Salsa > How to practise body-isolation?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by HM, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. HM

    HM New Member

    It seems that a good body control gets more important, especially for afro-cuba movements. I'd like to do better on that - but how???!!

    Sometimes my whole body is stiff and than everything is kind of exaggerated and not connected :(
    Any helpful hints?

    Thanks a lot
  2. africana

    africana New Member

    it's hard to describe in writing, but essentially focus on moving various parts of the body ALONE
    - single shoulder rotations
    - rotating alternating shoulders
    - ribcage stretches, to front, to back, to right, to left extending as far in each direction as possible. Then try different combinations of all 4, some circular motions

    Should be able to do these upper body isolations without moving arms, elbows, or lower body (hips), also have the chest up/out as much as possible

    I find some directions are harder for me now when I focus on single isolations. But the overall use for body movement and styling to afro-latin music still comes natural

    the best advice I can give is to take a physical class a few times, from an instructor in afro/cuban/latin dances, and then maybe use videos. They focus a lot on getting the right upper body movements which is great training
  3. BrookeErin

    BrookeErin New Member

    take a belly dancing class... it's done wonders for me... or watch a video
    belly dancing is Fun and all about body isolation.
  4. Lookin good :wink:

    I'm still looking for a belly dance partner. :lol:
  5. SalsaAmore

    SalsaAmore New Member

    It's all about practice, practice and more practice. Practice until it's part of you. Not something you have to think about or manipulate manually. You should be in auto-drive whenever you do it. Taking classes will help - such as Jazz, Afro-Haitian and even Hip-hop. Any of these classes will have body isolation warm-ups and routines built into the class each time it meets. If it doesn't then that's the wrong class for you. But, practicing on your own, constantly, until you feel you've mastered it is your best option.
  6. mambonewb

    mambonewb New Member

    You also might want to check out "Latin Technique" classes at your local dance studio.
  7. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I agree it's all about practice.
    Stand in front of a large mirror and practise single isolations slowly -- shoulders (individually and together), ribcage, hips. Make sure you are only moving the part of your body you are focusing on. Do linear movements (up/down, forward/back, side to side, etc.) first, then join them together (four corners -- forward-up-back-down, forward-left-back-right, etc.) before moving on to full rotations. Once you know how all these movements feel to your body, you can commit them in your muscle memory as you increase speed (double time, triple time...) and work on smoothness.
  8. digitalguy2k

    digitalguy2k New Member

    Shaka Brown

    I do not know the website off the top of my head, but Shaka Brown out of DC has a DVD out on body isolation. If I can find the site, I'll post it up here. But I'm going to get a few of his releases. I already have some of Edie and Al, Juan Calderon, and an old Salsa Brava DVD. They've all helped but none were on body islolation.

  9. HM

    HM New Member

    Thank you very much at all!
    and digitalguy2k I think I found the DVD by googling it (advanced vol.1)

    I'll try and practice, practise, practise.. :)

    The DF is really nice community, it's good to be with you :wink:
  10. africana

    africana New Member

    Addie Rodriguez of Razz M Tazz covers ALL these isolations, including hip isolation exercises in the video "Level III Ladies Styling Workshop", part of the series of 7 videos - I just watched it, good practice :)
  11. Paou

    Paou New Member

    On the topic of practice, I tend to practice single isolations but I also try to practice 'combinations' of isolations.

    I seem to spend half my life surfing, downloading free salsa videos... then I watch them and try and find movements I think look nice. Then I stand looking in the mirror and try and figure out what combination of muscles and moves I need to do to get the same effect. I've learned a hell of a lot that way.
  12. kdogg

    kdogg New Member

    Re: Shaka Brown

    Shaka's instructional DVDs are found on this website:

    The body isolation routine is on Vol 3.
  13. africana

    africana New Member

    I started taking a Congolese dance class today. let me just say WOW!!!!

    Every single body isolation you can think of, we did it, from head to toe literally :D :D
    I know my body's gonna hurt tomorrow
  14. genEus

    genEus New Member

    Sekou has a great new DVD on body isolation. It is really really awesome, he breaks the body down part by part: feet, hips, shoulders, arms, body rolls. Google for it.
  15. Lofland

    Lofland New Member

    Sekou's dance company's site is

    You can find Sekou's DVD at

    I haven't seen the DVD, but I took two workshops from him at the Houston Salsa Convention earlier this year. I also got some great video of him dancing with Griselle Ponce at the recent NY Salsa Congress. He's really amazing, one of my favorite pros. He really seems to have a blast when he's dancing. You can also see that in some videos from the DC Salsa Congress, when i remember the site for those I'll post it.
  16. yola

    yola New Member

    took a workshop with him this weekend (UK congress)... Wow, this man can move his body.. amazing.
    amazing show as well. realllyyyy loved the way they moved, great choreography too.
  17. HF

    HF New Member

    Maybe consider taking some rhumba privates with a cuban native (be sure you find one that really can move and teach). Works wonders.
  18. mambochino

    mambochino New Member

    Take afro cuban body seperation class. I also recommend Shaka brown Vol. 3 with shines & body seperation.
  19. ash88

    ash88 New Member

    I'm interested in it, but i don't see anything to differentiate this DVD from any other DVD on body isolations.

    Does it offer anything unique? What makes the DVD "really awesome"?
  20. genEus

    genEus New Member

    It is really awesome by itself, not in comparison to other body motion DVDs, since I haven't seen any. Although I can tell you that I took two body motion workshops this weekend, one of them being with James Cobo, but, as awe-inspiring as he is a dancer, I didn't feel I got as much detail or body broken down part by part as I did from Sekou's DVD on my first watch. But, of course, I can't speak for other *DVD's* out there...

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