Salsa > What??? Not about the music???

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by SDsalsaguy, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Vin

    Vin New Member

    Hi again sdsalsaguy. Just a comment you might find interesting, one of my friends commented on my dancing yesterday and I paraphrase.
    "your technique is great and you follow the music perfectly, but you don't flirt enough with your partner."
    He could see the difference in the dancing and was of the opinion that my dancing was lacking something because of this very issue we are discussing.
  2. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing Vin...

    For me this isn't a right or wrong type of thing, it's just what dancing is about for me...

    Friday night, for instance, one of my favorites salsa partners was out and we got in a bunch of dances during the earlier half of the night. She was leaving early and I ended up deciding to walk her out and take off myself. Some might ask why... it was still only 11pm after all! For me though, there seemed little point in staying... For one thing the club was very crowded which, to me, detracts from the experience. [1]

    Beyond this, however, I realized that as much more music as there was to be played and as many more dances as I might have that night, none would leave me more satisfied than I already was. I had connected on the floor already, and for several songs as that Simply put, it couldn't get any better [2] (and, depending what happened, might end up being quite a let down). Using salsachinita's terminology, I'd had my fix -- and of what counted to me as dancing. Sure I left early, but I came home satisfied, content, and happy.

    [1] One of my regular partners loves it crowded as she feeds off the energy and electricity of the crowd. For me, however, the more crowded it is the more attention I need to pay to my surroundings/floor conditions so the less attention I can pay to my partner – and thus the less connection I can ultimately have with her.

    [2] On our way out of the club the mutuality of the connection I felt was reinforced by her very flattering comment that she found herself getting frustrated with other leads and that she was getting spoiled dancing with me. There are certainly better dancers than me available, so I take this comment to really be about the connection between us on the floor!
  3. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    I am glad you did, SD :D ! Do you get it all the time...? Or just now and again...?

    And btw, I can't take credit for the term 'fix' :oops: ........I think Edie the Salsafreak was the one who started it.......
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I wish! Far from it actually... I find it rather variable. There are some partners who it sometimes happens with but oftentimes doesn't, there are never-seen-before-or-again partners with whom I somehow have that spark, there are partners it never, ever, never even comes close to happening with, and there are those few partners who it almost always comes to life with.

    The only observation I can make is that it seems mostly to have to do with personal [1] style – that your embodied philosophies of dancing are congruous with each other's – and is not entirely ability dependent. I can think of any number of more "accomplished" salseras, for instance, who I never come close to get that connection with whereas I may connect with any given lower level dancer rather often.

    This does, however, raise two related issues for me:

    1) I think the intimidation factor (as has been brought up in the hierarchy thread) interferes with one’s ability to connect.

    2) While level is *not* the issue behind connection, too great a disparity is less likely to be conducive to it since it is then all that much harder for both partners to be putting there "all" into the dance. [2]


    P.S. "Fix" may come from Edie but you're still the one who introduced it into this conversation... so there! :tongue:

    [1] I'm talking about personal style here, so I don't mean the whole LA/NY/Cuban/etc. thing!

    [2] Please do note that I am saying it is *less* likely and not that it is impossible!
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I just realized yesterday night that when I dance I want smooth sensual salsa with a light connection. My partner feels it the moment I change slightly, and I feel her too. That's the first thing I look for as everything else then falls into place naturally! If it's not there I am let down. :( I can dance without music with such a person. However, while I can get very close, I never have achieved that feeling of oneness that one gets with music. :)
  6. vey

    vey New Member

    I think that sometimes the options offered present an unresolvable choice. And this is the case for me with music vs. partner choice in salsa. It resembles a choice between food and drink, a human forced to choose one over the other will eventually die.
    Although we usually go to a particular restaurant to enjoy the food but if not provided with water or some other libation, the experience is unlikely to be enjoyable.
    I was attracted to salsa because of music (food) and having little prior experience with partner dancing it was an unexpected and, as I now realize, essential component (drink). Now, if I’m forced to choose one over the other, salsa will die for me....
  7. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Wow, Vey!

    :notworth: I just LOVE your food/drink = music/partner analogy :notworth: !
  8. vey

    vey New Member

    Thank you, salsachinita!!! :oops:
  9. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    How true, SD!
    I've been thinking about much the same thing lately.

    One factor may alter the two above points you've made here: personal chemistry (whether they are emotionally connected etc.) between the two partners. In which case, the intimidation factor/proficiency level may not match (thus makes it more difficult for a instant connection), but that little something can turn a mere dance into a lot more.........
  10. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    Same here! :)
  11. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Ditto!! :D Very nice analogy. :)

    Very true, yet there is something to be said about the experience. As a beginner I find that problems that I mask using the spacious dance space come out when I am forced to use a small square to dance in. And if people know and follow dance etiquiette there isn't an issue. If they don't I move to the edge of the dance space / corner and that works pretty well. Can never be the same as a dance floor that is not crowded though. [shrug]
  12. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I hear you SD... When I go out dancing I'm doing so primarily because of the connection to the other person. When I hear salsa playing the first thing that comes to my mind is taking a ride with someone. I want a person to be there with me, one to feel the connection with, she who can share the intimacy of the dance with me. Although I don't believe there is anything greater than the music itself, if it wasn't for the connection I feel to other people when dancing, I would not really see a need to express myself on the dance floor, even when I love the music as much as I do. Hence, my own words of making love to myself…

    There is just something much more special when you get home late at night and know that the music was kicking but that that one dance really elevated that dance far beyond any means you could have achieved alone. I fully understand where you are coming from…
  13. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I have thought about this alot. The most enjoyable salsa experience for me is dancing with a partner who hears the same thing in the music as I do. I love feeling that partner connection but the funny thing is when I meet someone on the dance floor that really does feel the music the same way i do, we do shines for about half the song. I guess the reason is that in my neck of the woods it is rare to find true salsera.
    I have danced with some women that were outstanding follows but unable to shine because they are still unsure of the rhythm. The dance is still enjoyable but in some way something is taken away because she is not connecting to the music like I am.
    Over the weekend I witnessed the discovery of the clave for someone, immediately her dancing experience improved 100% reason being because she felt she had something to connect to, in addition dancing with her was much more enjoyable because I didn't feel her fighting against me and the rhythm anymore.
    I guess the point is, yes connection is great, but when you have such a great connection the reason it is great for me is because we both connect to the music better.
  14. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Makes sense to me Vin... we're each different people so why wouldn't we each be different dancers as well? If this is what connection is about for you, and you both know it and can find it, all the better!

    Although not a salsa setting, I just saw a performance by a top Latin couple (Slavik & Karina) Saturday night. They had one entrance, in particular, that is done without any music... I found the drama and feeling of that section (as did several other people I spoke to) much greater, for the lack of music, and the connection between them was so much more palpable for the lack of music as a common outside connection. This dynamic would, of course, be lost if the entire number was done without music but, in contast, I think it highlighted the connection element that I've been trying to talk about.
  15. africana

    africana New Member

    I actually set aside some nights JUST to enjoy the music and dance alone. it's possibly selfish but very satisfying 8)
    yep guilty :oops: And when it happens, it happens because we arent both connecting with the music at the same level, and I feel like I'm dancin in a dreamlike trance, like I'm trapped alone in the intensity. It doesn't happen as much now while I'm partner dancing because I now control it better, except when I'm free for shines then I may 'accidentally' forget to keep my eyes open to see when he's ready to take me back ;)
    nicely put! although as I've explained the music itself is sufficient for personal transcendentalism (is that a word? :lol: )

    Very cool description 8) but I'll admit I'm not one to always fixate on my partner in that way, at least not consistently. It's just not me. I prefer playfulness to intimacy when interacting with my partner. Especially when I dance with so many men I don't know...
    But I can always count on the high I get from the music. And I hope I always hear the music, because that's the only way I feel I can be true to expressing myself, rather than simply trying impressing him or an audience

    honestly, this post sounds more like connecting with a romantic interest through salsa, than just general social dancing where you dance with all sorts of people with all sorts of agendas. And if it's not, are you able to synchronize without even counting? IMO dancing + counting - music = yuck :roll:
    One reason I dislike taking some classes is the fact that moves are taught without music, A LOT

    I do get the point about connection, but for me it's impossible without the music
  16. Alias

    Alias Member

    Yes, dancing comes with music, dancing to the monotone count of the teacher is not motivating and leads to robot dancing, for me the useful time in a class is when I'm dancing (with a partner) with music (in fact, as I quickly catch the moves and patterns, and want to try and experiment by myself, all the teacher's blah-blah is a waste of time for me), then the time ratio of partner dancing to the music (the more the best) is an important factor in my choice of salsa class (or rather was, as my class phase in now over after some hundreds lessons).
  17. Alias

    Alias Member

    Music has a primary influence on the way of dancing, on the way you move and on your movements, and as I can also subtly modulate and fine tune my leading on the music (communicating that way to and with the woman follower) (of course I'm not talking of communicating the rhythm or beat), then I say that the music can have an influence on the leading and the connection.
  18. Alias

    Alias Member

    Yes exactly, after some period having listened and danced to salsa music (in parties), you integrate the music and dance in your head and your body, so you can dance without an external music because you have it in you.

    By the way as I like some kind of salsa music but dislike some other kinds of salsa music, I would sometimes prefer no music to that kind of music the DJ puts on, and dance (with a partner) to the music inside myself.

    Note the situation is a bit different between the leader and the follower.
    When there is music, the leader has input from the music and output to the follower (with response from the follower) and the follower has input from the leader and input from the music (they'd better match).
    When there is no music, the leader has input from inside himself and the follower has input from the leader but she can't hear (unless being telepathic) the music in the leader's head so she has to guess it through the leading.
  19. Alias

    Alias Member

    Well said, formulated, and expressed.
    I agree with borikensalsero.

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