Salsa > Great House, Weak Foundation

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by peachexploration, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    You just found a magnificent 2-story home. It has a beautiful bathrooms with jacuzi tubs, french crystal glass doors and windows, terracotta floors, and nice game room and a special wing just for a dance studio. But the foundation is weak and eventually, the house will crumble. Using the same scenario, how important are the basics in Salsa? Can you really rush through the basics, just focus on the latest moves and become a great dancer? Can you just go to two-week boot camp and become the best dancer on the floor? Your thoughts?
  2. Vin

    Vin New Member

    IMO Basics are the most important thing hands down. You can know the best moves out there but if they are not on-time with the music you just look like @#$@! I have seen dancers with tons of moves and yeah I get a little jealous but ....
    A little side note that seems to fit, the salsa scene where I live is rather small, one of the guys who knows alot more moves than any of the rest of us had the nerve one day to ask me ..
    "do you know any moves that I don't"
    Yes I worded that right, his ego is so built up on moves that he assumes that I am familiar with his repertoire.
    Anyways back to topic, the reason I say this is that yes he knows more moves than any one else around, however his timing is so off that none of the good follows ever want to dance with him. I believe that what makes salsa special and difficult is the connection to the music.
    What good is it to know a hundred different combinations if as dancers you don't flow with the music?
    On the other hand many times by working out new moves you improve on your basics of timing.
    So in conclusion, my recipe for salsa success, consistently work on improving both your basics and your repertoire.
    To answer your last question specifically, no, you cannot go to a 2 week boot camp and become the best dancer on the floor. To be a great dancer on the floor, and I hate to sound like Boriken here, but you really have to let the music become part of your personal energy and I think takes time for many people.
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    You can become a great dancer in 2 weeks, if you, as Vin says, can "let the music become part of your personal energy". Being on time is key, but after that this is the other missing foundational ingredient. You can have a fantastic house, designed and decorated by others, but it is sterile if it doesn't have show the character of the people who live in it...
  4. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Basics and foundation are key to anything...for aren't the advanced moves built off of properly executed fundamentals?

    I've noticed many dancers as Vin noted...huge amount of moves...twisting, turning, always moving...but expressing the music and on time? Nope. :?

    I have a very limited amount of moves as for the past few months I have practiced solely on my basics. And its paid off...the other day in class I was watching myself in the mirror and thought "yikes, are my hips shaking that much? I'm starting to actually look like a Salsero!" :)

    So, I work on doing what I can, but doing it well with passion and heart. I'm a big fan of the smooth and steady vs the fast and furious. ;)

  5. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Yep. I know many.

    :!: Can I frame this? :!:

    Salsa dancers need to 'mature', like a good wine. Non of this happens over night. A great dancer has a profound emotional/spiritual tie that gives him/her a dimension that cannot be 'trained/produced' via merely technical means (eventhough it's a start for most people).

    Solid basics are the foundations of a great house (in this case, salsa). Didn't someone say that great dancers execute basic moves with advanced techniques, and advanced moves with basic techniques...?

    *most of us have a loooooong way to go :oops: *
  6. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    it's a quote from an instructor:
  7. pelao

    pelao New Member

    When you first start out in most things, the techniques are all that you know, and therefore the only things that you utilize in your practice. Eventually, you just have to reach a level where the techniques are a memory, and it's your soul that starts guiding you. I think this is what gives you good improvisational skills, fluidity, wisdom, or 'experience' in what you do - this, to me, is what I consider 'mastering' something. Although, of course, you will never reach perfection - there is no such thing.

    This is just my personal opinion and experience though. I just look back at how things were (how I was) when I started being a musician; and just realize what it's all really about. The techniques I was taught in the beginning provided me with something very important - a foundation. From there I just practiced and practiced, building on my foundation, making it my own. Now, when I go out and play live, I don't even have to think about what I'm gonna do, and how to execute it - it just comes out automatically in my playing. I don't have to be preoccupied with what I'm doing right or wrong; I can just enjoy the music and let my hands do the work. You gotta let your soul guide you. It's a good feeling.

    Have that 'connection' with the music.

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