What do you predict for the Future of Salsa? Ballroom?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by smiling28, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Hey team,

    Did a quick search. I am sure it has been discussed but could not find anything?

    What do you think the future of salsa is?

    I would love to hear from everyone but especially some of the more experiened (eg Terence) who would have seen a lot of changes in dancing but managed to adapt.

    Someone mentioned to me that they feel Salsa will be become more like dancesport/ballroom due to the extra emphasis on technique and kids starting competing early. Then they will be the next wave which would make accessing competitions very tough as you would be competing against people who have practiced for many years and are technically flawless.

    I would like to believe that salsa will always have a social element and through performance plus socail dancing will show an individual element of expression. If it evolves into the flawless competition side too than that is cool. Always loved about salsa that it has a lot to offer everyone. Whether social dancing, competiting, teaching, or just learning. So much variety with even more variety when you travel.

    Love to hear your thoughts?
  2. kkksss

    kkksss Son Montuno

    The day when salsa goes into ballroom, is the day when it starts dying.
  3. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Its already there !.. A.Murray in the states ( remember , they were the ones that really brought Mambo to the general populace ) and 2 of the major Soc. in the UK.

    The UK Soc. have placed it in its own category. ( no where to place it in the current medal system ).
    The UKA has taken an unusual approach, as it has no specific "break " requirement and or style .

    They also have added Assoc. prof exams to their Soc. with no specific steps... a " do as you like " dance wise exam , with a verbal and written test .
  4. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    So where do you think it will go from here?

    Seems to have moved from the clubs to the studios so far???
  5. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    The major problem i have seen with the B/Room "exponents " ?... to begin with, even some of the Intern latin names have already crept into the genre.

    Even more disturbing, is the approach many of the teachers who have transitioned from B/R. are now teaching B.R. techn. ( like foot turn out ) to students who are now teaching in clubs etc.

    The hold and poise is also more B.R. than the " street " styles that is seen in clubs ( stateside ) .

    The comp. side is an interesting topic....currently, as we all know, there are numerous claimants to that title ( A/M ..USDC ?)holds a world Champ Mambo comp.. and the list goes on.
    It has yet to reach an Amat. and Prof. divide ( which is a good idea ), but sooner or later thats inevitable .

    This discussion reminds me of the 3 competing styles of Tango... each has survived ( at all levels ) for over 70 yrs.

    I think that the route of Salsa is pure guess work at best.. soon as I find that d..n crystal ball, I will get back to you .
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.
  6. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    lol thanks mate.

    It is interesting and all just opinions anyway I guess. *unless someone posts under 'cystal ball' ha ha
  7. kkksss

    kkksss Son Montuno

    Understand, I am not saying it's already dead either. But you look at the other forms of ballroom dancing then you know salsa might be in the next 10 years from now continuing on this path. "Death" of salsa means it will not be a popular club thing any more, but I am sure it will stay in the ballroom and studio like waltz and foxtrot for a long long time.
  8. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Would tend to disagree.. the " latinos" have sustained it for multi yrs, maybe not in the numbers we now have...
    but its cultural .
  9. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    If I assume that the current trends continue my predictions on the future state of salsa (not the dance or the music, but the whole scene in general) would be:
    Salsa will continue to spread even wider geographically but not deeper*.
    Salsa scenes in large metros will continue to subdivide into smaller sub-scenes.

    *My deeper definition: more people in performance groups, competitions, at salsa congresses at one level and/or more people getting into the music, exploring the origins at another level.
  10. lolita

    lolita Capitán Del Estilo

    Salsa will remain in the clubs because of us ! we dance because we love how free it is, we will make it free forever and for always!
  11. antigone

    antigone Pattern Police

    It will become whatever it becomes, not because of any of us in particular, but because of the confluence of circumbstances beyond any individual's control, just like every other change that happens in society. Considering that most of us here are not professionals and do not need to plan our business models based on dance market trends, I think it makes a lot more sense to just enjoy the ride.
  12. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    On the other hand if the trend changes...

    The music industry is going through a lot of changes and will look completely different in a few years. Who could have imagined 5 years ago that Apple and Nokia are expected to be the big money makers in music in a few years.

    I cannot imagine that competition and technical excellence will be more than a niche, people get bored to easily if they are doing the same thing over and over to perfect it.

    I don't know if internet social networking (like sf) will reduce or increase RL social networking. I hope it increases, otherwise whats the point.
  13. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Yep. One of the A. Murray classes has occasional outings to one of the salsa clubs. I find that the women are quite reasonable to dance with.
  14. kkksss

    kkksss Son Montuno

    Is there a possibility that the salsa latinos dance and the "international" salsa will become something very different in the future?
  15. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Fortunately.. It already is... by that i mean the 2 styles clash.. one should always differentiate show work from social.

    As to influence one has to only look at what Intern. style Rumba, Cha, Jive etc. have become.

    It has nothing to do with the competance of the exponents, but leans strongly towards those that have developed the Comp. aspect of the genre .

    The "newbies " all want to emulate their peers ( I guess if they didnt, they would never get " marked " ).

    The social aspect of latin has now been strongly influenced by the comp.and "show" world ( its happened in Salsa..( spin, spin, spin.. neck drop ).

    I, by the way, am not oppposed to people paying the piper and calling the tune... and , altho I competed for many yrs, i never lost sight of the social aspects in my teaching and my personal pleasures .
  16. kkksss

    kkksss Son Montuno

    it should have a rule that caps number of spin at 3, anything more than that should be regarded as uncivilized :-D
  17. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao


    ( beheading would also be appropriate )
  18. Big10

    Big10 Shine Officer

    Shortly after this thread started, I jotted down several thoughts, but bailar y tocar's view is a concise summary of my opinions.

    I think Salsa dancing will increase in popularity, and the major competitions will look even more like ballroom competitions than they do today. In other words, with so many people dancing Salsa, the rules will have to become more specific so that judges can have a concrete basis for differentiating competitors. Plus, the whole point of ballroom Latin dancing is to be ostentatious in both wardrobe and style, creating an advantage in competitions over less flashy styles. The flashy competitions are also more likely to attract corporate sponsorships and media attention, thus creating long-term viability.

    For the social dancing side, as Salsa becomes more popular, I think the clubs will start to become more divided along the lines of "spinny" style (L.A./N.Y./slotted) versus Cuban/circular/simple-body-movement style. I say that partly using my city (Houston) as a model. The Houston area is diverse with a few million people, many of whom are of various Latin backgrounds, and many of whom are not. We have lots of people who like Salsa music and dancing. However, there isn't any Houston venue with Salsa music more than 4 nights a week, but MANY places with Salsa music on one or two nights a week. So, it's easy for clubs/bars/restaurants to target a specific niche and still survive because the absolute numbers will justify it. Relatively speaking, there are only a few places where the spinny/slotted types mix heavily with the "unschooled" dancers and, when that happens, it's usually just because of a high-quaility live band. I can walk into different clubs and, even when they're full, sometimes see a completely different set of faces because there's virtually no overlap in the clientele. It's also a lot easier for the Cuban-style dancers to mix with unschooled dancers, since the movements are more relaxed.

    I'm kind of a "missing link" and I socialize pretty freely between the various groups. Using anecdotal evidence and oversimplified generalities, my casual conversations seem to indicate that the spinny/slotted dancers don't really like to dance with the people who haven't taken lessons and often think the unschooled dancers are a bit lazy for not doing so. On the other hand, the people who like Salsa music but haven't taken lessons (usually of Latin background) tend to think the spinny/slotted dancers are a bit snobby, that the slotted dancers don't "get" the essence of Salsa dancing, and, in some cases, that results in a backlash where the relaxed/unschooled dancers actively resist taking lessons because they don't want to join "those people." The spinny/slotted dancers love Salsa Congresses, and I probably couldn't pay many relaxed/unschooled dancers enough money to even walk into a Salsa Congress. The factions just have fundamentally different mindsets regarding Salsa dancing.

    Like I said, that was a bit oversimplified, but I think it's a pretty good overview of the trends. So, as the population of each set grows, they will grow apart, but with sufficient size to support their "own" venues and not needing the other to survive. People like me will be in the minority, and we'll have to go back and forth between the different factions, recognizing that we'll rarely be in a venue where all of our potential dance partners could be together at the same time.

    The world itself is becoming more and more urban (i.e., diverse populations gravitating toward mega-cities), and I think those diverse urban areas will define the future dance trends. Diversity on a smaller scale forces more mixing, but diversity on a larger scale makes it easier for people to segregate themselves when they want to. In sum, the big mega-cities will make it easier for different Salsa factions to settle into self-sufficient niches.
  19. Fundance

    Fundance Changui

    I think salsa will continue to be popular, though dances have their life-cycle.

    One reason for its popularity is that it already is popular, so there are many places to dance it on many nights of the week, and many people doing likewise.

    Another is that (almost) anything goes. Club salsa hasn't been stifled by 'rules,' teachers (whatever their idiosyncracies may be) teach a wide variety of stuff rather than some 'syllabus' and the whole scene is appealingly free of stuffy crap, and strong on fun and enjoyment.

    I'm not criticising those who enjoy dancing with numbers on their back, those who want to raise up to performance heights or those who feel more comfortable with rules. There will no doubt be a niche for that kind of salsa for a very long time. But if the bedrock social dancers start to perceive salsa as a schooled latin ballroom dance it will die out in popularity, I think.
  20. Big10

    Big10 Shine Officer

    Ummm, are you sure about the highlighted portion? :eyebrow:

    Out of curiosity, in what city do you do most of your dancing?

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