What’s WRONG with salsa?

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

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  1. blink

    blink New Member

    Well, I am not a beginner. I have danced with most of the top Salsa pros in LA, competed at different levels and performed at the LA Congress. I have been dancing for 20 years and have been doing Salsa for at least 7 years.

    I think the truth is somewhere in between the scene "sucks" and "wow, everyone is sooooo nice." Attitude and ignorance is everywhere. Salsa is really no worse than lets say the WCS scene. For some reason people get attitudes based on very little real world evidence and support. I have to check myself sometimes when I get weird.

    Who knows why it is that way but if you want to go out dancing you have to, I think, deal with it. It is real, but then deal with it.

    Good discussion though. Thanks!
     
  2. blink

    blink New Member

    BTW if I'm being ignored I don't think the solution is to ask those same people to dance.[/QUOTE]

    I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. I think it is important BUT.....

    I think my perspective on "being ignored" is not always correct. LOTS of times it may be, but for goodness sakes, I know I am not a mind reader (unfortunately!!). My insecurities (which are infinite, btw) cloud the way I interpret situations and I can judge people the wrong way.

    So I say "screw it" and ask. I am not there for anyones' approval, I am there to DANCE!!!

    But it is a good point that you are making. Really. I wish people would check themselves and their egos more. Oh well.......
     
  3. carrigallen

    carrigallen New Member

    Not to sound culturally biased, but I think part of this intrinsic self-interest of the dancers may derive from the hispanic cultural routes of salsa, the "machismo" attitude and male pride which is celebrated in many cultures. After all, a dance form given to display and innuendo does not draw the most modest people! It tends to draw people who are more 'into themselves' than average, I would think. That said, I think the most enjoyable dances are with the modest people, not the arrogant ones.
     
  4. ArtsySalsera

    ArtsySalsera New Member

    Good point. Note to self:…Go further than NYC next time…
    Wow! Ugh! I was gonna come out there to dance in a new place but never mind now. [​IMG]
    OMG! You sound soooo much like me that it’s scary. My sentiments exactly. [​IMG]
    Psssst, I’ll tell you a secret…..Don’t tell anyone…..Lately, after I get dressed and get to the door to go out dancing, sometimes, sometimes I turn around and [​IMG] go do something else, so I don’t have to deal with it…. but I’ll always love the dance itself…No, there’s nothing wrong with salsa dancing itself. Hmmmm….I wonder what ballroom is like. [​IMG]

    For me, this is what I’m doing when I go out dancing….
    to have fun, learn, grow and to not stay static in my dancing.

    Question:
    If you’ve danced with 2 or 3 noobies in a row and another noobie asks you to dance but you’re aching to dance with so and so whose attention you almost have, what do you yourselves usually do? Just curious....

    BTW:
    I very much appreciate this thread and the viewpoints I share with many people on it.
    It's very comforting to read all of your posts. Thanks, SDsalsaguy for initiating this thread.
     
  5. Big10

    Big10 Member

    I'd accept the invitation because, personally, I don't decline unless I've already promised to dance with someone else or I'm so tired that I have to sit the entire song out. Then I ask that person (who I had to decline) at the next available opportunity.

    The reasons behind that include (1) I don't like to turn anybody down, (2) I remember what it was like getting turned down as a newbie, (3) I'm a leader so it's rarer for women to do the asking, and (4) I go out dancing enough so if I miss one of my favorites this time around, the odds are pretty good that I'll see that person on a different night relatively soon, anyway.

    If those factors don't stop you from turning down the newbie (perhaps because you really are that close to dancing with "so and so"), then maybe you could say, "I'm waiting to dance with [so and so], but I'll be happy to dance with you after that." Then it would be nice if you actually made an effort to find the newbie afterwards. Like most other guys who decided to stick with Salsa, I remember the people who were nice to me (and the people who were cold to me) along the way.
     
  6. ArtsySalsera

    ArtsySalsera New Member

    I usually do the latter, thanks.
    I was just curious about others.
     
  7. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Trouble here is that I find my best dances are with THE most "demonstrative" dancers. This isn't the same as arrogant, but can tend to get muddled if the leader isn't secure or decent. Demonstrative... I met a new guy who pronounces all his movements and telegraphs his intentions with such aplomb, such charisma and clarity and a certain amount of exaggeration, that it' sliterally impossible to not understand what he wants, yet he's gentle and understands the mechanics of the follow's body and motion, he's tremendously musical, and delightfully funloving and forgiving. So, you have the "I'm looking GOOD and I know it" vibe, rarely mized with the "i'm a gentleman and not obsessed with machismo" vibe, and it works. But it IS a hard thing to find. Too many people relate being demonstrative with being a bit of an egoiste.
     
  8. tj

    tj New Member

    Well, as much as I preach that we need to encourage noobies, there comes a point in the night where you want to dance with a partner who's at least competent. Up to you on where to draw the line. I like Big10's excuse, but there's always the problem on what happens if said experienced dancer doesn't dance that song with you and then you'll look a little silly standing there not dancing.

    Can you catch the eye of one of the more experienced dancers? That's usually all it takes to get me to come ask you, for example.

    I'm glad. Was kinda concerned about how negative the slant is on this thread, but figured people need to vent once in a while.
     
  9. I find this thread very interesting! Many replies reflect my own experience in different salsa scenes (Germany, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, USA: DC, Kansas City, Jacksonville & Orlando (FL)).

    I have been dancing salsa since 1991 and have watched how the salsa scene has been growing enormously and at the same has been changing. I am not as motivated anymore to go out because unfortunately the great ambiente I knew from my first salsa years has disappeared from most scenes. Great ambiente = everybody was really enjoying and having fun with everybody else for the sake of dancing. Now the ambiente is poisoned by competition, rudeness, showing off etc., all the things that have been mentioned in this thread.

    However, fortunately there are still places where one can dance in style and in a nice grooving ambiente. Here in Jacksonville, where we live now, the scene is pretty small and "underdeveloped" (surprising since this is Florida!), which also means not much competition and showing off but not a high level of salsa, neither, not many good dancers.

    In Orlando are some great clubs with a very Puertorican/Latin ambiente, really grooving and great where people still really enjoy! A couple of weeks ago we went to the Samba Room on a Saturday. I felt like being in a club in Puerto Rico! Great ambiente! I was one of the very few "gringos/-as" (white/Caucasian people) there, almost all Latinos, some very good and many good dancers, and the people were well dressed. It was a little wilder on the dance floor than in Puerto Rico but still OK compared to all the "dangerous" places I have been to where people constantly step on you.

    My experience is: the more Latino the crowd is the less I get stepped on. When I say "Latino" I actually mean predominantly Puertorican. I have experienced dance floors with predominantly Latinos from all over Central and South America and have also been stepped on. I am not saying that other Latinos are ruder than Puertoricans. That is probably not true in "real life" out in the street. But on the dance floor my best experience is in a Puertorican environment. In Puerto Rico it is considered extremely rude to step on others and if you do (it can always happen) then you better sincerely apologize and try not to step on that person again. That is why you can still dance in peace in a Puertorican environment without concentrating more on all others dancing around you than on your actual dancing.

    In February we went to a Tito Nieves concert here in Jacksonville, most people there were Latinos, predominantly Puertoricans. The big dance floor was very crowded but I did not get stepped on at all until about 2.00 o' clock when more young dancers (also Latinos) who had a certain level of alcohol danced near us.
     
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Exactamente ! --Yo sabe
     
  11. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Say I would love to dance with you, but for another song. I'll come get you. then...do so! That way even if you do not end up catching teh attention or miss dancing with that other person you don't look foolish.
     
  12. RumbaRumbera

    RumbaRumbera New Member

    This has nothing to do with Hispanic/Latino culture, or with machismo. Most of the arrogant, ego and sex driven salsero/as in L.A. are non-Latinos, or young Latino/as born and raised in L.A. and hence, removed from their Latino roots, i.e. "Americanized" or better said, "Hollywoodized." So, the crux of the problem is not that salsa has engendered "machismo," but that is has adopted "Hollywood" values. It has been uprooted from its Latino roots and re-packaged as “Hollywood-Style,” with its emphasis on youth, sex, cute, and flashiness. Most salsero/as, including many young Latinos, have little or no understanding of the Spanish language and much less, little or no understanding of Latino culture. This leaves a cultural vacuum which is filled with Hollywood values (youth, sex, cute, and flashiness) and only engenders a salsa addict culture in constant pursuit of the perfect technique, the perfect partner, and the concomitant salsa adrenalin rush. Here is the solution: Learn some Spanish, respect the Latino culture, and kill the cheap thrill “Hollywood-Style” salsa values. Men: Stop using salsa to boost your ego and your sex drive. Do that somewhere else. Women: Respect yourself, replace the hoochy-mama look with classy sexy, and stop asking men to dance! I don’t care what excuse you use, you look desperate when you ask men to dance and all you are doing is contributing to the “Hollywood-Style” over-inflated male ego on the dance floor. Those of you who complain about my posts on this issue are part of the problem. Someday you might get it.
     
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    huh. that's interesting. what does asking a man to dance have to do with desperation & lack of self-respect? i do it all the time and believe me, i'm hardly desperate nor lack self-respect. in fact, i probly do it so easily because neither of those is an issue for me...

    just curious...
     
  14. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member



    Since you are recommending that nuclear waste be dumped elsewhere and not on your backyard as it has been since the beginning of dawn, do you have an alternative to propose where the waste can be dumped? I mean, if I can't have my ego and sex drive be boosted by salsa, how do you propose I do that?

    I like women with the hoochy-mama look who respect themselves. I also like women who will ask exactly what they want, with a wink and a little tongue flick and a sexy touch ;)
     
  15. naturallove

    naturallove New Member

    Wow--I ask men to dance all of the time! I've had several salsa buddies (leads) tell me how *******ing it is for a woman to ask THEM to dance. Like samina, I certainly have plenty of self-respect. And how does sitting on the sides looking 'stank' because I'm not dancing (and am too proud to ask) make men respect me? Do tell...
     
  16. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I have always taught my ladies to invite men... instead of feeling sorry for themselves that they are not invited!

    And I also teach them to be flirty and sexy and use these qualities to get dances and use them on the dance floor as well, to make their dancing more feminine.

    And yes, I tell them to use their clothing to get dances. Why not? Don't we use clothing to attend a business meeting, earn the other's respect and have him do business with us? Don't we use clothing to impress others while at a very "fancy" non-dance event? Don't we use clothing to suggest something when we hang out with our buddies, drinking beer and playing nine pins? :)
     
  17. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    I agree with richierumbero's sentiment but not with his strategy. I would like to see more 'classy-sexy' ladies around. But men are easily distracted and a classy girl will get fewer dances than a flashy one, so I think she should ask for dances.

    I don't think things can be changed by abstinence. There are a lot of people who don't drink in the USA but they didn't stop everyone else. I think change has to come from holding up a positive model. So ladies, enthuse about the leaders who are the gentlest and most courteous, don't apologize for preferring them, and more men will seek to emulate them rather than the other type.

    I stand by my earlier commenthttp://www.dance-forums.com/showpost.php?p=416578&postcount=124
     
  18. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    As you very well know, women are suckers for "bad guys"... so your advice... :)

     
  19. BrownSkin818

    BrownSkin818 New Member

    Rumbera, (based on this and other posts) I think you're going to the wrong venues for you. There are some places I don't frequent because the crowd is too slow, or the dress is too formal. It seems that you may frequent places that have things which you don't "approve of", while there are plenty of other venues that can suit your needs.

    Might I suggest...
    El Floridita: Every day of the week
    Mama Juanas: Friday/Saturday
    El Cid: Saturday
    Granada: Friday
    Silhouettes: Thursday
    Stevens: Friday/Saturday

    You won't find the crowd you dislike so much at these places.

    I also want to comment, as others have chimed in, re: women looking desperate for asking men to dance. 30 years ago that may have been the case, as women moreso had a role and a "place" to maintain. :roll: But in the year 2007, I find the notion of "waiting for my turn to be chosen" - laughable. I probably would have quit salsa post haste had I felt the need to await a man's invite to have fun. If that makes me "desperate for a dance" then I'll gladly take that title. :lol: I'll also gladly leave the club having danced 15/20+ times and been guaranteed a good night. I'm sorry that you view my taking responsibility for my own good time as a "problem". :(

    It probably just boils down to what makes the night enjoyable for you. It only takes plentiful and good dances for me. Whereas it may take the full pomp and circumstance of courting for you. To each her own.
     
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    absolutely. looking your best makes you feel your best makes you enjoy (and be enjoyed) at your best.

    the nights i wear a red silk halter dress, i guarantee i will not sit down all night...:cool:
     
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