Salsa life - men vs women

He probably would have replied " Who's that ? " :rolleyes:
He's a Japanese guy, DJing for a Japanese salsa crowd in a small city in Japan. I predict a more likely reaction to be a strong sucking sound with his head moving slightly to the right as the shoulders tilt slightly upward.

Ouch. What was he playing?
I don't know, because none of it was stuff I listen to, I would qualify most of it as second rate salsa romantica/pop salsa, and a few odd tracks like volare by Son Boricua. I'll never know how he figures out what salsa he should get and play. There's great DJs in Fukuoka, and I also know a Casino teacher who I understand her Cuban selections, not this guy.

It's very hard to influence the DJs when they don't speak either English or Spanish.
 
He's a Japanese guy, DJing for a Japanese salsa crowd in a small city in Japan. I predict a more likely reaction to be a strong sucking sound with his head moving slightly to the right as the shoulders tilt slightly upward.



I don't know, because none of it was stuff I listen to, I would qualify most of it as second rate salsa romantica/pop salsa, and a few odd tracks like volare by Son Boricua. I'll never know how he figures out what salsa he should get and play.
I know similar DJs over here, who also play that version of Volare. (Actually most have gone into retirement since the salsa scene contracted.) You'll probably find that they play tunes like that because they have English language sections. For people with little to no Spanish and no particular passion for salsa music, things like that make a tune stand out.
 
I disagree. If you're going to be a salsa DJ you should have at least enough Spanish to take very basic requests, regardless of where in the world you are DJing.
So are we assuming now that people on salsa parties are naturally gonna speak Spanish and make requests to the DJ in Spanish? Why should that assumption be universal and applied to non-latino countries? I do understand that listening to/dancing salsa might influence the people to learn spanish, but you are still probably more approachable if you speak an international language that is spoken by most people in that region (that language might be english, but also spanish, mandarin, russian, etc.)

I see no sense in recommending the DJs to learn spanish so that they can take requests from the dancers in spanish. I would however consider learning spanish to be a good idea so that they understand the lyrics of the song and so gain better understanding of the music and where and when particular song matches a certain mood.
 
So are we assuming now that people on salsa parties are naturally gonna speak Spanish and make requests to the DJ in Spanish? Why should that assumption be universal and applied to non-latino countries? I do understand that listening to/dancing salsa might influence the people to learn spanish, but you are still probably more approachable if you speak an international language that is spoken by most people in that region (that language might be english, but also spanish, mandarin, russian, etc.)

I see no sense in recommending the DJs to learn spanish so that they can take requests from the dancers in spanish. I would however consider learning spanish to be a good idea so that they understand the lyrics of the song and so gain better understanding of the music and where and when particular song matches a certain mood.
I don't think a person should learn Spanish as requirement to be a Salsa DJ. That would be discrimination in my books.
 
I disagree. If you're going to be a salsa DJ you should have at least enough Spanish to take very basic requests, regardless of where in the world you are DJing.
That is a valid reason, unfortunately as you can see from the responses to your post there's a group that doesn't even understand what you mean. It will be more challenging for a person that doesn't understand Spanish to understand the name of the song the requester is asking for, regardless of whether the requester even speaks Spanish themselves. Say they ask for "El Trigueño Cintura" by La Maxima 79, and they speak fast, saying setentinueve rather than seventynine and the DJ doesn't understand spanish and gets confused even after repeated attempts, so they end up not playing the track even when they actually have it.

So are we assuming now that people on salsa parties are naturally gonna speak Spanish and make requests to the DJ in Spanish? Why should that assumption be universal and applied to non-latino countries? I do understand that listening to/dancing salsa might influence the people to learn spanish, but you are still probably more approachable if you speak an international language that is spoken by most people in that region (that language might be english, but also spanish, mandarin, russian, etc.)

I see no sense in recommending the DJs to learn spanish so that they can take requests from the dancers in spanish. I would however consider learning spanish to be a good idea so that they understand the lyrics of the song and so gain better understanding of the music and where and when particular song matches a certain mood.
You beat me to it regarding lyrics. I hope my explanation about taking requests will change your mind.
 
So are we assuming now that people on salsa parties are naturally gonna speak Spanish and make requests to the DJ in Spanish? Why should that assumption be universal and applied to non-latino countries? I do understand that listening to/dancing salsa might influence the people to learn spanish, but you are still probably more approachable if you speak an international language that is spoken by most people in that region (that language might be english, but also spanish, mandarin, russian, etc.)

I see no sense in recommending the DJs to learn spanish so that they can take requests from the dancers in spanish. I would however consider learning spanish to be a good idea so that they understand the lyrics of the song and so gain better understanding of the music and where and when particular song matches a certain mood.
I don't think a person should learn Spanish as requirement to be a Salsa DJ. That would be discrimination in my books.
I said: enough Spanish to take very basic requests. In other words, if someone says the name of an artist and/or song title and they don't speak too quickly, a salsa DJ should be able to understand what is said. Likewise if someone says something such as salsa cubana, the DJ should be able to understand. Anyone with a passion for the music they play will learn that much.
 
I said: enough Spanish to take very basic requests. In other words, if someone says the name of an artist and/or song title and they don't speak too quickly, a salsa DJ should be able to understand what is said. Likewise if someone says something such as salsa cubana, the DJ should be able to understand. Anyone with a passion for the music they play will learn that much.
sorry I get what you are saying.

However, I have requested couple Latin DJ for songs and usually I'm better off typing it for them.
 
I don’t think we still figured out why salsa has higher turnover compared to other dances. I am not sure since I haven’t been doing swing for very long but there too there are a lot of women (and men) from the higher age brackets compared to salsa.
I think it's self-perpetuating.

There are a few minor reasons salsa may appeal more to younger people vs other dance forms: it's fast and requires good balance and reflexes, and also there's more of a 'sexy' aesthetic that older people may feel less comfortable with.

Beyond that, once the population gets slanted toward the young, older people will start to avoid it because they feel out of place or aren't getting dances - thus perpetuating the problem. So I don't think the bias for younger dancers would need to be very extreme to start with in order to end up very noticeable in a short time.
 
I think it's self-perpetuating.

There are a few minor reasons salsa may appeal more to younger people vs other dance forms: it's fast and requires good balance and reflexes, and also there's more of a 'sexy' aesthetic that older people may feel less comfortable with.

Beyond that, once the population gets slanted toward the young, older people will start to avoid it because they feel out of place or aren't getting dances - thus perpetuating the problem. So I don't think the bias for younger dancers would need to be very extreme to start with in order to end up very noticeable in a short time.
Long time no see :) glad you are still checking in!

Agree that asthetics part can keep the older folks away or make them more uncomfortable.

Question is what is older and what is younger. I don't think most youngsters (those in 20s) prefer salsa or partner dancing with some exceptions. They prefer night clubs, raves, music festivals, drinking etc. The hookup culture for those in twenties seem to be through the roof and anything that facilitates that is where they gravitate towards. At least the ones I know. Salsa is too difficult of a skill for the impatient lot.

Older crowd if they dance well, definitely gets dances. At least locally when they go out.
 
No thumbs people....please, this is an image of my friend's hand after a night of lobster claw dancing.
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I clicked 'like' to second your message (not because I like what happened to her of course)--this has happened to me personally (even though I tend to speak up when the guy us using lobster claw) so I assume it happens regularly to plenty of women. Leads: NO THUMBS on the follows' hand please! No matter why you think you need to use the thumb--you don't!!!

Also, as her bruise extends to the wrist, it looks like someone 'led' her by grabbing her wrist tightly (that is manhandling, not 'leading'). For whatever reason some men think they need to grab the follow's wrist otherwise their moves won't work :facepalm:; newsflash: almost no salsa move (with very few exceptions) requires a wrist grab to work! (a hip touch can generally be used in the cases when the guy grabs the wrist to give the free turn signal).

And because the wrist cannot 'hold back' (like the lady's hand can), when a lead leads by the wrist he will often grab it really tightly because otherwise he feels he has no control.

Ladies, if a man is grabbing your wrist to lead you, stop dancing and politely ask him to only hold your hand. If you need to make up an excuse such as that you have a sensitive wrist, then do that, but do not let him keep leading you that way, or he will think there's nothing wrong with that.

Personally, I generally stop the dance and ask the lead to use a proper hand hold/be less forceful when they are 1) using the thumb grip, 2) generally being too forceful, and/or 3) grabbing my wrist instead of holding my hand. Some of them respond to the wrist comment by asking me if I have a sensitive wrist (or shoulders, when I ask them to be less forceful/not use thumb grip). I generally respond, "No, my wrist/shoulders are fine' :) If they keep asking after that, I'll say "because it's uncomfortable when you do this, not just to me but to all women, and it's not how you should lead'. At this point they usually get it and apologize and change their leading.

Note that most men are immediately able to change their hand hold/tone down their force, so it is not the case that they are just unable to lead any other way--more often than not, it is because no one has ever taught/told them what the correct way is.

On very rare occasions, even after my explanation that it's uncomfortable the guy will persist in justifying his way (male ego and all :rolleyes:) and say something like, "are you an instructor" / "no one has ever complained before" / "just get used to it / adapt to my style". :facepalm: At that point, I say 'thank you' and walk off the dance floor to find a less egotistical partner.
 
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I was recently at a workshop of Adolfo's, and was very surprised to hear him advocate leading with two fingers - and one of them was the thumb (the other being the index or middle finger ofc)! Of course, he emphasized that you should NEVER EVER squeeze. It's supposed to be barely more than touching. His reasoning: you have a slightly better connection, and there's a lower chance of your hands slipping apart.

I was skeptical, to say the least...but after asking two of my regular dance partners whether they felt a difference, both said they had a slight preference for the thumb grip (I just did a couple of 8s with both grips, not indicating the difference to them beforehand).

I must admit I've slipped into my regular thumbless leading after that, though I thought I'd experiment a bit more.

I'm also hesitant about recommending using the thumb for novice leads - I think it's more or less inevitable that they'll death grip their partners.
 
For whatever reason some men think they need to grab the follow's wrist otherwise their moves won't work :facepalm:; newsflash: almost no salsa move (with very few exceptions) requires a wrist grab to work! (a hip touch can generally be used in the cases when the guy grabs the wrist to give the free turn signal).
Casino pasealas usually are led by wrists - does that also bother you? During checks it is easier to use wrist, but is is not a grab, of course ...
As for thumbs - every beginners lesson I have seen teaches that ...
 
I was recently at a workshop of Adolfo's, and was very surprised to hear him advocate leading with two fingers - and one of them was the thumb (the other being the index or middle finger ofc)! Of course, he emphasized that you should NEVER EVER squeeze. It's supposed to be barely more than touching. His reasoning: you have a slightly better connection, and there's a lower chance of your hands slipping apart.

I'm also hesitant about recommending using the thumb for novice leads - I think it's more or less inevitable that they'll death grip their partners.
But was Adolfo's thumb on the top of the follow's hand, or the top of her fingers? Because if he was only using one other finger to hold under her fingers, and the thumb on top, then because of anatomy his thumb would be on top of the lady's fingers not on top of her hand (like in the lobster claw where the guy uses three or four fingers under the center of the lady's hand/palm and the thumb on top).
 
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I was recently at a workshop of Adolfo's, and was very surprised to hear him advocate leading with two fingers - and one of them was the thumb

I was skeptical, to say the least...but after asking two of my regular dance partners whether they felt a difference, both said they had a slight preference for the thumb grip
The hook or other, even lighter forms of connection need an active part from the followers side.
Also intense full-hand-no-thumb connections work better with an active follow.

I quickly checked some Adolfo videos and as it seems the hand connection seems to be more of a mechanical value and it really looks like he is simply grabbing his partner as a means to handle them. No game, no playfulness, simply a mechanical grip.

The different one sided grips, mostly including the thumb, can be done with a more passive follow or one, who simply does not know how to hold connection.

I very often have to use a thumb touch on follows who never have learned any hand hold, but simply are used to the men grabbing their hand. Otherwise their hand would simply fall down. (Other methods of stabilization work depending on the follow.)
Also specially on turns I have to use the thumb to stabilize their hand from left and right for indicating, that there is no turn coming yet, as they are used to the raised hand as the main cue for turns and simply would turn asap, no matter the beat or the dance floor situation, once the hand is risen.
A similar use I actually have to do with otherwise well trained follows with a very light but superficial connection. They are not used to an active, playful hand connection, so everything is a signal for turns etc. To prevent this, on moves they don't know by heart, I sometimes actually have to hold their hand to make sure, they don't run away because of some misinterpretation.

All of these are needed for follows with a passive/nonexistant connection but I think in the way I use them not hurtful.
Just that I prefer an active connection. A partner who actually seeks out the connection to me and not just lets me handle her.


I prefer to not having to use a real grip at all, because that usually means a bad connection. Thus I don't like those methods, but I have to use them or otherwise dances with many follows would be impossible.
 
Casino pasealas usually are led by wrists - does that also bother you? During checks it is easier to use wrist, but is is not a grab, of course ...
As for thumbs - every beginners lesson I have seen teaches that ...
In casino I find that because of the circular nature, there is a lot less 'pulling by the wrist' than in salsa.

I looked up paseala--seems that this is mostly a rueda move. In any case, as long as the wrist hold is light then no, it doesn't bother me in this move.

I have heard this before, that every beginner class teaches not to use thumb grip, so I can only conclude that the lobster claw guys either never attended a beginner class and went straight to higher level classes, or the teacher was all talk and no action (ie, verbally told them not to use thumbs but never actually corrected their lobster grip.)

Also, with beginner follows, I believe it is the case that guys (especially those without a lot of experience) resort to the lobster grip because they feel the follow's hand hold isn't providing proper 'hook' connection. I can imagine how the lead can then default to using the lobster grip with everyone because he thinks if it works better with beginners/follows with bad hand connection, it must be the case that it works better with all follows.
 
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