Just Dance! Salsa dancing is a melting pot of inspiration originating from the Caribbean. But it is so much more than that. Dancing bridges gaps between generation and gender, ethnicity and ability, while fostering kinship and a sense of community where all are welcome. It brings people out of their shells, challenging their feet, their fears and insecurities. As one student mentioned, it is nice to just feel a momentary connection to another person to share the enjoyment of a dance. For me, social dancing is an escape from the daily grind. It is a moment where I don’t have to think about anything but the music, and I can just enjoy the positive and infectious energy of the people in the room. Plug into the vibe and enjoy! Each person experiences dance in their own unique way. The creative and intuitive energy that is generated while dancing is very personal and I think that is the reason why we have that inexplicable “click” with some dance partners, while we lack the magic or clash with others. I actually make it a point to dance with my “awkward” dance partners as a way to challenge myself. Some of them are now my favourite partners on the floor! We all learn the same basic steps, but what we do with them is very personal. We all bring our own emotions to the dance floor, and from that, there is no escape. But why would you want to? If dance was meant to be mechanical, I suppose we could just call it aerobics. But it isn’t. It’s a form of expression, and it has no words; it is fueled by feeling. And everyone brings their own unique [...]
Our Dance school is growing and so is my family. This propelled me to take a year off from creating choreographies and handing over the reins to Bélinda. She took charge of 2 dance troupes, one was a student project the other our pro team and she led them like a Champ! I would like to salute the great work Bélinda is doing for Baila Productions and I'm pretty sure more great choreo ideas are already brewing in her head ;) Check out these 2 performances below. Student Team Pro-Team video
et me elaborate further, it might be long so grab a good coffee lol I made this video for all the people that made me aware of this situation. I've been teaching for 20 years, and I can tell you that this is a common situation and it generates a lot of frustration. It is often I who raises morales by clarifying the situation which is girls being corrected on a dance floor ... I begin by telling them that it is not necessarily their fault, because often they assume that it is 100% theirs. Knowing that there are plenty of reasons why a dance may turn out less pleasant, for example, an unpleasant attitude of one's partner, someone who guides poorly or constantly corrects, I always point out that a good lead is capable of making anyone dance at her level of comfort, in order for her to have a good experience. In addition, I am not against corrections and advice but am against doing this on the dance floor during a social especially where the girl did not ask anything ... It can quickly turn humiliating or unpleasant for her and it would be a bit narcissistic on our part the boys😉 Sometimes even if the person has good intentions, the effect it may leave on his partner at that time is not always positive. Also, often the error is on the side of the man ... to progress and improve his lead it is way better to always assume that it is his own fault and try to spend time clarifying the Lead instead of verbally directing our partners … much more effective ... In my classes, I often see students correcting [...]
1. Do I need a partner to join the class? 2. What kind of shoes should I wear 3. Do I need specific shoes ? 4. How long will it take me to learn Salsa ?
When I create choreographies, I put myself in the position of a spectator and I imagine what would I like to see on stage. I Love pretty much all dances and I sincerely believe that every dance has some interesting things to explore. With this in mind, during the creation process I love mixing Salsa with other dances. This keeps me in a student mode, because often I have no idea how to dance this new dance that I blend with Salsa. Every year I set out to learn the basics of a new dance style and then I started the creativity adventure. I am not alone in this, these creations would not have been possible without the close collaboration of several choreographers. Whether it's student or professional dancers they also deserves much respect to believe in these projects and perform on stage. Here are the latest creations signed Baila Productions. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBElwFgnSvydpt_SxeeD0gU3dQWjxH7f4
After watching the amazing Narcos series on Netflix I had a funny idea : Having Pablo and Tata dance ChaChaCha Together ;) I would like to thank Wendy, Olivette and the JeansJeansJeans store for finding a pair of jeans directly from the 80s.
One of the biggest challenges for a Salsa teacher is not to teach the moves themselves, but to help a student, who doesn't really have rhythm, understand the different Latin beats. Latin music is just like mathematics. Being a musician, I often ask myself : what does someone who starts dancing and has no musical background need to know. At this stage, I don't think that a long theoretical musical explanation helps anybody. By experience, every time I tried that approach, I saw their eyes literally go in a daze. I think that a realistic goal to have is to make our students more sensitive to Salsa music, considering that for some, latin music is a giant maelstrom of indiscernible instruments. First off, we can address music in a lot ways, but in its most simplistic form its basically mathematics: a never ending time divisions. Usually salsa dancers learn to dance on a 8 count, 4 and 8 being pauses. Thus, we can double up the counts in the same bar or time frame. At this point we can talk about a 16 count, a concept not too hard to understand for advanced students. the 16, being the "links" in between the 8 count. It is possible to do 32's and 64's as well, which will require great skills. Keeping the beat I would also like to address the rhythmic struggle faced by some. For an unknown reason, some people are better at keeping the beat than others. If I can give one tip to improve that aspect is to download a metronome app and practice at a ridiculously slow speed. Often, even the most experienced dancers will find it hard. They usually find it [...]
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 Brian-Manuel Arce-Mendez for her excellence in the College's dance program. Congrats to all for you hard work!