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Salsa Tip #90 : Creating your own practice floor on a budget

Salsa Tip #90 : Creating your own practice floor on a budget

So maybe you've been in this situation... You want to practice in your apartment or home, but its mainly carpet. Also, getting wooden floor panels costs too much. Well, there is a simple solution (thanks to Alex for this tip). Go to Staples or Office Max and get a couple of those plastic office floor matts. This makes it perfect because you get the smoothness of a regular dance floor, but with the portability of... well.. plastic sheets.You can lay multiple of them over an area (hopefully in front of a mirror so you can practice your footwork with your dance shoes - of course, without ruining your carpet. (Don't try high heels). Also, limiting yourself to 1 mat will help you get better at controlling your 'spread' which is the distance that your body moves when doing footwork. (Well, I call it the spread which is a investing (stock) term). That way when you are a club, you have learned how to do patterns, combos and footwork in very little space without hitting your dancing neighbors.

Another true classic - Devorame Otra Vez

Again, this is a true classic that every salsero/salsera must have hear at some point in their salsa life... This is another one of those songs that I grew up with and also taught myself salsa with (easy to find the downbeat). Its the famous (may I add Puerto Rican), Lalo Rodriguez singing 'Devorame Otra Vez' - which means (for those non-spanish speaking dancers) - "Devour me one more time". yes, it does have a sexual connotation - but then again.. don't we love salsa being that way?

The magic of the music from Hector Lavoe

Well, since I posted a "El Gran Combo" (my favorite band) video before, I decided to post one of my favorite songs from my favorite artist: "Hector Lavoe". Here he is singing one of my VERY favorite songs (ever) called "Alejate De Mi" - which means "Move away from me", "Stay away from me", or "Get away from me". Now, I'm probably a big sucker for old videos (the golden age of salsa), but I just love how they sound, and how they dressed - wishing I lived through those times. I specifically like this song very much because of the good timing for dance, mixture of descarga, solos and vocals - and especially lyrics. This is such a classic and it has the feel of a good classic salsa song - (not those modern sounding ones). Of course, Hector's voice just makes this song even greater with his own voice and improvisations (called 'descargas'). (iTunes). This is just a short clip of the whole song, but I recommend listening to the whole thing, and hopefully you'll see the magic of good lyrics, good rhythms, vocals, solos and descargas. Here is the full song for your enjoyment!

El Gran Combo - bringing in the crowd!

Well, yes..another video of my favorite band! You can bet wherever El Gran Combo is going to play - they will bring the crowd. This is one of the more popular songs at salsa clubs "Achilipu", which is basically talking about China. But its funny because the opening line to the song is "El Chinito Quiere arroz frito.. bien frito.. de Puerto Rico". This in english is: "The chinese guy, wants fried rice... very fried rice... but from Puerto Rico". Of course if you don't get the useless point - fried rice does not come from Puerto Rico (and probably not from China either). Anyways, its a cool song to listen to and see how huge the turnout for this event was!

Al LiquidSilver and Karla Espinoza (from LA)

Another great performers from Los Angeles, CA. They are some of the very best dancers in LA (and they host a lot of Congresses, including the Palm Springs Salsa Congress that I went to this past summer). Here you get to see them 'regular' dance. I mention it like that because you get to see the "LiquidSilver" that I like, with the cool body motions. I like their performances because they are fun to watch - more than just dancing, which always makes it more entertaining.

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