Lower your expectations

And yes, lower your expectations for yourself, to have realistic expectations. In this world of performance, this suggestion is not a common thought. I have often seen students in my classes who put a lot of pressure on themselves. They probably thought they weren't normal if they didn't get it right the first time. Learning to master your body in dance is a long process. In my opinion, you have to try to lower the pressure and accept the reality. If you are willing to lower your expectations, you will likely experience more success. Lowering your expectations doesn't mean working less hard, but rather dropping your illusions and taking a good bath in a reality that doesn't meet any expectations... It's just there waiting for you... Waiting for you to embrace her with both arms without judging or putting pressure on yourself... It's usually at this precise moment that the pleasure starts... the simple pleasure of dancing!

By |2022-11-18T14:20:56-05:00November 18th, 2022|articles|0 Comments

Salsa Dancing Body Language

Salsa Dancing Body Language I thought it would be fun to go over some of the things we learn in dance class. Beyond teaching our feet to move to the beat of the music, there are other important lessons to be learned including body language. What is body language? It is an expression of a feeling, a desire, or even repulsion with our body. People rely on reading physical expressions every day. A smile conveys friendliness. An eye roll indicates when someone is perhaps not quite as receptive as they could be. Crossed arms are a sign that a person is closed off, and so on and so forth. But in social dance, body language is taken to a new level. Not only is your body communicating with the rhythm of the music and your surroundings, but it is also engaged in a kind of physical conversation with your partner. It is important to be sensitive to your partner’s cues, and to react with courtesy to ensure that everyone is having a good time. Dancing with a partner involves hand holding and touching. This is not the time to practice your death grip. If you feel your partner trying to shake your hand away, or spreading fingers apart to create distance, there is a good chance you are crushing their hands. This is a faux pas for a couple of reasons, including your partner’s comfort and the fact that you are inhibiting the ability to move freely. No need to twist your partner’s arm off while crushing their hand. When dancing, it is also important to respect the other person’s “bubble”. If you find yourself dancing with a space invader, a back off message is [...]

By |2018-05-23T14:53:32-04:00May 23rd, 2018|articles|0 Comments

3 Essential Tips for Male Salsa Dancers of all Levels

First and foremost, following the “beat” is essential, otherwise even if you repeat a pattern 1000 times, you will not understand why it’s not working out… music is there to be a common reference base … the music is not some thing that plays in the background as in an elevator … music is something that we must actively listen to… I understand that a man may be concerned to succeed with his pattern, but if he’s not paying attention to the music, his chances to execute a pattern smoothly decreased drastically. Also take a couple of basic steps with your partner before performing any complex patterns … set a pace between the two bodies so that everything happens in absolute comfort. Secondly, distance management between partners is often an element in the dance that is overlooked… Your basic steps should be similar to your partner’s … take some basic steps to adjust to each other, you will avoid dancing like an accordion. The goal is to increase the connection, stay close to your partner and make small steps by default. This will enable you to connect more quickly and smoothly. In terms of flexibility, always try to do your patterns with the least amount of force … So once you executed a pattern, try again and decrease the tension in your arms. Accuracy always prevails over force. Lets summarize 1. Listen actively to the music 2. Stay close 3. Relax See you on the dance floor !!!

By |2016-02-12T09:27:58-05:00February 3rd, 2016|articles|2 Comments

Excellence Grant for a Dancing Rising Star

Baila Productions Salsa School is proud to be an active participant in our community by offering a 1000$ donation to the "Fondation du Collège Montmorency". We had the privilege to give this grant to Alexandra Caron for her excellence in the College's dance program. Congrats to all for you hard work! Ilias Benz

By |2017-02-17T12:15:38-05:00October 26th, 2015|articles|0 Comments

My biggest mistake in dance

When I started dancing it wasn’t long until I started performing on a stage. I don’t know if it’s due to talent or because there weren’t a lot of great male dancers back then. Anyway, I quickly started to enjoy my time on stage. This was truly partly as a result of spending most of my life playing instruments in a music group and putting on shows. I therefore felt at home on a stage. When I started performing, I was rarely satisfied after leaving the stage. I used to criticize myself a lot, thinking it was normal not to feel satisfied in order to continue to improve. At the end of a show, I highlighted every bad moment. In short, I was hammering myself without even noticing it. I then had an experience that changed my perception of things. I had the chance to choreograph and dance a piece with my friend Audrey Gaussiran; to me she was – and still is – one of Montréal’s best salsa dancers. We performed our routine about ten times. As usual, from the very first performance, my old habits kicked back in; I was barely off of the stage that I was already obsessing with what went wrong. Not forgetting, above all, that I was afraid to make mistakes. I went on like this during 8 performances. I knew we had 2 last performances before the end of our collaboration, and something magical happened on the 9th show. Just a few seconds before going on stage I told myself, “I’m very lucky to be dancing with a dancer of that caliber, and this time I’ll be dancing for her”. Well, this is one of the performances I [...]

By |2017-02-17T12:15:38-05:00August 31st, 2015|articles|4 Comments

7 things all Male Salsa Dancer’s should know

1. Listen before you speak Something I heard once in a Frankie Martinez Salsa class that I took… this goes a long way if you try your best to be sensitive to your partner.  Feel out how she reacts, how she does her basics, what level she is… before starting your moves. 2. Candles are better than fireworks Don’t be too concerned with the amount of moves you can pull off, what your dance partner really wants is a smooth and cool dance. I often hear ladies say " he almost ripped me apart doing tons of moves more than anything else". So remember, small precisely led simple moves go a long way. 3. Don’t get discouraged after your first no    We all go through this.. we walk up to a girl and she turns us down… we all handle rejection differently… some are more sensitive than others but not to worry… keep the big picture in sight : you love salsa dancing then keep on going to socials and ask away… It’s not a sprint it’s a marathon! 4. We are not saving the world Don’t take yourself too seriously.. at some point you’ll get real good and a bunch of ladies will want to dance with you… so keep your head in check… its not brain surgery and were not saving the world. It’s just dance… 5. Smile As simple as it sounds, many dancers don’t do it because they are shy, nervous maybe or worse snobs…not smiling almost always gives bad vibes to your partner… she might think that you’re not enjoying the dance... therefore you should always have a bit of eye contact and a smile… this relaxes your partner and [...]

By |2017-02-17T12:15:37-05:00February 24th, 2015|articles, Tips|0 Comments

What makes a great dance teacher?

For me a great dance teacher is someone who studies teaching like a science… do things that work to assist your students get through and find solutions. The art of teaching becomes very complex when you think about all the different kinds of personalities out there and all the kinds of ways of learning. Teaching is a mind set, a vocation. You have to do it with passion. I always said that for me Salsa is just the vehicle. I could be teaching pottery classes with the same passion and energy. I always try to find for my students the shortest path to their learning challenges without giving them the solution all cooked up ready to go. I try to understand how their brain works.  Also one main aspect in our school is that we approach teaching as a feel good science. Our goal is to make you feel good while you learn a couple of salsa dance moves. No need to be an olympic athlete ;)  I always attend to students learning frustrations with care, compassion and jokes. To make sure the brain is well aligned I make certain that the person feels good first then I transfer the knowledge… working like that is way more demanding but way more effective because people have fun while learning and therefore continue to love Latin dances longer. Ultimately, I believe that a brain learns faster when there’s fun and smiles rather than whips and frowns. And on that note, I salute every teacher from every field for their passion and dedication in making people move forward. Ilias Benz Baila Productions Director West-Island - Laval - Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue (Photo Jerry Joseph)

By |2017-02-08T13:50:21-05:00January 20th, 2015|articles|0 Comments

Latin Music Suggestions : Salsa, Merengue, ChaChaCha and Bachata

One of the most common challenges beginner Salsa students meet is the ability to dance to the beat of the music. Not only must they follow the rhythm, but they also have to find the beginning of the musical phrase. In my classes, I often compare music with a conversation that starts and stops. Some pick it up early on, whereas others will need to train their ears. One thing is certain: you are not alone! Here is a list of Latin songs that I play during my classes. The beginning of the musical phrase in these songs is well-punctuated. It is perfect for beginners. You may also read the article Does Latin music sound unfamiliar to your ears?which goes more deeply into perceiving Latin music and listening to it. 1. Yamulemau - Joe Arroyo 2. Acid - Ray Barretto 3. Mademoiselle je vous aime - Haitiando 4. Como Baila Marieta - Orestes Vitalo 5. Sway - Michael Bublé 6. Fragilidad - Milagros Pinera & Sanmera 7. Obsession - Aventura 8. Dimelo - Marc Anthony 9. Vale la Pena - Juan luis Guerra 10. Micalea - La sonora Carruseles Ilias Director (image: The Best Latin Band in town Groovetown) Ilias Director -  Baila Productions More than 1 000 000 views on our  youtube channel Baila Productions Salsa School West-Island Dance School: 450-238-1435 13950 Boul.Gouin Ouest Pierrefonds, QC, H8Z 1Y1 Laval Dance School: 450-663-5278 1555 St-Martin EST, Laval, H7G 4R4 À l'intérieur du Complexe Sportif Val-Des-Arbres Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Dance School (Vaudreuil-Soulange Sector) 450-238-1435 Peter-Williamson Chalet (Aumais Park) 300  Cypihot, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, H9X 4A7

By |2017-08-06T19:26:46-04:00June 2nd, 2014|articles, Music|0 Comments

A different kind of Salsa Congress

Once again, we've attended the Bromont Salsa Congress put together by Nancy Madison. There were performances, workshops, and nights of open dancing. This event is definitely one that cannot be overlooked by our Salsa dance school. This time around, I animated a musicality and body isolation workshop. In other words, it consists of using all your body parts to express music (well, maybe not all of them!). A Salsa Congress gives us the opportunity to get acquainted with new people and dance the night away. As for me, it's always a great pleasure to meet with my dance peers again with whom I've performed in this great environment. We've put up 2 acts this year: the first, inspired by the movie Zorro, is a mix of Paso Doble, Waltz, and of course Salsa. The second, inspired by the TV show I Dream of Jeannie, is a mix of Salsa, Samba and belly dancing. The audience's reaction to this act was phenomenal. It's always a pleasure to perform in front of such a public. As I mentioned earlier, there is something special going on at this congress in Bromont. Ilias Director -  Baila Productions More than 1 millions views on our  youtube channel Baila Productions Salsa School West-Island Dance School: 450-238-1435 13950 Boul.Gouin Ouest Pierrefonds, QC, H8Z 1Y1 Laval Dance School: 450-663-5278 1555 St-Martin EST, Laval, H7G 4R4 À l'intérieur du Complexe Sportif Val-Des-Arbres Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Dance School (Vaudreuil-Soulange Sector) 450-238-1435 Peter-Williamson Chalet (Aumais Park) 300  Cypihot, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, H9X 4A7  

By |2017-08-06T19:26:46-04:00May 9th, 2014|articles, video|0 Comments

Does Latin music sound unfamiliar to your ears?

When I took the first steps towards learning Latin dances, I couldn't even distinguish Salsa from Merengue.  Although I spent 20 years playing different instruments, Latin music was unfamiliar to my ears. I'm therefore quite able to understand the rhythm-related problems that my students experience. Before going into further technical details about music, I often tell my students to start by listening to a lot of Latin music. Whether it is at home, at the gym or in the car, you need to immerse yourself in this new musical world in order to train your ears by subjecting them to the new sounds and instruments. Our musical culture in North America is mainly influenced by Pop and Rock. The distinct rhythms often accompanied by regular percussions characterize modern Western music. When we first listen to African or Afro-Cuban music, we are unfamiliar with the instruments used, and even less accustomed to the new different rhythms and musical structures. In other words, before exploring the matter in depth, you need to have a brief glimpse of the dance and accustom your ears to the flow of this wonderful music. Here are some of my favourite songs Spanish Fly from Eric Benét is a smooth and groovy cha-cha with a hint of sweet sauce. A wonderful discovery! Salsa's extensive family tree encompasses Timba that originated in Cuba. It a musical style characterized by growing percussion and drum sounds. The song Cana Quema from Son de Madre will leave you breathless. Simply great to listen to by the pool, the song Como Me Duele Perderte by Gloria Estefan is perfect for beginners, for professionals looking for a slow-paced song to practice, and also for teachers who want a [...]

By |2018-01-24T14:38:42-05:00March 26th, 2014|articles|0 Comments
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