Discussion Question of the Month:

Salsa congresses are held throughout the world, yet many good dancers have never experienced one. To go a bit further, many salsa dancers have never traveled beyond their local environments to experience a Salsa Scene in foreign territory. Do you believe traveling to various cities and experiencing different salsa environments can contribute to one’s growth as a Salsa dancer? What are some events and/or cities every “serious” salsa dancer should experience at some point?

Responses taken from http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/atlsalsaforum/

Response 1: Johnny Johnson – Atlanta, GA via Chicago, IL (picture above)

I believe if a dancer is serious about becoming a good dancer, he or she must travel. Unless you live in a major “salsa” city such as NY, LA, DC, Boston, SF, Chicago… becoming a good dancer locally may not be difficult to achieve. This may result in complacency, which hinders learning tremendously!!! Traveling cures complacency by exposing you to new levels of dancing. It can also re-birth passion that tends to die down in familiar surroundings.

Response 2: Rick Greenfield – Atlanta, GA via Washington, DC

It’s imperative that you get out of your “Fishbowl” to realize there is a vast ocean full of great dancers, styles, friendships, music, cities, groups, ideas, concepts etc, etc. waiting for you. In addition, traveling keeps you inspired and grounded. See you in Charlotte, NC.


Response 3: Norberto Herrera – Raleigh, NC (Picture Above)

I agree w/ you guys! Traveling does play a big role on developing your skills. Just by going to a Congress and checking out the different styles, moves, interpretations, etc. you get inspired. There is not just On1 and On2 dancing. There are other styles like Cumbia, Casino, Colombian and Sub-styles within On1 and On2. If you go to NY you can see how for instance Santo Rico dancers, Caribbean Soul dancers, Eddie Torres dancers and Abakua dancers don’t look the same. Also, in LA style on1 differs to the On1 danced in the UK, DC, Toronto, or Boston. When Congresses starting happening (in Puerto Rico First), the styles that we see now were a bit different. There has been an exchange of concepts and ideas. That is why for example, LA Style has Shines and NY performers started to incorporate stunts in their routines. Traveling and observing makes a big difference. You can then judge by yourself what your skill level really is and no matter how good you get there is always something new you can learn. That is what makes salsa so unique everyone can bring something new to the dance. And yeah go support the Congress in Charlotte. Let everyone know how we party in the South.

Response 4: Natalie Herrod – Atlanta, GA

Traveling to dance events outside of the local area can truly open your eyes and inspire you. No matter what the talent level is in your own city, it’s always amazing to meet and dance with new people from other cities. You can only grow as a dancer when you travel. You also build a network of friends in different places, so that you can visit again, and have them visit you! Experiencing the talented dancers in other cities is also quite humbling. For ladies, you can test your following ability, as you may be quite accustomed to the leads in your area, and can probably follow them with your eyes closed. For guys, dancing with people you’ve never danced with before is a sure way to find out if you are a good lead. If none of the ladies in other cities can follow your patterns, then you may realize you have some work to do! On the flip side, it’s a great feeling when you find that you can “communicate” with other dancers by leading and following well, even though you’ve never danced together before. There’s really no other feeling like it! You’d be surprised how many people don’t realize that we have quite a dance community here in Atlanta. Getting out to events in other areas spreads the word that Atlanta could be a great place for a dancer to check out. So here’s my plug: http://www.salsasouthernstyle.com — please support this event!