Dancing with people and the dancing community...

Re: Newest wrinkle

jon said:
Since moving to NC, Debbie has gained lots of experience in dealing with ensconced dance teachers who think they "own" a dance community and whose reaction to a superior product is to try to cut the teacher out, not to improve their own product. Suggest you chat with her and get her advice.
Yes, she does. We still have to deal with certain teachers who still believe that. (That takes some explaining which I won't go into right now.)

I'll see her tonight, but our opinion sounds like we should poll our own membership and serve their needs. Our lessons would be open to paid members anyway, and none of the people in that rueda performance group are members of our club. Essentially we'll see what interest we really have to sustain a short-term 4-week lesson or something. But it's not like rueda is proprietary and only for "Latino people" (like "martial arts is only for Asians???" heh). I agree the best way to show off an element of your culture of which you are proud is to be able to share it.

I wonder if the reaction you got from the Rueda team member was “the first and quick emotional respons” or an “official” answer. Perhaps the team changes their minds when they have time to think it over.

I recall the similar situation – but this time the rueda team member was an owner of an artist school for children. She was asked if another artist school - who was planning a summer camp - where allowed to put up advertisement in her own school. At this moment it was clear that she couldn’t arrange any summer camp herself.

Her first answer was noooooo and she was really upset. She didn’t want her “own” children to go to another summer camp even if she didn’t arrange anyone. Don’t step on my backyard . But after thinking it over she realized how silly her reaction was. And she called back to the lady who wanted to put up an ad. Apologizing of course.

In the end there where two summer camp, no actually three. So it ended up luckily for every part. Especially for the children.

When you meet the rueda team this afternoon. Be open. Don’t print a NO in the air above their head. Perhaps they have changed and have realized that you are growing the salsa community.

Good luck!


(Did I tell you that I HATE this kind of protectionism. So far from my core values as you can come. For the first time I'm glad I'm in a very small but growing salsacommunity. The more people, the more activities the happier we will be)
Maybe I didn't read the whole thread, but you mentioned "campus", Etchuck. I am assuming you are either a teacher or a student at some institution. Anyway, I would say go ahead & teach the people that are wanting to learn. Why should they be denied the right to have fun & learn something social just because a group of hardliners don't think they'd "fit in". (I don't understand this one, either. Why is the group "closed" to outsiders? Is there some sort of initiation? Is it a fraternity? Do you have to be latino? Do they think your group would possibly take over their business/become more renowned than they are, thus the shut-out?) And how could anyone feel they could possibly "own" a dance? Bloody ridiculous of anyone to think so!


Active Member
Re: Newest wrinkle

I don't think I understand the situation.
So... there is a Latino heritage cultural group, which has a rueda team, which recruits performers through auditions and offers lessons to team members only? And your group organises dances, which are open to the Latino heritage group and its rueda team members, and you are trying to offer a short, basic rueda course for people who cannot be accepted in the performance team? And the Latino heritage group is unhappy because...???

It sounds as if they are effectively saying they don't want people who do not know how to dance rueda already (i.e. know enough to join their team) to learn rueda. I just don't see any sense in it -- I mean, there's nothing stopping them recruiting rueda performers from the people who have taken your classes, is there? So... where's the conflict of interests? :? Unless you are planning to form a rueda performance team within your group or something (which doesn't seem to be the case)?

Or do they want to present rueda as some sort of elite dance activity? Well, it's not, it's just a fun social dance, and I don't see why you can't go ahead with the course.

I forgot to tell you....go ahead and just do it. Start a rueda team. I guess you doesn't need those peoples approval. I guess it only would be nice to have it. Isn't it :wink:

But if they don't approve just forget about them.


I think our group will plan to have some introductory rueda classes open to those who have already taken our beginning salsa class.

I agree the possessiveness of this is silly. I remember a few years ago when there were only two a cappella singing groups on campus (one all male, the other all female). When additional groups were formed, some of the members of the established groups got a bit upset. Oh well: so now there are two all-male groups, two all-female groups, and one co-ed group now. I don't think it's anything "bad" to have that.

But yes, I figure that they would see this as an opportunity to help raise the level of their recruiting pool so they can have higher-quality dancers and performances. Unfortunately I don't know who their advisor is, but I'll find out if that group decides to raise a fuss over it.

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