Good evening folks!
This weekend I’m off to a salsa weekend (we even have Jorje Camaguey as a guest instructor), so the post comes a tad early…
Recently there was a very interesting and lengthy discussion among several salsa acquaintances of mine about what is and what is not salsa dancing, and if it can be summarized in some sort of a “set of guidelines”.
Accepting it as a personal challenge, here are the results; I hereby present you with the 10 basic principles of salsa dancing!
10 basic principles of salsa:
- Music is everything; It all starts with the music and end with it. Always dance by the music.
- Respect, understand, learn and love Afro Cuban music.
- Do not dance salsa to any non Afro Cuban, Clave based music; In such music there can be no relation to the dance, as all dance elements in salsa were made to be executed to the wonderful sounds of Clave based Afro Cuban music.
- Do not dance to commercialized, non Clave based, and non Afro Cuban music, which has a rhythm which is not Clave (or is Clave based) at its rhythmic core.
- Salsa is an Afro Cuban social dance, which is danced for the mutual enjoyment of the couple a\o group dancing together. It is not danced to please a crowd of spectators. Salsa is not a competitive sport or a show!
- Salsa is not a show, so don’t use elements coming from show or stage work.
- Salsa, like all social Latin dances, is dances moving the body using Cuban (contra-body) motion. Don’t use any elements which disrupt Cuban motion.
- Regardless of tempo (Contra Tiempo or a-tiempo), salsa is danced with a sequence of 3 steps followed by a pause (or tap); Don’t use any elements which disrupt the basic stepping pattern.
- Salsa is a social dance, and is meant for crowded dance floors. It is danced circularly or if space is insufficient, in place.
- Salsa, like all Latin social dances, has a constant flow, and all movement is smooth and round. Do not use any elements which disrupt the flow of the dance.They say that a picture is better than a 1000 words… so how much is a video worth?
Here is one of my favorite salsa videos; this is quite the definition of what Afro Cuban social dancing should look like…Disfruten!