Cuban Salsa: Detailled visual breakdown of basic steps and Dil Que No?

vit

Son Montuno
#41
As I said, we call that hockey stick in BR and follower starts turning 2 steps later than in enchufla in casino.
I frequently use enchufla when dancing a kind of casino style cha cha cha on parties (although rare now, since intrusion of kizomba) similar to that on cha cha cha videos posted by Yoel (that I like much more than linear cha cha cha danced by others), but followers that did some BR are always surprised with the turn that happens earlier than they are used to
Bye
 
C

CUBAPEDIA

Guest
#42
As I said, we call that hockey stick in BR and follower starts turning 2 steps later than in enchufla in casino.
I frequently use enchufla when dancing a kind of casino style cha cha cha on parties (although rare now, since intrusion of kizomba) similar to that on cha cha cha videos posted by Yoel (that I like much more than linear cha cha cha danced by others), but followers that did some BR are always surprised with the turn that happens earlier than they are used to
Bye
Pierre's Enchufa, as I described and shown in that video, is the Son Urbano version. It is not however, identical to mature Casino. One of the significant differences is that the lady in Casino always steps forward, while the older Son version she steps back after the pivot. Casino, if one is to differentiate it from Son Urbano, ended up optimizing the steps so the woman steps always forwards. This development did not fully mature until the 70's, and if you look at casino dancers from the 60's and before, they will look like Pierre.

But remember the original argument, where does Casino's Enchufa come from? It comes from a figure that already existed in Son, not from whatever is done in Swing or European Ballroom. These foreign dances might have similar figures developed independently or emulating Cuban Son. Keep in mind that Latin Ballroom such as Mambo, Bolero, Cha Cha Cha, and Rumba are molded after Cuban dances, not the other way around. Pierre's contribution was to attempt to bring back Latin Ballroom to its roots, not to come and teach Cubans.

Out of curiosity, can you send me a video of this "hockey stick".
 
#43
[







@terence

My knowledge of European Latin Ballroom Dances in the first half of the 20th century is limited to the literature of the time, and scant video footage. I have Doris Lavelle's "Latin & American Dances", 3rd Edition. I have also seen the footage of her and Pierre dancing "Rumba" in Havana (mistakenly dated 1947), and it is 100% Son Urbano, not Cuban Mambo. I quote from the book:


Rumba
The authentic ballroom Rumba, Bolero or Son, was originally taught in this country in 1947. My late partner, Pierre, visited Havana, Cuba, and found that although we had been teaching and dancing to Cuban music for some years we were not teaching it as taught and danced in Cuba.

Mambo
The Mambo is a fast tempo Ballroom Rumba. It is at its best at tempo of 50/55 or even 60 bars per minute.
(p. 169)​
Rumba.. What they were teaching in the UK in the 40s for Rumba was more Danzon ( and that's empirical )

As to mambo, I respectfully disagree with Doris , in equating it with a fast Rumba .
As to being at its "best ", I find that very subjective ...(The English NEVER took mambo on board ! ) .

The late Bobby Medeiros, gave an exhibition in Blackpool in 1963/4 (?) and altho well received, it never was adopted.

Ironically, Laird became the criteria for latin in the UK, in the same time period of Doris, and still today, is recognised as authority.
 
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C

CUBAPEDIA

Guest
#44
Rumba.. What they were teaching in the UK in the 40s for Rumba was more Danzon ( and that's empirical )

As to mambo, I respectfully did agree with Doris as to equate it with a fast Rumba .
As to being its "best ", I find that very subjective (The English NEVER took mambo on board ! ) .
The late Bobby Medeiros gave an exhibition in Blackpool in 19 63/4 (?) and altho well received, it never was adopted.

Ironically, Laird became the criteria for latin in the UK and still today, is recognised as such.
That Danzón was adopted in the England as Rumba before the 50's, is an interesting way that this dance tradition came back full circle in a 200 year cycle. I say this considering that Danzón itself is derived from Danza Habanera, which in turn is derived from the Contradanza that was introduced to Cuba by the British occupation of Havana, and French expats escaping the Haitian revolution in the late 18th century.
 
#45
The Casino from the 50's and 60's is indistinguishable from Son Urbano.
Then what gives one the name: "Casino" and the other - "Son Urbano"?

Modern Casino diverged and matured as a separate dance after a few decades of optimization, through the 70's-80's.
-Could you please explain to me what draws the line between Son Urbano and Casino?

-Also, Could you please elaborate about those optimization you were referring to? What kinda of major changes happened to the dance through during the 50s~70s, and then through the 70s-80s? O:
 
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C

CUBAPEDIA

Guest
#46
Then what gives one the name: "Casino" and the other - "Son Urbano"?


-Could you please explain to me what draws the line between Son Urbano and Casino?
-Could you please elaborate about those optimization you were referring to? What kinda of major changes happened to the dance through during the 50s~70s, and then through the 70s-80s? O:

In a short overview, Casino is Son Urbano after 20 years of being danced in Ruedas, and a much greater popular penetration than Son ever had. The name comes form the Casinos (not to be confused with Gambling Casinos, in the context of Cuban culture they were Social Clubs and existed throughout the island, most prominently of course in the capital of Havana). The term was coined in the 50's referring to how popular dancing in Ruedas was in el Casino Deportivo, and took a hold in popular culture much later, but the dance was not invented there by a small group of people. During the 50's and 60's, the dance was the same Son Urbano that was already danced to Son music, and this generation executes figures in a more "primitive" state.

The Cuban Revolution in 59 intended to replace the old system in its totality, and engineer a "new man". In order to do this, it condemned and cast aside old "bourgeois values" from the. This happened at all spheres of government, education, and culture, including music such as Son, Bolero, and Trova. What people don't realize is that Castro sidelined many of the social clubs and Son music itself in the first decade of his revolution, especially the old guard such as Benny Moré and Celia Cruz. The well known Buena Vista Social Club film touches on this and I recommend all interested in the subject to watch it.

There was a gap in popular Cuban dance music from the 50's to the 60's. This situation changed after Rock and Roll (such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones) started to penetrate Cuban youth in the 60's, much to the dismay of the Communist Party that saw it as Western Propaganda. The solution was to foment a home brewed "socialist" music to compete and satisfy the youth. Van Van occupied this niche with a new modality of Son, Songo (as did NUEVA Trova with Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez, among many others). This made way to the eventual acceptance of Son back into the fold, as long as it remained populist and celebrated the Revolution. Thus "popular" Cuban dance was back in vogue stronger than ever under the new label of Casino.

Casino spread like wildfire – more than Danzón, Son, or Rumba ever did in previous generations – not because of the Social Clubs that gave it its name back in the 50's (many of them were shut down during the transition), but within Becas estudiantiles (intern schools). Here, students from all over the country would be interned in co-ed schools away from their families. After working on the fields and taking classes during the day, evenings and weekends at the dorms provided the ideal fertile ground to socialize and dance Rueda de Casino. Students could return monthly back to their families and neighborhoods, where they could share with family and friends the moves they had learned. Although Son and Casino had been danced by older generations in the 50's and 60's, Casino really took off with the 70's generation, those who were teens at the time regardless of race, region or or wealth. This allowed casino to be far more consistent among different regions in Cuba since the Becas acted as hubs.

In this way, dancing Casino became mainstream to the point the average Cuban has at least a fundamental idea of how to dance, since they are exposed to Casino dancing from an early age, either throughs school, their friends, family members and neighbors. Of course not every Cuban is an accomplished dancer. Casino is danced at parties, night clubs, quinceañeras, social events, Becas Estudiantiles, on TV, etc. Yet it was never formalized as an artistic or folkloric dance in the way that Orishas and Rumba was through the Ministry of Culture.

Structurally, you can better understand the adaptation of Son Urbano figures to Casino, by comparing how the original Son Figure (such as Enchufa or Dile Que No) differ from their Casino version after 20+ years of millions of people trying to dance in a Rueda to Songo music (as opposed to older Son Montuno with clear clave percussion). Naturally, the figures became more circular, and the followers, who had to change partners after each figure, started to optimize their steps to be more efficient and allow better traveling to always move forward and eliminate stepping back.

In conclusion, if you look at Casineros from the 60's generation and earlier, you will see a Casino much closer tot he Son Urbano recorded by Pierre. If you look at the dancers from the 70's onwards, you will notice a more circular approach t dance and stepping forward for leaders and followers.
 
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#47
So many great advice and interesting articles, thank you both so much! I will definitely read up on that.

@Dissonant Harmony The "Salsa"-timeline was very helpful thank you. I think I got it at least partly right but for example the story of Salsa Lovers was completely new to me.



This is perhaps the point where I did not myself clear enough.

First, with my "cannot not find much basic material" comment I was definitely referring to Cuban Salsa, not to the traditional Casino. In lack of better words, I would wish(!) to dance Cuban Salsa like a "modern" Cuban with a mix of different influences - not to dance Casino like a Cuban. It might be my background and I am overthinking, as well as diving far to deep into technicalities, but I just would like some general advice, for example, which basic step is cool for which part of the song, how I archieve the circular motion, when it makes sense to break into a DLQ, how many degrees to move around the lady, where in the room to end up after a pattern? The MCC approach seems to be the only one that trys to incoporate a system that gives you some kind of orientation in the room: Where to turn, how to turn, when to walk in a smaller and when in larger circles (pretty much what the circle is for they painted on the ground in the training videos).

Second, am not really looking for a "standarized" version of Cuban Salsa with rules, just for some "ways to do it" or "variations". That might sound strange, but let us compare it to learning a foreign language. Same as with Cuban Salsa, there is no one way to learn a language, you could start with reading, speaking, grammar and so on. But still, every language teacher has his or her own "system" to teach (sure, you could argue language more very standarized and there is a common grammar). Why is it that hard to find?

To keep it simple, I am just surprised how few didactic "I do this particular basic step X this way, a DLQ that way and connect it all with this pattern Y" videos are out there. It does not have to be the one only way to happyness, just one way out of many. If someone had an approach like Yoel Marerro, only to Cuban Salsa and not that close-minded and excluding of other methods and styles, I would definitely dive into that.
OK, basics first! You need to be able to trasfer your weight as in basic merengue or whatvis called cuban motion. This is the basis as far as am concerned and those who taught me. By transferring fully your weight you lead the lady. As simple as that. Now how it fits with steps. Suppose you start dancing on the spot (any salsa style you like) with full weight on the right foot and your partner on her left. If you maintain a decend frame and hold (no pulling or pushing) then by you simply moving your weight on the left foot for the count of 1 should cause your partner to move her weight to her right foot. So the simple principle is that if you want your partner to do something you have to semi-do it yourself first. Or if you like action and reaction.

Now assume you dance on the spot doing nicely 123pause (or tap, or ...) 123pause etc, then assume you are on a 3 with weight on right leg and your partner has weight on the left leg. At that moment because you have full weight on the right leg you are fully free to move your left leg wherever you want for the next count of 1. Fwd, bwd, bwd and to the right (behind the right foot), to the left (side step) or fwd and across your right foot. Anything is possible, and as long as you maintain the frame and hold properly, your partner will feel the lead and will react.

If this is understandable, then using this approach you can perform and invent any step as long as your frame and hold is such that you are able to pass the signal/lead to your partner. So if we go to DQN, I explained the basic movement in the other thread. The difference with linear is that the lady does not necessarily know where she is meant to go. You should lead her. Using the principles above, depending of your action such as amount of body rotation when you open on 3, weight transfer; she will receive different signals and hence end up in completely different places.
 
#49
Thanks for the great advice, you all! Might be most practical to answer each post individually. It is strange how there is so much material available about the linear styles but hardly any videos that explain a proper basic step or DLQ in Casino, or at least Cuban Salsa ;-) (still not sure whether people here read "Cuban Salsa" as "mix of Casino and other styles"). So please, if you know any DVD, Website or video where the basics of Casino are explained in detail, keep it coming!

@Dissonant Harmony I have taken a couple of classes in my area but since I do live in Berlin I am not always sure about the teacher's particular expertise. The reason why I would like to take a look at the videos is to "cross check" what I have learned so far see how other teachers address the topic of basics and DLQ. You mentioned four basics, would you have any specific examples? It would help me figure out when to apply which basic step. What I could improve on is definitely having a broader knowledge how to move when and if it is considered "Casino" or not. For example, I know about the forward and back basic but still not sure if this step does exclusively belong to linear styles since Casion is all about circeling your partner and not staying in line. About the DLQ, I was only taught one way to execute it, another reason for me to look for other teachers' recommendations and variations.

@manzanadulce Great advice, thank you. I was always looking for someone who tries to explain Casino with the help of a logical system. I have read on a couple of threads in the forum as well. Sadly, the online course does not seem to be available anymore or I could not find it. Could you lead me into the right direction? There are tons of videos on his account but in the only in-depth explanation of the MCC "METODO DEL CUADRO DEL CASINO (CERTIFICACION DE INSTRUCTORES)" he has set nearly all videos on private.

@terence What exactly do you mean by "foundational" aspect? The foundational aspect of each dance? What would be the foundational basic for Casino, the forward back basic as well? Seems a little abstract for me, I have to agree with Dissonant Harmony. If you would have any videos or images explaining this (also the box) I would be happy to know. I guess I just have to read back on some posts in the forum since I am sure you do have talked about this a couple of times already.

@Offbeat Any reasons why you would not learn the MCC? Just curious if it is about the person (which I could relate to) or rather you having doubts about the technical aspects of his teaching. If so, I would love to hear your comments and criticism.
@TomSchueler yes, to access the course you have to pay the membership fee. It's $120USD and valid for the whole year. Upon payment, he unlocks access to all of the instructional videos and courses via Facebook and YouTube. It's an amazing deal if you consider that only a month of classes would typically cost much more than that.

What's so interesting about MCC is that the founder has traveled around Cuba dancing with all the locals, and using the tools he developed into the method, he is able to dance with all of them. For anyone that argues there are many different ways of dancing casino, MCC will provide you the tools to be able to dance with actual Cubans, regardless. I have put this to the test myself and danced with untrained Cubans after learning with MCC and I was able to dance with them. My partner had the same experience. For such a fair price, I really encourage you to check it out further. If you have trouble finding contact information, PM me and I am happy to put you in touch with the right people.

Auf Wiedersehen
 
#50
In a short overview, Casino is Son Urbano after 20 years of being danced in Ruedas, and a much greater popular penetration than Son ever had. The name comes form the Casinos (not to be confused with Gambling Casinos, in the context of Cuban culture they were Social Clubs and existed throughout the island, most prominently of course in the capital of Havana). The term was coined in the 50's referring to how popular dancing in Ruedas was in el Casino Deportivo, and took a hold in popular culture much later, but the dance was not invented there by a small group of people. During the 50's and 60's, the dance was the same Son Urbano that was already danced to Son music, and this generation executes figures in a more "primitive" state.

The Cuban Revolution in 59 intended to replace the old system in its totality, and engineer a "new man". In order to do this, it condemned and cast aside old "bourgeois values" from the. This happened at all spheres of government, education, and culture, including music such as Son, Bolero, and Trova. What people don't realize is that Castro sidelined many of the social clubs and Son music itself in the first decade of his revolution, especially the old guard such as Benny Moré and Celia Cruz. The well known Buena Vista Social Club film touches on this and I recommend all interested in the subject to watch it.

There was a gap in popular Cuban dance music from the 50's to the 60's. This situation changed after Rock and Roll (such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones) started to penetrate Cuban youth in the 60's, much to the dismay of the Communist Party that saw it as Western Propaganda. The solution was to foment a home brewed "socialist" music to compete and satisfy the youth. Van Van occupied this niche with a new modality of Son, Songo (as did NUEVA Trova with Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez, among many others). This made way to the eventual acceptance of Son back into the fold, as long as it remained populist and celebrated the Revolution. Thus "popular" Cuban dance was back in vogue stronger than ever under the new label of Casino.

Casino spread like wildfire – more than Danzón, Son, or Rumba ever did in previous generations – not because of the Social Clubs that gave it its name back in the 50's (many of them were shut down during the transition), but within Becas estudiantiles (intern schools). Here, students from all over the country would be interned in co-ed schools away from their families. After working on the fields and taking classes during the day, evenings and weekends at the dorms provided the ideal fertile ground to socialize and dance Rueda de Casino. Students could return monthly back to their families and neighborhoods, where they could share with family and friends the moves they had learned. Although Son and Casino had been danced by older generations in the 50's and 60's, Casino really took off with the 70's generation, those who were teens at the time regardless of race, region or or wealth. This allowed casino to be far more consistent among different regions in Cuba since the Becas acted as hubs.

In this way, dancing Casino became mainstream to the point the average Cuban has at least a fundamental idea of how to dance, since they are exposed to Casino dancing from an early age, either throughs school, their friends, family members and neighbors. Of course not every Cuban is an accomplished dancer. Casino is danced at parties, night clubs, quinceañeras, social events, Becas Estudiantiles, on TV, etc. Yet it was never formalized as an artistic or folkloric dance in the way that Orishas and Rumba was through the Ministry of Culture.

Structurally, you can better understand the adaptation of Son Urbano figures to Casino, by comparing how the original Son Figure (such as Enchufa or Dile Que No) differ from their Casino version after 20+ years of millions of people trying to dance in a Rueda to Songo music (as opposed to older Son Montuno with clear clave percussion). Naturally, the figures became more circular, and the followers, who had to change partners after each figure, started to optimize their steps to be more efficient and allow better traveling to always move forward and eliminate stepping back.

In conclusion, if you look at Casineros from the 60's generation and earlier, you will see a Casino much closer tot he Son Urbano recorded by Pierre. If you look at the dancers from the 70's onwards, you will notice a more circular approach t dance and stepping forward for leaders and followers.
WOW! Thanks for that immensely comprehensive answer!
My intention was to understand the technical differences between Son Urbano and the 70s~80s' Casino (And not the history of it) - but this was truly interesting! :O
Thank you, very much!

Naturally, the figures became more circular, and the followers, who had to change partners after each figure, started to optimize their steps to be more efficient and allow better traveling to always move forward and eliminate stepping back.
This is more in the line of what I wanted to know. How do I distinguish Modern Casino from Son Urbano - Visual-wise, Basic-Principles-of-The-Dance wise...

This was addressed when you told Vit about Casino's Enchufa.
What are some other changes - that happened, and made Casino dancers more efficient at traveling?

---

I.E: Observing Yoel's videos, I noticed that:

-In his Son videos - he transfers weight (and body) to the 'slow' step (4, 8, when dancing Contra-Tiempo) quickly, and then "pauses" a litle. However, in Casino, it's more "Flow-ish" and "Legato-ish".

-In his Casino videos, there is a considerably small angle between the direction he and his partner are going/facing. The lady seems to be "encircling" him, and they would both (especially the girl, though) usually fix and adjust their relative angles on counts 3-4 or 7-8 (Once again - the "slow" step), using some "twist" or "tap" actions.
In his son videos, however, there is no "fixing" and "adjusting" duing those counts, because as I eralier mentioned - they somewhat pause. In addition, the angle, especially when travelling - will by much beigger (in comparison to the Casino videos) - they will almost face the same direction, and move together to the same direction. In that case - the girl doesn't encircle the guy - but instead, they both, together go in a circular motion around an "imaginary" center.
 
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#51
WOW! Thanks for that immensely comprehensive answer!
My intention was to understand the technical differences between Son Urbano and the 70s~80s' Casino (And not the history of it) - but this was truly interesting! :O
Thank you, very much!


This is more in the line of what I wanted to know. How do I distinguish Modern Casino from Son Urbano - Visual-wise, Basic-Principles-of-The-Dance wise...

This was addressed when you told Vit about Casino's Enchufa.
What are some other changes - that happened, and made Casino dancers more efficient at traveling?

---

I.E: Observing Yoel's videos, I noticed that:

-In his Son videos - she transfers weight (and body) to the 'slow' step (4, 8, when dancing Contra-Tiempo) quickly, and then "pauses" a litle. However, in Casino, it's more "Flow-ish" and "Legato-ish".

-In his Casino videos, there is a considerably small angle between the direction he and his partner are going/facing. The lady seems to be "encircling" him, and they would both (especially the girl, though) usually fix and adjust their relative angles on counts 3-4 or 7-8 (One again - the "slow" step), using some "twist" or "tap" actions.
In his son video, however, there is no "fixing" and "adjusting" duing those counts, because they somewhat pause. In addition, the angle, especially when travelling - will by much beigger (in comparison to the Casino videos) - they will almost face the same direction, and move together to the same direction. In that case - the girl doesn't encircle the guy - but instead, they both, together go in a circular motion around an "imaginary" center.
@Dissonant Harmony @CUBAPEDIA can probably give you a better answer but part of the reason for the development of casino from son was because faster music became popular. You have already noticed in YM's videos that casino has that circular, always traveling flow. That is, in part, to adequately deal with faster music where there is no time to really "pause."
 
#52
Salsa Cubana is a phenomenon that exists outside of Cuba. The notion that it is how modern Cubans dance or some sort of "evolution" is a myth.In reality Cuban salsa is simply a niche market outside of Cuba for profit, and to create a space for Cuban instructors within a Salsa industry in Europe. You will not find Cubans dancing like Maykel Fonts, or Yeni Molinet - these are professional artists, not social dancers. Cubans of all ages dance CASINO, not salsa Cubana. If you ever go outside of the tourist hot spots you'll see for yourself.
Absolutely! Unfortunately (or fortunately - depending on your orientation) Cuban Salsa, as it is generally referred to here in the UK, has become so common place that genuine knowledge about Casino - and the differences between it and Cuban Salsa/Salsa Cubana etc. (yes, it is different!) - are almost completely lacking.
 
#55
@Dissonant Harmony @CUBAPEDIA can probably give you a better answer but part of the reason for the development of casino from son was because faster music became popular. You have already noticed in YM's videos that casino has that circular, always traveling flow. That is, in part, to adequately deal with faster music where there is no time to really "pause."
For years now I have found that tempo is a big part of whether I want to dance casino a tiempo or contratiempo. I generally prefer contratiempo to slower songs but don't like it to fast ones. But then no one here really dances casino contratiempo so I only do that when I'm dancing around the house by myself :) My son is bad, which is why I don't claim to actually be dancing son.

And I suppose one can easily argue that the music really is son anyway deep down so...
 
#56
For years now I have found that tempo is a big part of whether I want to dance casino a tiempo or contratiempo. I generally prefer contratiempo to slower songs but don't like it to fast ones. But then no one here really dances casino contratiempo so I only do that when I'm dancing around the house by myself :) My son is bad, which is why I don't claim to actually be dancing son.

And I suppose one can easily argue that the music really is son anyway deep down so...
Dancing contratiempo vs a tiempo is a matter of interpretation of the song. Son and casino can both be danced in either time.

Another reason for the development of casino was the increased popularity of dancing in ruedas, and dancers needed to be able to switch partners quickly and efficiently. Therefore, constant forward traveling stepping became the norm and casino developed out of the son.

And yes deep down the music is really son anyway. ;)
 
#58
So forward walking is there just for practical reasons and not because it is more natural as some were claiming
Well one can argue it is more natural since we humans typically walk forwards with heel-toe motion. Of course it is also more practical for the reasons I indicated above.

The back break construction is necessary for certain styles of dance like Latin hustle and swing but there is no need for it in casino.
 
#60
I find nothing natural in going to the opposite direction of then one you desire - so you can change to that one one step later. Especially not when circular motion is included.
Exactly. That's why casino in its most efficient form is danced with continuous forward motion ;). Exactly like the natural way in which we walk.

Especially with fast music! If you break back even slightly during a timba or other fast tempo song when dancing casino, you're screwed :eek:
 

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