Salsa > Videos > how to become smooth

Discussion in 'Videos' started by manny, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. manny

    manny New Member

    Personally, I like to become as smooth as in the video.


    But in general, how does one become smooth? What are the physics behind it? what's the secret?

    edit: mods can change title to fix spelling "become"

    edit: changing the video to show a 'general' smooth dance so we don't get sidetracked
  2. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    This probably isn't the answer you want, but it comes from having good technique, balance, and control. It takes time and does not happen overnight. It's a matter of using your feet, knees, and hips properly.
    Seesee shakur likes this.
  3. manny

    manny New Member

    Thank you. I'm sure those are part of what makes a dancer smooth. But there are many who are very proficient with those attributes and/but have little to no smoothness in their dancing. So there must be something(s) additional.
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Its virtually impossible to tell how he really dances, when one cannot see his feet .

    " Smoothness " as you put it, is the "blending " of motion to music.. but.. it also has to have good context, AND Sabor, which i didnt see in that clip
  5. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Or perhaps they aren't as good at those things as you think. It's not a concept easily explained without a visual. Keep your joints loose, but not too loose. Keep your movement fluid and don't be jerky.
  6. manny

    manny New Member

    Thanks. But to keep the conversation constructive and fruitful. I must make a few things clear:

    First, the video was an example of smoothness for people to have a reference of what I "personally" want as an attribute. It is not a video to be dissected. I would have chosen one with a better angle. But more importantly, it is for the person who has the answers to choose a sample video. The question is, generally, how does one become smooth. So a video is not necessarily necessary.

    As a side note, in my observations, one does not need sabor to be smooth nor does every song requires sabor to be put into it. But those are other issues altogether.

    Now, what would generally be helpful to me, is if we go on a more detailed explanation on the "context" and "blending" part you mentioned. If you need a video as an example, I would love love to see it :)
  7. manny

    manny New Member

    perhaps yes and perhaps no :p
    If we go that way, this will be a very vague conversation :(

    I think perhaps you might be confusing smoothness with greatness in the field of salsa dancing. You can come up with as many examples of what you define as a "perfect" dancer (if there is such a thing), and yet he/she may not be smooth. If you need a visual, provide it? But once you do and then tell me he/she is smooth because x,y,z then it is fair for anyone to bring a video with another dancer who also has x,y,z and yet is not smooth. :)
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    The shown smoothness is a question of mindset and attitude. Of course his vocabulary should run automatically without thinking. But this only is one prerequisite. The guy accompanies and canalizes every move of his girl right from the beginning. Let´s say almost beforehand. Torso, arms, hand, fingers, everything is geared to her. That makes it that smooth.
  9. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    1.. Agreed. but that ,would require a long detailed explanation.

    heres a simplistic answer.. " blending " is the ability to move from one movement to the next "seamlessly " ( as is done in Intern style FT for e.g. ).

    Your sabor statement, would cause a virtual earthquake on salsa Forums !!. ALL latin dance needs sabor, in the literal sense of the word.. the lack of it, is a bland exercise in motion .

    The last Q is " How ".. thru many yrs of dance /practice, refining your knowledge ,and shaping it to suit the music and your personality .
  10. manny

    manny New Member

    thanks for the answer on subject.

    off topic:

    Here is my take. Let me put it this way. Flavor(sabor) is very subjective in feeling and therefore expression. That is, you might have some salsa to taste or any other food and it all has different flavor, just as there are many flavors of musical styles. The food/music is what fuels the taster/dancer and his expression of this flavor. The expression of this feeling is sabor while the interpretation is musicality.

    Now, everyone will feel the music at a differently degree (if they feel it). Therefore, everyone will express and interpret it differently. Sabor is very difficult to judge because of this. While some will let the feeling get them lost in the music and therefore let their body speak with shimmys, movement, footwork, and discharge of energy. These individuals will quickly be labeled as having flavor because it is "obvious" and that's how those of the past used to express it. But since the dance evolved, there are some who's style is to take this feeling and channel it more creatively (as some might say, but that's another subject).

    For these dancers, the approach to judge flavor is to take a close look at the interpretation. That is, the musicality. Now, we are NOT talking about just hitting the big hits or even the smaller ones. I am speaking about also riding the wave and mood of the entire song. Dancing to the lyrics and other layers of the song while in rhythm. In the video I posted, the guy rides the wave, dances to the lyrics, and he and his partner are one with the song. He is including her. For example, take a look at what he does at 1:35. Listen to what the music is saying and how he interprets that by turning her and spinning himself. Re-watch the video and connect the music with what they are doing. This is how he chooses to express his feeling. It is totally valid and legit. If someone is unable to grasp this concept, take a look at the entire floor while closely listening to the music and see the difference.

    So again, I think it is unfair to judge sabor on many of today's dancers just because they do not express their feeling traditionally. I agree that a lot, if not most, of today's dancers lack sabor. But I also believe that it isn't a easy concept to jusge and that many get the short end of the stick. This being and example.

    Anyways, this is off-topic and it's something I rather not discuss further in this manner. I'll agree to disagree and leave it there.

  11. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    1.... Personal musical interpretation of ANY dance style ,is what sets us apart.. but, that has little or nothing to do with being ( a ) Smooth or (b)in this case, having Sabor.

    Dance, at best , is very subjective ( being an Adjudicator, have had to deal with it for many yrs ). And having said that, I try to use somewhat of a "yardstick " against the norm,when evaluating "dance", and hence the reason for my comment .

    2.... Why is it not fair to pass comment on vids that are posted ?.. you did, I responded. So, its a matter of opinion, and as I stated, I need to see the WHOLE dancer ,before I could give a more complete assessment. From the "top " only , the vid reminded me of the duck, calm on top, but paddling like mad below ( was that the case here ? , we dont know) .

    3... The abscence of " sabor" is noticably lacking in most dancers, agreed. Does it make them less of a dancer ?.. not necessarily. Its very ethereal in nature, and there are few words that actually describe "it". I know it when I see it , and this was one case ,which didnt, in my opinion, show "it" .

    PS.. And, I really didnt like the music.. subjective, I know .
  12. manny

    manny New Member

    1. disagree. Already explained so we'll agree to disagree. Plus I didn't say it had anything to do with smoothness. The - off topic - subject here is sabor, which you first brought up in a smoothness discussion.

    2. No, What's not fair is to judge sabor on modern/present dancers because they do not express it in the traditional way. Comments on video are fair if they were brought up for that reason. But even then, personally, if I were to pick one for that, then I would record myself and ask for feedback. But that's just me.

    3. Same issue as points 1 and 2. Declaring sabor in that fashion is limited. It does not take into account present ways of expression of the feel that fills the dancer. It is, shall we say, a traditional view. In that case, all you can do is know he/she is feeling it when you "see" it. In other cases, you know it when you see the effect it has on the overall dance through interpretation of the song as a whole, not to be confused with "hitting some notes here and there". To you, sabor is smoke. You can see it. To me, it isn't just smoke, it can also be air as well. And you know it is there when the leaves move. You may not like that kind of expression of sabor. But it is sabor nevertheless.

    I think we exhausted this subject and our agreements and disagreements are clear. Back to being on topic.
  13. Jag75

    Jag75 Active Member

    To be able to dance smoothly requires only the basics. Learn proper technique, learn proper weight transfer and cuban motion, learn to blend you moves with your partner. It's not always necessary to be absolutely smooth - it all depends on the music. If it calls for it, then yes, but some music will not call for perfectly smooth dancing.

    To achieve smooth dancing, you *must* spend a huge amount of time practicing proper body movement, proper stepping technique, isolations (when you isolate different body parts the connection with your partner becomes smoother whilst you execute moves). There is *no* shortcut to this, and will require patience and discipline on your part.

    To achieve sabor, you need to learn again how to move, have a deep understanding and connection with the music, and have that flow through your body. Like smoothness this doesn't come naturally to most people, and again requires years of devotion not just to the dance but to the study of the history and the music.

    I hope you're not looking for a quick and easy solution, because you won't get one. Sorry.

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