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A Salsa perspective - What it Takes to Be Great

A Salsa perspective - What it Takes to Be Great

You know, there have been many a instances (yes you can use 'many a') where I've been told - "Well Anthony - of course you dance well, you are Puerto Rican". While I laugh because its their assumption that I had a natural ability for salsa - that wasn't the case. I tell people that while I've been listening to salsa all my life, my REAL salsa dancing did not start until I had gone to the state of Iowa (USA). Ames, Iowa to be exact - a college town in the middle of nowhere (yes - it might sound harsh but its the truth). Learning salsa was not a magical process, and for sure it did not happen overnight.Now, I read this great article on Yahoo Finance (http://biz.yahoo.com/weekend/great_1.html ) and I think it can apply to everything we do in life - in this case - specifically salsa.See, there is a big misconception - which causes a lot of people to think that they'll never be a great salsa dancer, and that is that they are not LATINO. Now, I'll tell you why this completely irritates me. Lets assume that there is a stereotype that Americans are the great singers. Now, lets say I would like to become a great singer (cause I love to sing). How would I feel if someone (joe-schmoe or worse - myself) told me that it would be very hard for me to be better than most American singers because I wasn't born American. What if I kept that thinking that because I wasn't of a specific race, religion or breed - I would not make my dreams come true. I believe that is plain stupid. I believe if you have the desire to be something, you will achieve it. Quoting the article: "What makes Tiger Woods great? What made Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett the world's premier investor? We think we know: Each was a natural who came into the world with a gift for doing exactly what he ended up doing. As Buffett told Fortune not long ago, he was "wired at birth to allocate capital." It's a one-in-a-million thing. You've got it - or you don't.

Salsa to Hip-Hop (Salvaje Style)

So, I've danced salsa to hip-hop music (yes, you can easily do it, and actually, you can dance salsa to anything because everything music follows the symmetry of 8 beats (have you ever asked why music sheet is based on 8 counts, why chords are based on fourths and why all choreographers when they make up a routine they always count up to 8?). Anyway, because San Francisco salsa congress is coming up, I decided to show this cool clip of Salsa Salvaje performing a hip-hop/salsa style performance - just to switch it up a bit.

Acapulco Salsa Congress - Victor and Gaby (crazy aerials)

Well, I actually had a lot of my friends from San Diego that went to this event, the Acapulco Salsa Congress (first one ever) - so I missed out. However, this submitted video shows one of the more famous performers - Victor and Gaby performing their style. I do live very much how they executed the flips - and man, that Gaby is an amazing dancer because she makes those air stunts look friggin easy!

Other quick collected salsa tips...

I found these cool salsa tips from another blogger salsero named 'SilverFox ' has collected from others...(don't ask me how they name themselves that... I wonder what my nickname would be?Cuban motion: Some people tap on the 4th and 8th beat, while other's pause. However the tap, or Cuban motion looks good, so try it and see what you think.Dance as well as learn: classes at the club are a great way to learn, but eventually you will want to try freestyle. Take the opportunity to do this after your class, if possible, and at socials, workshops and congresses or visit clubs in town at the weekend. see the events page for some ideas.

A clip from the first Utah Salsa Congress

Now, I didn't get a chance to go in August, but there was the very first Utah Salsa Congress... well.. in Utah. Here is a clip I found of it of a girl named Dinora dancing with to Sonido Bestial. I think its impressive that even Utah (no offense) has some great salsa dancers as well as showing some of the style that they dance in that state. I like some of the moves - especially how they executed a flip in such a small space and on time - very well done.

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