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The Salsa Trend

 
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nina bambina



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 46
Location: Downtown Toronto, ON

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2008 9:59 am    Post subject: The Salsa Trend Reply with quote

You know, it seems that everywhere I look, there are more and more people teaching, learning, and dancing salsa of all kinds. I visit friend's condos and see postings for salsa lessons in the lobby, gyms that offer salsacardio as aerobics classes, I even see salsa classes for new mothers! Apparently, you can dance salsa with your newborn baby! It's a trend thats going strong and I hope it never stops! But how and when did this trend begin in Canada?
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Kimberlita



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 372
Location: Downtown

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw this feautred on Breakfast Television not too long ago...it's called Salsa Babies, and as soon as I have a kid, I'll have to sign up for it. Not any time soon though.. Wink

http://www.torontosalsababies.com/

It looks like a great place to get new moms out and about and help shed the baby weight. And of course most importantly, give your baby an early start do dancing salsa! Babies will start counting 123, 567!!
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Salsasian



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 49
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:25 am    Post subject: Dance explosion Reply with quote

I think that shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars" is leading to a new and healthy focus on all kinds of dance. It looks like dance studios are popping up everywhere, and I constantly see flyers and posters offering lessons in tango, salsa, ballroom, jazz, etc. It's a great form of moderate exercise especially for those who work in an office and hate going to the gym.
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Alfred

Dance like no one's watching.
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analytix



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope this is just not a fad rather a trend and will last for long.
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latinsalsa



Joined: 29 Feb 2008
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: popularity of salsa Reply with quote

I think the salsa dance industry is becoming more developed. There are more salsa teachers than before, because just about anybody can become a salsa teacher (there is no certification) and it is a status thing for a lot of people. There are also more varied classes than before (like cardio-salsa, salsa for teens, etc.). There are more congresses and socials than before.

But I really doubt salsa is getting more popular than before. Why?

Salsa in North America is becoming more closer to Ballroom dancing, performance dancing, or professional dancing. It is becoming less and less a social thing for regular people. You dance salsa now, you need all the equipment, dancing shoes, sweat bands, towels, and Salsa T shirts, etc.

Although many people like this kind of thing, it also turns a lot of people off, especially the people who buy the salsa CDs or songs. Most of the people who buy music are Latin people, because they speak Spanish and most of the songs are in Spanish. Whereas Latin people used to dance socially in nightclubs, now more often than not, they spend most of their time sitting watching the salsa professionals.

Salsa is become more globalized, with people dancing salsa from Singapore to Romania.
but a lot of the new people to salsa don't speak Spanish. For them, their stars are their salsa teachers, whereas for Latin people, their stars were the salsa singers and groups. More and more, the Latin music on TV shows and competition is sung in English, usually bad Latin music. People who are new to salsa are not music consumers. They don't know or care if Issac Delgado is gay or not. In other words, they are not real fans of any salsa musicians or groups. Part of the reason why is that they can't recognize salsa song titles in Spanish or group names in Spanish. In other words, there is a language barrier.

Salsa music sales are down everywhere. No wonder why Marc Anthony spends more time on pop and acting. Latin people like to drink at bars or nightclubs. The new salsa dancer doesn't drink a lot. Therefore, there has been no real growth in the number of salsa nightclubs in the city.

I have been dancing salsa for over 20 years. Every year, somebody says salsa is getting more and more popular. They said it a lot when Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias became famous in North America. I don't think any salsa song has ever become popular in Canada, like the top 10.
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blackout1999



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 121
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 8:18 pm    Post subject: My spin Reply with quote

What's the deal, salsa people? Allow me to put my spin into this topic. I have a deep respect for where salsa came from and for people who are die-hard salsa fanatics. Salsa has come along way and it continues to evolve on a daily basis, whether anyone likes it or not. The interest to learn or at least try salsa is there and it seems to grow on a daily basis. Everyday, someone tells me that some gym or someone is offering salsa lessons but Toronto does need more clubs or places that do salsa nights. Just remember one thing: salsa changes everyday and not everyone agrees with change. Holla back at ya boy!
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Salsasian



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 49
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Good vs. bad change Reply with quote

Latinsalsa,

I read your posting thoroughly and your points provoke a lot of thought for me. I have friends from South America who have been dancing salsa all their lives without ever taking a lesson. There are two categories in general I can place them in and here is a summary of the difference I see.

There are those who are so adaptable that they can dance on-1, on-2 and cuban style salsa and transition between all of them without even knowing what these terms mean. They find it amazing that there are schools devoted to something that they just grew up doing, and find humour in all the names and moves and "patterns" that we have. On my side I'm always inspired at the way they dance. They dance "to the music" and extend the emotions in the music through their dance. So often I see just basic steps with no patterns and it looks beautiful.

The second category is what I would call the purist who stays within the style that they have grown up dancing with. They poke fun at us trying to dance a bastardized version of "their" dance. They don't understand that salsa has evolved and for them it's evolved in a bad way. I've even heard that I'll never be able to dance "real" salsa because my body has not "grown up" dancing the "real" salsa.

I take it all in stride and think that everyone is entitled to their opinion. There is without a doubt though there is a difference in typical North American salsa and how South Americans and Cuban dance back in their respective countries of origin.

I am uncertain about the generalization that there is salsa "equipment." One great thing about salsa is that I can show up in almost any city of the world and a quick google will provide me with a list of clubs I can show up at with little more than a bit of money and my salsa spirit. I wear any fresh t-shirt or a dress shirt if the place has a/c with a nice pair of pants and I'm set. The "equipment" you mention are all a preference by some who believe their experience is enhanced (by being able to soak up their sweat, enable easier spinning on the dance floor, etc.) and definitely not a barrier to entry onto the dancefloor.

It would be really sad if salsa devolved from it's position as a social dance. It would ve a hugely bad change if this is what is happening. Salsa being a social dance is what drew me to salsa in the first place. I think there is a big difference between performance salsa and social dancing. It would be a gross generalization to relate the increasing visibility of competitions and tournaments and the more "ballroom" aspects of performance salsa to what happens on the dance floor at a club.

This is a great topic of discussion as I also wonder whether there are factors that make salsa seem intimidating that we can all help to address? Hopefully the "good" changes we introduce outnumber by far the "bad" changes that occur.
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latinsalsa



Joined: 29 Feb 2008
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: popularity of salsa (cont.) Reply with quote

The Latin people who say that North Americans can not dance salsa or they can't feel the music are really stupid. I am sure you know and I know many Latin people who can not dance salsa well.

However, a lot of them think they dance well, which is unfortunate, and they look down on Canadian people. A lot of them can not find the clave or rhythm of the music, but have no problems suggesting they have some invisible passion or sense of the music.

But your categorization of Latin dancing into one group is wrong. And here is something that most Latin and Canadian people don't know.

Basically, all salsa dancing comes from Cuban roots in mambo, cha cha cha and son. Salsa dancing in Central and South America took one part of Cuban dancing - the step which is known as the "cumbia" step in Toronto and its accompanying spins. Latin salsa dancers from Central and South America do NOT do the cross body lead, (unless they learn a style from a different country. For example, most of the South American professional dancers here learned the cross body lead style here or in New York).

Most Central or South Americans think the cross body lead style is something foreign, something gringo. However, if they travel to the Latin Carribean countries (Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic) or even New York, they will realize that cross body are very Latin.

Cross body leads in clave based music like cha cha cha and son have been done for many decades in Cuba. It is this Cuban cross body lead style that became the base for New York and Los Angeles style. Of course, these styles of dancing have changed on their own or "evolved" and have their own choreography, but still for many people it looks very similiar.

A lot of Latin people do not know how salsa is danced in OTHER Latin countries, so they assume it is danced the same as in their country. Most Latin people do not know that most of the Cuban salsa teachers in Toronto have studied with salsa teachers in Cuba. They do know that there are professional teachers in Latin America that teach the correct way to dance.

They just assume it should be just a social thing and you just try to feel the music. Some Central and South Americans get bothered that someone should take lessons because it goes against the informal nature of the dance and tries to control it.

Cubans tend to be less bothered about taking lessons, because there have been even government initiatives and schools that teach how to dance salsa (casino) properly.

However, I would be careful of the word "evolved", but it seems to suggest that it has developed or improved upon, which I would disagree with. It suggests that Latin styles of dancing salsa are old or obsolete. Certainly in Cuba, salsa dancing has also "evolved" or developed a lot especially in the 1990's and early 2000's.

My original post was really about the popularity of salsa dancing. I think the popularity of salsa music has gone down, especially among Latin people in general, who were the main consumers before. I think the salsa teaching industry has developed, but I still think salsa will ultimately depend on the music, its singing stars, groups and hits.

I honestly believe salsa dancing has turned for a more performance style direction. A lot of people like this style and a lot of people are taking up salsa because of this new dynamic style. However, I don't see a lot of these new salsa dancers consuming salsa music and replacing the Latin salsa music consumers. Most salsa dancers now perfer to go to socials than concerts, or prefer their salsa with hip hop or some English lyrics.

Maybe more salsa songs should be made in English, the language of globalization and international business?

With that said, I do think that specially made dancing shoes are rather silly. Are they really going to make you dance better? Just choose some comfortable shoes and spend the rest of your money buying or supporting salsa music that you like.
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