Salsa > Why am fixated on number of patterns?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ticolora, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Do you know how I am always skeptical about not needing 50 patterns to dance?

    I think I know why.

    A dance was invented by our lord and savior <insert your favorite deity here> to improve mate selection process, for a man it serves to woo a mate, for a woman it serves to evaluate a man. And although we all participate in the same activity, at the same time, at the same place - our values are different.

    There are 3 effects that dance is aimed to produce (in alphabetical order):

    1. impress audience
    2. please partner
    3. please self

    And I suspect that these effects have different values for a man and for a woman. When I watch other people dance. For me #3 is least important, but #1 and #2 importances are very close.

    Furthermore, when I watch another couple I gauge their skill based on (in no particular order): 1) number of patterns, 2) musicality (staying on beat, alignment of moves to the music), 3) apparent ease of execution (form).

    So, since "impress audience" is one of the important aspects, and I apply my own standards to evaluation of that aspect. I think that more moves I know - better I look, and hence better I dance.

    Where I think I fail is to recognize a possibility that women might have a different value scale.

    Suppose you have 10 points you can assign to these 3 values (add more values, if you think my list is incomplete).

    Here is my answer to that (don't judge me):
    Please partner - 5
    Impress audience - 4
    Please self - 1

    What's the value distribution for you?
  2. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    I dance to please my partner and myself, I don't care about the audience. If they like what they see, they're welcome to watch. But if not they can pull out their cell phone and check their email. 5 points each to pleasing partner and self, 0 points to audience.

    I think that for a lot of women, dressing up is very important. I also think that's more to please themselves than to please an audience -- strange as that may seem to you, that's what I think.
    LateToTheDance and raindance like this.
  3. vit

    vit Active Member

    Please self 5
    please partner 4
    please audience: 0 or minus 1

    But don't worry, when I started dancing like you, it was similar like for you. It takes time

    Gradually you will also realize that more patterns you use, worse you look. You can only impress nondancers by bad execution of big number of moves :)
  4. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Please partner 5
    please self 4.8*
    please audience: 1

    OP, many novices are like you and judge by number of patterns. As you learn more, you'll understand how little that matters.

    *If I cannot (yet) execute something just so, I should choose what doesn't interfere with partner
  5. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Please self: 6
    Please partner: 4
    Please audience: 0

    (IMHO, the only time an "audience" should factor in is when you're dancing in a show or at a competition. Otherwise, nuts to them, and do your own thing.)
    raindance likes this.
  6. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    In general, for social dancing pleasing the audience isn't the main goal for most dancers. They are there to dance, have fun, see some friends, etc.

    As a follower at a social dance, even watching a leader where I can tell they are trying harder to please the audience than their partner (and themselves) is a turn off. Dancing (again, at a social dance) with a leader that is trying harder to show off for the audience than for us to enjoy the dance, is also not much fun.

    Now, if it is a competition, or a showcase, or even a spotlight dance at a social event, that is something else.

    Regardless of all of this, of course some couples at a social dance may be fun to watch. Most often, these are the dancers that are really having **fun** dancing **together**. They might be doing simple moves, or fancy ones, doesn't really matter.

    And again, the ones you see out there having fun together doing a bunch of fancy moves are advanced dancers. They've likely been dancing for quite a long time, and to them those fancy moves are really pretty easy at this point.

    When you are new in your dance journey, have fun watching whoever you like. But don't try to copy those doing a bunch of complicated moves right now. Give it all time, and you may well get there. Trying to copy them at this stage in your journey will likely just make the journey to feeling comfortable and having fun on the dance floor take longer.

    It's a bit like admiring the interior decorating of a house, and wanting to get the same fancy furniture as someone else. But you haven't built your own house yet, so the furniture won't help you yet. Build your own house, from the foundation to the walls to the roof, then add the decorations. It's fine to admire things that are at a different stage than you, but work on the stage you are at for now. You'll get further faster in the long run.

    Good, solid basics will pay off in the long run. Honest!!
    IndyLady, vit, FancyFeet and 2 others like this.
  7. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    ^^ Apparently me, dancing hustle at socials. I love the music, and the footwork isn't all that complicated... so while I've never actually learned the dance, I often get led in all sorts of random spins, etc. by this one pro... and it works, because I can follow, and stay over my own feet, and spot... and he can lead. By the end, (many) people are usually watching, but we are so not dancing for them. We're just messing around and having a great time, and would dance it the same way if the room were empty.
    raindance likes this.
  8. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Then you gotta hustle with me!!!!!!
    FancyFeet likes this.
  9. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    What's a "hustle"?
  10. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Hustle is a dance.. look it up. Super fun!!!
  11. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    My partner = 5
    Me = 4
    Audience = 1

    And when it comes to pleasing whoever is watching, it's not the variety of steps I want to show off. It's quality of movement, style, and connection to my partner.
  12. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Another perspective might be...
    Time spent learning steps = 4
    Time spent improving existing steps = 4
    Time spent developing step combinations = 2
  13. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    How about:

    Time spent learning connection and lead/follow 4
    Time spent learning how to move properly 3
    Time spent learning patterns 1
    Time spent reinforcing lessons 2
  14. vit

    vit Active Member

    I believe OP question was about dancing and not about learning
  15. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Yes, but you can't dance what you don't learn.
  16. vit

    vit Active Member

    Obviously ... but as I understand it was about setting the goals ... now if for OP it's not that important to please himself, and as we know, nobody is actually impressed or even interested in watching people that started dancing several months or so ago, then the question is, why even learn ...
  17. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    The reality of dancing is that very very few become good enough that people will pay to watch them dance. Most dancers have to pay in order to have an audience: either paying expensive fees for judges to watch them or fees to exhibition dance in a showcase. So you need to have other reasons for dancing than an audience if you don't have a large budget to buy an audience.
    flying_backwards and vit like this.
  18. vit

    vit Active Member

    Yeah ... and there are other problems (more related to salsa venues) ... if one is really reasonably good (which doesn't happen overnight) but is frequently "showing off" trying to impress others, then people start disliking him, especially if it's clear that his opinion about his dancing is well above what it actually is (which happens in 99% of cases) ...

    I like watching a good dancing if:

    - one is actually dancing for me to please me (like on performances)
    - it's a couple dancing without paying attention to me/audience, but I see nice communication in the couple, connection with music and reasonably good execution

    I don't like watching a dance if:

    - one is dancing to show others how good / better than audience he is
    - it's a couple dancing where I see that they (or one of them) doesn't enjoy their dance
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  19. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    This is a great point. Sometimes if it's really bad, I can't look away... Like a train wreck. But I love watching people have fun, even if they're not good dancers.
    FancyFeet likes this.
  20. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    This is a great point. Sometimes if it's really bad, I can't look away... Like a train wreck. But I love watching people have fun, even if they're not good dancers.

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