Note: The views of this article does not necessarily
reflect those of SalsaNewYork.com, SalsaNewYork.com/Magazine.
SalsaNewYork reader Joe Wieder who has in the past
contributed several articles to our site, has again graced our pages with his thoughts
on the subject matter.
Can We Get
Some Respect Here?
By Joe Wieder
Alright, call it a pet peeve. Another pet peeve. Ive been
watching some of the younger male hot shot dancers doing these steps
that disturb me. I dont know if theyre picking them up in dance
classes. I hope not. I mean, I hope that teachers have enough good
sense not to teach this stuff.
What Im referring to is a trend toward steps that have nothing to do with
dancing and, at best, I believe are demeaning, disrespectful, and potentially
painful to their partners. The one I find most offensive is where the
guy with his back turned to the woman kicks his foot out backward, karate
style, to catch his partner in the crook of his bent leg and turn her.
He then hops onto that foot and uses his free foot to catch her going in the
other direction and send her back, all the while with his back turned.
Looks way cool, huh?
Actually, what it looks like is a dog doing a number on a fire hydrant.
The other day I saw one of these better dancers flick his foot out
behind him and inadvertently kick his short partner with the point of his
foot, catching her right in her lower back in the area of her kidney.
Ouch! That had to hurt. You could see her wince in pain, but she kept on
dancing and said nothing. He, of course, with his back to her was
oblivious to it all, he was so..o..o..o cool.
Then theres one where the guy squats down and turns his partner by her
knees. Try losing sight of your partner and feel someone swatting at
your legs while you turn helplessly with no frame of reference. How much
fun is that?
How about that step where the guy leads a cross-body and simultaneously turns
the woman counterclockwise by forcing her head down from her neck to pass her
under his arm. Why is that one so popular? Why are women willing
to dance with men who do that. Especially, since women Ive talked to
hate that step. At best it musses their hair, at worst it hurts their
There are several other steps Ive seen that really dont do much for the
women except put them at risk of injury.
Now, Its one thing to work out a step as choreography and get the timing
and sequencing down so that everyone knows whats happening when. Then
you rehearse it until you and your partner are comfortable with it and can
pretty much do it with your eyes closed. Thats fine for performing,
But, good dancing is about communication. So, dont spring these moves
on your partner when youre out dancing socially. And above all,
use some common sense - dont risk hurting or demeaning your partner just to
impress your friends.
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