April 2010 Archives

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Hello Everyone! The salsa festival is getting closer, and closer, and just growing and growing (each and every day). It’s like a salsa congress – just more fun. ;) Joking. Relax. We’re now up to seven bands?! Really … Seven salsa and bachata bands? Wow!  Five pre-parties? Five nights of pre-parties? I’ll be too tired to actually make it through the main event!

As some salsa congresses enter their 10th year, I am constantly reminded of what salsa was like prior to salsa congresses. Prior to salsa dance troupes. Prior to endless latin ballroom salsa dance competitions. Prior to the dance evolving into a complex mathematic like art form. Yes, I am that old.  It’s great the way the dance has evolved and grown over time, however, in that period, something was lost. Was it the connection? Was it the passion? Was it the love of the music? Or was it just the fun of it all?

And that’s why! That’s why we’re doing a salsa festival? Because salsa festivals are first and foremost about fun! They can be about the dance. They can be about the music.  They can be … festive!  What did I love so much about the bachata festival, put on by Rodchata, last year? It was fun! I mean, it was really fun. I had a blast, from beginning to end, and more importantly, so did everyone else. Even rote beginners, absolutely loved it.  It was not just about the performances, but more about introducing the dance and sharing their love of the dance and the music.

That’s what SalsaCrazy has always been about. We’re deeply rooted in the love of the music and the dance, and we want to share that feeling. We’re not so much into the competitive aspect, nor even the performance aspect, but we love the social dancing and the music. That’s where our passions are. That’s what we want to share!

Am I reminiscent of a time where all the dancer’s in a salsa were actually singing lyrics on the dance floor, ear-to-ear grins on their faces, completely enraptured in their connection with their partners? Yes. You don’t often find that on any dance floor around the world anymore. In fact, on many salsa club dance floors you’d be hard pressed to actually find any lyrics being played (not that I’m not a fan of the instrumental – I certainly am).  It seems, as the dance matures, that the smiles are mostly set on the faces of the beginners. That being said, no rants (yet).

We’re here to reclaim those smiles! The salsa festival is foremost about fun, social dancing, and the celebration of the music and the passion. The rest is icing on the cake. You want to dance with 10 different people in 10 different style, from 10 different places around the world? This is the Salsa Festival for you.

That’s what I found at the Bachata Festival, and that’s what the combination Salsa and Bachata Festival will bring to you in the summer of 2010 in San Francisco. One hell of an amazingly good time – learning, dancing, music, and yes, even being awed by the ocassional salsa dance show.

One ticket this summer, gets you into both events, in the center of San Francisco, at one of the nicest hotels in the city (at an incredibly cheap price). That same ticket gets you into all workshops, parties, and nightly dances, as well as five days of pre-parties, where you never have to pay another dime. It’s a crazy good deal.

Do you have your San Francisco Salsa Festival ticket yet? If not, now is the time. Prices are rising every two weeks, and you need but check the website to find out how quickly ticket sales are taking place …

Singles, couples, groups of friends – this festival is for you! Never danced? You can learn there! Beginners are welcomed. Intermediates are adored, and advanced … well, we all love the advanced dancers. We know you’ll be there anyway. ;)

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The San Francisco Salsa Festival is almost here…


The San Francisco Summer Salsa Fest is happening in 2010, and it’s quite a big deal!

An AMAZING event taking place at the Parc 55 Hotel …
Bands, Workshops, Fun and Social Dancing…

This is going to be a stellar event. Stellar! The main event taking place in the heart of San Francisco, for three days, at a beautiful hotel (blocks away from Union Square) – you need to plan.

Can you hear it? Can you hear it coming?
That’s the sound of the biggest salsa dance event of the summer, and it’s coming your way … but you have to get on board, FAST!

Here’s the scoop, limited room, and tickets are selling very quick, and this is probably the first time you even heard about it. My apologies about that – but you have to act now.

I wanted to give you some details too …

First, the website is now LIVE – which is great!
(and yes, we know about the error, we are working on it).

Second, we’re booking three stellar bands for the fest (plus some secret surprises). We’ll have the Bay Area’s top musicians and acts with us every night. Avance, Montuno Swing AND Mazacote, shaking the salsa room all night long!

Third, we’re partnering with the second most fun and social event of the Summer, the San Francisco Bachata Festival, under in the same hotel, at the same time. Your tickets give you access to BOTH Festivals. We’re Partners (and now you are too). This is one, big, super, stupendous, event …

Really it’s mind boggling how great this is going to be.
But, ask yourself, do you have tickets? If not, the prices ARE
increasing, and you have days to act to secure the least expensive tickets.

Honestly, you can’t miss out on this event!

Fourth– This is a fun festival for ALL dance levels (and no, we aren not just saying that). Here, there are five rooms of entertainment. That’s right. Five rooms. That’s tons of lessons and workshops going on every day, at all levels, with the best teachers from ALL OVER THE WORLD. You’ll learn SO much!

Fifth, performers. We’re not having many, but we are booking the best. Performance groups need to contact info@summersalsafest.com, please include demo reel, and # of performers.

Sixth, The hotel is becoming packed– and we all know what happens when that occurs! Yes, they increase rates.
The hotel is inexpensive right now … so make your reservations now.

I suggest that all local San Franciscans reserve a room too! It’s an incredibly cheap and very central hotel. If you live here, or are traveling from abroad, you’re going to love it.

I could keep writing about all the amazing things planned, but it’s a Thursday, and I don’t want to overwhelm you (plus, I’d like to go outside and play with my iPad).

Here are the steps, in order:

1) Visit the site, grabRe your tickets!


2) Reserve your Hotel Rooms

3) Book your Flights

My personal recommendations! While you could only make arrangements for the main weekend, and the main events, this is San Francisco, and there is A LOT to do here. Please, make sure to allow yourself extra time by coming early. We have 4 days of events leading up to the main festival activities.

Experience San Francisco during the day and night – you’ll love it!

See ya’ This Summer. Please Invite your Friends to the Facebook group:

No, it’s not a Salsa Congress, and certainly not the San Francisco Salsa Congress. It’s a Festival …

What’s the difference? Well, fewer performances for one. A lot fewer performances. That’s probably one of the main differences, yet still, we’ll be showcasing several exceptional dance teams and performers.

Of course, they’ll be all day workshops as well, and classes for all levels (yes, even beginner classes), which certainly sets it apart. A real strong focus on beginner’s and intermediate’s. But it’s more …

The Festival is foremost about FUN … Like, having as much as possible.
The Festival caters to beginners …
The Festival places SOCIAL Dancing above all else …
The Festival showcases the BEST music …
The Festival is in San Francisco, right off Union Square …
The Festival is a week long event, with the final four days at the Parc 55 Hotel …

Hmmm … what else? Oh yeh, a few thousand of our closest friends, with room to dance, mingle and spread the LOVE OF SALSA!

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2 Bachata Dance Steps : Bachata Dancing Body MovementBody movement in bachata dancing has a lot of hip movements. Learn more about body movement in bachata dancing with tips from a professional dance instructor in this free dance lesson video.

Expert: Erika Occhipinti
Bio: Erika Occhipinti has taught thousands of students at her own Salsa Caliente Dance Studio in Tampa, Fla.
Filmmaker: Christopher Rokosz

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2 Tanja & Nery Salsa dancingSONG: Me Tienes Loco - Ismael Rivera

Tanja & Nery from Fort Myers tearing up the dance floor… Born to Salsa social, Canadian Club, Hallandale, FL…

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Salsa dancing is a high energy, high impact, and exotic style of dance that that is as addictive to watch as it is to perform. Cuba gets the credit for Salsa’s origins in the 1950’s but it was the influence of Puerto Rico and many of the nearby Caribbean islands that made Salsa what it is today. By the 1970’s Salsa’s popularity really began to take off. This is the period when the term Salsa was the term used to describe this style of dance. Since then, this dance has become more and more popular for its sexy moves, excellent exercise, and the exciting music that comes with it.

As Salsa has become more popular so has the need for the dance wear that is needed when you dance. Shoes are one of the most important parts of dance wear for the dancer. Dance shoes differ from regular in many ways. First regular shoes are designed to look attractive as its first priority, and then they are made to be as comfortable as possible. Of course, compromises have to be made. The most beautiful shoes are certainly not necessarily comfortable if not uncomfortable and they will not be made for high impact activities. Dance shoes on the other hand, are designed from the beginning for comfort, grip on slick surfaces, light weight, and durability. After these features are designed into the shoe, then the looks of the shoe are developed. There are shoes available that are just as sexy and beautiful as regular shoe but are comfortable, durable, and light enough to dance in. In addition, you don’t necessarily have to pay more to have all of these features. Websites such as http://www.saveondancewear.com has a full selection of dance shoes at deep discounted prices to make them as affordable as regular shoes!

The next most important piece of dance wear you will absolutely have to have is your dance outfit. Much like shoes, the outfits made for dancing are greatly different than outfits made for regular wear and tear. Just as a runner would not run in blue jeans, a dancer would not Salsa dance in a formal dress. Dance wear is designed for ease of movement, comfort, and durability. With the exotic designs and styles of the outfits desired for salsa dancing, it is important to find a store that specializes in Salsa dance wear. The owners at http://www.saveondancewear.com state on their site, “With over 25 years in the dance industry we understand what dancers look for. Over the years we couldn’t find the quality, uniqueness, and prices we desired. We now can offer it to all dancers.”

Finally, you will want to get your dance wear accessories to go with your dance outfit, you will need to find durable jewelry that can stand up to the rigors of the intense moves that Salsa dancing demands. Bags and purses are available that are designed with dance wear storage in mind. These will have heavy duty components as well as extra large pockets for ease of use. Once you have your dance wear together it’s time to get out and dance!


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I have been noticing that the Bay Area Salsa performers are getting quite friendly with “the walk” entering a stage. My aim in this blog is to critique “their walk” and hopefully they’d take this criticism as constructive.

What is “the walk” and where did it come from?

The walk is just that, a walk. But it is different from the normal walk everyone does going about their own business everyday, everywhere. “The walk’ exudes confidence. It gets attention. It could be in an introduction or at the end of the routine as performers walk out of the stage.

Where does “the walk” come from?

It is my belief that it came from the ballroom dance, to be specific, ballroom standard (Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango and Quickstep). The Latin Ballroom then later adopted it (Paso doble, jive, rumba, samba & cha-cha). Culturally, Europeans practice such “walk” in their lavish parties and events (you can see the walk most of the English movies such as Beethoven, Casanova, etc).

Maybe it’s just me, but I have never seen “the walk” adopted by salsa performers ’till less than two years ago. In fact, I don’t think East Coast salsa performers practice such walk. Not even Los Angeles. I have only noticed this from Bay Area performers. With that in mind, I commend them for being creative. But here comes the critique…

“The walk” falls short. It looks funny and annoying at the same time. There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. To be honest, it doesn’t even look arrogant. If you have ever seen a geek trying to be a playa, you’d instantly notice that his gestures, actions and even words just don’t fit him – this is how I see some of the performers when they do “the walk.” I am not saying everyone does that type of walk, but I think that the dance directors should at least pay attention to their dancers and critique them if need be.

What is the proper walk?

The answer depends on what theme is in their routine. Is it an elegant routine? Walk elegantly. If you don’t know how to walk elegantly, watch movies, search the web and study everything about being elegant. It also really helps if you make some eye contact with the audience during the entrance. If your routine is sluttish, it’s the same thing, do a good amount of research.

In Ballroom, we train to develop the proper posture e.g., posture of our faces, shoulders and entire body. If you ever watch ballroom performers, you’d notice that their chin is not higher than the ceiling. There’s a big difference between being snobby and confident.

A year ago, I was talking to several Swing instructors after teaching bachata at the Chico Dance Sensation. In fact, I remember Felipe was present as well. We got into discussing “stepping out of the box” meaning being creative and innovating a dance. It was a roundtable of discussion to the point that we even went back to the history of dancing. We all agreed that the essence of any original dance shouldn’t be phased out or “throw out” altogether but that it should be respected, acknowledge and improved upon. We finished such discussion as very educational and Sarah Vann Drake, a respected Swing performer and teacher, said it so brilliantly, “there’s a difference between getting out of the box and stepping out of the box. When we step out of the box, it basically means, one of our foot is out of the box while the other foot never left the box.”

Salsa is a street and social dance. Yes it has evolved and we owe a great deal to many dance innovators out there, but let’s not forget where it came from and what it was all about. A street dance is never snobby or arrogant. It’s non-intimidating and fun.

Rodney Rodchata Aquino

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i really want to learn how to dance this type of music. im mexican so i got the cumbia and ranchera and all that other types of mexican dances down, i just cant dance merenge and bachata or salsa. please help

I found this great website… www.expertvillage.com
it’s got a search section on the top right corner of the screen, you can type in all sorts of things and videos will pop up on how to steps. good luck!

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I want fast upbeat remix latin songs that you can really salsa dance to.

I like the song, "Sauvemente", but what other latin songs can you salsa dance to?

I have a cd called ‘Club Latino’. Most of the songs on here are quite upbeat but I don’t think that the are remixes:

El Porompero
Rhythm Is Gonna Get You
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
Paris Latino
Que Pasa
Dr. Beat
Kalimba De Luna
Hey Mambo
La Bamba
El Ritmo Del Diablo
I Go To Rio
Pandeiro E Viola
Ole! O’Cangaceiro
La Isla Bonita
Que Sera Mi Vida
Banana Boat Song 9Mr. Tallyman)
Oye Como Va

Sorry it doesn’t say the artists but I’m sure that if you type them up on youtube you will get the song.

Hope this helps!

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2 Bachata danceDancing bachata is great

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2 Best Salsa DanceOne of the best salsa dancing

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