What’s WRONG with salsa?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by SDsalsaguy, Mar 24, 2004.

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  1. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I agree -- Salsa music and dancing have been around for so many years because, in general, most people think of Salsa dancing as a fun recreational activity.

    It's just a matter of what you're looking for -- if you want to see egos, yes, there are plenty of egos in the scene. But, if you want to see people who are in it for fun, they're out there, too, in even greater numbers, I believe. The general perception may be skewed because the dancers with the egos tend to be the most conspicuous -- using the flashiest moves, wearing the flashiest clothes, going to the most popular clubs, picking the spots on the dance floor with the highest visibility, etc. However, as a practical matter, there simply aren't enough of those people to keep Salsa alive. At its core, Salsa needs people who think of it as fun, and who visit the clubs for socializing, or attend concerts by various musicians, or buy the music to play at their house parties, wedding receptions, etc.
  2. Don Silver

    Don Silver Member

    You have it right... Dancing and teaching are two different skills.

    Being a great instructor doesn't always mean you are a great dancer and vise-versa. In just as many cases, the best dancers are NOT the best teachers. Many great dancers do teach, mostly because people ask them to "show me how you do that" and are willing to pay for the information.

    Many excellent dancers learn things organically and they may be able to show someone what they are doing, but breaking it down or having an exercise to build up to a move isn’t always something they have mastered.

    Look at other athletic activities. Olympic coaches can rarely perform at the level of the athletes they are coaching. There are hundreds of examples in professional sports where an athlete can do but can’t coach/teach as well.

    Great teachers can be great dancers, and great dancers can be great teachers, but a common mistake is assuming if I’m a great teacher I’ll be a great dancer (and vise-versa). A few people are both, but most are stronger at one or the other.
  3. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I'd have to disagree... just a bit!

    Sometimes all one wants is having fun... one never thinks one will end up teaching or performing!

    And this is my case. I started out as a (hopeless) two-left-feet dancer... now I teach and perform at international congresses! It has never occurred to me I could, while I was struggling to keep the basic! I didn't want it at the time. But that was 6 years ago... long time huh? Last year I've started performing, after so many years of saying "Salsa is not for performances, it is for fun!". Now I feel the same about Salsa, yet perform. :)
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Just thought of a prime e.g.-- Tom Landry, Dallas Cowboys very successful coach, NEVER played as a pro !!

    Exception that proves a rule, but am in complete agreement that many very good teachers, are just good dancers .

    There are several well known world class dancers in the Ballroom genre, that are less than average at plying their trade .

    As to the Q whats wrong with Salsa ?--- Nothing-- its the people in it !!!
  5. Big10

    Big10 Member

    As a longtime fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I have to make a factual correction by noting that Tom Landry did play professional football for a few years (for the New York Giants).

    However, of course, I think the point is still the same, since although Tom Landry was an adequate player, he never would have made the Hall of Fame based on his playing career -- it was his ability to coach and teach (i.e., bring out the talent in others) that made him a legend.
  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I sit corrected !-- why I had that impression :confused: dont know-- maybe there is another coach with that stat ? ( was a big c.boys fan in the sixties )
  7. tj

    tj New Member

    I think Jimmy Johnson never made it to the pros as a player?
  8. LovingIt28

    LovingIt28 New Member


    I LOVE YOUR POSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    P.S where is a smiley for love when you need it!
  9. timbafreak

    timbafreak New Member


    I agree! I'm not going to name names, but I know 2 dancers that are FANTASTIC dancers, but aren't very good teachers, I think it's because it come naturally to them, so they never had to learn. Then there is a teacher who isn't the greatest dancer I've seen, but can breal down movements like no other!
  10. dancin/dj

    dancin/dj Member

    haaaaa i love this stuff sometimes the older i get,(sometimes i laugh at the arrogant dancers attitude, you see i've seen some of what people call great dancers local and world renown and i dont (really ) think there all that, for one i can personally do and have done some of the really cool lifts and dips, can change timing and be on time with the music like there aint no tommorow(i"ve been a musican for 35 years) anyway i know some of you hate by now, lol, anyway, i think that a lot of the dancers & actors from the 20"s to the 60's here in america were much better dancer"s in a broad sense of the word and a lot of the arrogant ones of today are not all that and a bag of chips, and besides in my opinion if you dont have the warmth with the great moves your blowing you no a what out your... have your time in the sun fools for someday(life span 5 to 8 years) nobody will give to flying willys about you arrogant ... they will never forget you till somebody new comes around(new kid in town the eagles)
  11. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I would agree , to some extent , about the " attitudes " some portray ( not all ), and yes , as far as dancers from the past ( I happen to be one ), there were some amazing " naturals ", who would grace any floor at any period of time .

    Heres where we part company-- on 2 levels ,--- there are some very very talented dancers/ performers " out " there. This not to say I agree with what is very often displayed as " salsa" , because it , in my mind, would fall into the category of gymnastics !!
    And , just because you are a musician, that does not give you a free pass into the complex world of dance.

    I have taught ( many yrs ago ) 2 world class musicians ( one, a drummer and the other , 1st chair in a symph. orch. ) Neither one could keep on the prescribed beat for more than 4 bars !!
  12. Don Silver

    Don Silver Member

    As you know, most musicians don't dance. Dancing and music are complimentary skills, but mastering body movement is different from mastering an instrument. Showing emotion with one provides an understanding but not the skills needed to work the other.

    If you are a world class dancer, listen to thousands of tunes, understand the music, the structure, the counting, that gives you some great insights.

    But if you sit at a drum set or a piano, you still have a few years of skill development before you can express what you hear in your head.

    Musicians have the same issue when they dance. They understand the music but using their complete body to express emotion is a different skill than using your hands to tickle the keyboard or lay down a great groove on the drums.

    Long term a musician will bring some things to the table and they can become great dancers, but being a musician doesn't usually become an advantage until AFTER they master some basic dance skills.
  13. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    Thanks for that post, it's begun a new chapter for me in thinking about this stuff!
  14. dancin/dj

    dancin/dj Member

    you talking to me? ha ha, ummmmm a free pass? i've been dancing since i was 16 im 50 look 37 ask starry, and i started taking dance lessons 10 years ago, i teach dance(salsa , west coast, hustle and some ballroom) i dj also, however (i thank God for my talents) you only taught 2 musicans, and one is in a symph orch which translates, into, by the book only, please dont try to school me(i only gave my opinion) i know dancers who are musicans that (are good dancers) some yes some no, some musicans think too linear, depends on how open they are, shoot i tryed teach my former vocal teacher how to sing pop(fat chance) she never got it at all, but damm she can sing opera with such control and power, complex world of dance? for who? i agree there are some talented dancers today of course, in all types of dance, but heres all im really saying in context of what was first posted(were i come from and those who were famous(stars in dancing, singing, acting, in short multitalented)) why all the fuss with these arrogant dancers, usually there one trick pony"s in salsa or whatever dance, thats why im not that impressed, in the 40"s to the 70"s you had to be multitalented to get a free pass.
  15. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    So you are actually agreeing with me, or i am agreeing with you ( 1 trick ponies ).

    All teachers ,who are qualified in several divisions, have essentially the same " take " .
    As far as " schooling you ", that was not infered-- it was to make a point, that because one can play a piano, drums teach music, it does not automatically follow that the application of rhythm to movement, comes easy .

    I only quoted you 2 cases,( I have had numerous instances over the yrs,) those 2 just happened to be high profile .
  16. dancin/dj

    dancin/dj Member

    il volpe e furbo(the fox is cunning in italian) hmm we can call it a draw,fair enough your point about those who play instruments, i agree. actually for me ballroom was harder to do in the beginning not because of the timing, but to put the moves together with the timing takes time and practice to feel comfortable and look good,in short i react to these kinds of threads because i"ve see the arrogance in musicans, dancers, and dj, pro and non pro alike, and being someone who does all three(pro) it"s just so funny and ticks me off all in one, because its the same crap in all three groups, worse for the dancer funny worse because time is against a pro dancer, whereas a musican or dj can be overweight not pretty, etc etc but if you dj good music people dont care what u look like and if a musican is very talented the same applys to them(well its hard for me to look at some guys in there 60"s 70"s acting like there in 20"s as far as stage anticts or clothes etc...
  17. RumbaRumbera

    RumbaRumbera New Member

    The Depraved L.A. Salsa Scene

    I live in L.A. and have been dancing salsa for over 10 years. The L.A. salsa scene is getting worse and worse each year. It is dominated by a bunch of rude, inconsiderate, and trashy people who believe their mediocre dancing is top notch. The scene is dominated by men of all ages stuck in adolescence who for the most will prefer an Asian or other girl under 30 with mostly limited dancing skills and dressed like a hooker. These girls chase these guys down for a dance which feeds these male egos already over-inflated by the erroneous belief that they are God's gift to salsa (and trashy girls). Even some of these men are self-appointed "instructors" who have developed their own cliquish following consisting of the aforementioned riff-raff. So if you dance for the love of the music and for the love of the dance, or if you are a mature and self-confident man who is secure in your own ego, or if you are an over-30 self-confident and secure female who refuses to dress like a hooker, or refuses to chase men down for a dance, you're wasting your time and your money trying to meet and dance with decent salseros/as in L.A.!
  18. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    Some of these messages make me glad I'm part of a ballroom scene, rather than a salsa one!
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    well i-j I have a wonderful dance scene down here...if I consider ho wfriendly people are. I'm talking salsa.


    ok. I got to go mow the lawn.
  20. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member


    Sigh!

    Err... .Welcome to DF!
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