Social Dancing Sins (Part Three)

Salsa Shines

Here is another blog post about more social dancing sins. I write these as I go out and get “inspired” (more like bothered). If you have any suggestions for more topics please leave it in the comments. Also, take a moment to please like our Facebook page.

Salsa Athletes

Salsa is more than a athleticism, it’s not only about how many spins you can do, or how many complicated patterns you can get out there without taking a break.  I have seen many guys out there who look like they are deliberately looking to physically exhaust their dance partners. When you accept to dance with someone like this, you don’t know it yet, but you’ve just accepted to a workout akin to CrossFit (he might as well should have asked you if you wanted to workout, he’ll train you). Whenever they dance with someone it goes something like this: They ask someone to dance, they find a spot on the dance floor… Now he is giving her a quadruple spin with a rotational backflip into a low dip. Keep in mind they just started dancing, and the song’s intro hasn’t even finished. Where the hell do you go from there? Their partner finishes the song like if she had just ran 10 miles, but not running, spinning. She just spun 10 miles, while fighting that guy.

Relax!! It’s good to burn calories when you dance, but give other guys a chance. You completely destroyed this girl, and that was her second song. It’s only 10:30pm. The party just started, and she’s ready to leave. Salsa is not a race; you’re not going to win a medal for having accomplished a thousand turns 17 seconds into the song. Pay attention to the music, salsa songs are not just one huge climax, they vary. Your dancing should vary according to the music. Take it easy at the beginning; don’t start off with your heavy artillery patterns and your triple and quadruple spins. Let your partner enjoy and relax into the dance, mix it up. It’s good to do fast turns and complicated patterns, but let your partner breathe.

The Shines Guy/Girl

I know there is partner work, and there is also open work in salsa. But if I just wanted to do shines, I’d stay home and dance by myself. What’s the point of those guys who ask girls to dance, they do a cross body lead, and then they let go and just do shines. They also start scoping around to see who’s watching them dance (check out People who don’t make eye contact, in my previous blog). If you love shines so much, take up performing. Otherwise the only thing you accomplish is to make your partner feel uncomfortable.

There is the female counterpart as well. She doesn’t care about connection, or following. She is an independent soul, which is cool, not in a partner dance though. This person will dance with you for about 30 seconds of the song, and then deliberately take off your arm off her back and release your hand. From there on is just shines till the end of the song. I don’t know how everyone else grasps this situation, but to me this is salsa language for – F you, I rather dance by myself.

In conclusion, whether you’re the perpetrator or the victim, I invite you to come check out my Footwork class Wednesday nights at 8pm. That way when they let go of you, you can out do them in their own game. OR, if you are a chronic shiner, then you can at least learn to do it right! (Sorry I had to promote :))

2 thoughts on “Social Dancing Sins (Part Three)

  1. How about dancers who put on a show and think that that is good social dancing. They do this by doing superfluous amounts of dips, tricks, and exaggerate every movement. Very annoying to watch.

  2. Hey Edie,

    I totally agree with your points on a social sins score – though I do confess if the guy is leading me roughly or has been over-spinning me, or if the music is doing something completely different to what he’s leading, I may take a moment out to do some solo work. But I rarely maintain that for too long as I certainly agree re the shines-only dances!

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