Guys don't shimmy?!

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Salsa Ninja in training, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. I was in a salsa class this weekend and the teacher was teaching the cumbia step. To add a little flair to the drill he asked the ladies to do a shoulder shimmy (it was a group class not focused on details) but he made the comment that "Guys don't shimmy!"

    I'm a guy, and I've been using the shoulder shimmy. I'm not going to stop, because it works for me....but I was just curious do any of you other guys shake the shoulders from time to time?
  2. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    I try! Can't say I'm particularly good at it, but it sometimes gets a laugh from my partner.
    I've never heard 'guys don't shimmy'.
  3. GForce85

    GForce85 Rhythm Deputy

    All the time. I don't care what anyone says about it, the ladies love it and that's what matters to me :)

    As an aside, in terms of instruction I was taught "ladies use hips, guys use shoulders."
  4. SalsaGipsy

    SalsaGipsy Capitán Del Estilo

    I've heard this too and it makes sense to me. I do shimmies occasionally but I think it looks much better when a guy does it (properly).
  5. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    My Salsa teacher (a guy) is BIG on shoulder shimmies - along with shoulder rolls and similar movements. In fact, he just got a gig teaching Latin dance body movements at a local performing arts school.

    I think most teachers I've encountered have emphasized that women should move their hips MORE than men, but I don't think any have said men shouldn't do it at all.

    Fortunately, that's one problem I don't have to deal with. A lot of guys are self-conscious about moving their hips, but I took dance classes years ago, so I'm used to it - in moderation. I don't feel comfortable with body rolls, which are really awkward for me.
  6. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    I shimmy. I tell people it's salsa code for "what do you think of THAT!"

    That's the polite version of "whoever said guys don't shimmy is an idiot!"
  7. Joy in Motion

    Joy in Motion Sonero

    I think this one is largely a matter of personal taste. I'm not a big fan of it, but it depends on the person. Some can make it look good and it seems a natural expression of the music to them, but for others it comes across as forced and fake. I don't think it's an essential part of the dance for either men or women; I think it's okay to learn it and better to use it in the dance if you feel inspired to do so by the way the music makes you feel. To me, that's the key to it looking good. You shouldn't do it just to do it. The reason it often turns me off when men do it is because it can look very unmasculine if not done properly. When women don't do it properly, I think it's easier for them to get away with it, but it still doesn't look right and doesn't fit the music.

    As an aside, in my research on African music and dance, I discovered that shaking the shoulders is considered to be very spiritual.
  8. GForce85

    GForce85 Rhythm Deputy

    That parallels what I've learned, and I should clarify that no one told me men shouldn't use their hips at all or that ladies shouldn't use their shoulders at all. It's just a matter of what it's better for each to emphasize more as you said.
  9. Nicole_de_reve

    Nicole_de_reve Son Montuno

    I absolutely love it when a guy shimmies *well*. :bouncy:

    Did have a dance though where one guy thought shimmying was part of the basic step and did it for the whole 6minutes... I had a really hard time keeping a normal facial expression.
  10. antigone

    antigone Pattern Police

    maybe you need a new teacher...maybe a real one
  11. chr

    chr Shine Officer

    OP: Are you trained by a ninja? (They don't shimmy, in fact)
  12. AguaDulce

    AguaDulce Pattern Police

    Of course
  13. SalseraRita

    SalseraRita Son Montuno

    Of course men shimmy! And thank God they do, it's so sexy! :tongue:
  14. AndrewD

    AndrewD Shine Officer

    I shimmy all the time, dancing or not :)

    It’s one of my ice breakers with nervous beginners (it always makes them smile) and probably the only isolation I can do really well.

    I’m working on that knee shimmy that’s quite a common styling element – can do it in practice, but I lose it when I do it socially.
  15. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Sorry to say it but your "instructor" doesn't really know much if he claims that "men don't shimmy". A proper shimmy looks good and is part of salsa styling for men - all the good dancers shimmy and they shimmy well.

    Oh - and the process by which shimmies are learned involves isolating the shoulders which is a standard isolation exercise for latin dancing.
  16. Salsa Bear

    Salsa Bear Sabor Ambassador

    I never heard of a knee shimmy. I'm sure it's cool, but it sounds weird!
  17. Thanks everyone! We have a new scene here. Over the past year it's grown, but we've got a long way to go!

    Chr- Actually, I would consider the teacher a "salsa ninja" Just a young teacher. He can def hold his own on the dance floor.

    I know what you are talking about AndrewD. I haven't been able to get that knee shimmy.
  18. biggah

    biggah Son

    its really funny to read this simply bc salsa is so connected to afrocuban music and dance.a male dancing a guaguanco has so much shoulder movement i think theres no way out of it! as a matter of fact i think men use it just the same or maybe even more in a cuban rumba
  19. sunsoul

    sunsoul Shine Officer

    Can you let us know more about that? If you want to go into details, then send me a PM. Otherwise, just highlight what you have found regarding shoulder shaking being spiritual....

    If I had to guess, then I would say that in some African societies mediums or shamans are often possessed by native spirits, and their body enters a very 'rocky' or 'shaky' phase. This has been recorded and transmitted into certain kinds of ritual dance.....
  20. salsamarty

    salsamarty Rhythm Deputy

    Sure guys can shimmy but you better make it look natural and you better do it well or you will look ridiculous. At my age I don't do body rolls and shimmy's . . . well I steer clear of them as well. I would rather focus on "fancy" footwork in my shines.

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