Addicted2Salsa / Dance Articles

Dancing On1 vs On2 : Spot the difference?

So, after looking to find the best way of showing how dancing On1 is different from On2, I think I got it. Below are two video clips - one On1 (left) and one On2 (right). The lady dancing with these gentlemen is the same (so I can keep 1 variable constant in our experiment). I can also keep the same type of music, the same event, the same dancefloor static as well. In addition, they are also both performing very similar hand-flicking patterns, - so I will consider that not being different (or a changing variable). The only difference is that the guy on the left is dancing On1 with her, and the guy on the right is dancing On2. What you should be looking for is paying attention to the way the leads move in relation to the music. Look at their positioning, how much they travel, the smoothness, the speed and compactness. I will not say anything else except those variables to look for and hopefully you'll find the other ones. It will take a while for you to look at each video numerous times to start spotting the difference. Now, to be clear these are both amazing dancers - and it doesn't matter whether On1 or On2, they are practically doing the same advance moves and they all work out. The difference is that each of the moves will have a different feel to them, which is why On1 and On2 are different.

The benefits of spinning On2 (salsa dancing)

I can just feel all the hate mail that is already headed my way. "Oh, here goes Anthony, talking about On2"... but before you hit that send button - first read the article.

When do you know you have a salsa dance pattern down? [Refactored]

It is usually the case that you learn a move, in a group class or a private instructor, your current partner will know exactly what you need to do and they will help you out by backleading. Leaving the class, you will feel very good about knowing that cool combination. Then, Friday night comes... and you get ready for the club, practice it a couple more times in your own apartment/house and you walk out the door.... feeling good about it. That's when you get to the club... and what happens? You end up doing the pattern, but for some reason you fail or don't do it right. And of course, you question your dance ability (and ego)...You did it well at the lesson? You had it in your head and you even practiced it a couple of minutes ago... so what happened?It's the fact that when you are doing the pattern in a closed environment (lesson or by yourself), you have the ability to fully focus on the pattern - either combo or footwork. At the club however, you have more variables that affect your dance. The speed of the song will affect the speed of the pattern. The friction on the floor affects the grip on your shoes. The response time of your partner affects the ability to follow. Examples: The dance floor - depending on how slippery or sticky it is it will affect how fast you can lift/move your feet in the slotted area. Your partner - depending on her ability to follow, move, flexibility and size - will affect how big/small steps you take when performing the combination. There are numerous distractions at the club that can cause you not to focus. Why is it again? It goes back to muscle memory. At the very beginning on implementing a pattern into your regular social dance 'set', you are giving the process of executing that move a lot of focus. In reality - its your entire focus. As you slowly keep practicing the pattern, you add music, add different followers, different shoes..etc. You keep practicing the same combination until you do not have to give it as much focus as in the start. This way, when you perform the combination at the club, you can concentrate on all the other factors that affect your dance and compensate for those on the fly because you only require to give very little focus on that combination. How much focus/attention do you give yourself when leading a lady's right turn? It should probably be automatic if you are intermediate. How about a cross-body lead? Because you do not have to think about those moves anymore, you can use that 'brain' time or computing power in making the minor adjustments needed for different terrains, partners and song speeds. The only way to get better is to do them, over and over again. Its a simple law of economics. The use of brain power in doing the pattern a first time is very high. However, as you keep performing the pattern, the amount of brain power (focus) used is slowly reduced, and of course you become more efficient (smoother) at performing it. The more we force ourselves to do that pattern, the easier it becomes. Note, the law of diminishing returns does not apply because once you have two or more pattern down, you can add more styling. Next, you can then put two patterns one right after the other with even more weird/fun styling. So, next time you are at the club and feel frustrated with a move that you like but can't pull it off - remember, give it some more time, sooner or later it will come to you and something in your head will 'click'. And when you can do that move smoothly and perfectly with all the distractions at the club - you know you have it down!

Two's company, three's a crowd : Casino Rueda x3

Well, now for something a little different and fun to watch. Yes - more salsa! I found this cool video which is actually from a salsa DVD. It is more of a cuban style salsa (you can tell by the more accentuated hips on each count by the ladies dancing in the video). However, this young fellow is dancing what is called Casino Rueda - except he is doing it with three girls at the same time. While the moves might not seem impressive, just the sheer thought of having to make your brain have to keep track of so many things at the same time... is well.... putting it lightly - hard. Enjoy!

Fania in Africa - Mi Gente (An oldie but goodie!)

I found this really great video of a concert the great Hector Lavoe did in Africa! Out of all places, I didn't even know Hector Lavoe did a tour in Africa. I guess salsa is popular everywhere! This video features his live performance in Africa which if you watch the video, Ray Barretto and Roberto Roena have appearances with their instruments! (Of course, Hector "La Voz"'s instrument is his voice).

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