fast spins that require expert following, perhaps they really are in a different hobby than the casual social dancer. We might say they have an implied duty to work with beginners... but are the beginners in their field those who take the lesson before the social? Or are the beginners in their field those who hang out somewhere talking about and trying fast spins?

    Or I might say that my field is not so much social dancing just for the heck of it, but rather enjoying the quality of dancing. I really like dancing with beginners in my field - which is to say people who show interest in improving their dancing, and express joy when they accomplish a new level of comfort and facility. Some people entirely new to dancing are like this (even some who may later slow down to more casual interest), while with other people I feel like there is hardly any commonality of interest at all.
  6. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    I'm just saying that comparing a dancer who wants to be "challenged" by dancing with more-experienced dancers but eschewing less-experienced ones with Linford Christie trying to set world records in track-and-field isn't really analogous. Linford's challenge is strictly one against the clock. Now if we were going to accept this athletic analogy, I'm sure Linford would just be happy doing 100m sprints every 10 minutes. But in order to do his job well, he has to take care of his body by exercising, watching his weight, attaching parachutes to his back and try running, and warming-up prior to his 10 seconds of fame (or whatever).

    I can accept the strict regimen of really devoted dancers too. But this situation is not a critique of that. We're not saying dancers should not try to challenge themselves or push the envelope of their dancing. But if you want to be challenged (and please excuse the formatting coming up...):

    1) Find a partner and go to competitions.
    2) Take private lessons.
    3) Perform more showcases.


    Thank you.

    We're talking about the social floor. It presents different challenges which I personally enjoy... specifically the lead-follow challenge. Many of the people who think I don't need to dance with beginners are the ones I find who have less-than-optimal lead-follow skills (at least in talking to other people who do wind up dancing with them).

    Believe me, I want the person I dance with to come off the floor thinking, "That was the best dance I've had all night." ... no matter what skill level that person is. That's social dancing.

    If you want to do the fancy stuff, do it with your practice or competitive partner. Practice it on your own time. That's all I'm saying.

    Everything else Chris said, I don't have an issue with... yet. ;)
  7. Cats

    Cats New Member

    I agree etchuck. Everyone who shows at an event deserves an opportunity to dance. It was painful for me when I started Salsa dancing. Now that I am reasonably versed, I consider it beneath me to dance the whole night with only good dancers. Sometimes I find a "diamond in the rough" a beginning lady who follows naturally.

    BTW since you are from NC tell Lexi "Hello".


    John, aka PrinceofCats
  8. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    I hear ya, Etchuck and totally agree. :)
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I disagree. Rather, I think that everyone who shows interest in a particular style of dancing within the scope of an event deserves a fair opportunity to dance with others present who also are interested in that sort of dancing. If I show up at a salsa dance, I shouldn't expect an opportunity to dance foxtrot, and I shouldn't really expect people to enjoy dancing with me if I halfheartedly dance salsa while giving the impression that I'd rather be dancing foxtrot. Likewise, you shouldn't expect to enjoy dancing a foxtrot with me at a ballroom event unless you display a real interest in giving that dance a serious effort. But if you do act (especially in the long term) like it's something you are really interested in, I'll happily dance with you no matter what your level.

    This is where the the other half of the issue comes in - you were really interested in learning to be a good salsa dancer, so t would have been nice if more advanced dancers could have recognized that and found ways to encourage you - primarily by dancing with you. But if you had instead hypothetically been going to events primarily to drink and try to get indecently close to partners while clumsily treating pretending to dance as the price of admission - or even showing up with no more real interest than a desire to avoid spending a Friday night in front of the TV, then they'd be quite justified in ignoring you in favor of those who were there to really dance.
  10. Cats

    Cats New Member

    Well I don't know about the analogy of dancing a fox trot, it would seem that a ballroom event would be more apropos then a Salsa event for that type of dancing. But yeah some people aren't there to dance. Usually they tell me no, when I ask them to dance. Or they will say that they really don't know how to Salsa. Also, almost all of our events in Philadelphia aren't worth the cover charge unless you really are a dancer. No big recording bands, just some DJ flipping disks.

    Aside from that how does one know who wants to dance and who wants to just hang? it's hard. Some people took the lesson. Most people there are there to dance. So yes you are correct, only serious dancers should dance, but the person I am dancing with probably is a serious,though not necessarily the most experienced, dancer.

  11. dancin/dj

    dancin/dj Member

    hey cats i love that saying( just some dj flipping disks) lol,most dj"s would be insulted but i think thats funny as all get out-and on the down low agree :lol:
  12. Cats

    Cats New Member

    Thanks Ken, you are the exception to that rule, it's worth a $25 cover charge to hear your Salsa selection.

    >^..^<

  13. dancin/dj

    dancin/dj Member

    thanks john,the checks in the mail lol,check out general dance section for the post on dj"s
  14. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I just saw this. The issue with so many posters and so many posts! :oops: Take note defers.
  15. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Newest wrinkle

    I'm reviving this post to give an update to the story and to ask for advice.

    So we have on our campus a Latino heritage cultural group that has a rueda performance team. This group has used our dances in the past to try to recruit people interested in joining their performance team, which requires auditions and is closed.

    Anyway, they have expressed concern that our group is teaching salsa to students on campus. I'm not sure exactly why that is the case, but oh well. Apparently they are even more disturbed that we have a group in our constituency that wants to learn rueda, but because of the closed shop nature of the rueda perf team, they cannot learn it with that club. So our dance club members are asking us to teach basic rueda steps for a short period of time. We asked the people in charge of that performance troupe to see if they would be interested in helping us, and their response was that we would be stepping on their territory.

    I'm a bit intrigued on what we should do. Obviously this group wants to claim ownership of a style of dance, and will do anything to try to recruit people to take part in their lessons. They are not willing to reciprocate any kind gestures that we give for them by telling others about our normal classes to learn salsa or even give their performers more essentials in technique. Basically, they're acting as if we're intruding upon them rather than seeing this as an opportunity to create a dance community in rueda and salsa.

    Your thoughts are well appreciated.
  16. Vin

    Vin New Member

    Hi etchuck, sorry to hear about this situation. It seems so illogical of them. Anyways here are my suggestions for circumventing these turf wars.
    They don't seem to understand that your main motivation is to actually have salsa and that if they provided enough salsa this would not happen. Have you considered asking members of the performance team to teach the lessons? Or maybe even asking them to perform beforehand to demonstrate what rueda can look like?
    I think that if they are asked to be included then you might have less turf war problems and ultimately more salsa which is the goal anyways.
  17. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    They were asked in terms of providing instruction for or even gauge interest in attending additional lessons, and the response to that suggestion was as described above (i.e., claiming it's "their dance").

    In addition to that, we do have a world-famous Feather winner as our salsa and swing instructor. I had waited until this year to provide an intermediate salsa class for which she is the instructor.
  18. Vin

    Vin New Member

    Sorry, I missed that part of the above post. Maybe someone else in the group is more reasonable. I say just teach it and tell them about it. If they are unwilling to spread the knowledge of salsa/rueda then someone has to.

    When we started the salsa club alot of the latin groups felt we were intruding on there turf as well but after a couple of months they realized that what we were doing was truly a service.
    good luck with this situation.
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Same here. Go ahead. There are close who are territorial, for one reason or another, unreasonably so. This sounds just like your rueda performance group. I would go ahead with what you have started doing.
  20. jon

    jon Member

    Re: Newest wrinkle

    Since moving to NC, Debbie has gained lots of experience in dealing with ensconced dance teachers who think they "own" a dance community and whose reaction to a superior product is to try to cut the teacher out, not to improve their own product. Suggest you chat with her and get her advice.

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