Salsa > Ballet and salsa

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Pacion, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    Do these two dances mix? Can one help/hinder the other?

    Here is something I found/plagerised from another salsa forum ( :wink: Pgymalion made me do it, so that the Ballroom forum won't have more threads than salsa :lol: ):

    Personally, I think this is a generalisation and ballet can actually help as ballet "trains" you to point your foot and basically attempt to look graceful which okay, isn't the same as sexy but in terms of appearance, ballet dancers have an advantage over salsa dancers who have not done any other form of dancing - feeling/filling the music, appearance (feet and arms), spins & spotting, flexibility, facial expressions :!: .
  2. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    I believe any dancer who has training in other dancers has a technical adavantage over the dancer who has solely consentrated in one. Perhaps those other dances can help the person do things otherwise no possible because of the lack of a given technique.

    Now, to me, feeling the music has nothing to do with technique but rather each individual person. They might be able to fill the music with more stuff, but as far as emotionaly feel the music. That is pertty much independent of skill level. For feeling 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, isn't the same as feeeeeling hidden emotional msg of the music.
  3. As I've mentioned before, my salsa instructor has a ballet background (and even danced with a reputable professional ballet troupe, not for very long, but what percentage of ballet students make it to that point?). She admitted that she had some trouble with jazz dance when she started taking classes in it. Sometimes when she dances salsa, yes, she does kind of look like a ballerina dancing salsa. In her case I almost think this is a good thing, since ballet is so much a part of who she is that it doesn't make sense for her to try to eliminate any trace of it.

    I always got the impression that her background in ballet gave her a very solid understanding of the physiology and even physics (at a non-technical level) of turns and balance, which also strengthened her ability to teach those things in other contexts. On the other hand, she definitely didn't teach me to dance salsa like a ballerina, which is also a good thing.
  4. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    Sorry, when I said "fill the music" it is in the sense of making the movements flow and not be jerky. So if the right hand has to be outstretched on 3, then it will go 1, 2, 3 rather than 1, 3!
  5. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    :lol: sorry, I just had a visual of someone in a tutu and tights doing salsa :wink:
  6. Tasek

    Tasek New Member

    Whatever dance you have done, you can always take someting from it to the new dance you're learning (occasionally it may be bad habits, but almost always it will provide an advantage somewhere)

    Specifically talking about ballet to salsa, in my salsa class last season was a girl with fifteen odd years ballet experience, and she definately picked things up way faster than average; steps were never a problem for her, excellent balance, great spinner, lead/follow was the thing she most had to learn, but that too she learned very fast.
    In her styling you could often see she came from ballet but it was congruent and it didn't hinder her salsa dancing. That's just one example ofcourse, but with her her ballet definately helped her with salsa. Too bad the salsa bug never bit her though, and she has since stopped salsa dancing :( she could have been pretty good.
  7. Estella

    Estella New Member

    I think the ballet background could be very useful for dancing salsa... the same as every other dance.
    And you can also combine these 2 dances with each other. I remember that our dance company even had a show named "salsa-ballet".... ballet moves to salsa music! :wink:
  8. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    One the surface it might seem that die-hard ballet devotees might have a hard time with salsa, but the fact is they're just extremely disciplined and sooooo strong.

    They're dancers like the rest of us and their bodies move with the music. I'm sure salsa isn't for every ballerina, but one of the best salsas I've ever done (well, one of the ones I'm most proud of) was with a ballet dancer.

    I wasn't keen on it because I thought, "argh, ballet dancer? Salsa? Nooooo way!" I danced with the guy because I don't like saying no to someone who is kind enough to ask you to dance and I'm so glad I did.

    It was one of the best dances I've ever done because his lead was so incredibly strong. He had me doing stuff I didn't think I was capable of doing and because he was so strong, I was able to follow his lead and, in that few short minutes, learned to trust his strength and was therefore willing to try things with him I would never have tried with someone who wasn't so physically strong.

    Admittedly he threw in some ballet moves, but only cool ones and the result was a fabulously enjoyable dance. Whenever he's at my studio and a salsa comes on, I make a beeline for him! Unfortunately other girls have caught wind of his salsa skills and these days I've got a bit of competition! :)
  9. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    lol Those unexpected moves really are the best! Hopefully though, because you were one of the first to dance with him, he will remember that and always have a dance for you :banana:
  10. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Any dance experience is helpful when learning a new dance. The old dance influences do tend to show in the new ones being learnt...and this isn't an issue in social dancing. Now in performances or competitions this may be a different matter, but I cannot comment on that as I haven't done either, yet.
  11. pr

    pr New Member

    I have already posted this link in another thread, but I'll do it here also, because someone (David Paris) says that he has found ballet very useful for his salsa dancing. E.g. for lifts, technique and body posture. :arrow:
  12. Alias

    Alias Member

    I agree with borikensalsero.
    That's why feeling is so important, each person has a unique way of feeling the music and expressing it via its way of dancing.
    Note there is a progression in one's ability to catch the overall structure and different elements in a kind of music, improving with listening (and dancing to) a kind of music, and translating it into its dance.
    And the music will influence the way of dancing.
    Then someone used to dance on classical music (for instance) will not do get it right out of the box for salsa music.
  13. Alias

    Alias Member

    That's not me!

    My leading is rather soft (more like a caress), precise and subtle (for instance with a tiny movement of my finger into the follower hand).
    And fortunately I don't consider strong leading as a quality (in some swing dance and salsa dance) (technically I can do it and it gives the leader a feeling of power over the follower as he controls her entirely), but I understand that's a matter of taste and that some women will prefer the strengh of a man, this is one reason a follower will prefer one good dancer to another one.

    (I wonder if strong leading is more a quality in some Ballroom dancing)
  14. Alias

    Alias Member

    Don't worry, I'll be right on topic soon, but I haven't the time to formulate my post now.
  15. pr

    pr New Member

    Maybe a litte bit off-topic, but anyway:
    I totally agree with you Alias. I prefer not using to much core strength (I think it is called like that) when leading the lady. The best moments I have had when dancing is when the lady follows very smoothly and without pulling or pushing. When this moments occur I can focus my mind on feeling the music rather than thinking about any technicalities. When I'm in this "state", I start to do moves I didn't know I could and that's very satisfactory and enjoyable. :D It's like Nirvana I guess or beeing in Heaven maybe!? :bouncy: Maybe someone of you know what I mean? I think I should clarify that I don't mean the lady to have "spaghetti-arms". That's one of the worse things I know, because it gives no connection with the lady at all and it is almost impossible to lead like that. :evil:
  16. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    The mental image is frightening me. :shock:

    Twilight Elena
  17. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    My dance team partner was a ballerina during her pre-teens/teens and she is one of THE most smooth and graceful dancers I've ever had the pleasure to dance with! Not to mention the fact that her balance is ridiculously good.
  18. dancin/dj

    dancin/dj Member

    ballet/salsa , i know 2 trained ballet dancers who worked in new york and philly, neither of them are good at salsa or hustle for that matter.i think it has to do with the the person whats inside and how they can move/of course ballet (is the hardest dance there is )but its a different kind of movement and not all ballet dancers can break out of who they are and how they move,i've seen this with opera singers who i tryed to get to sing pop, most of them can"t /of course some can but its rare/as in the case of pat benatar.its been said here that some were ballet dancers who can and i think its great.theres a lot of conditioning and mindset that go"s against the grain of a ballet and opera singer to shift gears and be more free in a dance like salsa or whatever.
  19. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I had a ballet dancer (Russian, very talented dancer) come to my lessons. He was incredibly slow in understanding how to lead but had no problem moving to the music... of course, looking like a ballet dancer... :)

    But I've seen people with background in ballet who are very good at Salsa! So... I guess it just depends on the person!
  20. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Beeing an X-ballet-dancer (as a kid - long time ago) I must say that the training both helps me and is a problem.

    Yes it helps me in posturing and ability to learn new moves, also in how to move the arms. Latino arm/hand motion and classical are not close but related in style. Perhaps the similarity is more of the kind that you DO use you arms in classical training to express yourself. But some is very look-a-like.

    The big problem is the spinning. Whenever I have problems with spins I fall back to the classical pirouettes. Which means pivote, stretch you legs, overstretch your knees and spin. The result....yes you can imagine...far from salsa.

    When spinning - I have big help from my classical training in the way you need to support the torso. How to "lift" your chestcage up and rotate the torso.... and probably the rest as well....

    Then there is the gravity. A balletdancer moves like gravity does not exist. Soft as air the clouds. You work with you body as you are trying to remove gravity. In salsa it is the opposite. Down to earth. Bend you nees. Don't loose contact with the floor.

    Then there is the room - the space. A ballettdancer occupies the scene. Look at me - ain't I gorgeous. You actually try to conquer the space available. Far from salsa....isn't it. I guess you find remains in how I turn ...I tend to go too far away from the leader.

    Well for you who might dance with me some day (pr for example). I had serveral classes jazz and flamenco since those days. So most classical style is gone....and I was always to big, tall and slow for beeing a ballerina. But there is still a kind of struggle inside me - salsa or ballet. I'm probaly on my way to merge it.


Share This Page