Salsa > What is a shine?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by newbie, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    She: Yeah, our instructor wants us to make a lot of shines, you see...
    Me: Oh sure, shines, but of course.

    She's a salsa dancer and I'm not. I understood nothing. What is a shine? What am I supposed to think about her instructor if he likes shines?
  2. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    They were originally developed as solos or side by side , interpretations of given phrases and rythm changes done during the performances of many of the live bands front men. If you watch any recordings done with live bands, you will frequently see, singers etc, dancing solo and " jammin ". It has progressed into a far more complex " animal " , instead, as many latinos will know, of being danced by the side of the floor whilst waiting for a salsero/a to come along, and just having fun with the music, purely interpretive and not pre- planned . Tha Mambo Aces from way back , were classic examples of that genre . If you are new to salsa, dont think that should be your number one priority .
  3. blueguitar322

    blueguitar322 New Member

    Yeah usually a shine = fancy dancing apart from your partner, whether it's choreographed, a learned pattern, or improvised.
  4. naturallove

    naturallove New Member

    From what I've read, a shine originated when tap dancers use to perform solos to the music (at the latin clubs)--it was their time to 'shine'. Mambo dancers also adopted the same name for their little solo performances during the break to the music. Shines are good for giving you a break from parterning and really interpreting parts of the music. Many are prechoreographed, some are freestyle. I sometimes do ones that I've learned, or even pieces, depending on what the music gives me (and what I can remember!) They can be really simple. I'm not sure what kinds of dance you do, but just doing a basic and some suzy qs (also common in swing) can be a shine. Shines can get quite complex: I'll try to find an example for you later on today. Either way, they're a fun part of dancing and if you do decide to take up salsa, I hope you'll incorporate them into your dancing! I love 'em!
  5. yippee1999

    yippee1999 Member

    Check out my favorite (Eddie Torres) salsa video on

    When you see the couple break apart, and dance side by side, those steps are called shines. Basically, shines are any dancing that is NOT partnerwork, or where the couple break away from each other but continue to dance individually.
  6. alemana

    alemana New Member

    good answer.
  7. KiwiMambo

    KiwiMambo New Member

    Shines or footwork are excellent for improving timing, lightness and agility. They are fun as well once you have learned some. My timing improved tremendously when I did a 1 hr shines class every week for 2 years. If your instructor likes shines then that is a good thing.

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