Another week another conversation. It seems as the more I meet and interact with new and interesting people at the studio, the more the topic of “on1” (for the purposes of this article, Salsa) vs “on2” (for the purposes of this article, Mambo) is bought up.
Now I have long had a stance on this issue. Having first learned to dance on 1, I am as sensitive to the apparent “issues” that have been fabricated that make it seem like dancing on 1,2,3 pause 5,6,7 pause is somehow different than dancing 1,2,3 pause 5,6,7 pause.
Does that make sense to you? Me either.
I don’t see it so much as a ‘whats better’ more than its a ‘what do you prefer?’ Let me explain. We all are little fingerprints roaming the world and we all somehow have our own sense of individuality. That being the case, we should all be able to figure out what style we want to dance in. Do you want a snappier, more downbeat kind of dance? Does making sure that you can dance with more people affect your decision making? Odds are, you are better off dancing Salsa. On the contrary, do you prefer a smoother looking and more percussion based dance? Do you hear the music a bit deeper? Does dancing a mean Cha Cha make you warm and fuzzy inside? The you my friend, were born to MAMBO!
Now then the decision is really THAT SIMPLE. The thing is, the illusion that Salsa is EASIER than MAMBO should not enter the decision making process. You shouldn’t be tricked into thinking that somehow, you are choosing something more inherently difficult. There is a lot being put out there and I’d like to take a crack at dispelling some common myths.
What’s the word being put out there?
The way I’ve been seeing things marketed, it would appear that the only way to get to TASTE of Mambo would be to first go through a considerable amount of Salsa classes first. Why is this? Apparently so that you can have the ability to NOW do the Mambo because your Salsa is better. In other words, I want to go to take a piano lesson, but I first must learn to play the guitar.
That makes as much sense as letting Stevie Wonder park my car! You say I don’t have a car? SO WHAT, my point remains!
It’s easier to hear the music!
Hmmmm….perhaps. Or, perhaps, as educators we should take it upon ourselves to understand the material we are passing along to others. I don’t suggest that my fellow peers don’t understand, but with a clear explanation of the material, even something a bit more in depth can be presented in a very digestible manner. I find it EQUALLY as challenging to have my students hear the Montuno as I have them hearing the Tumbao. Apples and Oranges…
Once they get comfortable with Salsa, they can then MASTER MAMBO!
Again, I’m calling that bluff. I used to teach in a studio where I taught 5 different dances in 5 different weeks to the same people. The ugly truth is…partner dance is partner dance and there is SO MUCH crossover between styles, its not even funny. People are WAY smarter than we give them credit for and we can spend years TEACHING them more instead of DRAGGING out their learning potential.
I propose a NEW paradigm in the collective thinking here. How about, dancing on 1,2,3 pause 5,6,7 pause is actually THE SAME as dancing on 1,2,3 pause 5,6,7 pause! How about you can decide for yourself what you are shopping for! Furthermore, how about the actual difference is in the FOOT PLACEMENT which can be taught in any dance from the Tango to the Waltz and is NO different than Salsa or Mambo!
I will take this to the grave: Mambo is not harder than Salsa. Simply try then both and see whats feels better to you.
To your dancing,