Teachers That Don't Teach What They Dance

#1
One of the major problems that I've seen in casino is that more than any other dance that I've seen, the teachers show a move one way and dance it a completely different way.

For example, in this video of the move Son Montuno (San Francisco name for Salsa Basic) is taught 1-2-3 (feet together) / 5-6-7 (feet together). Yet, when they demo it's 1-2-3 (right in front of left) and 5-6-7 (left in front of right).

Video (skip to 1:25):

In this second video of the Enchufela, the instructor says to take a small step back on 1 (1:06), yet when it's demoed (1:55), she takes a small forward step!

Video:

I've seen this in classes time and time again, and at an into class in Kampala where the guy taught an enchufla completely in line, yet when he danced social or demoed it, it would be the normal style of leading her into the circle and then into caida.

Video:

So, I'm wondering if other people have seen this and if so, how do you deal with this situation? Do you approach the teachers? I'm not sure what the proper etiquette here is.
 
#2
One of the major problems that I've seen in casino is that more than any other dance that I've seen, the teachers show a move one way and dance it a completely different way.

For example, in this video of the move Son Montuno (San Francisco name for Salsa Basic) is taught 1-2-3 (feet together) / 5-6-7 (feet together). Yet, when they demo it's 1-2-3 (right in front of left) and 5-6-7 (left in front of right).

Video (skip to 1:25):

In this second video of the Enchufela, the instructor says to take a small step back on 1 (1:06), yet when it's demoed (1:55), she takes a small forward step!

Video:

I've seen this in classes time and time again, and at an into class in Kampala where the guy taught an enchufla completely in line, yet when he danced social or demoed it, it would be the normal style of leading her into the circle and then into caida.

Video:

So, I'm wondering if other people have seen this and if so, how do you deal with this situation? Do you approach the teachers? I'm not sure what the proper etiquette here is.
The 1st vid ( feet together ) is how old school mambo was/is taught .Getting a basic to "flow " is far more difficult, and that is not to say I wholly agree as I personally do not advocate a closing foot position in the basic.

Pros frequently when demoing a series of steps, tend to dance as they would/ do socially, this is what should be called the "finished " product, and needs to be detailed as such.

The lack of standardisation in the genre will always lead ( no pun ) to , personal opinions.
 

Jag75

Son Montuno
#3
The second vid - no she doesn't take a forward step in the demo - I'm not sure you're seeing what I'm seeing but in the demo she breaks back on the 1 - there is literally no other way to do it...

Instructors must teach a more simplistic version of what they actually dance, they are never going to dance exactly what they teach. When learning moves you need to be first taught the foundations of that move and once you become a lot more advanced and experienced your dancing will have nuances that make it different from the taught move.
 

Jag75

Son Montuno
#4
In the first video the way it's taught is common for beginners, again beginners get more confused when the feet don't come together. Agree though the demo should match the instruction, but I can guarantee you nobody actually dances with the feet coming together in a club, that's for instructional purposes only.
 

Jag75

Son Montuno
#5
For the third video it's easier for beginners to learn it on a line first, and then when they get more experienced they learn to rotate during the move more in the casino "flow".

Just a Q - how long have you been dancing? How long have you been a student? How long, if applicable, have you been teaching?

I would refrain from bringing this up with an instructor in a confrontative way, and maybe just ask in a polite way why they teach that way? Chances are they have a very good reason for doing so.

As an instructor, I *never* teach exactly how I dance, as my dancing is layered and is the product of many years of adding more advanced layers over the foundation. Esp when teaching beginners I keep it very basic, and a far cry from what I actually dance.
 

vit

Son Montuno
#6
It's about showing things differently step by step and in real time for the same (for instance beginner) audience. Happens frequently, even to the best teachers and usually they are not aware of that. I think that I mentioned it a number of times. People are just not robots. Also, physics plays the role here

Difference between how one is dancing when teaching and when dancing socially is another subject. It usually is intentional
 
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#7
So, I'm wondering if other people have seen this and if so, how do you deal with this situation? Do you approach the teachers? I'm not sure what the proper etiquette here is.
Just ask. When I've taught some observant beginners they notice exactly that observation you made in the first video. The way I've been taught, the "salsa basic" is when feet come together on the 3 and 7 count (on1). When the feet do not come together and there is a 'flow,' I've heard it called a "progressive basic."

That is the way we explain it to beginners in our classes, at least.

Like I said, just ask. It's not a big deal.
 
#8
I see what you mean but don't think these are horrible examples.

1st video:
Yes, he does feet together but when starting to dance steps past the other foot. This could be his muscle memory kicking in. He could have explained this better at the beginning. Often beginner dancers are taught feet together just to get the motion, then stepping past the other foot once they have that down. You could make a 30 min video on the basic going from feet, hips, rib cage, arms, and then shoulders.

2nd video:
On her first 8 count she does step back but on her second 8 count the 1 is basically in place. I believe it is because of how far they are at the time of the 1. If she stepped back it would have put them even farther apart and their arms would be too stretched out. So again muscle memory/reaction just kicking in and she took a small in-place step.

One thing to keep in mind when shooting demos is that not everything ends up perfect from explaining to then doing the move. They aren't robots. :) I do agree that with some teachers the difference is really bad.
 
#9
For those who advocate closing the feet when teaching a fwd and back basic, my question is ; Why teach something you deem incorrect by indoctrinating a closed position ?. Creating a bad habits ( old school mambo style ) and then changing that concept has little or no practical advantage. I taught old school for more years than you need to know ( we HAD to teach it that way in the system by whom I was employed ) However,dancing socially "we" changed to a passing basic .

I gave up teaching the closed foot thing when going independent , and have never had a problem in all the passing years ( no pun ) . Expediency is not always the best solution .
 

vit

Son Montuno
#10
As about the basic step in linear salsa, maybe better question is why all teach whether "salsa basic" or "salsa progressive basic" and nobody seems to be teaching the version used by most advanced dancers ...
 
#11
For those who advocate closing the feet when teaching a fwd and back basic, my question is ; Why teach something you deem incorrect by indoctrinating a closed position ?. Creating a bad habits ( old school mambo style ) and then changing that concept has little or no practical advantage. I taught old school for more years than you need to know ( we HAD to teach it that way in the system by whom I was employed ) However,dancing socially "we" changed to a passing basic .

I gave up teaching the closed foot thing when going independent , and have never had a problem in all the passing years ( no pun ) . Expediency is not always the best solution .
I would agree with you... old habits die hard. Normally we spring the concept of the 'progressive' or 'passing' basic in the 2nd or 3rd class for total newbies. We do it because for many, I think they come to understand 'forward middle middle' more quickly. But then their dancing has that distinct beginner 'choppiness.'

I will propose that experiment for the next class. We have two beginner sessions on Mondays and Thursdays. For one class we'll teach progressive basic from the start, for the second class the way we've done it so far. I think you will be right and we'll see less of that choppiness in one class vs the other.
 
#12
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I will propose that experiment for the next class. We have two beginner sessions on Mondays and Thursdays. For one class we'll teach progressive basic from the start, for the second class the way we've done it so far. I think you will be right and we'll see less of that choppiness in one class vs the other.
I think you will find that a Prog. basic is more in line with how we "walk" ergo it falls in line with a more natural approach to every day life . The only pitfall is reducing the stride .
 
#13
I heard an instructor explaining that if he teaches the students to take a "passing step", it will end up too big. When he says: "step. Step. Together", on the other hand - they do a small "passing step". (perhaps it feels more natural, or they are just immigrating what he's doing).
 

vit

Son Montuno
#15
Yes, sometimes teachers need to tell things wrong for the people to do it right (or not that wrong at least)
However, in that case there will be people who will tell he said it wrong
So one of my teachers were saying to us - I'm telling it this way now because if I tell it more correctly, you will do it wrong. In a month, I'll say it differently. Then in 3 months I might say it this way again ... it was actually my best dance teacher ever (by far), the pro BR guy I mentioned a few months ago
 
#16
As about the basic step in linear salsa, maybe better question is why all teach whether "salsa basic" or "salsa progressive basic" and nobody seems to be teaching the version used by most advanced dancers ...
I assume you mean the cross over & push back/forwards way of doing the basic?
 
#19
OMG .... I don't know which is worse ... the terrible videos (actually I've used videos by Nick to show students what NOT to do ... they are face palmingly bad ... back-stepping, slingshotting, muddy footwork, standing around, back and forth basics???? Really???... he has no idea of what casino is let alone a clue of how to teach it) or the comments from the Salsa Forum denizens .... Find one single video of Cubans dancing where they look or do any of the things in these videos.
 
#20
As an instructor, I *never* teach exactly how I dance, as my dancing is layered and is the product of many years of adding more advanced layers over the foundation. Esp when teaching beginners I keep it very basic, and a far cry from what I actually dance.
Why teach something you deem incorrect by indoctrinating a closed position ?. Creating a bad habits ( old school mambo style ) and then changing that concept has little or no practical advantage.
As a student I really struggled until I got exposed to the foundation material/drills and the patterns explained with intermediate technique. Hence, I really appreciate terence's reply. When I see the super-simplified version taught or the good stuff blown over in a studio setting it frustrates me because the students aren't hearing the stuff that really resonated with me.

That said, I've never taught and certainly never tried to put food on the table via teaching. I have mad respect for people who manage to do that and figure they have reasons they teach the way they do. I just do my best to send the majority of my business elsewhere...
 

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