London, England “Look Daddy… They must be *****s!”
By Edie, The Salsa FREAK
Luis Saint Clare showed us a fabulous time in London. It was his first International event that was geared toward bringing in top instructors from around the country and the world. Workshops, performances and awards were given. This was my second visit to London, and coming to London this time, was definitely a much more pleasant experience than what I had experienced with Team Salsaweb a year before. The Salseros of London were much more open this time to our style of dancing and method of teaching. World events like the International Salsaweb Convention and this, open people’s eyes to new and different styles of dancing Salsa. Not only were new steps and patterns introduced, but more importantly, technique, and style.
The Salseros of London just drank up the moves we introduced. Last year, I noticed a very heavy Cuban influence here. Now, this year, there is more Puerto Rican, New York, and LA styles being introduced. Because we travel so much, my partner and I are starting to incorporate various styles together. Weï¿½ve developed a unique style that is not particularly LA style anymore, because of all the New York moves weï¿½ve incorporated. He also does quite a few Cuban moves, in combination with Columbian, and Puerto Rican styles. Adding complex shines and turn patterns to his technical ballroom training makes for a more refined look. The style we have developed is truly a collage of all styles, which makes dancing Salsa with him quite an experience!
One of the nicest things I enjoy most about London is the people. Brit humor never ceases to CRACK ME UP, the way they love to laugh, joke around, and donï¿½t let life get them down.
I taught an hour ladies styling class, but by popular demand, stuck another hour in there to get their spins in line. One of the biggest complaints I get from men is ï¿½Sheï¿½s off balance.ï¿½ I taught them how to keep their balance, stop themselves, control their bodies, and stop depending so much on the guy to keep them up. When teaching spins and dips, I found myself saying, ï¿½Ladies, you canï¿½t always depend on your man to be there for you, so youï¿½ve got to learn to carry your own weight!ï¿½
When you think about it, thereï¿½s a lot of truth to that statement. Apply this to your dancing, and life in general. It puts less stress on the guy, and more responsibility and control in your own hands.
During the event, a few very conservative-looking ladies in long skirts and sweaters came up to me with a great story. They looked like three conservative-looking school teachers or house wives, very proper in their attire, and extremely polite. After teaching them a few Ladies Styling techniques in class, they obviously wanted to practice them afterward. They told me they were rehearsing some of the Ladies Styling moves I showed them while walking down the sidewalk outside of the hotel. When a small boy passed them, he commented to his father, ï¿½Daddy, they must be *****s!ï¿½
Lesson learned here!
Ladies, DONï¿½T practice these moves Iï¿½m showing you off the dance floor around non-dancers, or outside where people donï¿½t know what on earth youï¿½re doing. Some ladies styling moves are very sensual, and you donï¿½t want to give people outside the Salsa club a wrong impression!
Thereï¿½s a difference between how you act during the day at work, and how you dance at night at the Salsa club! Whatï¿½s great about Salsa dancing, is that you can be two completely different people. Conservative and serious during the day, and wild, sensual and crazy at night!
We had blast touring the city of London, and even had an opportunity to go to Londonï¿½s famous ï¿½Carnivalï¿½ at Knotting Hill, the worldï¿½s second largest festival. The first is Carnival in Brazil, then second is Carnival in London. There were so many people there in the street, we almost suffocated trying to get from one block to the next! We were with Jacques, and a group of other Salseros. It was so crowded with people, that we had to hang on each otherï¿½s hands and waists for dear life just to walk a few feet down the street!
There was a special section where a DJ played incredible Salsa music. The music here is AWESOME! It certainly rivals the DJ music in LA! They played very few Merengues, and incredible, dance-able hard-coare, SLAMMING SALSA! The DJ was awesome! I never got your name, but thank you, whoever you were!
My partner led a group of guys in a shines routine, and I did the same with the ladies. We did a stand-off, and created little routines to get the crowd involved. Everywhere we danced, a crowd gathered around. There were some amazing Cuban-style dancers there. Special T showed up with his beautiful partner. We danced a great song together.
I busted my lip dancing when another person I was dancing with, accidentally planted his elbow in my mouth. The music was so good, I didnï¿½t want to stop! But when I saw the blood on my hand, and pain on my lower lip, I had to stop. I stuck a can of cold Coke on my lip, and within minutes it felt better. I HATE injuries, but they do happen. Within 30 minutes, I was dancing again. Thank God you donï¿½t have to use your lips to dance!
Overall, the Salsa event was a major success. Various awards were given, and I donï¿½t have a list in front of me, but Luis was gentleman enough to give awards to competing promoters and instructors. When we work together, Salsa grows. Itï¿½s wonderful to see people recognized for jobs well done, and work that usually goes unnoticed.
Thank you Luis from the bottom of my heart, for thinking of me, and appreciating our work. We truly appreciate your recognition and service to the community. A job well done! Congratulations!
Edie, The Salsa FREAK!! is one of the most recognized and respected Salsa Instructor/Performers in the world. In the past twenty years, she has traveled to 63 countries teaching the world to dance, and has been the first American to teach in 18 of those countries. She now lives in the high mountains of beautiful Colorado with her wonderful husband, Nick. You may contact her at www.SalsaFreak.com