Addicted2Salsa / Dance Articles

Nuevotec Salsa Summer Splash 2007 Video Dance Review

Nuevotec Salsa Summer Splash 2007 Video Dance Review

What's the sweeter bonus? A weekend in beautiful Palm Springs, CA? Or a salsa congress and bootcamp in the 2007 Salsa Summer Splash? Maybe it's a draw. Regardless, I had a great time at the event. Palm Springs gets very crowded with salseros in the months of July and August. Al Espinoza's event somehow pulls a large following, despite the fact that his party is the third event (in 8 weeks) in the desert oasis. Both the workshop/bootcamp portion and the performances/parties were well attended. Want a reggaeton class? Check. Bachata or salsa shines? Yup. I'm trying to recall if there was a zouk workshop. Wanna talk about some great instructors? John Narvaez and Liz Rojas from Salsamania taught an intermediate/advanced on2 pattern class. The bay area team broke down the pattern thoroughly, and even split the class between guys and girls to get their respective pieces down. John also took some time outside of the class to help me with a difficult section. Anthony and I really enjoyed the session.In addition to meeting Sir Anthony Persaud of San Diego for the first time, I met Pauline (Miss Flare), Karlos, and a bunch of other salseros from the Bay Area, LA, San Diego, etc. Great company. On the performance tip, they started pretty close to their scheduled time, within a half hour. Some of the standout routines included Majesty in Motion, John Narvaez and Liz Rojas, Pretty Boys and Girls, Salsabor y Cache. Click on some of the images below for a sampling of the videos. Thanks to Anthony for doing the interview with Dave Stein and Majesty in Motion. Keep the podcast going for the community!

The famous Salsa Hell dance graph

The famous Salsa Hell dance graph

Now, I've been so busy with my real life (work), that I haven't been able to even go out dancing! Yes, I know its blasphemy around this site. However, looking over some old files, I found a great treasure that I'd like to share.

Salsa Dancing : Your Brain on Dancing

Salsa Dancing : Your Brain on Dancing

I found this article very interesting.... it explains why at the beginning of learning salsa, its difficult to multi task your motor skills. This is also scientific proof of why learning to follow is much easier than learning to lead... Learning to follow requires the use of the sense of touch (which according to the published research - the brain can easily handle because it is directly connected to the motor processing part of the brain). However leading requires the images of the actions (planning and forming motor actions) be kept in the leads head followed my multiple motor skill actions - which the brain cannot easily do at the same time. (it has to keep track of how the leads feet are placed, timing of music, planning the next move, how the move should look, the follows feet, the hands to lead the move...etc). It says that the reason we are able to do this is because by forcing our brain to perform all these activities repeatedly, it ends up turning all these different tasks into just one. So as an example, crossbody lead - instead of thinking, ok, step forward, step side, open up, lead the lady across, and come back together on 7 and basic step... we just think - cross-body lead (so we don't have to "plan" for a cross-body lead just let our muscles execute it) and our brain is then free to do 'other' things such as adding styling and flavor.

Thinking Outside the Box-step

If you want to become a better salsa dancer, learn a different dance. Thats right, I said it. Learn something else. Why? Because it might just give you a new perspective on dancing in general, and that may just benefit your Salsa in more ways than you might expect.I love Salsabut I admit that it was not my first love. That title belongs to swingLindy Hop to be more specific. But thats ok, because had it not been for my love of one particular dance style, I would never have ventured to others, including Salsa. My experience has taught me that you can always learn something new and apply it to something you already know. The benefits of doing this can lead to increased kinesthetic knowledge of how your own body can move, dance innovation by applying elements of one dance style to another, and improved dance technique. My disclaimer is that not everyone takes away the same thing(s) from each style of dance, so I will share a few examples of what I have learned along the way:

Salsa : Beyond the Roots - New York Times

I would like to send a thanks to Jan for sending me this link to this article. It talks specifically on the comparison of the salsa scenes portrayed in 'El Cantante' the movie compared to the salsa scenes of today. You can find the article here: Salsa Spins Beyond its Roots.

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