Following a discussion on another website (TOsalsa) about the differences of ballroom influenced salsa versus club style salsa. This board is more active and more ballroom oriented, so thoughts please.
Watching ballroom couples dancing in the salsa clubs (at a decent level), to my eyes a good couple stand out amongst the club stylists much more so than club stylists do in a ballroom dominated environment. Lines are stronger, moves are sharper, postures more erect for the ballroom trained couples. However, many salseros are highly disparaging about ballroom stylists (style, authenticity etc), so comments please.
Thinking about it a little more, why limit the discussion to salsa. How about the other club dances, swing being the main one that comes to mind. Are there serious disagreements for these as well?
[ 10-03-2001: Message edited by: Graham ]
Location: Under the Soap Box
Lines are stronger, moves are sharper, postures more erect for the ballroom trained couples.
However, many salseros are highly disparaging about ballroom stylists (style, authenticity etc), so comments please.
There's this little thing called jealousy...
A "street" dancer doesn't care about lines, sharpness and erect body. He/she cares about "feeling" the music and expressing that feeling through dance. That's why most street dancers dislike the "ballroom look." To him it looks constrained and sterile; it doesn't look FUN (because his idea of fun is to move freely and with "flavor").
Jealousy is pretty much the least thing in a street dancer when he/she sees a ballrom dancer dance salsa. I think they would describe it better as pain and disconfort.
Location: Under the Soap Box
Maybe not all of them, but I know for a fact that a fair amount of them (usually the women) get jealous. The guys normally don't care too much, but the Latin trained girls look so much more regal on the floor than the club girls.
At the risk of stating the obvious, I think that the good dancers of both styles have much to learn from each other, and I know that the good latin international dancers recognize that.
For years, top latin dancers/coaches who come through NY or who live here have frequented the big latin clubs here. I've seen Tony and Melanie in them, and Colin James, the british coach, years ago. I even heard, though never saw myself, that the great Walter Laird would visit when he was in NYC.
Well said ThreeStep. You are so on the mark!
I think many street dancers feel jealousy when they watch ballroom dancers. It takes discipline to be a great dancer and the majority of the population lacks discipline.
If you're doing salsa or any dance correctly, you are conveying feeling. You portray the essence of the dance. Slouching and moving your top half a great deal during salsa or sticking your butt out as you dance swing is not expressing feeling. Improper footwork with a number of spins thrown in and a huge smile on your face is not expressing feeling.
I feel a great deal of pain and discomfort when I watch the club dancers dancing with incredibly horrible posture, incorrect hip movement, doing crazy moves, lifts, etc. Flash and trash baby. Give me a well trained ballroom dancer who emanates confidence and the flavor of the dance anyday.
Location: New Mexico
They certainly are and obviously they have no idea how petty it makes them look. Dancers should be supportive of one another.
I was recently at a dance exhibition where all types of dance was showcased. Now, I'm not crazy about Irish or Middle-East type dancing, but I certainly would not stand in the audience making snide remarks. But that is exactly what some other audience members were doing while the ballroom dancers were performing. I happened to recognize one of the fellows making the remarks. He owns and runs a salsa studio that competes for students with the ballroom studio. He may feel like a "big man" while he's giving his "expert" criticism of how bad the dancers are, but to me he has shown just how little he truly understands what dancing is about.
The sorts of emotions people like him emote, I don't need. Dancing is about joy, not hate.
Location: Under the Soap Box
Both groups talk equal amounts of crap about each other.
I just think they're jealous because our women turn faster, move faster, have prettier hands, dress classier (well, usually), and most of them can hold a beat. And it maybe stiff (or so they say) but stiff is better than sloppy.
Graham, I live in the Mecca of Salsa- It really depends on WHICH clubs- Many club dancers DO train in studios-Mambo is the "ballroom" version of Salsa. Part of the change came in the freestyle element of the salsa people. I saw a couple last weekend at Hustle U,S.A - Their names escape me- But they would walk into ANY ballroom ANY WHERE and turn heads. They would lose a high level mambo competition because they lack some of the styling the judges look for, but trying to duplicate their routine would have the best in Ballroom pressing rewind often.
To me this discussion is hilarious because I don't see how you can call salsa a ballroom dance. Salsa ( I won't call it club dance because that would be a misnomer) will never be a ballroom dance, period.
I compete in ballroom but it is salsa that was and always will be my favorite dance. I am one of very few people I know who can do both dances and not look ridiculous in either setting. It is people trying to do ballroom salsa in a club (or vice versa, salsa in a ballroom studio) with no sense that, when dancing salsa, they cannot point toes and do new yorkers that cannot expect the other dancers in the club not to laugh. Hell, when they play a salsa at my studio and I see my friends dance, I point and laugh (to myself) too.
Three Step: who are you kidding! No self-respecting salsa dancer is jealous of ballroom imposters at the clubs. It's pretty amusing to spot one though: toes pointed, doing new yorkers! I'm a ballroom dancer but seeing one do salsa is not sight to be missed.
BTW, when you speak about salsa, you can forget your notion of ballroom technique. And when you say salsa dancers don't have technique, you better not burst your bubble by stepping foot into a New York salsa studio. If you see New York salseros, you'd bite your tongue (that is if you can pick your jaw off the floor after you see them dance!).
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