If variety is the spice of life, the single mindedness would make life like a box of powdered water. That said, I really like to see when people take their dancing interests to places outside of their dance of choice.
Me? I’m a self admitted Mambo-head as I ride and die with the soul and the unbridled fire that was coursing through the veins of the musicians and singers at the time the music was being made. Loving Mambo/Salsa Dura I of course am a huge lover of Cha Cha as well but it seems like my interest in the Latin dances had gotten derailed after that. I didn’t jump onto the Reggaeton train as even Stevie Wonder could see that wasn’t too long in the tooth and I have to admit…and hey, I’m being honest here, that I thought Bachata was going down the same path ( I was wrong!).
Even though Bachata has become a staple of the social Latin scene, I haven’t really been moved to learn it. As a dancer and teacher I understand the basics and am certain I could learn the dance but I have found that an internal connection to the soul of the music has to speak to me to make me want to learn the dance. I am sincerely happy to see when people get out there are SOOOOO into Bachata when it comes on and they do the dance with passion. As you can imagine, us teachers wear our poor little feet out a lot and end up watching a lot of dancing and seeing it done with passion is WAY better to see/feel than watching stale, homogenized dancing any day of the week. I’m happy to say Bachateros represent nicely in this department.
I do see some new dances creeping into the city and have been more curious as the music that powers the dance seems to speak to my soul. I’m eager to learn more about Kizomba and Zouk and see these new dances, as well as others, become part of the dance vernacular of more dancers in the future. I know they have taken off HUGE in Europe and around other parts of the world and I’m sure that this will trickle over to us in due time.
The great thing about learning new dances is that you begin to round out your overall skill set and become more adept at leading and following, not to mention rhythm and movement. Think about it, Mambo/Salsa helps you learn to dance compact, Cha Cha (street style) helps you learn to open up and move and dance big whereas Bachata helps you educate your feet and learn to be more rhythmic with your steps and I’m sure Kizomba and Zouk will add to your Batman utility belt as well.
For those who know me, I am also a big fan of Ballroom dances as I like the science behind moving with someone as well as being able to dance to ANY kind of music. I understand completely how that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think we, as an underground dance community, are developing our own body of dances that will begin to challenge us and help us to learn how to move together in new and interesting ways. I would also suggest those of you who are into Latin dancing to try a Jazz/Ballet/Hip Hop class as well because, hell, you might just be into DANCING (raises hand)!
This thought initially crept into my head as I met an older gentleman who was a former champion in Ballroom (Waltz, Foxtrot, etc..) and he asked me what my interests were. I mentioned I was a mambo head and there are many more like me and whole events based around the dance. This prompted his question:
“You mean you only do one dance?”
It was at the time, but I’m happy to say that the answer to his question is NOW a happy “NO” and I think that’s just cool…
What dances are you looking forward to trying? Are there any that you have found that have made you better overall?
Talk to me!