It’s exciting times with our thrilling plans for the new year!
See the Course Schedule and the different courses for more info!
Here are some tips to remember when social dancing:
Ladies when a man asks you to dance, do not say no! This poor guy has used a huge amount of his courage to ask you.. he has put himself out there..his ego is on the line.. there are people watching.. don’t leave him hanging! If you say no and he happens to have a healthy salsero ego (usually these are rather large), it is quite likely that he will never ask you again…if you do this with enough men, you may run out of partners to dance with… your choice ladies!
Gentlemen, when a lady asks you to dance, she has gone against convention, gotten tired of waiting for you to ask her, gotten tired of waiting around for the men to man up in general, just wants to hit the dance floor, thinks you may help her to enjoy her few minutes on the dance floor, and no she probably doesn’t want to date you… Be a man and dance with her!
When you are on the dance floor, gentlemen, it is your job to protect the lady you are dancing with from all the other wild dancing people around you. Protect her from being bumped and jostled or knocked off balance. Most of all protect her from being tread on by another salsero or worse another salsera’s heal! This hurts, and if it happens she will be VERY tempted to walk away and leave you on your own in the middle of the floor, even if it is purely out of pain! Don’t tempt her, protect her!
Ladies, likewise, you need to be aware of where you put down your feet. When you are dancing in a crowded area keep your weight off your heals. This way when (I say when because it will happen some time or other) you accidentally step on someone the pain will be considerably less. You can also take much smaller steps which will minimise the pain you and those around you may otherwise be forced to feel.
Shower and put on antiperspirant and something nice smelling and VERY clean clothes, and brush your teeth, before you go dancing. Just do it! No dance can be enjoyed when you are trying to hold your breath!
Buy at least one drink from the bar. If every salsero and salsera always only drinks the provided tap water, the venue owners will very quickly get very sick of having you all there, unless they are themselves addicted to salsa. This is not usually the case. So buy a drink (mineral water counts, if you buy two… 🙂 ) and in this way say thank you for having a place to come to and dance with your friends.
It is totally legit to say no to dancing with a drunk man or a drunk woman. They will forget what you said by morning! Only dance drunk, if you have proof on YouTube that you are just as spectacular, and in control and aware, when you are drunk as when you are sober. Also when you are drunk it is very likely that your breath stinks, so I’ll point you back to rule #3.
This is the most important rule of salsa. Enjoy yourself! Have fun, be playful! Be nice and help others enjoy themselves, this will very likely mean that you enjoy yourself more.
Till the new year then…
Happy Dancing Everyone!
I don’t mean in life, for that you’ll need more than just our help! I mean in Salsa. What is the correct timing for L.A Style Salsa or Salsa-on-1? How do you find the first beat? Do the rest of the beats matter?
The first beat is important. It is where it all starts, and it is where you need to start! There are tricks to finding the first beat, sometimes it is an emphasised beat, sometimes it is the beat that the singer or the background singers start on. Mostly, you’ll just have to practice and keep practicing until you get it, eventually! If you want to look at the technicalities of finding the first beat have a read of what the Dancing Irishman has to say in How to find that goddam 1 beat in salsa.
Once you have found the 1, you need to move on to the 2 beat, really quickly. The 1 & 2 beats in LA style salsa are quick beats and follow in quick succession of one another. This is the first “quick-quick”. It is important because without the quick-quick there is no slow. Beat 3 and 4 are the slow. This is where you transfer your weight from one foot to the other more slowly. They are the chill-out phase where you can gather your thoughts and often your breath for a fraction before moving on to the next quick-quick. The second quick-quick is 5 and 6. These need to be at the same speed as 1 and 2 and is the quick-quick which precedes the last slow, 7 and 8, the second chill-out phase and slow transfer of weight. Thus you get:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
quick-quick slow quick-quick slow
If all your steps are quick and there is no slow, it means you are not giving time to the 4 and 8 and therefore you will find yourself out of time with the music. If all your steps are slow in your salsa basic, it generally means that you are completely out of time with the music! There are of course those steps that you will learn at a more advanced level where this basic rhythm changes, but the more you practice this the better you will become! And here is another tip, the faster the song you are dancing to, the more important this rhythm is!
So listen, listen, listen! The music is not there to create a nice party vibe while you dance; it creates your dance- keep listening!
Happy Dancing peeps!
What takes a dance from being a series of spins and steps to being that 3-minute-moment you want to repeat over and over again? Is it the song? Is it your partner? Is it your own dancing?
I say, all of the above and more!
There are several aspects for me which takes a dance from just a dance to that dance, the very reason you came out that evening.
The first aspect is the music- when the music strikes its first note within your being and you start moving to it before you hit the dance floor, you know its going to be a very good three+ minutes, but there are several more aspects which come into play.
One is your partner during that song. Is your partner enjoying the music? Do they connect with you by looking you in the eye and smiling? Is there laughter between you when a mistake is made by either of you? Or is he or she too worried about the next step? Or too worried about the people watching so that they are forgetting to enjoy the moment with you? Or too worried about his leading or her following? These things make a huge difference in a dance. Are you overly worried while you’re on the dance floor? Your partner can tell and it is minimising their enjoyment of the dance. The next time you dance with anyone, look them in the eye, allow that connection between you, smile and laugh and enjoy yourself!
But there is another aspect in making the dance that dance. That dance is a dance which includes what I like to call play. Play I will define as spontaneous movement originating from either of the partners, to which the other partner responds spontaneously without either partner taking away from the current step or beat. Therefore play at a simple level could be seen as styling, but it is also so much more than styling. It is dancing! It is styling that involves spontaneity within a four-way connection. It is your connection to the music, your partner’s connection to the music, your connection to your partner and your connection to yourself.
To play in a dance you need to be able to dance with more than your feet and the steps and patterns which you have been taught. You need to dance with your entire body! Play can involve popping or rolling, flicking, combing, twisting and even hopping and so much more!
Play can make a dance, and a lack thereof can break it…
Do you play when you dance?
If you’re keen to learn a little more about how to play within a dance, pull in at our BODY MOVEMENT WORKSHOP on SATURDAY 24th November at 3pm at Barbosa Social Café! Contact us to book your place!
On the inside Albert is just another guy who loves Salsa, he loves the music and he loves the dance. Because of his love for Salsa and his Puerto Rican heritage he now dedicates his life to promoting Salsa and Latin Music and Dance all around the world.
And he is good at it!!
Albert Torres has organised over 350 Salsa congresses internationally in all kinds of exotic places, including, Dubai, The United Arab Emirates, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Bulgaria, Romania, China, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Holland, Hamburg, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Ecuador, New Zealand, Australia, Puerto Rico, and in numerous cities across America. These congresses happen annually and are attended by thousands of people from the entire globe.
Albert Torres came to Cape Town thanks to the careful planning of our friends Theo (TeddyBear) Mseka and Marcel Stevens. He came with two objectives. One was to visit the Salsa Community of Cape Town and to give a talk on the History of Salsa which happened on the 14th October 2012.
His second objective was to experience Cape Town, South Africa in order to plan the Cape Town Salsa Congress 2013…! Albert must have liked what he saw for the dates for the Cape Town Salsa Congress 2013 are 31 October to 3rd November 2013!!! It already has 2 international acts confirmed and is promising to be an amazing few days!
On Wednesday 10 October 2012, Albert Torres visited Just Dancing Salsa at Barbosa Social Café!
The evening started with our usual incredibly fun Improvers and Intermediate classes. With a great turn out, a photographer, and a bar two steps away, the evening rapidly turned into an absolute party. After the classes, the ladies put on some pretty dress and we all joined the awesome Wesley Solomon (from Tren Latino) and the incredibly talented Keith Coxon for some live latin and salsa beats on the deck. Here Albert was having his dinner, but he soon joined in and did his thing on the dance floor along with everyone else.
With fun spins and foot leads, he lead the salseras around the floor and shook hands with all the salseros. In this way we all met the man who was under the cap and behind the dark glasses, the man who has put into effect the Cape Town Salsa Congress 2013!!!
That moment when the music pounds in your heart
Adrenaline surges through your every vain
You connect with the band
You connect with your partner across the floor
You dance towards each other
Every speedy beat is expressed in your body and in his
You meet in the middle
You do not touch
Rather you dance around each other
The music creating the strongest bond
Swift notes move your limbs
A drum roll shakes your hips
A slight pause causes an intake of breath
He takes your hand and spins you around him
The music surges through you both
He leads two quick combs
Spontaneously you roll your bodies towards each other
The music slows
You are spun
Ah! That moment!
See you at the Havana 1950s Salsa Party! 13 October!
Arriving in the car park of Barbosa was nerve-wracking- you were wearing a mask and feeling a little bit silly… but as soon as you get out of the car another car load of people get out across the way and they too are masked! Immediately your feelings turn to hope! You smile at them and begin to walk inside.
Outside, the tables are empty- it is still winter and early in the evening, but when you round the corner you walk into another group of people- dressed to the nines and masked! Now you are nervously excited, this party could potentially be one to remember! Inside the DJ has begun playing and a much larger crowd is waiting at the bar, masked and hopeful!
The lesson begins, some are masked and some not, but the vibe is electric. It is an absolute squeeze! You would never have thought so many people could be in this room at the same time, never mind learning how to salsa in it! But nonetheless everyone is moving, everyone is learning! The music is played after a few steps have been explained, and the fun begins- some people are falling over their feet, others are getting their groove on, everyone is loving it! Masked faces are smiling and laughing! Partners change, a new mask is dancing in front of you; you move with the music, the congas are by now beating in your heart. The lesson finishes, you have learnt your moves and are ready to party!
DJ Crazy A starts with a great song, people around you are hugging and greeting, chatting or running to replenish at the bar. Next to you a couple starts dancing, then you notice couples around you all spinning and moving while the music just gets better. Determined to join on the fun, you grab a partner and put into effect the moves you just learnt, soon you start playing with other moves. The happy bubble in your stomach grows and grows!
The song ends, you thank your partner, get a new one and dance the next song also. And the next one, and the next one. Eventually your thirst is greater than your need to dance and you finally make it to the bar. You get a drink and move to your group of friends. The hours roll swiftly by but you notice no time, you are having a blast- between friends and salsa, the bar and meeting new people and great music, you are loving it!
During a dance you notice the drums are highlighted in the current song, you look up and see a percussionist next to the DJ. He is rocking it out! DJ Crazy A lowers the music and the beat of percussionist Keith Coxon rises to a new level. Your blood pounds along with his salsa rhythm and you are bursting to match your movement to his exhilarating drumming. In the following songs Keith and the DJ get a brilliant groove going- an amazing party just got even better!
By the end of the night, or rather early the next morning your feet are burning, yet your heart is as high as a kite having spent your Saturday night in the perfect way!
Is this something of your experience last Saturday?
Welcome to Salsa, Masquerader!
Come and check out our weekly classes to up your moves…
THE NEXT PARTY: 13 OCTOBER! Watch this space for more info!!