Salsa med stil - yes please

Hva slags salsa stil underviser dere, cubansk eller la stil?

Erik's opinion about salsa styles

Erik’s opinion about salsa styles

Which styles do you teach? Which style do you dance? Do you dance Cuban or LA? – See video below

The short answer is: We teach mostly LA style with elements of Cuban style because it’s the fastest way to learn and it makes our students able to dance with anybody.

Most dances in the world can be presented in different styles in different areas. There is a jungle of different styles when it comes to salsa and they may have different names such as Cuban style, Los Angeles style, New York style, London style, etc.

On a night out at a salsa night club in Oslo I am often asked if I dance Cuban or LA style. It is like asking me if I speak Norwegian or English. How about both? What I speak and how I speak depends on who I meet, how I feel and it depends on the music.

The magic of what you do does not come from style, it comes from amazing technique and your ability to live in the moment, your sense of music, your ability to connect with your partner and be artistic together with your partner.

We want the same for our students as we want for ourselves: To look good on the dance floor, to be able to dance with anybody and to be able to learn as fast as possible. In our classes we practice both so called LA-style and Cuban style, but we take pride on being experts at teaching the techniques behind the styles. The knowledge and technical skills our students achieve will make them learn very fast, they’ll be on the dancefloor in a matter of weeks and they will love the learning process itself.

I believe focusing on a style is limiting for several reasons:
1) Learning to dance is like learning how to read and write: You can either memorize all the words in a language or you can simply learn the alphabet first. Luckily, the salsa alphabet consist of only 10 different dance techniques and all you really need is 2-3. That’s it! Learing should be easy, logic, quick and fun! I want my students to be the best dancers they can be in the fastest way possible. Once you know these techniques you will be a learning machine and you will be able to «steal» moves/figures that you like from youtube or just by watching somebody else on the dance floor.

2) I don’t want to dictate which style students should dance. You should be able to choose for yourself because style is a subjective choise. However, as a beginner you lack experience to make qualified choises. Your style should reflect movement that feel natural to YOU. If you feel like a Cuban, you should move like a Cuban, if you feel like Patric Swayze in Dirty Dancing, you should move like Patric Swayze. It may depend on your mood, who you dance with, it even depends on what type of music you like. Take it from a guy who started out with two left feet and placed 8 in the world championship five years later: Don’t obsess about style, it will only slow down the learning process and give you limited skills.

3) I want my students to feel confident that they can actually dance salsa with anybody, because when you go to a salsa nightclub you will meet all kinds of styles. Too often I see two people being unable to dance with eachother because they only know a certain style. «Style is meaningless, style is only restrictive». That’s what Bruce Lee said and I think the same can be said for salsa dancing.

If a man ask Consuela which style she dance she will often start laughing- because she is not the one leading. You see, If Consuela decides to dance cuban style while the guy is leading LA style there would in reality be two people leading, which would create a conflict. Thankfully Consuela has good following technique. As long as the man can lead, she can dance anything; salsa, bachata, walz, chachacha, tango, etc. So when somebody ask Consuela what style of salsa she dances she answer: «You have to decide that, because you are the one leading!»

Personally, my style of dancing depends on the music. When I dance I don’t just try to do some dance moves, I try to shape my movement to how I feel. I may feel one song is flashy and fast, another I may feel it is calm and elegant, other times the song feels romantic and sensual, etc. I respect all styles. Sometimes I feel like dancing pure cuban, other times LA or NY on2, often I mix it up. You don’t need to imitate some guy from Cuba or Los Angeles to dance with style. When you really dance as you feel, you should not be restricted by how some other dude or girl would dance. In fact, one reason that I really love watching or dancing with certain dancers is because they look like nobody else! The magic of what you do does not come from style, it comes from amazing technique and your ability to live in the moment, your sense of music, your ability to connect with your partner and be artistic together with your partner.

Bruce Lee said it like this:

 

How we teach:

 

 

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