If you're crazy about salsa you attended last Sunday's anniversary of the
crazy salsa web site of SalsaCrazy.com at the hottest salsa venue Café
Cocomo. If you missed it, you'll have to wait til the next one. Almost
everybody who is anybody in the Bay Area salsa scene was in attendance.
some Allegro Ballroom regulars showed up.
A lot of salseros who are in it (mostly) for the dance are complaining about
all sorts of things: beginners and their big steps, socialites standing and
walking on the dance floor holding drinks, packed clubs etc. etc. Well,
yesterday the dancers came close to their dream night: their usual minority
became a majority. It was a night by the dancers for the dancers. Hardly
any beginners and a lot of dedicated and advanced salsa aficionados.
It was well organized, well publicized and even though the SalsaCrazy tsar
Evan looked lost in space and repeatedly refused to dance with me, his
devoted subjects pulled through. (Are you gonna print this, Your Highness?).
Historically speaking, this is not necessarily a happy time for
aspiring dancers; wannabees who are trying hard
to improve and social dancers who are there for fun. Unless you came with a
partner or found one on your level, you were out of luck. It's a well known
fact that advanced salseros prefer partners with matching skills. So if you
are not "in" you were mostly out. (More on this in another article)
We also had a chance to see performances of Ricasalsa and Salsamania who
showed their new routines. These two dance troupes are not afraid to show
their new members and give them stage experience. From one performance to the
next you can see their steady improvement. John and Liz of Salsamania push
their dancers' skills staging routines packed with complicated patterns and
fast beat. Their creative foot work is outstanding not to mention
spectacular tricks that always impress the audience.
Ricardo Tellez is one of the rare instructors who can be seen dancing with
beginners AND making them look good. He is also considerate of his group's
debutantes. He even danced with one in last night's performance. Ricasalsa
showed two numbers: one easy-going and lyrical and the other reminiscent of
Men In Black This time even swing became part of the new routine with salsa
moves adapted perfectly to the new beat. Ricasalsa's choreography is
always very attuned to the music. Drum beats were accentuated by men's
footwork and crystal sounds of xylophone accompanied ladies' shines. These
thoughtful responses to the music's accents is Ricardo's forte even in his
The only possible "sour note" was perhaps coming from the band. Pepe y Su Orquesta
plays extremely fast songs, not too much room for fancy patterns or improvs
for those who can do it. Slow down, guys! I used to like only fast salsa,
but now prefer a variety. Oh, well, maybe next time.
Happy birthday, salsacrazy! (ed. note: my Birthday is in September).
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