Keeping Salsa Clean
In the middle of the heat of a great song, they’re dancing up a storm. They look incredible out there. His style very chivalrous, her style, very elegant. A small crowd gathers to watch them dance. Suddenly, he dances in front of her, grabs her by the hips, kneels down and just inches away from her crotch, starts shaking his face and tongue back and forth. The crowd is shocked. Their smiles fade, and they look at each other, hands on their mouths, and start shaking their heads in a negative way. Some hide their eyes in embarr***ment. What was once a great performance, has now turned into a appalling Gutter Dance.
The crowd forgets how well they danced…
…they only remember what he did to her.
She’s not his wife, she’s not his fiancé, she’s just some girl innocently looking down at him, completely shocked at what he’s doing. She is stunned…she looks at him, tries to turn the other way, she gives a slight scream, tries to laugh it off a little, but deep down is mortified at what he just did to her.
He’s a great dancer, but … why did he have to do that? What sort of skill did that require? Some guys get so swelled up with being “awesome leads”, that the “fame” gets to their heads. They think they can get away with any sort of sexual expression now, and will stop at nothing to get their faces near a woman’s crotch on the dance floor.
The same goes for “butt dancing”. This where the guy places the woman in front of him, bends her over, and rubs his groin on her backside. It’s even worse when the woman is rubbing her backside or crotch on the man’s groin.
This behavior is NOT dancing.
It is uncalled for,
and should NEVER be done in the dance scene.
Ladies, remember, you don’t have to put up with this. Just because he’s leading you into a nasty move, does not mean you have to participate in it, nor have to try and shrug it off like it was nothing.
Gentlemen, believe it or not, ladies “do not” particularly enjoy this. Their smiles are EMBARR***MENT coming through in the only way they know how. They’ve emailed me, and told me on countless occasions that this type of behavior is terrible, but they don’t know how to deal with it at that split second moment of time. What do they do?
Any type of behavior like this is considered low-life and downright trashy. It does not belong in the Cl***y Salsa scene, and should stay out. If you see this type of behavior by men on the dance floor, stop at that moment, shake your head and finger “No.”, then finish up the dance. If they persist, walk off the dance floor. You don’t need to subject yourself to that type of trashy dancing. What’s the point? You’ve come to have fun, not to be some sort of object of sexual expression for these guys.
If you notice your partner going to that area of your crotch, turn the other way, back off, or simply say “No!”. If he persists, grab his hair, and pull him back up. You shouldn’t have to put up with that. This type of “move” is completely uncalled for, and extremely inappropriate behavior on the dance floor.
Guys, your tongue should ALWAYS stay where it belongs – IN YOUR MOUTH, closed shut. If you “pretend” to be licking her, then you are putting both of yourselves down. People are watching. They don’t appreciate being witness to this, and their level of respect for you will plummet.
Trust me, spectators see everything. They talk.
And when they see this trash, they’ll talk trash about YOU.
I’ve seen it happen, first-hand.
This goes for women as well. Trashy dancing, like rubbing your crotch up and down his leg, makes you look just as cheap as the move itself. It will earn you just about as much respect as a ***** downtown. Don’t do it. Keep your dancing clean and fun. Don’t risk your reputation on some stupid unnecessary move. It’s not worth it.
I was showing this article to a world famous International instructor recently, and he told me that some women are just as bad, if not worse. He went on to say that on several occasions, the women would grab his balls in the middle of the song. He had to tell them “Stop!” Immediately he called her attention, and told her that if she ever did that again, he would never dance with her again. It’s not good behavior for a lady. “We try to respect the ladies out there. If we are faced with that type of behavior, who will respect them?”
Respect yourselves, respect each other. Keep the Salsa dance scene a cl***y one. Give Salsa the respect it deserves.
Keep Salsa clean.
About your “Gutter Dancing” Article
To Edie – – I’d like to share my thoughts and experience on your article:
I used to actively enjoy dancing (salsa, merengue, cha-cha-cha), whether at house parties or nightclubs and restaurants for a number of years. I loved the “non-alcoholic” environment of the patrons, the synchronization of the couple’s dance, the “multi-cultural” ambience and the “all-level” dance skills. I was born a dancer so the thrill and p***ion were always present as the music veiled me. The dance kept evolving from “puro” to “fusion,” which I thought it was fascinating. Fusion dance to jazz, figure-skating, and commercial dance moves became more accepted.
Salsa joined other popular dances and became most trendy in the mid 90’s. One could still enjoy the dance floor without suffering too many bloody heel cuts, pantyhose runs, elbow bruises, and could adopt some sexy and playful moves. You could still enjoy a gentleman asking you to dance and truly leading you in his own personal style, whether “puro” or “fusion.” There was an unwritten law on what consisted of your personal space for you and your partner. And there was an apology when someone stepped on your foot.
Gradually, the dance floors got more crowded, dance etiquette, poise and cl*** disappeared. I caught myself “boycotting” more and more a partner’s move: This perfect stranger was incapable of understanding that sliding his leg in between mine, and pushing my hips so I could sit my crotch on his leg was plain unacceptable. Depending on the situation, I’d respond by pretending I didn’t know the move, or I’d plain say “No!” He justified it by saying that it was the very latest move he had learned from his instructor. Either way, from that point on I’d make sure our dance would become so disjointed so he’d never approach me again.
Rip-off cl***es and performances became out of control, more provoking and commercialized. Salsa contests started popping out in most local L.A. clubs. It became a race on who did the boldest move to catch people’s eyes. This pursuit of acceptance, fame and gold made the groups of aficionados become students; who then suddenly became instructors without any prior dance qualifications; amateurs become professionals, and performers become bolder and bolder in their moves. Change is good and people need to earn a living, but it shouldn’t replace a sense of taste and wisdom. American audience has become more and more “performance” demanding, but there are boundaries to everything.
Some performances became not just a little sazzy, but evolved into a display of mockup sexual moves. It not only cheapened the couple, but cheapened the dance, and most importantly, the dance culture. Judges gave in and the venues gave in. ‘Professional dancing’ became professional only because they earned money. Exhibition performers danced not as a gift to their audience but a gift to themselves. Of course, some of it was lack of experience, but some of it was plain lack of dignity.
This is why Latin rhythms haven’t achieved the status and level of true performing arts. This is why Latin rhythms haven’t achieved, as other dances organizations have, the structure and organization of a governing body, such an ***ociation, who could jealously protect the rights and responsibilities of dancers, the cl*** and history of the dance, and the rights of the public, while embarking into outreach activities and continue being the voice of the Latin culture and its dance.
Today, the performing couple goes out in the most outrageous outfit they can find so they can hide their lack of dance skills, perhaps. They perform a complicated routine that has been fusioned from jazz, ice skating, acrobatics and so forth. Although highly and physically skillful, they missed the “duende” of the dance. This means, the heart, p***ion, gift and soul of it. What happened?
I wish these performers and instructors would step on that dance floor as amb***adors of the performing ARTS. This means educating themselves on the history, the techniques, stage presence, performance appeal, and dance skills, as they start putting the hours and hours of practice and rehearsals.
Today I seldom go to special Latin events held at nightclubs or restaurants. As I do performances in flamenco and middle eastern dance, I attempt to maintain cl*** and skill, and do it without the need of a partner on the dance floor. Of course, like any other performing art, you ARE what you make of it. In any world-wide accepted dance discipline one sees from cheap to cl***y; from ethical to unethical, from “puro” to “fusion” and anything in between. But at least, like some still left Latin instructors and performers, I can extend the goodwill of the dance and protect it for others who will come behind me. And most importantly, we know when people understand and appreciate the dance as an art. Thus, we deliver it with skill, poise, and “duende,” and where men and women alike enjoy it.
“Signed as Sol & Luna”
Just wanted to say: THANK YOU!!!
Great article. Some of the girls on our list were wanting to say something about this on our email list but weren’t sure how to go about it.
Nevermind, you just said it all. Again, just in case you missed it: THANK YOU!!!!!!
Your points regarding “Gutter Dancing” needed to be made. Fortunately, as a respected professional at the high end of salsa dancing; your ***ertions have powerful credibility.
It’s simple; these moves make the men look desperate and the women look cheap. But now that the genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, it’s unlikely that “gutter dancing” will vanish any time soon.
You see, “attention” is an addiction for some people; and these outrageous moves provide a reliable catalyst for attracting attention. Any attention. And as sure as the sun rises in the east, there will always be a few men who will initiate these moves, and a few women who will reciprocate, happily.
I briefly dated a woman who would do “any move” with “any guy.” I offered up to her the idea that even though she herself was not “trashy,” the moves she was a party to were. As one might ***ume, when a roomful of guys sees how far a woman will go with a particular dance partner, they themselves are tempted to also push the envelope.
A good rule of thumb is: “Would you feel comfortable doing this dance move if your father was watching?”
I’m not particularly parochial when it comes to dancing, but good taste never goes out of style. Salsa affords everyone the opportunity for self-expression. It is interesting to note that cl***y people and sleazy people eventually express themselves in their respective idioms…given enough floor space.
As in life, so in dance. A person might say, “Well, Edie, I’ve seen you execute moves that are rife with sensuality if not downright suggestive. Who are you to say that pushing a girl against the DJ booth and grinding pelvises crosses the line?'”
That’s a difficult question to answer because of its subjective nature.
But for those who need to ask that question, I suspect the meaning of the answer would be lost anyway.
Edie, thank you for establishing a position that has hopefully “enabled” women who wish to reject sleaziness, to do so.
Please post your comments below