how do I stop being bitter an enjoy salsa dancing again?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Austin, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    There are two dancers that really inform my goals as a leader. For anyone who lives/lived in the Bay Area, Steve Rebello could take any, and I mean any, follower, and make her look good. He taught at the Starlight Ballroom, later Danceclub, when I lived in the area. The other is Salomon Rivera, who did a Cross Body Lead that looked so good that I decided it would be much better to do simple figures really well than to do very complex figures.
  2. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I think if the proper English police were on patrol, they would insist on cliquish. Clique is a word from French, and doesn't do so well with being turned into an adjective in the informal American way. ;-)
    dbk likes this.
  3. I admired Salomon. He was one of my first instructors. Just curious what is so special about the way he does his cross body lead? I like the way he dances, but the xbody lead, I don't remember.
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I'm just picking one figure. He did it at big, multi-instructor workshop I attended, after I had already been dancing Salsa for a couple of years. All the other instructors were doing all these crazy arm pretzel moves, and to be honest, he taught much of the same in his workshop. But the basic figures, the cross body lead, they were done so well that they were much more enjoyable to watch than all the complicated stuff.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Not only did I click the "like" button, but... Yeah, man!
  6. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I should also say that later, when I got a private lesson from him and his sister, he joked about the millions of times Ron Montez had him and Sandra review Rumba walks.
  7. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Thanks, really interesting. And what would you suggest for in-breeding? "inbreedy" ;)
  8. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Inbred :)
  9. Austin

    Austin New Member

    In like manner, I attended a Cuban salsa congress in Miami. One of the lessons the instructor never completed cuz he spent have the class breaking down not only how to do the cross body lead, but how to look good doing it...

    It was more valuable than learning the actually pretzel pattern we were suppose to learn.
  10. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Also spelt cliquey, i.e. clique with a y added to the end.
  11. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    hmmm...I would say excellent partner dancers are excellent leaders. I don't get the distinction. If I wanted to comment on a particular aspect of a dancer I would say he is excellent as he has great body movement, musical interpretation etc. If I say someone is a great dancer I include leading as part of that definition. Leading is so fundamental to partner dancing that I would never say a poor or mediocre leader is a excellent dancer.
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    My English teacher in a British English school got used to me making words the way I want as long as I knew the correct way. She would spot check me, and if I passed I could continue with my literary license. ;)
  13. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Very true. The beauty of real connection that people hide with a multitude of moves. I have to admit if I don't like a connection I am more likely to do crazy moves. If a person feels fantastic in my dancing I prefer simpler. I didn't intend it to turn out that way but it just so happens to trend like that. Not that they are mutually exclusive, but it is a tendency.
  14. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I've seen lots of dancers in salsa troupes. They can be great dancers in a choreographed routine, or even doing their shines in front of a partner, but still not be so good leading. Now, if you get specific, and say, as you do here, "partner dancers", then, yes, I agree, an excellent partner dancer is of necessity an excellent leader.
  15. basicarita

    basicarita Member

    "Appear to be" is the key phrase here.

    I don't like to dance with leads like that, because, as TT said -- they don't adjust to me at all; they don't care anything about what *I* want.

    And it's more likely someone like that is going to try something that could dislocate my shoulder, because he isn't paying attention to my skill level.

    So I try to observe before I dance with anyone I don't know, and avoid people like that.
  16. Christine

    Christine New Member

    If I can offer you some advice from the female perspective. I'm a very advanced dancer, I'm very attractive, and getting guys to ask me to dance has never been a problem. But, I have also left the salsa scene for this very reason. I love the dance, but the social aspects surrounding it make it feel like you're in high school again. There's really only two experiences: 1. You take salsa seriously and want to get better so you find people who are like-minded---- and they happen to be MUCH older and of various cultural backgrounds. OR 2. You are interested in finding a young crowd to dance with in efforts to improve your skills, and it's a meat market (in LA, overwhelmingly Latino). The people are hotter, but much more superficial. As a female, I've come to appreciate the male dancers who have a great style rather than a bunch of fancy moves. In fact, I steer clear of the instructors because they have massive egos and end up throwing me around like we're playing crack the whip. It's just not fun. Best advice I can give you is to find a significant other and take lessons with her. You'll always have a partner to go with and won't have to worry about competing against the other guys. otherwise, find a woman who is interested in taking lessons with you or just going out to practice. And do make sure you smell good and dress well (don't dress like a douche, it only embarrasses us, no matter how good a dancer you are).
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Thats a pretty broad " brush " you are using !.. ANY "prof ". whos been well trained,I dont believe would resort to those tactics.

    The operative word here, is, " Teacher ?" .
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  18. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Welcome to DF, Christine.

    tangotime, in fairness to Christine, from what I've observed in west coast Salsa communities, there is an emphasis, particularly on the part of "teachers", on complicated figures. Of course, these teachers are successful, because this is what their students are looking for, fancy, arm-tangly figures. These look impressive to people that are less experienced, and can't distinguish the finer points of musical expression.

    But thanks for making me think about this.

    Most of the teachers I've watched around here, their Salsa, which such heavy focus on arm tricks, and so little expression of the music in their feet and their bodies, it makes it look like hustle being danced to Salsa music sometimes.

    I never enjoyed doing Salsa shines, I always so much preferred staying in partnership, but I realize now the value that learning and doing shines provide in forcing a dancer to express the music more.
  19. ronalds

    ronalds Member


    Remember that social dancing is different from class dancing. Like what I read once about Fred Astaire. Ginger was not as good a dancer as him, but she showed that she loved dancing with him.(just showed it on her face...)

    Because of this, girls got jealous at the fun she was having with him, and guys got jealous because most girls wanted to have that type of fun!!!!

    The variety you have on the floor increases your circle and you could have more options elsewhere when dancing as now you would know them too, also others will notice you dancing with so many that they will wonder why all girls want to dance with "him".... Remember that if you show fancy steps on the floor, you will scare of potential partners that dont dance as they think you only want to dance with well trained dancers
  20. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Smiling is not dancing.

    ronalds, why would I NOT do 'fancy steps'? I am there to enjoy MY dancing too, and the truth is that perhaps I do NOT want to dance with everyone... I just want to dance with those who I am compatible dancing with. For me, quality of dance is the bar that I raise. I can certainly imagine that some women decide who they will deign to dance with based on the potential partner's looks or smile, but fyi these are not the people I would want to dance with anyways...

    "Fancy' is relative anyway... and what looks hot in one venue can look small or mediocre in another... or on another person.

    Trying to impress anyone is a path to failure in dance.

Share This Page