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For the new set of beginners...

 
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pammee



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject: For the new set of beginners... Reply with quote

Hi All,

I just signed up for Nightclub Salsa 1 starting this October. I'm already a second level Cuban Salsa student at another school and enjoying it very much. I have a few questions that hopefully some of you can answer...

1. Will it be tough to adjust to a different style of salsa because I've already developed habits from Cuban Salsa?

2. Are there usually enough partners for everyone?

3. For those who just completed Salsa 1, what was the best and worst part of taking these lessons?

4. Any other valuable advice for beginner students?

Thanks everyone! This forum is awesome!
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Kimberlita



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 372
Location: Downtown

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there and welcome to Toronto Dance Salsa! Glad you signed up for your first class Smile I think you will find our group to be very friendly and social, and you can get as involved as you want to up to the point of addiction! Here are some answers to your questions:

Quote:
1. Will it be tough to adjust to a different style of salsa because I've already developed habits from Cuban Salsa?


All of the moves are broken down step by step, so that even people with no dance background can pick it up. At the beginning, try to stick with what you're taught here, and you will be fine. Eventually you might find your Cuban background quite useful in dancing with different people. Every dancer has a different style anyway!

Quote:
2. Are there usually enough partners for everyone?


Yes! Even if some students are away, we have our TDS Helpers who are there every week to balance things out and to provide tips and advice if you want it.

Quote:
4. Any other valuable advice for beginner students?


I guess my advice for this would be for students to be persistant....GO OUT AND DANCE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Don't be intimidated (I know this seems hard). The more practice you get, the faster you will learn and the better you will be! Dance with a lot of different people, and listen to salsa music often so you will become familiar with the timing.

Hope this helps! See you on the dancefloor!
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timbero1



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: tips Reply with quote

I don't know where you took your Cuban salsa classes or the quality of the instruction. A lot of teachers in Toronto who say they teach Cuban style do not know what they are doing. They either pass off Latin American style salsa dancing as Cuban or teach Casino Rueda but in a North American style. One good way to know if you have a good teacher is if they refer to Casino as a dance and not just in relation to ruedas.

Every salsa dance style has its base in Cuban style salsa dancing. Therefore, if you dance Cuban style well, you should be able to adapt to any style. Casino makes particular emphasis on the clave, so you should be very comfortable with the music.

Both styles have in common

1) cross body leads (in Cuba cross body leads )

2) What is called "the mambo" step here (in Cuba, this step is common and comes from Son.)

Some differences

1) The "mambo step" and cross body leads in North American styles are usually bigger and stay the same size on the same space of the dancefloor.

2) Arm resistance is stronger in North American styles for spins, because they like to do quick multiple spins. On the other hand, a double spin in casino would have to follow two cycles of the quick-quick-slow. Many Cuban women have "spaghetti" arms in order to do the really complicated, tight and almost arm twisting spins.

3) Arm resistance in guapea or cross body leads is stronger in Casino. Don't expect to be pulled in cross body leads and pushed like in casino when you take North American salsa lessons.

4) Almost every spin in Cuban style movies along the dancefloor. In North American styles, in the "mambo" step position, you end in the same place after you finish a spin.

5) In the mambo step in North America, the heel of your right foot hardly comes down. In Cuban many people put their heels down a lot even when they do spins. Therefore, it seems like Cuban walk out their spins because it seems very natural. Of course, they are also Cubans who do spins with more on the balls of their feet too.

6) Cubans like to walk around with their basic and cross body steps and feel it is difficult to keep in a slot like North American styles.

I hope I helped you out
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Carina



Joined: 31 May 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Downtown Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: For the new set of beginners... Reply with quote

pammee wrote:
2. Are there usually enough partners for everyone?


Yup. They're really good about having enough helpers there to even it out.

pammee wrote:
3. For those who just completed Salsa 1, what was the best and worst part of taking these lessons?


I finished level 1 in the spring, but hopefully that's recent enough for you. Wink The best thing about it was the instructions and the rotation, I think; you got to learn from different people, and things were broken down well and consistently practiced. Everyone was friendly and nobody got singled out or anything like that.

The worst thing, at least from my perspective as someone with dance background, was that I found the pace was very slow and we didn't progress through anywhere near as much "stuff" as I felt could have been covered in the 9 weeks. However, this is also a good thing; I mean, if I was a beginner student with no dance knowledge, I'd be very annoyed if the class progressed too quickly. I suppose it's a matter of balance ... but this way you have differing opinions, I guess. Not all people I know who have a dance background have a problem ... but I know that personally, it was too slow.
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pammee



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great feedback everyone! I'm excited to start in the Fall.

Timbero1, I'm currently taking Cuban Salsa at AfroLatino Dance Company.
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