Monthly Archives: December 2007

Office Closes Dec 6th to 26th

I wanted to post some information before I leave because I will be closing the TDS office from Dec 6-26th and I wanted to leave some instruction.

There won’t be any responses to voicemail unfortunately. Most of the answers to everyone’s questions can actually be found on our website so search through the site and use the forums as a means for obtaining info. If you can’t find the answer to your questions email me at info@torontodancsalsa.ca as I will be occasionally checking emails.

I will update the registration numbers every second day so it should still remain fairly accurate. All registrations as usual will be processed online and it would be beneficial if everyone paid through with a credit card online to avoid cheque delays.

DVDs will not be mailed out during this time so please remember it will take a few weeks to receive. Email confirmations also will not be emailed out until my return so please be patient and you will receive them by Dec 27th.

This will also be my last blog post until end of December. I wish everyone a wonderful a wonderful holiday season and an amazing end to 2007!

Steven’s Email

I received the following email from Steven, a salsa lover who likes this blog. Here it is:

“Dear Sharon,

I really like the blog’s you always write on your site. Although I do not live I Canada, I often can relate to the story’s. On an dutch website* I saw an interview with Edie the SalsaFreak. In this interview there is an question about “social dancing” and “show dancing”. I’m just curious about how you think about that and maybe write a blog about it.

Greetings,

Steven, The Netherlands

Quote from the interview (quoted from: http://latinsalsaforum.latinnet.nl/postp5332.html#5332 :

Sederick (the interviewer): As long I have you here and you’re being so open hearted I’m burning to ask you this question. I find that Salsa dancing is heading towards being a bad copy of Latin dancing in the international Salsa scene, and in particular the (international) Salsa dance competitions. We’ve had a big discussion on the Net about the difference between ‘dancing for the Inner Self’ (social dancing: dancing with your partner and the music, and taking care of the rest of the dancers on the dance floor) and ‘dancing for the Outer Self’ (dancing only to show off, using your dance partner as a rag doll, using the music as background, and not caring for the well being of the other dancers on the dance floor). What can we do to solve this ‘problem’ ?

Edie: By organizing unrehearsed Musicality demos by your top social dancers at your monthly social events! Fabrizio and I did a Musicality demo at the Salsa Beach Festival last July, and Randolph and I did one recently here at Casa Loca! Plain and simple. Doing Musicality demos once a month by two top social dancers (chosen by drawing their names out of a hat – whomever is there that night) and making sure they are not regular dance partners, SURELY wins the crowd’s applause and cheers.

Why? Because this is a TRUE test of pure LEAD and FOLLOW. ANYONE can rehearse for six months a two-minute routine and make it look good on stage…, BUT CAN THEY DANCE? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve danced socially with great stage performers and have been shocked and disappointed at their lack of lead and following skills. It blows my mind. We need to get back to pure lead and follow. We need to get back to the romance and drama of the MUSIC – the way the musicians originally intended it.”

I think this is a great topic of debate. Thanks, Steven, for bringing it up. I know how disappointing it is to expect a dancer who is a great showperson to be a good dancer and then seeing that this is not the case. I think there are three types of dancers:

a) The social dancer – this is the person that is addicted to going out to clubs,dancing with as many people as possible and getting the high from the music, the partner and the dance
b) The show dancer – this person loves the limelight and gets the high from attention. This is not always a bad thing, it is fun and entertaining to watch show dancers. We need them to motivate us and inspire people to become better dancers. However, it has to work for the partner or it is just not working
c) The combo dancer – this person can do both and do it well. The find importance in the dance itself, the partnerwork, the challenge of the lead and follow. Yet the could put on a great show when inspired.

It is definitely important for instructors to discuss the essence of partner work. Salsa is not about one individual – it is a team effort. The lead and the follow is the most challenging part of the dance and what makes it so unique. Salsa is an ad-libbed dance. Choreography has little place on the club dance floor. If we start talking about this issue in class, on websites and at congresses and raising awareness there may be a shift back to the basics.

We also need to be more honest on the dance floor. If we are being used as rag dolls or if our partner has forgotten about us during a 4 minute shine session, maybe we should be more honest? Short term it may not make you popular or liked but it will ensure there is personal awareness.

If anyone has any comments on this issue I would love to hear about it. Thanks to Steven for bringing up the topic and hopefully he can share more with us in the future!

Helper Outing on Saturday

At the end of every semester I take the helpers out to do something special on me as a thank you for all their hard work and dedication during the semester. This past Saturday about 45 helpers attended the Fall Helper Recognition Outing.

We started at 5:30pm at Extreme Fitness downtown for a styling workshop with Oscar and Vanessa of Latin Energy. They led the group through a 1.5 hours workshop on sexy styling and a great turn pattern that was easy to follow and fun to execute.

What I liked about the workshop and what the helpers really appreciated, is that the styling was do-able which is not always the case. Sometimes you are taught styling and it is just overwhelming. It is too fast and too much and it ends up being forgotten. Vanessa made it easy for the ladies to understand and remember and Oscar made the learnings fun and enjoyable.

From there we moved on to dinner and dancing at Cayo Coco Tapas Supper Club. It is a very small 3 story restaurant with dancing on the first floor and food on the second and third.

We ate a tapas type dinner with lots of appetizer-type dishes and a main paella dish. The food was good although I don’t think they really could handle a group of our size well.

We then retired downstairs for some salsa. The space was tiny and definitely not built for dancers. The DJ was supposed to start at 10pm but he only arrived at 10:45pm which was disappointing as many people didn’t want to wait and it killed some of our dancing vibes. Many people did stick around though and hopefully they had a great time.

Overall it was a great evening and I hope everyone enjoyed it. Next outing will definitely be more adventurous though so get ready for it!!