Thursday, June 29, 2017

Salsa 103

By George Nyugen, Turtle Bay

Yes, there was at one time a third group of New York dancers, I grant you that it is a dying breed, but it is still there. It is what I can only call "cultural Two dancers". These are remnants of past explosions in the music’s popularity when people simply learn to dance on the dance floor; in their homes, with their friends; watching others; stepping on each others feet; going for it. The last such explosion took place in the early 80’s. There was a club called the Cheetah where the New York Latin youth were introduced by the thousands to Salsa by the Fania All Stars.

"Oye Como Va" por Azucar Moreno

People just got into it and learned to dance, without going to lessons. Many people learned to dance like that, some of them on the "2", some on the "3", and others (fewer) both ways. In any case, in New York, if you really want to mingle you have to make some adjustments. Somebody has to. It is usually the man who has to adjust to the lady. Or you tell the lady that you really would like to dance with her, but that you dance different and find it difficult, or impossible, to adjust. She will probably give it a try at adjusting to the leading man’s ways.

"Se Acabo" por Lucia Mendez

That is the way it is in New York. Once you dance outside the few places where the dance studio crowd hangs out, you are on your own; you enter the real world of social interaction; no more "lets practice the CBL with the triple combo with side kick and double time shuffle". Or the "the double underarm sniff con tres vueltas en un pie" It becomes Social Dancing and it is "Social Basics Level One".

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is  translated
through you into the action of dancing, and because there is only
one of you, in all of time, this expression is unique."