Hawaii Salsa Festival 2010

September 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles


SalsaCrazy Says – "You'd be Crazy to Miss this – Plan on it"
-> Four Year's Running – Were YOU there Last Year?  

–> February 11-14, 2010

Aloha and Welcome to the Hawaii Salsa Dance Festival
 Presidents Day and Valentines Day Weekend

Let's Welcome the 5 Time World Salsa Champions into our Beautiful Island of Oahu

World Renowned Salsa 
Instructors and Performers 
Oliver Pineda & Luda Kroitor – Australia 
Baila Society – New York

Performances by International Talents and Local Companies
Experience the Music, Passion, Dancing and Spirit of Aloha in Paradise.

Tickets – Now on sale for $100.00 Full Pass
Did you hear that? Only a $100 for a FULL PASS! It's Crazy …
You've got be there, it's Paradise BABY.


RicaSalsa lessons Saturdays @ Dance Boulevard in the South Bay

May 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

RicaSalsa comes to the South Bay! We have a really fun and excited Salsa
class for Beginners and follow by a intermediate lesson.

Ricardo and Tianne alone with Dance Boulevard, will be teaching and hosting
a Salsa Class and party in San Jose every Saturday. Please support us and
have some fun dancing the music we all love.

Also come and Try out your Ballroom Dancing Skills! Yes we do have two
different rooms. The Salsa Room with Dj Music

Beginning Salsa lesson at 8:00 p.m.
Intermediate lesson at 8:45 p.m.
$10 for the class and Party
$8 after the class

Class description,

One of the most fascinating technical ideas connected with The RicaSalsa
Technique, concerns connection between the leader and follower. Really get
into the fine details of connection that are absolutely necessary to be a
good Salsa dancer. We’ll go through analogies, tools, and exercises that
will help build good habits and muscle memory. You’ll also learn one of the
secrets to create a unique Salsa connection!

Any more information please call Ricardo at (510) 612-0985 or by email


1824 Hillsdale Avenue, San Jose, CA 95124    (408) 264-9393  

San Francisco Salsa Dance News: SecretSalsera New Insider Reviews – The Scene Behind the Scenes

May 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

SecretSalsera New Insider Reviews
SecretSalsera has done it again, now with her new insider reviews for her salsa adventures, showing you the scene and behind the scenes and off course in the red carpet.

Episode 5: Salt Lake City Salsa Congress 2009 ~ Insider Review of the Salsa Congress in Salt Lake City, Utah


Episode 6: Arizona Salsa Congress 2009 ~ Insider Review of the Salsa Congress in Scottsdale, Arizona

and if you find yourself becoming part of one of my stories… which, if you stick around ‘The Scene’ long enough, you likely will… you can rest assured that all identities will be hidden, as these are the stories that bring people to say “what happens at congress… stays at congress!”.

For Past SecretSalsera Adventures visit http://www.SecretSalsera.com

Sabor Boricua: Salsa Radio with La Coqui

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

Sabor Boriqua

DJ Coqui, Salsaroots.com and Salsacrazy.com are proud to announce our new Internet radio station SABOR BORICUA. Listen to the hottest Salsa Sounds on the internet compiled by DJ Ivette "DJ LA COQUI" This Station Plays Tracks Like: Celia Cruz – Mi Vida Es Cantar – Mi Vida Es Cantar Ismael Miranda – Borinquen Tiene Montuno – Fania 30 Great Years, Vol. 2 ( Johnny Polanco – Guacuanco con rumba – Pa'l Bailador Roberto Roena – Baila y Goza – Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound: Mi M ica 1997 Walker, Rico / Willie Rosario – La Bomba – Back to the Future.


Just a Salsa Tip for the Leaders!

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles



salsa dance spins photo, salsa dancing turns photo

Every salsa event i go to in SF, the song starts, and people start turning. my apologies, but la salsa no se baila asi (is not danced that way).

Listen to the music. Most salsa songs are based on the guaracha or son montuno forms, which have introductions, mambos, and sometimes percussive breakdowns. The introduction is just that, it lets you dance around with your partner, get to know them, feel them out. The mambo comes later, and is generally announced by a dramatic horn figure, at which point the song picks up pace and the cowbell, or cencerro, really kicks in.

Listen for this! This is when you start your turns. If you come out turning, you use up all your turns early, get tired, and have nothing new to do when then mambo hits.

Instead, use the time during the introduction to float around, move your partner, and get loose. Then when the mambo starts, POW! dale con tus vueltas y rumbea! (do your turns and get into it) on the percussive breakdowns, you can let your partner loose and just shake it, do a little solo dancing.

Then when the mambo starts again, grab hold again and go for it. Again, listen to the music.

It will tell you when to dance, when to turn, when to breakdown, when to come back…

-Beto (Bay Area Leader and Musician)

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Alonso Brito, The kind of Music that gets under your skin!

November 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

Discover the Old Style Cuban Music of

Alonso Brito!

When I hear the music of Alonso Brito, I feel myself transported to an old cafe somewhere in Havana, with the smell of cigars in the air and the heat in the air assisting in the slow grind of Cuban couples dancing to the sultry rhythms. It is how i picture real Latin music to be.  You can feel in the song that their is Latin passion behind it.  You just can't fake emotion in songs like this.

salsa music, live latin music

"Alonso is like no other contemporary salsa singer – part Mick Jagger, part Caetano Veloso and part Desi Arnaz on acid" – Los Angeles Times

"In the 1950's America fell in love with the Mambo.  It's 2008 and we are already falling in love with Alonso Brito and his brand of Cuban music, he is really talented, extremely talented" –KPFK Radio

About Alonso Brito:

Born in La Habana, Cuba during the Golden Fifties, Alonso Brito had an idyllic childhood that ran parallel to Hollywood classics of that period. At the age of nine, he was living in Cuba when Fidel Castro's revolution arose. Political and civil unrest forced him to flee the country, never to return.  During a landmark historical period in American history, Alonso arrived in Miami, Florida in September 1960.

alonso brito latin music, cuban music

Thrust into early adulthood though being barely ten years old, Brito has been witness to events that have formed our country and left an indelible mark in his memory. The short-lived presidency of John F. Kennedy, The Birmingham Riots, The Cuban Missile Crisis, the civil rights movement and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, manned space travel and the Vietnam War are moments in time that some of us lived while some of us only read about them in books—Alonso Brito has done both and uses it to not only give depth to the life he leads, but volume to the music he shares.

Those wonder years, as well as those of his pre-emmigration childhood are reflected throughout his music. Alonso, or “AB”, along with his dear friend Chris McClure have prepared a style of show that has not been seen since the 1950's. Nothing in the United States and few similar performers are comparable to the style, culture and substance of the music and performances that AB brought from Cuba to gift us. His journey, his convictions, his spirit and his music have become the epitome of what it is to be Cuban-American.

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Think all Salsa Dancers are good?! Think again!!

Salsa Dancing Spy Daniel James

Guilty of Spying for Iran.


salsa dancing spy



An army translator and salsa dance teacher who worked for the head of Nato forces in Afghanistan has been found guilty of spying for Iran.


Cpl Daniel James who worked for General David Richards, recently appointed as the head of the British Army, was found guilty of emailing details of troop movements to a military attaché in the Iranian embassy in Kabul.

James, 45, denied the charge, under the Official Secrets Act, claiming he was trying to improve relations with Iran and was protecting the general with voodoo spells. The jury is still deliberating on two further charges, also denied by James, alleging that he leaked two sensitive situation reports.

James, an Iranian by birth who had changed his name from Esmail Mohammed Beigi Gamasai, sent a series of "coded" emails between November 2 and December 18 2006.

One email told Colonel Mohammed Hossein Heydari that forces were setting up a camp on the Iran-Iraq border near al-Amara and added: "Take care of that side."

It finished by adding: "Any other work that you may have, I am at your service" and was signed "Esmail the interpreter."

To see the full article click HERE!


12th International LATINO FILM FESTIVAL, San Francisco

November 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

SF Latino Film Festival

Article By M.S.

2008 Sf latino film festival


Article by M.S.

The International Latino Film Society kicks off the 12th International Latino Film Festival in San Francisco on November 7, 2008, with a gala opening night, “Noche Cubana,” at the Castro Theatre, followed by “Cuba Exposure,” an exciting event filled with Cuban rhythms by John Santos and DJ Nica at the Kabuki Hotel in San Francisco.

The acclaimed Festival, which celebrates the diversity of Latino culture through the timeless medium of film, runs November 7- 23, 2008. The program includes over 70 features, shorts, and documentaries from Argentina, Brazil, Belize, Bolivia, Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela and Spain. The Festival will present screenings in eight Bay Area cities: San Francisco, Redwood City, San Jose, San Rafael, Larkspur, Berkeley, San Mateo, and San Bruno. All films include English subtitles.

"This year we were able to bring together an amazing collection of films that truly reflects the diversity of Latino cinema throughout the world. We are especially excited to honor several outstanding artists this year including Gregory Nava, and Alex Rivera. These US-based filmmakers have all done extraordinary work that embodies the vital connection between Latino cinema in the US and in Latin America," said Sylvia Perel, Festival Director.

Some of the highlights of the 2008 festival will include:

    Tribute to “El Norte,” US, celebrating its 25th Anniversary and honoring its director, Gregory Nava
    New Vision Award to Alex Rivera, for “Sleep Dealer,” US
    CinePride: A celebration of LGBT marriage equality, “Spinnin,’” Spain
    Lehaim to Salvadorean Righteous: “Glass House,” El Salvador
    Noche de Arte y Política: “Against the Grain,” Peru
    Closing Night: ¡Viva Brazil! “Mare, Nossa Historia de Amor,” Brazil
    Youth in Video: A collection of 2008 films by our young students

Opening Night “NOCHE CUBANA”

Cachao: uno más

dir. Dikayl Rimmasch, 2008, Cuba / USA, 68 min.

Celebrating the life of one of the most influential Afro-Cuban musicians, Cachao: uno más explores the musical journey of Israel "Cachao" López. This documentary follows the legendary bassist from his early days in Cuba to worldwide recognition and features interviews with Andy García and John Santos, who will perform at the opening night party “Noche Cubana.”

CASTRO 11/7/2008 7:00 PM

Closing Night VIVA BRASIL!

Maré, nossa história de amor / Another Love Story

dir. Lucia Murat, 2008, Brazil / France / Uruguay, 104 min.

This musical inspired by West-Side Story mixes Brazilian funk and hip-hop to remake Shakespeare's most famous romance, Romeo and Juliet. Set in favelas (slums) where rival gangs divide the inhabitants into 2 camps, Analídia and Jonatá are being punished for their attempts to stay together.

CinePride Tribute

Spinnin' (6.000 millones de personas diferentes) / Spinnin' (6 Billion Different People)

dir. Eusebio Pastrana, 2007, Spain, 110 min.

If this film was ever released in theaters all over the country before the elections you could kiss Barack Obama good-buy. Those Americans who vote with their bibles would turn up in droves to support MacCain. Not only it projects the idea that the world is gay, it dares to challenge the bible suggesting god himself (herself?) was one of the members of the "happy" tribe.

Here's a preview of some festival films from the main programming :

Amor, dolor y viceversa / Love, Pain, and Vice Versa

dir. Alfonso Pineda Ulloa, 2008, Mexico / Spain / USA, 85 min.

The beginning was innocent enough: if you're creative maybe the police would help you find your imaginary lover just like the one you dreamt up. But the plot thickens and things twist and turn in this film reminiscent of The 6th Sense. Lesson learned supports an old wisdom that there's no bigger fury than a woman scorned.

Maldeamores / Lovesickness

dirs. Carlitos Ruíz Ruíz, Mariem Pérez, 2007, Puerto Rico, 90 min.

The title Lovesickness befits this view of love as a life long roller coaster, in which passion overrides reason. We watch ordinary Puerto-Ricans of all generations go through trials and tribulations of emotions, but the story of an elderly love triangle is particularly endearing – you will never see real 70-somethings in Hollywood culture obsessed with youth.

Sleep Dealer

dir. Alex Rivera, 2008, USA, 90 min.

This Sundance and Berlin festivals award-winner paints a scary tale of possible future projected from some real events. In South America, private companies have taken over municipal water supplies in at least half a dozen countries (including SF Bechtel corporation suing Bolivia that dared to cancel its contract). US finally achieved the goal of having cheap labor without immigration. Thanks to advanced technology these workers can stay where they are and operate robots by remote controls inserted in their bodies. Maybe Alexander Beliaev, a Russian author of science fiction who wrote the Air Trader in 1929 was not that far off…


dirs. Israel Cárdenas, Laura Amelia Guzmán, 2007, Mexico / Canada / UK, 87 min.

If you like the award-winning films of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, this story will not disappoint you. Set in the lush Sierra Tarahumara in northwest Mexico, the beautifully photographed slow pace movie is an antidote to fast action oriented Hollywood productions.

General admission to all films is $9 and $7 for students, seniors and disabled. $6 for groups of 10. A package of 5 films would cost only $30 and students will pay only $40 for all movies.

For additional information about the Festival and tickets visit www.LatinoFilmFestival.org.

Article by Maya Salsaloca

Berlin Salsa Congress Review, 2008

October 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

Berlin Salsa Congress 2008

Review by Sydney Hutchinson

berlin salsa congress photos, berlin salsa congress review

If you needed any more proof of the salsa explosion that has been going on around the world for the past few years, you only needed to look as far as the flyer table at the Berlin Salsa Congress this year.

In just that one square meter of tabletop, I picked up flyers for salsa congresses and festivals in Poland, Switzerland, Morocco, Estonia, the UK, Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, Monaco, two cities in the Netherlands, and three cities in Germany. When I started performing in New York in 2000, salsa hadn’t yet been heard of in most of these places. Or maybe it was just that New York can still be so insular and cliquish as a scene. Whatever the case, this is one of the great attractions of being a salsera/o today: you never know who you’ll meet next, or where you’ll end up.

This year’s Berlin Salsa Congress was the eighth held in Germany’s capital under the leadership of Franco, from the Berlin dance company Pura Salsa. The international theme of this Congress was maintained throughout the weekend. The twenty-nine instructors hailed from a variety of countries, reflecting both the new realities of the EU as well as the organizers’ efforts to include greater diversity. The US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Italy, Switzerland, and even India were all represented in the classroom.

This year, organizers aimed to capitalize on the growing interest in both men’s and ladies’ styling classes. Tamambo and Neeraj both taught men’s movement to full houses. The concept of men’s styling hadn’t yet appeared on the scene back when I was teaching with Razz M’Tazz, and I found it inspiring to see a roomful of fearless men working together to learn how to better use their bodies. Surely this represents a step forward for both genders! (We ladies love to see a man who can really do a body roll.)

In a new twist this year, women had the option of purchasing a “Ladies’ Experience” pass instead of a traditional weekend pass. The idea was that this pass would allow women who wanted to work on improving their dancing without worrying about a partner to enjoy smaller class sizes taught by women, for women. From what I heard in the ladies’ styling classes I attended, students were bothered by the fact that passes weren’t controlled at the door, or the courses clearly marked, so that many women with regular passes were able to attend the “Ladies’ Experience” too. This small problem did not detract from my enjoyment of the classes taught by Susana Montero, Magna Gopal, Karima (Majusee, Paris), and Karel (Yamulee). Each woman had a different take on the concept of ladies’ styling. Together, Karima’s zest, Magna’s precise counts, Susana’s attention to detail, and Karel’s focus on body movement made for a well-rounded experience.

Dancers Prithviraj and Ree from Bangalore, India brought one of the most unusual choreographies to the conference, performing and teaching a number they called “Salsa Bollywood” that included sections in both of the named dance styles. Prithviraj has extensive experience choreographing popular dances for South Indian films, so it seemed natural for him to go on to salsa. He and partner Ree now teach the style in their Bangalore dance studio, “Rock Around the Clock.” Whenever salsa successfully moves to a new location, there is a temptation to try to create a local or national style of salsa by combining it with local dances. One successful example of such an effort can be found in Mexico City dancers Victor and Gaby’s creation of “salsa con quebradita.” The difficulty is in finding out how to combine the two types of movement into a unified whole. The next challenge for these two will be to find a single kind of music and movement that expresses a combined sensibility. Instead of separating the two styles into different sections, can one combine Bollywood moves with partner work and do them to salsa? What about vice versa? Ree and Prithviraj have taken a first step and seem to be well on their way to answering these questions in the future.

The evening shows at the Berlin Salsa Congress were well run and professional, although there was a bit too much talking between numbers for some tastes. On Saturday night, the roaring twenties theme went well with the neighborhood’s sense of history, as the event was held in Columbiahalle next to the old Tempelhof airport. The audience responded enthusiastically to all the acts, but there were several standout performances. For instance, the classic New York style on-2 mambo by Yamulee Dancers was technically flawless with impressive spins and footwork. Iris de Brito’s creative choreography used modern dance technique to fuse Cuban movement with the music and dancing of her native Angola. And Italy’s Marco B and his Flamboyán Dancers impressed twice with two equally innovative numbers. In one, the dancers evoked the experience of spirit possession, helped by tunics that were used to alternately cover or reveal their faces. The other combined the suggestion of mimes and puppetry with movements depicting the range of emotions all dancers experience through the processes of choreography and rehearsal, from frustration and anxiety to ultimate joy. The latter was surely the feeling most of the audience experienced upon watching Marco B’s exceptional performance.

Tired but happy, I left the congress on Sunday with the impression that, while salsa is still growing, it is far from having peaked. The number and quality of dancers from all over the world at this event reminded me of why salsa is so popular and so important in many of our lives. It brings together people who would never have the opportunity to meet and converse if it weren’t for the dance. It demonstrates that you don’t have to look a certain way or have a certain body type to be beautiful. Most of all, it lets you step outside of your day job and your everyday self, to just feel, just enjoy, just dance.

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Do's and Dont's Part 2: The Guys Speak Out This Time

October 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

This is Part Two of Do's and Dont's of Leader and Followers on the Dance Floor. If you haven't read Part One, check it out here.

(Rising crescendo): Ladies and gentlemen – Here now the long awaited (drum roll please) Part 2 of Turn-Offs on the Dance Floor, this time featuring what specifically turns guys off about the girls! For those of you just tuning in, I recently did a completely unscientific study of what bugs women most about men on the dance floor – What kinds of things turn them off the most. The results (see my previous article in the salsa archive) were interesting if not surprising, and my hope is that they may plant a few seeds, open some eyes and perhaps in some small way help us all out. You know, it’s so easy, just in general in life, to get caught up in whatever it is we’re doing and (not maliciously) forget that what we’re doing effects those around us, sometimes not very nicely either, no matter how well-meaning we are.

Of course if you’re not well-meaning, well, then what I’ve been writing isn’t going to help you or change anything, nor are you likely to read this or anything else that you might find critical. You’ll continue to be a self-aggrandizing fool that’s the only one who thinks you’re really doing any good out there, and you’ll never have enough narcissistic self-feedback to feel satisfied with yourself or anyone else. Sorry, am I being too vague?

Seriously, though – I think that most of us, by a huge margin, really are well-meaning, and really are open to feedback and really are willing to take a look at ourselves and change if it seems that it might help us and those we dance with. If I may generalize, dancers are on the whole very nice, respectful, good people, and however critical I may sound please remember that that is my basic premise. My intention in these articles is to raise some consciousness, not ire, so please take whatever I say in that spirit.

salsa diva photoSome general comments: First, and quite interestingly, overall I found that guys had a much harder time coming up with complaints about the ladies than the ladies did about them. There were a lot less specific things guys mentioned that turns them off on the dance floor. “Why is that?” you might ask. Well, at least it’s the question I asked, and I came up with four possible explanations (which are not mutually exclusive):

1) Guys are less picky, more tolerant and less likely to complain. They just enjoy the positive and don’t make big deals out of the negatives. Further, men are just less likely in general to complain than women are.

2) Guys just appreciate the dance more and as such are more likely to overlook their partner’s faults. One respondent stated: “I am usually just happy to be dancing with someone.”

3) Guys are so grossly over the top in their bad qualities that the women’s shortcomings pale by comparison, leaving, relatively speaking, very little to righteously complain about. One (male) respondent aptly put it: “The freaky-women to freaky-guy ratio out on any given night is very small in my opinion…We really have no leg to stand on [as it were] when it comes to complaining.”

4) Women are just objectively and in general better behaved/mannered and more considerate and respectful than men are. This, of course, gets reflected on the dance floor and therefore there is simply less about them to complain about.

Another general observation is that a disproportionate number of the guys’ complaints were of ladies’ behavior off the dance floor, while in the previous survey, most, if not all of the girls’ complaints about the guys were of the guys’ behavior during the dance itself. Interesting. Let’s get back to that later, ok? You’ll see what I mean.

First I want to digress profanely for a moment, if I may – Try this – Go back over everything that I just wrote (starting with “Some general comments:”) with sex in mind instead of dancing. Yeah, right?! Sorry – I know it’s off-topic but some things are just too funny to be ignored. Please forgive me. Now, where were we? Oh, yeah…ok…

Compare and contrast:

One of the biggest complaints women had about men in my previous survey was grossness and sleaziness – bad breath, body odor, inappropriate touching, groping, etc. This was, almost unanimously, a non-issue for the male respondents. Bad breath and excessive sweat were mentioned very briefly by only two guys. None mentioned inappropriate touching or groping. One guy, interestingly, mentioned getting violated by too much eye contact! So women score for hygiene and for manners/respect during the dance.

But where women came up way shorter than men was on the issue of respect, consideration, and rudeness off the dance floor! There was a clear gender differential here, with men seeing women as much more prone to being rude than women seeing men that way. One common complaint was: Turning you down for a dance and then dancing with someone else, often in the same song. If I turn someone down I one: Certainly do not dance with someone else to the same song and two: Find that person later and ask her to dance.

You know folks, dancing, like life, isn’t, or shouldn’t be, all about “What’s in it for me.” It’s about, or should be about, at least as I see it, giving, passing on joy, and letting it come back around to you; and come back it will, I promise. I will make you an absolute guarantee right here and now: If you do something for someone (like dance with her/him) even when you don’t want to, you will go home feeling better about yourself. I promise. Try it.

Another frequent guys’ complaint was about women (and you ladies know who you are) who only dance with their little clique of “cool guys”(e.g. Cubans) and forget that we all were beginners once; and that perhaps the reason guys wanted to dance with you when you were just beginning had a lot more to do with your cleavage than your dance skills or your natural charm. I make it a point, in life in general, to try to give away what was given to me, so I try to always ask a beginner to dance. Because I know what it’s like to sit there all night and try to muster up the courage to ask a girl to dance and then that feeling of I can’t wait till the song is over because she must be hating every minute of this, etc., etc., etc. Be kind, people – It’s always a good investment.

A couple of guys with girlfriends expressed (understandable) amazement that some women have the audacity to interrupt them while they are cozying up with their significant others and ask the guy to dance, while ignoring his girlfriend! Ladies, what’s up with that? Really, I would like someone who does this to explain that one to me! Please, I’ll give you five bucks, ok? The other off-the-floor complaint that came up more than a few times was that women get into all these little (or not-so-little) dramas with each other and others, that it creates a real “negative energy,” and it was kindly suggested, and I’ll second that motion, that you leave that drama at home, or anywhere else.

The narcissistic dancer was noted by men and women, but there seem to be a lot more men narcissistists than women, at least based on my non-scientific (but very astute, brilliant, entertaining and non-narcissistic) survey. Some of the guys’ comments that would fall into this category were: “…they dance by themselves, not paying attention to the lead.” Not making eye contact was a very common complaint. Don’t worry, ladies, we are not going to interpret a sweet glance as a sex proposal, ok? And if we do you should have the appropriate tools to deal with it. Look at me. Smile. I alluded to this in my first article but I’ll say it more specifically here: A dance is a brief and intimate and sensuous and completely compartmentalized encounter. It neither implies nor suggests anything at all beyond the parameters of the song that happens to be playing at that moment. Anyway, here’s what I do when a woman has her eyes all over the place except on me while I’m dancing with her: I just stop and ask, “Who are you looking for? Do you need to stop? Can I help you find him/her?” That usually puts an end to it, as well as my ever dancing with her again.

Several guys spoke of women acting overly dramatic on the dance floor – One, (I love this!) called it “Faux Latin Passion,” – The attempt at looking sexy but really looking more like you’re “convulsing on the dance floor.” Another respondent called it the “over-dramatic-look-at-me super crackhead watch-me-shine dancers.” Now that description needs no further comment, and I think we’ve all seen it. It’s not sexy. It’s silly.

salsa dance photosSome of the complaints were the same as the ladies’: Not a strong enough connection, too strong of a connection, being disengaged. In comparing the women’s and men’s’ peeves most of the common ground was in the area of lack of awareness and consideration – for your partner and for others: Being aware of space, of other dancers, connecting with your partner, being present with your partner and for your partner, making (and breaking!) eye contact, and overall just trying to make your partner feel special and allow him/her to make you feel special. Can’t we all do that for five or six minutes at a time? Once again, my friends, it all comes down to kindness and respect, and not being totally clueless.

Since this is my article, I’ll take the liberty to list my own personal pet peeves, about leaders and followers, in order from least to worst:

1) Look at me. Dance with me. Make me feel like there is something special, however small it may be, about me.

2) Don’t stink. Can I make that more clear? Is anything more easily fixable? Don’t stink!

3) Guys stay the **** away from me on the dance floor ok? Either you’re good enough to know better or you are bad enough to be extra careful. Watch your space and respect others’ space – It’s not all about you!

4) Ladies, don’t turn me down just to dance with someone else who is just as good a dancer as I am but cuter.

5) Ladies, don’t turn me down to dance with someone who is a worse dancer than I am but cuter!

And finally, let me close with a quote from my friend and respected member of our Bay Area scene here, Mr. Rick W. aka Dark Rum, who says it better than I can:

“I strongly feel that ladies (and men) should always take a chance with respect to all those involved to dance with each other. People, this is your chance to meet someone new and make new friends. Ironically, with it being called ‘salsa’ you’re adding new ingredients with each dance. If you don’t know a guy, that is no reason not to dance with him. Basically, try to dance with someone new every once in awhile, keeping the African proverb in mind: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ I believe we are all responsible for each others’ progress in this social dance.”

Dr. Bill


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October 2008

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Top 5 Salsa Social Networking Sites

Salsa Networking sites are popping up all over the internet. They have helped to connect salsa dancers form all over the world and enable dancers to have access to opinions, events, and dance tips from all regions. So what sites are reigning at the top? Check out the descriptions below and decide for yourself. Maybe even find yourself joining the conversations on their forum pages too.

addicted2salsa, about addicted2salsa

This is probably the most visited salsa networking site at this time, partially because they have been around the longest, and they are always up to date and ahead of the game for what is new in the salsa scene.

Addicted2Salsa is a place where u can Meet New Salsaro's & Salsera's around the world, a place where you will be updated with the latest News about Salsa Festival's and events, a place where you will find the nearest dance schools, academies, classes, and an updated calender for all events. Its a great place where we can share our addiction love to salsa, so feel free to express yourself and share your thoughts and your highly appreciated information about salsa. Also check out the Addicted2salsa's free music, podcasts, and salsa dance instructional videos on line.

salsagang website, about salsagang

Salsagang is a non-profit salsa community for salseros founded by Rodney Rodchata Aquino in the 90's; it's vision is for people from all over sharing, promoting and spreading the love of Latin dancing via forums, chats, blogs and articles.

What separates SalsaGang from the rest is that it is not just a website, Salsagang has a board of members (President, Vice president and officers) ensuring its purpose and vision. The active members of Salsagang, whether it's positive or constructive criticisms, expresses their opinions with respect in mind. The infamous forum chat is what Salsagang is known for over the years as well as their social events.

salsaforums website, about salsaforums

Salsa Forums is the most popular message board discussion site. With some of their conversation categories boasting more than 40,000 posts, you will find every question and topic about salsa dancing answered and talked about.

It is a place to share and discuss all things related to salsa music and salsa dancing. Please use the "Name that Tune" section for song identification threads. I have found this very helpful.

You are also free to post links to salsa websites here (NOTE: you must post a short description, not just a link. Links without a description will be deleted).

SalsaCrazySocial, about salsacrazysocial.com

Salsa Crazy Social is the place you've been looking for to socialize with salseros from around the world ! It was founded by Evan Margolin and "soft launched" on March 1, 2008 to the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

Its a place where all you salseros y salseras to gather ! You've heard of MySpace and Facebook, right ? Well, this is sort of the same concept but even better ! You can make new salsa friends, find salsa events worldwide, upload your photos, join groups and peruse the forums. You can also upload your videos. The videos are all high quality.

salserosweb.com, about salserosweb

Salseros Web was founded by German Acevado

Worldwide guide to night clubs; videos and pictures of dancers; events listings, calendar; chat; music and reviews. This site is primarily directed for the L.A. salsa scene, listing events primarily in the Los Angeles area. They have a popular message board covering all topics of salsa and dance under the sun. The site is still growing, they will have profiles of Professional Salsa dancers listed in the coming months so you can be up to date on the stats of your favorite pros.

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Do You Have the "Salsa Connection"? Check out this article to find out!!

This is a little intro for a series of 12 articles on

salsa connection from


Salsa Connection is what holds the dance together. When you have the connection down the dance becomes not only more fluid, syncronized, but most importantly….more fun. My favorite dancers have a deep understanding of what the "Salsa Connection" is and how to apply it to the dance. Check out the full series to see if you have the "Salsa Connection".

Salsa Connection

Part I: Introduction to the Salsa Connection Blog Series

I clearly remember the exact moment when it finally dawned on me, although I’d known it for a long time. It was last December. Elise Butler, my former salsa student and frequent dance partner, was home from New York University, where she is a student, for the winter holidays. During the holiday we had only an hour or so to meet, catch up, and dance a little. We chatted a bit over coffee and then turned on the music to dance salsa. As we danced the familiar joy and ease of dancing together quickly returned. I never fail to be amazed at how great it is to really dance with another person and dancing with Elise is really fun. The moment came when in the middle of leading Elise in a simple right turn I was suddenly inspired to change it into a left turn. I was astounded that Elise followed this without a hitch or jerk. She smiled to show her pleasure at executing this surprise lead. We were truly connected in our dancing; we had what I call the salsa connection.

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I couldn’t get this moment off my mind all winter and increasingly began to appreciate and articulate what I already knew: the joyous fun smooth effortless salsa dancing simply cannot be done without having the skill to create with your partner the salsa connection. This is as true for girls as for guys, for follows as well as leads. I see it also as fundamental to social dancing and, I’ll be bold here, it is also a metaphor for all relationships.

Appreciating the importance of the salsa connection has changed the way I teach salsa dancing. I see it as the most important thing I have discovered about salsa dancing, the inspiration for a major development in my teacing, and amazingly it now begins to resonate with almost everything in my life. As Elise and I have developed our teaching of salsa in our summer offering called, not surprisingly, Salsa Connection, I am finding that the students in my classes and my private students are all greatly appreciating the concept and more so experiencing the results. All find it important to their dancing and to their lives.

  • What is the salsa connection and why don’t we get it?
  • Touch and the salsa connection
  • Negotiating the salsa connection
  • Eye contact and the salsa connection
  • Music and the salsa connection
  • Teaching equally to follows and leads via the salsa connection
  • Salsa connection from a relationship perspective—for men
  • Salsa connection from a relationship perspective—for women
  • Flow and the salsa connection
  • Existential Phenomenology and the salsa connection (Yikes!)

Check out the salsa connection blog site for the rest of the articles about salsa connection.

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Do's and Dont's for Leaders on the Dance Floor

This is a great article from the Salsa Gang Forums. www.SalsaGang.com

Ok, guys, listen up – Here’s your chance to shine – I’m giving you a gift here, take it now and thank me later. Following is the result of my unscientific survey of what about leaders turn women off the most. Just stop doing all these things that these ladies don’t want you doing. All the ladies who participated in this study are above average dancers and most are advanced or pretty close to it.

salsa-dancing, learn-to-dance, leaders-salsa-dancing-tips, latin-dance

I have grouped specific responses into several general categories (in no particular order of importance):

1) Narcissism – dancing for yourself, more interested in connecting with the mirror than with your partner, more interested in who (you think) is watching you than how your partner’s doing, dancing to make yourself and not her look good (which, paradoxically guys, makes you look really bad) or even using her in the dance to try to make yourself look good. No eye contact, acting aloof, looking around. See my first article on dance for more on the narcissist dancer. To be able to diagnose him on the dance floor, ladies, he’s the one that you feel isn’t dancing with YOU at all, that you’re really on your own out there, and that you’re just being used as a tool for him to “get himself off.” You know, like bad sex.

2) Grossness – This one shouldn’t even exist – Shame on you guys! Ok, the items that came up the most were bad breath, body odor and sweat: “When he wipes his sweat with his bare hands and then touches me with it.” And, some practical advice: “Nothing is more gross than having to touch someone’s hairy, wet, stinky hands/arms. If you know you’re a fountain of sweat while dancing, keep a beach towel handy to dry off in between every dance. Bring several shirts and a tub of Mitchum.” Do some people actually have to be told to bathe and brush your teeth before going out to hold women all night? And guys, have a brain, will you – No sleeveless! You may not smell yourself but I can assure you you stink on ice.

3) Sleaziness – Another one that shouldn’t even exist, and I must say I know many decent guys/leads who are appalled by this in other guys as well. This is distinct and separate from grossness, although there is obviously some overlap. One introductory quote in this category: “Not all of us followers are bold enough to tell a leader we don’t want to dance with him, or tell him when he’s hurting us, or is taking advantage of the dance to grope us. Consider, most leaders get more physical contact in a dance than they could expect on a first date. Most followers put up with more physical contact then they’d allow off the dance floor. That said, we all suspend the rules for the sake of the dance, with degrees of personal reservations.”

“Creeping hands” came out at the top of this list: “Placing grubby hands on the small of my back. Totally inappropriate. Hands should be kept in the shoulder blade area at all times.” How about this one: “Walking up to me or behind me and putting your mouth on my ear. WTF?” Dancing with drink in hand is another one mentioned. I won’t even start listing the things that that particular behavior indicates, but I really hope you don’t do that and call yourself a dancer at the same time. Because you’re not.

One more thing, guys – I want you to remember this – You know how you make those glances either directly at her breasts or peek down the front of her shirt? Well, I have news for you – No matter how good you think you are at doing this? She knows! That’s right, they know you’re doing it, and they always know – I don’t care how cool you are about it. They know. They know. They know! And most won’t say anything. They’ll just think you’re the sleazebag that you’re acting like, whether you really are or not, and like wildfire every girl on the scene is going to hear about it and think you’re a sleazebag, and like the ad says – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” So save it for the strip clubs, guys.

Cubans got high marks for inappropriate groping (Hey, socios, don’t shoot the messenger, ok?!): “When guys think just because they’re Cubans they can go around and grab your behinds or rub themselves on my ass.” This sentiment was echoed several times.

Groping as a general concept was scored real high in distaste, but I think it merits some qualification. There are circumstances when dancing real close, or “dirty dancing,” or ok, let’s just call it “measured groping,” is ok. When the two really know each other and have that kind of chemistry and a trusting relationship that that is ok. When the girl knows the guy and trusts him and that he “gropes” respectfully and safely. And then, of course, those who are dating or otherwise romantically involved can get real nasty out there. But, some of you may ask, why do they need to? Good question, but sorry, another topic, another time. General rule about dancing real close, guys, is: When in doubt, any doubt, DON’T.

4) Lack of Awareness and/or Consideration: Why do I find myself even having to say this? You are not the only ones on the dance floor. Pay attention to people around you, to spatial limitations, and respect other people’s space and their right to be in it. Many of the ladies complain that they are tired of having to apologize to others for stepping on them or getting in their space because the leader throws them there. This happens a lot with the narcissistic dancer who could care less who else is on the dance floor. And, says more than one respondent, you rueda dancers, do your thing, but give us a break, will ya? When the floor is crowded please do not take it up with a rueda – Do it in an area where there is more space. If there isn’t such an area at the time, learn the concept of delayed gratification, ok? Google it, you’ll get 355,000 responses.

I’m gonna break the rule here of ladies opinions only (it’s my piece, so I can) and add my own two cents to this category. How come you guys who think that the bigger and more complicated moves and turns you do makes you a better dancer are the same ones who knock over and step on the rest of us on the dance floor? You’re not only dancing poorly; you’re also being rude and inconsiderate. And this goes toward your partner too: One respondent sates that some leaders do “WAY too much – I’m not so impressed by arm-twisting shoulder-popping turns done to some beat that is not currently playing as much as I am with a basic, on-beat guapea.” Hard leads and “gratuitous spinning” and jerky forceful moves were high on the list of complaints. If any of you know or have seen Roberto Borell dance – Watch how he just dances in closed position, in a circle, and how he puts all you pretzel-makers to shame (and so say the women). One lady aptly put it: “When he chooses to do so many moves that we lose the meaning of the dance.”

Which brings us to: Have respect and consideration for your partner too. Respect her limitations and her strengths. Respect her skills, or lack of them. The purpose of this dance to this song is to make this woman feel good right now. Just remember that and you’ll do fine. Really. My teacher G (whom some of you may have heard of) tells me that the most important connections in any dance are the following, in this order: The partner, the music, and the floor.

5) Consideration (continued): Then there’s the whole issue of consideration before and after the dance. Here’s what some of the ladies said: “If you can’t catch a follower’s eye and hold it or get some other signal that she’s willing to dance with you then she probably doesn’t want to.” And “Grabbing her hand or pointing at her and then the dance floor without approaching her and asking politely.” Ok guys, do we really need to go over this? I guess so: Walk up to her, make eye contact. If she avoids your eye contact move on, she’s not interested, and if you push it she may say yes but she’ll just go through the motions and you’ll both have a lousy dance. If she does meet your eye contact, smile, extend your hand, and ask her to dance. Did you hear me? I said ASK her – do not come up from behind and tap her on the shoulder, TELL her or point to the floor, grab her hand, and pull her onto it. I can’t believe how often I see this. Even among friends, it’s disrespectful. Remember the primary rule of life, folks: Above all be kind. Respect.

And what if she asks you and you don’t want to dance with her? Do it anyway. She’s offering you her body and her time, guys. Use them both kindly. And if you must say no, do not, I repeat, do not turn around and dance with some hottie half her age who can’t dance half as good. You see, women really don’t like that.

Other comments from the ladies: During the dance smile, make eye contact, ENJOY yourself, do not be cool, and do not, ever, try to teach her something on the dance floor. It’s the wrong venue for that and she doesn’t want that and chances are you’re wrong anyway. If you see two ladies dancing let them be – They are doing just fine, thank you, and they don’t need YOU to “rescue” them.

After the dance, you guys who just roll over after having sex and go to sleep – you can’t do this on the dance floor, ok? While it has become uncustomary for us to escort the follower back to where you got her, at least make eye contact, smile, and say “Thank you!” Do not just turn around and walk away. Yes, even if it was not a great dance, you still owe someone a “thank you” for their time, which is the most valuable commodity any of us has to offer, simply because it is non-refundable.

What about when she rejects you? So? WTF about it? Maybe she’s tired, maybe she’s busy, and maybe, just maybe, she’s just not into you. BFD, guys, let it go, put your ego aside, leave her alone. Chances are there are plenty of others who would love to dance with you. And if there aren’t, just go back and re-read this article and maybe you’ll figure out why.

Dr. Bill


August 2008

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World Champion in the Making, This Young Salsera Has the Moves

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San Francisco International Salsa Congress this November!!

7th Annual San Francisco

International Salsa Congress

November 20-23, 2008.

The Annual SF Bay Area International Congress presents over 50 dance workshops spread over 3 days, 4 top level evening dance shows each night with all star performers from over 20 different countries, an afternoon showcase presenting new talent in the Salsa World, and the highly anticipated Dance Competition Showcase on Sunday. In addition to your choice of 3-4 quality workshops each hour on Sunday, don't miss the competitions! Sunday was the day that rocked the Salsa World in 2006. The Open level Jack & Jill, at the noon hour, was a fun way to meet your fellow Salseros and share the spotlight in showing off your best social dancing skills. Winners were announced and prizes given out. Not a bad way to end an already fantastic weekend. But it was the Master's level Jack & Jill., by invitation only, that made, and continues to make history and put together every single big name in salsa all on one dance floor battling out their social prowess. What a feast for the eyes. Those that were there in the audience all wish they had their video camera as they watched each dancer in awe.

The competitions continue with the International/Out of State qualifying rounds followed by the highly prestigious amateur and professional finals at night. 5 categories of competition: Amateur, Professional on 1, Professional on 2, Teams and Cabaret. For many, this is where the stars are born and they kick off their salsa dance careers with a bang. This November, it all happens again. For one weekend and in only one place in the SF Bay Area, you can dance until 4 AM in the morning, Friday, Saturday, and NOW Sunday, as you enjoy World Class DJ's spinning the best in salsa and chachacha, and also be treated to live music each night. This year, while the shows are going on, you can still get more social dancing in as we open up the lobby for non-stop salsa. Did we mention, SF Congress is taking over the entire hotel this year? All the rooms are dedicated to the SF BAY AREA SALSA CONGRESS! You can continue the party at breakfast in the hotel with your friends, and then take the elebator up to your room for just a few precious hours of sleep until you get up for workshops in the morning and get ready to do it all over again. Are you ready for the 7th Annual SF BAY AREA SALSA CONGRESS? All event held at the Oakland Marriott City Convention Center. Open to the public, all ages welcome.


For ticket and hotel room purchase please visit the official site


Live Music Performances by:

THURSDAY: Johnny Polanco y Conjunto Amistad (Los Angeles). Johnny Polanco is one of the most sought-after bandleaders in in the U.S. He has gained the distinction for making the type of contagious Latin Music that is truly appreciated by the dancing connoisseurs. Empowered by the extensive knowledge accumulated throughout nearly 35 years of professional musicianship, the leader of L.A.'s Conjunto Amistad is an autodiatic artist who has achieved a high degree skill of 13 instruments which include the tres and cuatro guitar, trombone, vibes and many more.

FRIDAY: Herman Olivera with Conjunto Rovira (New York). In 2001, singer Herman Olivera received long overdue props as featured vocalist on three tracks of the Grammy-winning CD, Masterpiece/Obra Maestra (RMM) by Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. Since his days with Conjunto Libre, Herman has honed a style gleaning from the great soneros of Palladium-era in New York City like Tito Rodriguez, Machito, Santos Colón and others. With a smooth resonate high tenor voice, the self-taught vocalist has contributed great interpretations and metaphorically rich inspiraciones (improvised verses) to an array of tunes such as Que Humanidad, Café, and Palo Pa' Rumba. His stints with Eddie Palmieri and the Machito Orchestra have helped Olivera ascend as a world class salsa singer.

SATURDAY: Eddie Palmieri (New York): Eddie Palmieri, known for his charismatic power and bold innovative drive, has a musical career that spans over 50 years as a bandleader of Salsa and Latin Jazz orchestras. With a discography that includes 36 titles, Mr. Palmieri has been awarded Nine Grammy Awards. He received his first Grammy Award in 1975 for his release The Sun of Latin Music, which is often considered the most historic, as it was the first time Latin Music was recognized by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

SUNDAY: Jimmy Bosch (New York): A fiery exponent of the progressive sound often referred to as the most awesome Salsa band to dance to, listen to and watch in a concert setting, Bosch masterfully portrays his life experiences and musical inspiration creating Salsa for the next century.

There will be some truly amazing performances this year at the Salsa Competition. Check out some of the highlight performances from last year.

Top 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Salsa Dancing Skills

July 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

Top 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Salsa Dancing Skills

Whether you are a beginning, intermediate, or advanced salsa dancer, there are certain tips and tools that will always come in handy when you want to dance at your best. It is one of the greatest things about salsa dancing. We are ALL ALWAYS learning, so that means that even the best dancers that you look up to will never know all there is to know about dancing. If we knew everything there was to know it would quite frankly get boring. Constantly challenging ourselves, as dancers, with new styles, moves and tricks is what keeps us dancing. So with that said there are certain importand tips that will never die. I have been dancing socially for about 10 years now. When I feel myself getting rusty, I revert back to the 'ol basics.

1. COUNT 123,4,567,8, that is right…it may sound easy, but even now when I dance with experienced dancers I find myself wondering…"What beat are they dancing on?" Count silently in your head, especially when you are just starting out. I kid you not, I was counting out loud on the dance floor for the first 3 years. Not only did it help me to stay on the beat, but if your partner is observant enough, they might actually hear you and follow your lead.

2. Make salsa tension a top priority. Doesn't matter if you are the leader or the follower. The connection between the two dancers is what makes salsa what it is. Remember the four points of contact in the closed position. The hands, the leaders hand on the followers shoulder blade, the followers hand on the front of the leaders shoulder, and the leaders and followers elbows that line up when in closed position. Remember to meet your partners tension and adjust to each individual.

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3. Watch other dancers. Whether it is the class instructor you are watching, dancers in the salsa clubs, or salsa videos. Watch different styles of dancers and pick the styles you want to adapt to your own. There is no right or wrong style of salsa dancing. The more you make the style your own, the more interesting you dancing style will become. So take a little something from everyone, keep what you like and forget what you don't.

salsa dancingsalsa dancing

4. Practice the basic step. This should go without saying, but it really does make the biggest difference. Practice in your kitchen, practice when you are walking around your house. The more you engrain the basic step into your muscle memory, the easier all of the other turns and patterns will become. Build a solid foundation with the basic step. It will never fail you.

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5.Last, but certainly not least, listen to salsa music. You are what you eat, so to speak. If you listen to salsa music all the time, you will get more and more familiar with how the rhythm of the music progresses, and how your dancing will speed up and slow down with the music. Dancers connection to the music is really what make them amazing dancers. It is not about showing all your flashy moves, it is about letting the music move you.

The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. This may seem like a give in, but it is what salsa dancing is all about. It is natural to get nervous when you are first starting out. But we all started somewhere, so just communicate with the person you are dancing with and just remember that they were right where you are at some point in their dancing lives.

Do you have any tips for salsa dancing?? If so let us hear about them. Add you comments and ideas.

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Where the Hell is Matt Video

July 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

Spreading the gift of Dance over 42 countries!!

Have you seen this video?? It's called "Where the Hell is Matt?" This fantastic video was 14 months in the making, and went to 42 countries, with over 1,000 cast members from all parts of our globe. It is such a simple little jig, but the video sends a really powerful message.

Dancing is a universal language. This man, Matt Harding, is spreading the good dancing vibes over 42 countries. We need more happy videos like this one.

If you want to learn more about Matt Harding, visit him at www.wherethehellismatt.com

About Matt

Matt is a 31-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he'd saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is.

A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said "Hey, why don't you stand over there and do that dance. I'll record it." He was referring to a particular dance Matt does. It's actually the only dance Matt does. He does it badly. Anyway, this turned out to be a very good idea.

A couple years later, someone found the video online and passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so on. Now Matt is quasi-famous as "That guy who dances on the internet. No, not that guy. The other one. No, not him either. I'll send you the link. It's funny."

The response to the first video brought Matt to the attention of the nice people at Stride gum. They asked Matt if he'd be interested in taking another trip around the world to make a new video. Matt asked if they'd be paying for it. They said yes. Matt thought this sounded like another very good idea.

In 2006, Matt took a 6 month trip through 39 countries on all 7 continents. In that time, he danced a great deal.

The second video made Matt even more quasi-famous. In fact, for a brief period in July, he was semi-famous.

Things settled down again, and then in 2007 Matt went back to Stride with another idea. He realized his bad dancing wasn't actually all that interesting, and that other people were much better at being bad at it. He showed them his inbox, which, as a result of his semi-famousness, was overflowing with emails from all over the planet. He told them he wanted to travel around the world one more time and invite the people who'd written him to come out and dance too.

The Stride people thought that sounded like yet another very good idea, so they let him do it. And he did. And now it's done. And he hopes you like it.

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Top 5 Up and Coming Latin Bands

July 9, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

Top 5 Up and Coming Latin Bands

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There are so many choices in music today. With cultures crossing more than ever, and the US being the ultimate melting pot that it is, it is no wonder that Latin music is hitting an all time high. It is not easy hitting the charts with Latin music though. Critics are tough and you have to be able to cross cultural boundaries now more than ever to be heard and kept. These top 5 latin music bands and artists have proven they have a sound worth hearing and rhythms guaranteed to lift you off your seat.

Spanish Harlem Orquestra

Since their arrival in 2000, Spanish Harlem Orquestra (SHO) has established itself at a standard bearer of comtemporary Latin music. Directed by world-renowned pianist, arranger and producer Oscar Hernandez, the thirteen-member all-star ensemble has reintroduced the Classic sounds of New York City Salsa to music lovers worldwide. Their performances are filled with energy rhythmic fire and passion. Simply impossible to remain seated during one of their shows.spanish harlem orquestra, salsa bands, salsa music, live latin bands

Son De Cali

Son De Cali, is regarded as one of the most promising and dynamic music groups on the music scene. Consisting of ex-Grupo Niche singers Javier Vazques and Willie Garcia.

Son De Cali delivers an explosive mix of tropical music rooted in traditional Colombian sounds.

Tiempo Libre:

Two-time Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre is one the hottest young Latin bands today. Equally at home in concert halls, jazz clubs and dance venues, the members of the Miami-based band are true modern heirs to the rich tradition of the music of their native Cuba.

Tiempo Libre's members were all classically trained in Cuba's premiere conservatories at a time when it was illegal to listen to American songs on the radio. Now, the group is a hit in the U.S. and abroad, celebrated for its incendiary, joyful performances of timba, an irresistible, dance-inducing mix of high-voltage Latin jazz and the seductive rhythms of son.

Charlie Cruz:

Charlie Cruz, who today divides his time between Puerto Rico and Tampa, grew up in the small town of Naguabo. His love of salsa began as a 10 year old, when he became a backup singer in the orchestra of his father, Fonzy Cruz. The more he was exposed to music, the more he loved it. As he gained stage experience and worked with established salsa hit makers, Cruz realized how much he truly loved the genre. His life changed drastically when he was invited to perform at a concert and share the stage with top acts like Gilberto Santa Rosa, Victor Manuelle and Tito Nieves. As a result of this performance, he was signed by Sir George Records. Under this label, he produced such hits as "Bombon de Azucar" and "Amarte es un problema." "Dejala que Baile," the first single off Mas de mi, features an upbeat, catchy flavor that will have every salsa fan swinging their hips on the dance floor.

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Aventura (bachata)

Aventura is one of the most unique and innovative artists on the scene today. After more than ten years of sparring in the music business, these four young, dynamic guys with a seldom-seen chemistry continue to auto-produce soulful, original music that gleams with excellence. They are the first "Bachata-boy band," the first band to fuse the essence of bachata with R & B, hip hop and other American pop styles; the first Bachata band to perform in English, Spanish and "Spanglish." When Aventura performs its songs, Dominican/Caribbean culture fuses with the vivid tapestry of New York's dynamic melting pot.

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Junior & Emily, 2 Bay Area Kids, "WOW" Audiences on Americas got Talent

Junior and Emily Smash Performance on

America's Got Talent!

Junior and Emily are a brother and sister team from San Francisco, CA. Junior (22) and Emily (18) have performed, taught, and competed all over the world. Through their dancing they have traveled to most of the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe, and Asia.

At their young age and through their unique dance style, Junior and Emily hold 7 professional national and international dance championships and currently rank 2nd in the world after the recently World Champions of Champions competition held at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas which will be televised on ESPN.

Junior and Emilys performance was so amazing; that they were asked to guest appear with the world renowned Havana Night Show, which is currently the best Latin show in Las Vegas.

Junior and Emily are the youngest dance couple in the world to lead their own professional dance team Amicitia Dance Co as well as the youngest internationally solo traveling couple in the scene now.

Through the years Junior and Emily have created their own unique style of dancing which has swept stages around the world giving them at such at young age the title as one of the best dance couples in the world. Their exciting heart-pumping and jaw-dropping performances leave crowds breathless and wanting more. At the top of their game and still unsatisfied of what to them is just the beginning, Junior and Emily constantly deliver edge of your seat performances that is nothing to what is soon to come out of these two stars. This superstar team of Junior and Emily is a perfect combination of talent, youth, determination, and hard work.

Junior and Emilys passion for dancing coupled with all these elements will be valuable to the business of entertainment and they will bring audiences of all ages a spectacle not to be missed.

Check Out Their Smoking Performance with the Link Below!!

Emily and Junior Salsa Dancing on America\'s Got Talent

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Salsa Dancing Basics

June 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Salsa Articles

Would You LIke to Dance Salsa?

Here is what you need to know to get started.

So you have decided that you really want to learn to salsa dance. First you will have to find a teacher for private lessons or a group class. There are a few different benefits to both.

Private classes are great for the real beginner. They help to build a strong, solid foundation. Privates enable you to go at your own pace and ask as many questions as you want. If you are shy at first, privates also help you to get your moves down and then feel more comfortable when you take group class.

Group classes have few of their own benefits. Group salsa classes have a great social atmosphere. Everyone is there for a fun cause and it is a great place to meet new people with a common interest. Group classes are a great way to break out of your shell. They enable you to see what it is like dancing with many different kinds of people with different dance styles. This is the best way to prepare for hitting the salsa clubs.

Try doing both group and private lessons. This will ensure that you will be dancing up a storm in no time. I am sure you are wondering how long it takes until you feel like you can dance in the clubs. Well, that question is a loaded one. It depends entirely on the individual and how fast they pick it up.

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The Basic Salsa Step

The basic movement common across most salsa styles is to step quick-quick-slow 2 times over two 4-beat measures (or 1 8-beat measure). Typically the quick steps are on beats one and two, and the slow step is actually a quick on beat three followed by pause or tap on beat four. That is you step left-right-left-pause/tap then right-left-right-pause/tap. Notable exceptions to this timing are Mambo, Power On2 and Colombian styles, which begin the three step sequence on beat 2; and Cuban styles, which may start the sequence on any count. New York Mambo is unique in starting on one and breaking on two – that is, instead of stepping forward on the first beat with your left, stepping in place with your right and then returning your left to where it started, you step in place with the left on the first beat, step back with your right and then return your weight to your left.

Break step

The Break Step is important in most styles of salsa. It serves two functions. First, the break step occurs on the same beat each measure and allows the partners to establish a connection and a common ground regarding the timing and size of steps. Secondly the break step is used in an open break to build arm tension and allow certain steps to be led. On which beat the break step occurs is what distinguishes different Salsa styles.

Basic Step On 1

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On counts 1, 2, and 3, the leader steps forward, replaces, and steps backward. On count 5, 6, and 7, they step backwards, replace, and step forward again. The follower does the same, but with forward and backward reversed, so that the couple goes back and forth as a unit. This basic step is part of many other patterns. For example, the leader may dance the basic step while leading the follower to do an underarm turn.

The following variants of the Basic step may be used, often called breaks.

* Forward break: Starting from either foot, step Forward, Replace, In-place, counting 1,2,3 or 5,6,7 * Back break: Starting from either foot, step Backward, Replace, In-place, counting 1,2,3 or 5,6,7 * Side break: Starting from either foot, step Sideways, Replace, In-place, counting 1,2,3 or 5,6,7

Basic Step On Two

Many ballroom chain schools' "mambo basic" has the leader commencing with a side left on 1 and a break backwards on 2, on the first bar.

If the break steps occurs on count 2 and 6, it is called "On Two". There are two main ways in North America of dancing On Two:

* Power-On2 breaks on 2 and 6, and holds on 1 and 5. * Eddie-Torres-On2 breaks on beats 2 and 6, but holds on 4 and 8.

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Finding the Rhythm

Finding the rhythm or "clave", is one of the hardest parts when you are just getting started. The clave is an 8 beat count. Normally broken down into what people call a 3/2 count. But for our purposes let us say that there are 8 beats simply broken down into 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. When the 8th beat is counted the number sequence starts all over again. With this in mind lets think of some ways a novice can find the 1st beat in the clave.

Lead Singer Cue The lead singer cue is one of the easiest ways to find the 1st beat to the clave. Normally during a song the lead singer (and the chorus to the song) start on the 1 beat. If you are aware of the tempo of the song (the speed in which to count the 8 beats), then you can start counting 1 through 8. If you are counting correctly then you sound be counting off the number '1' again when the lead singer starts his new verbal phrase. Please bear in mind that sometimes the lead singer has a long phrase which that may take up two full 8 counts before he is done. No matter because you should still be counting the number 1 as he begins to sing again.

When you start getting the hang out of it you'll start to notice that the chorus also jumps in on the '1' count. This is pretty evident when you begin to hear the lead singer and the chorus taking turns singing. Finally you'll know that you're really getting good when you start paying attention to all the other aspects of the song. For example you'll becoming aware when instruments jump in and out of the clave.

Picking A Beat After you become proficient at hearing the '1' count of the clave, then its time to be equally aware of each of the other seven beats. A simple drill to help understand where and when the other 7 counts are during the clave is the clap drill. The clap drill is very simple. Just pick a number in the count. Lets say for our sake that you picked that '2' beat. Listen to the clave in the song and start counting to yourself and clap every time the '2' beat comes along. Keep doing this until you know exactly where the '2' beat is. Then move onto the '3' beat and so forth until you can PICK out each beat individually.

Great Tips for a Solid Foundation

Small Steps.

Salsa and mambo steps are very small. Keep the feet beneath the body versus taking huge break steps. As the music gets faster, smaller steps must be taken. Your feet should generally be less than one foot apart, usually less than 1/2 foot apart. Foot turn out. Break steps should always have foot turn out. Never dance break steps in a pigeon toed fashion.

Weight transfer.

To the extent possible, each step should be distinct and should entail a complete weight transfer versus a "shuffling" of the feet. You commit your entire weight to one foot when you transfer weight.

Soft knees.

Cuban motion (that is, hip and body action) comes from the alternate bending and straightening of the legs. As a knee is bent, the same hip drops. Take steps onto a bent knee and begin weight transfer before the knee straightens. Rather than feeling like you are dancing lightly on top of the floor, you should feel like you are dancing into and pushing out of the floor. Before beginning any Latin dance, think about lowering yourself slightly, perhaps as if a glass ceiling is overhead. Do not stoop or compromise posture, however.

Don't over extend arms.

In general, arms should not stay rounded with the elbows bent. Connections should be relatively short and connections should be very responsive to sudden changes in the direction of the lead. Don't allow elbows to collapse behind the body (the chicken wing look).

Posture, Frame, Connection, and Timing are the most important elements for any partner dance Don't stoop or look at your feet. Don't allow your frame to collapse or loose integrity. Always maintain firm and secure connections. Never give up counting! Count the steps always but don't count out loud. Always start "on phrase" with the music.

resources taken from justsalsa and salsa dance addict

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