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Focus on the music FIRST... The beat (timing) SECOND!!   - by Edie "The Salsa Freak" 
The more I travel, the more I'm finding that dancers are too hung up over whether they are dancing on1, or on2, or "on clave", or on3 or the "style". They get so caught up in these trivial subjects, that THEY COMPLETELY FORGET ABOUT DANCING TO THE SONG AND/OR MUSIC. I've had dances where the song is over, but because my partner has not "finished his turn pattern yet", we're still dancing to "no sound".

HELLO! There is such a thing as a song. Most songs tell a story, with a beginning and ending. The middle of the story may have a drama, filled with peaks, valley, breaks, and hits. Then there is the ending. The song is now over, so stop dancing.   

Whatever happened to hitting the breaks on a pause in the music?  Why do guys continue to MISS THE HITS, PEAKS, VALLEYS, and PAUSE OPPORTUNITIES in the songs? 

I can't tell you how frustrated I get when I can see a pause, or hit in the music is coming, and I annoyingly get stuck in the middle of it doing a turn or completing a turnpatterns.... I usually end up thinking to myself. "I can't believe this guy COMPLETELY MISSED that amazing hit in the music."

The guy is so caught up in his turn pattern and fancy moves, that he becomes COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS that he dancing to a SONG = MUSIC. There is nothing more frustrating than being put into arm-knot, turn combinations from hell, combo after combo after combo and completely missing out on the dramas within the music. I get the feeling that people are only listening to the beat (timing). If that's the case, we may as well just dance to a simple drumbeat then. It wouldn't make ANY difference. 

Please people, honor the musicians and songwriters of this incredible music we call Salsa.  Dance to their MUSIC - not just to their beat.

There is nothing more wonderful than dancing with a partner who truly knows how to interpret THE MUSIC, and understands how to lead into THE MUSIC without batting an eyelash. Sure, you can dance on1 or on2 or whatever, but play with the song. Interpret the music. Have fun with it! I am 1000 times more impressed with someone who dances to the MUSIC, than I am with someone dancing to certain timing.

Dancing Salsa is not about how many spins you can do or give her, or how twisted and mangled up you both can get in and out of in a move that only looks good with a pro and his partner who have rehearsed it for months. 

I can't tell you how many arm knots and turn patterns from hell I get put into because these guys think "-This is Salsa and this is what it's all about". Half the time, my face gets stuck in his armpit, and it just doesn't make for a very comfortable dance. I see more and more women going through absolute hell out there. They get all dolled up for the evening, and end up looking like they've just been run through a violent storm. Men are forgetting that they are dancing with another HUMAN BEING trying to enjoy a SONG for crying out loud. Sometimes I think they are handling a high performance vehicle, and want to slam, ram, and throw her into gears only attempted on the autobahn (motorway). 

Guys, if the girls aren't able to follow 30% of your moves, you're forgetting the music, and are missing out on some amazing DANCING.  Get back to basics. Sometimes I just want to have a lovely sensual dance with a man who will take care of me on the dance floor (meaning looks around when dancing on a crowded dance floor). Someone who will love me for those precious three minutes and sweep me away into the music with him.

Many of the advanced guys treat me like a brand new Ferrari. Imagine getting a new sports car. The temptation is to put it through all its paces and see how fast you can make it go and what you can get away with. I'd rather have a calm, relaxed dance with a beginner or intermediate dancer who understands the music, and pauses or dips at each break within the song, than have to perform at high speeds for every "advanced" guy who wants to see how many spins or flash moves I can follow.

Don't dance me... LET ME DANCE.

Bottom line guys, you don't have to know every trick in the world to please a woman. Just make her feel comfortable and allow her the joy of the song, and just being in your arms for a change.

Dance to the MUSIC. 

Dance to the SONG. 

Please feel free to forward this article to the ENTIRE PLANET!!!!!  We need a change in the Salsa scene... before we scare away all the beginners... !!!!



Hip salsa remedy for 'Lards of the Dance'
BY YVONNE MARTIN - The Press | Thursday, 1 March 2007

It is fast-paced, Latino hot and sweeping Christchurch schoolgirls off their feet. 

Saucy salsa dancing is Linwood College's answer to getting girls up and moving for their health's sake. 

Getting girls exercising and keeping them interested is a growing problem, particularly in the city, a study by Sport Canterbury shows. 

It found girls dropped out of physical activities as they grew older, with 14 per cent reducing their activity levels between 14 and 18 years. 

The idea behind Linwood's weekly salsa classes is simple. The girls have so much fun hip-swinging to Latin American music they barely notice they are exercising. 

Lost in learning new moves and routines, sometimes with boy partners, an hour of sweating quickly flits by. 

Salsa classes were an instant hit when introduced on the suggestion of a student last year. Up to 30 dancers, most of them girls, attend each after-school session. 

Seventeen-year-old student Patricia Jamieson, who is of Portuguese descent, is passionate about the dance craze. 

"Everyone in my family does some kind of dancing and I really love it. My aim is to take what God gave me and work it," she said. 

Linwood sports director Jolene Chapman is pleasantly surprised how the classes have caught on. 

"It is something a bit different that they haven't done before," she said. "Particularly in this community, the kids haven't experienced more than hip-hop, and it is keeping them fit." 

A team from Sport Canterbury quizzed nearly 1600 girls aged 14 to 18 from 14 Canterbury schools about their attitudes to sport and fitness. 

Not only did physical activity decline with age, but sportiness varied widely among girls of ethnic groups. 

Maori had the highest physical activity rates (82%), followed by New Zealand European girls (72.5%). Pacific and Chinese girls were the least active. 

No obvious barriers to girls exercising were detected, said Catherine Robinson, Sport Canterbury's former physical activity manager, who oversaw the study. 

The research showed girls had strong preferences for exercise. They did not want to exercise at school or in school time. 

"For the moment, most initiatives when they are developed look within the school timetable but, realistically, girls do prefer to be outside the school," said Robinson. 

Offering no or low-cost gym membership was one suggestion, plus hooking girls into exercise during summer, when they were more likely to be active. 

Inactive girls – the ones making up excuses to dodge sports – were attracted to social sports and leisure activities like skateboarding, dance and tai chi. 

Girls from rural schools were more active than their urban counterparts. 

"Living in the country, they are outside more. They might have nicer grounds to play in and they probably have to be more reliant, cycling on their bikes to friends' houses," Robinson said. 

The findings support schools like Linwood offering alternative paths to exercise such as rock climbing, archery, pilates, walking, snooker, self-defence and dance. Boys join in the salsa classes because they are good dancers, their girlfriends go or, because they are heavily outnumbered, it is a sure way to meet girls, Chapman said. 

It also spares non-competitive students from detention, which the school imposes on those who shirk sports without a legitimate reason. 

When The Press visited in the second week of salsa dancing this term there was still a lot of "air" between boy-girl couples. 

"They soon get over that," said Chapman. 

Professional salsa instructor Amanda High saw a quick transformation in the students she taught last year. 

"I did notice a change in them in the five weeks," she said. "In that time they were a lot more confident with the moves. They could do a nice little combo without having to think about it too much." 

Mel Hunter, 13, back for her second year of salsa classes, was hooked. "This is really fun. You just groove and it's really smooth." 

With a fitness trainer for a mother, Hunter is no slouch. 

She also does hip-hop, ballet and netball. 


Linwood College class students




Salsa fights depression

Stuart Sherwin

January 17, 2007 11:00pm

A study found patients with depression received a huge boost in confidence and contentment after they attended salsa dance classes.

Mental health researchers at the UK's University of Derby tested the levels of depression in volunteers before sending them off for nine weeks of salsa dancing.

"The results showed significant improvement for all class members who completed the experiment," lecturer Matt Birks said. "Social interaction, shared experience, concentrating on learning a new skill and the confidence this can bring – these probably all played a part."

Danielle Cohen, 24, has been enjoying salsa dance classes at Rio Rhythmics, in Brisbane's West End, for seven years.

"I sometimes dance four nights a week – I absolutely love it," Cohen said, who works for a trade union.

"I'm not surprised it helps people deal with depression. I always tell my family and friends that salsa makes me feel better if I've had a tough day at work.

"Salsa's a lot more expressive than other dancing – such as ballroom dancing – and you really connect with your partner.

"Dancing has a social side as well. There's a strong network of people in my classes and we have a lot of fun together. Salsa's just a great way to give yourself a lift."


Salsa fights depression



Study: Waltzing Helps Mend Hearts
 November 13, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) -- Italian researchers have come up with a novel way for cardiac rehabilitation patients to exercise their damaged hearts without having to squeeze into spandex or gyrate in a gym: waltzing.

The dance proved to be just as effective as bicycle and treadmill training for improving exercise capacity in a study of 110 heart failure patients. Dancers also reported slightly more improvement in sleep, mood, and the ability to do hobbies, do housework and have sex than the others.

"This may be a more effective way of getting people to exercise, and may be more fun than running on a treadmill," said Dr. Robert Bonow, cardiology chief at Northwestern University School of Medicine. "Maybe we should try that here. I'm not sure we can get Americans to waltz, but they can certainly dance."

Exercise is crucial after people suffer heart problems, but getting people to stick with it is tough. As many as 70 percent drop out of traditional programs, said Dr. Romualdo Belardinelli, director of cardiac rehabilitation at Lancisi Heart Institute in Ancona, Italy.

"We have to find something that may capture the patients' interest," he said Sunday at an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago where he presented results of his study.

They chose waltzing because it is "internationally known" and is quite aerobic, as the study ultimately verified, he said.

The same researchers previously showed that waltzing could help heart attack sufferers regain strength. The new study involved 89 men and 11 women, average age 59, with heart failure. The condition occurs when weakened hearts can no longer pump blood effectively, making simple activities like climbing stairs and taking the dog for a walk tough to do, let alone enjoy.

Researchers assigned 44 patients to a supervised exercise training program of cycling and treadmill work three times a week for eight weeks. Another group of 44 took dance classes in the hospital gym, alternating between slow and fast waltzes for 21 minutes, three times a week for eight weeks. A third group of 22 patients had no exercise.

Heart rates were checked during both activities, more extensive exercise tests were done at the start and end of the study, and artery imaging exams were performed.

Cardiopulmonary fitness increased at similar rates among those who danced or exercised and did not change in those who did neither.

Oxygen uptake increased 16 percent among exercisers and 18 percent among dancers. The anaerobic threshold -- the point where muscles fatigue -- rose 20 percent among exercisers and 21 percent among dancers. Other measures, including a general index of fitness, were comparable.

Imaging showed that dancers' arteries were more able to dilate and expand in response to exercise than non-exercisers.

Part of the benefit may be that dancers had a partner and social companion rather than cycling or walking on a treadmill alone, doctors said.

"This type of program is more effective," Belardinelli said, "because it is fun."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 


Look Better, Get Fit and Lose Weight

Salsa dancing is one of the best forms of exercise. Some of the health and fitness benefits of salsa dancing are: weight loss and muscle gain, boosting your physical endurance and range of motion all while learning the latest salsa dance steps. Dancing salsa can burn up to 10 calories a minute, without harmful side effects caused by high impact exercises such as running. You can learn salsa dancing in the privacy of your home, with or without a partner and it’s a fitness program that can be incorporated into your social life. By using salsa dancing to get fit, you will not only look great, but may provide a reason to get out more and improve your social life.



Banker wins millions in salsa dance case

07 September 2006

HONG KONG: A high-profile Hong Kong banker and ballroom dancing enthusiast won a lawsuit on Wednesday against her salsa instructors, who were ordered to return HK$62 million dollars ($NZ12.2 million) for lessons she never took.


"I'm pleased with the outcome," Monica Wong said calmly to a throng of reporters after the verdict was announced.

"I'm hopeful that the judgement will be the end of it," she said, smiling slightly.

Wong, the 61-year-old daughter of a shipping tycoon and head of HSBC's private banking business in Asia, had agreed to pay HK$120 million to dance teachers Mirko Saccani and his wife, Gaynor Fairweather, for unlimited private lessons and competitions from 2004 till 2012.

After she put down a HK$62 million deposit, she said the relationship turned sour. Saccani admitted in a High Court hearing to calling Wong a "lazy cow", and telling her to "move her arse" during a packed ballroom dancing session in August 2004.

Wong, who said she suffered an emotional breakdown from the insults, sued the couple, seeking the return of the HK$62 million deposit. But the couple countersued, calling on Wong to pay the rest of the money owed to them.

In a written judgement, Deputy High Court judge Gerard Muttrie ruled that Wong be repaid damages equalling HK$62 million plus interest.

"Overall, I find the plaintiff's (Wong's) version of events much more believable than that given by the defendants," Muttrie wrote.

"I do not see why, even if (Wong) was in default, she should not have her money back, subject to any claim for damages which the defendants might have.

"They took her money, for services in the future which she would never take up."



According to the judgement, Wong had originally paid the couple just HK$1,000 for hourly lessons, but her interest increased almost to the point of "obsession", leading to the multi-million dollar deal.

The judgement said their relationship had initially been good with Fairweather, 15 times world Latin dancing champion, who had called Wong "my little project, my love and my heart".

During the trial, Wong referred to her relationship with the couple as "an affair".

Wong's hefty investment showed some dividends. She came first in the over-50 age group at the Los Angeles Embassy competition in September 2002 and was placed highly in subsequent overseas contests.

The case has highlighted the at-times ostentatious lifestyle of the super-rich in Hong Kong, China's wealthiest city.

The territory is known for its tycoons and occasionally eccentric millionaires, including Kai Bong Chau and his wife Brenda, with their taste for golden toilets and for dashing around the city in a pink Rolls Royce.

However, billionaire tycoon Li Ka-shing has a reputation for a more austere lifestyle and is known to wear cheap shoes and plastic watches.

The city's ability to generate vast wealth from its origins as a fishing village, has transformed it into a financial and banking hub. Banking giant HSBC, for whom Wong works as the head of private wealth management, is the city's largest bank.

"It is common enough for any professional person to act, in private life, in a way which one would not expect him to act professionally," said Justice Muttrie.

"What is clear in this case is that Ms Wong was affected very much by her obsession for dancing," said the judge.

Wong, who has a slender physique and looks younger than her 61 years, said: "I will continue to dance and compete for as long as possible . . . It is my passion".