Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mestizo Dancing part two

The Dances (continued) that we may dance in the Mestizo circuit, that is just around the corner. Will evolve from the current Salsa scene.

"It's easy to make a buck.  It's a lot tougher to make a difference."

The music and dance originated in Cuba and developed from the musical form called "Son." It began its climb in popularity in the US in the 1940's, and particularly in the 1950's and 1960's in Mexico City (Perez Prado) and at NYC's Palladium Ballroom. It had a revival in appeal in the 1990's and still going strong in classic ballroom dances. Mambo/Salsa should be your first dance choice when learning the Latin dances, as it is all the rage throughout the world today!

Having arrived in the US in the early part of the 20th Century from the Dominican Republic, Merengue is pure, playful fun. The rhythm is the simplest of the dances making the footwork easy, and the arms and turns more complex. Merengue is the perfect compliment to the Salsa and a must learn if you plan on going out to a Mestizo Club.

"Mi Buenos Aires Querido" por Julio Iglesias

This dance, (precedes the Tango in history,) was a solo cat dance by men only two or three thousand years ago. It was a song cultivated during the early 18th century by the gaucho in the rural areas of Argentina known as the Pampas. The songs were set to a lively 2/4 tempo, but despite the 2/4 formula, the Milonga developed its own distinctive, syncopated rhythm. It uses the same basic elements, interchangeable steps, and vocabulary as the Tango, however, the movement is normally faster. Stylistically, Milonga is often more playful than the more serious and elegant Tango. Note: the word "milonga" refers to both the dance and also the place one goes to dance Tango. See you at the next Milonga!

"Siboney" por Rene Touzet
Salsa remains the hottest dance on the Mestizo Club scene today, emphasizing undulating body movement, sassy turns and compelling rhythms. This "nubile" dance originally hailed from Cuba in the 1960's, and was greatly influenced by dancers and musicians in Puerto Rico, Miami and New York. Originally, a fast Mambo was called "Mambo con salsa" (Mambo with hot sauce). Now the world just calls it "Salsa!"

Samba has its own personality, ranging from gutsy and primitive, to zany and fun. Hailing from Brazil with a strong influence from the Negro slaves, Samba is both a challenge in its rhythmic patterns and a physical workout. It is often referred to as the "Brazilian Waltz," since the new Samba step patterns were developed from the Waltz. Initially, this dance was called the "Maxixe," which was part of the "Animal Dances" of the 1920's. This dance is fading because of too many basic movements. One basic and you can have a ball with the dance.

"Con Un Poco De Amor" por José Feliciano

Mestizo dancing will not happen overnight. First a larger floor so that it can be easier to see the music that is being danced by the Mestizo dancer. If you have a postage stamp size floor, you may have four, or five or even six dancers for a particular style music. But you still can't tell.

This will gradually eliminate the fad dances for the young and they will dance in their own places. The Mestizo dancers on the dance floors of a Mestizo clubs will be over 30 and dancing what will still be on the agenda ten or twenty years down the road. And you will get better every time and enjoy it more.