Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Women asking men

It happened to me last Saturday that a middle-aged (40+) woman I've never seen before asked me to dance. Well, I said yes, because I think it's quite rude to reject something like this. For me the dance wasn't too much of a pleasure, she didn't even look (?) at me.

I know it's kind of a compliment and call me conservative but I just don't like when a completely stranger woman asks me to dance. Why? Probably because my power (or at least the illusion that I can ask anyone) is taken away. So what should a woman to do to persuade a man to ask her? Come on, you're women, you know this! If he doesn't ask you in spite of all your best efforts then it must have a good reason.

Of course it's not the same with someone you know, your girlfriend or dance partner. I take it as a compliment if a girl I know asks me to dance (especially when I'm literally being dragged to the dancefloor :-)). But still prefer the old-fashioned way.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dirty Dancing 2: my opinion

Geeez, this movie is SO ridiculously dumb! If that's got anything to do with real salsa dancing, I smash my head into the wall, but before that I cut both my feet to prohibit dancing.
I'm pleading with you hollywood producers: rather spend on charity that hefty amount of money you want to spend on shooting remakes. You have enough money to save the whole world, come on.
Still, nowadays making remakes has become a fashion, but (in this case) the hollywood studios neglect to realize that in order to reach again that girl-wetting effect that could be seen 20 years ago, you have to produce a bit even more. Like well choreographed dances and good actors.

The plot of the movie? I'd rather not waste my time on that.

And what about the dance? In most scenes they're dancing off-rythm and unchoreographed just doing erotic hip-movements (which of course is great, but you can do it in a stupid disco). For example, the young "hero", Javier just grabs a girl who's dancing (quite intimately) with another man. If I had been him I'd have thanked God that the other guy hadn't punched me. The music you can hear doesn't reflect the 50's Cuba, these are just current hits made by Mia, Black Eyed Peas to mention a few. They are not even in Spanish!

So who's going to like this movie now? Well it has romance and dancing which is more than enough to please teenage girls who fall in love faster than you change socks and people who believe that salsa is made up of hip-movements (and sweating...).
And Patrick Swayze dancing? I somehow have the feeling he was put into the movie only to satisfy those who liked the first one. Somehow Fight Club springs to mind: "sticking feathers up your butt won't make you a chicken".

But still, if you put down your salsa-glasses and view it from an average joe point of view, it may even be entertaining. Well, it's about Cuba in the 50s, so it should be. But if you're a newbie and go into a salsa club and see how it really goes, don't be disappointed! It is so much better in real life.

Monday, May 08, 2006


I was listening to SADE (the Smooth Operator) and a line irreversibly grabbed my attention:
...He moves in space with minimum waste and maximum joy...

I reckon that this can be applied to dancing (and probably life) as well: don't complicate things unnecessary, but seek harmony and beauty. Translated into dancing: instead of hyper advanced-shoulder dislocating-72 step long figures, do simple but unexpected and funny ones. Especially in rueda! This could be seen in Lady Salsa as well.

What the heck is El tren? Enlightment.

A popular song in the clubs is "Ven, ven, ven" from Los Van Van, with that widely-known refrain:

Ven, ven, ven
Pa' que tú veas cómo es el tren

But this in itself would be quite dumb, since it means: come, come, come to see what the train is like. What???
I recently read how energetic the LVV performances are, and that Samuel Formell's drum and timbales play is a thrilling experience to watch. This is sometimes referred to as "El tren".
With this in mind, the refrain is immediatelay filled with spirit!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lady Salsa

We've seen Lady Salsa, it was just epic! Awesome dancers and choreography and music. They even dragged people from the audience on to the stage. Lili and Csiga you rocked!!! :-)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Salsa lyrics

Knowing and understanding the song's lyrics when dancing is a flow-like experince (well dancing in itself is, but this can boost it). And of course it's an effortless and effective way of learning Spanish. But I think finding salsa lyrics on the net is a bit tricky, so here are two pages that have proper collections: Carmen dance studio's and TOSalsa's.

Cumbia vs. salsa

Everyone must be familiar with the song "La vida es un carnaval" from Celia Cruz, maybe even tried to dance salsa on it... But the thing is, that this is cumbia, like it or not, meaning you shouldn't dance salsa on it. I often see experienced dancers even dancing ruedas on it. It may sound as a fast salsa, but the rythm is different.
Anyway, if no one suffers considerable damage and you're enjoying it, just dance.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Not being asked to dance?

Not being asked to dance?

Bring a "demo dolly" into the club, at least according to this very practical (bit weird though)article.

The point is that when someone (especially a woman) visits a new club where she knows nobody, she is not likely to be asked for a dance. But the same can even happen to men... To avoid this, it is worth bringing a person with you, with whom you can show off. That person would be called a demo dolly.
I can feel that a plastic, gender-changing and easily-foldable prototype (developed by not so handsome dancers in San Francisco) is soon about to hit market :-))

So, if you're going to visit a new club: BYODD, bring your own demo dolly!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rueda videos

Two awesome rueda videos (both from SALSAtlanta):

Here check out the fantastic techniques and the combination starting from puente in the end! And of course Celia Cruz is great as ever.

At this one the rueda is turned deliberately inside-out, so when doing a Dile que no men step outwards, making it more enjoyable for spectators.