Welcome To The New York On 2 Mambo Scene
WebSite Subtitle1.jpg (15435 bytes)
[Main Menu ] [Magazine Home ] [New Articles this month ] [Instructors ] [NY Dance News] [Articles
 [Submit an Article] [Calendar of Dance Events]
Best Viewed In Internet Explorer

Editor's Note: The views of this article does not necessarily reflect those of SalsaNewYork.com, SalsaNewYork.com/Magazine.

Last issue SalsaNewYork Magazine published an article by UK Dancer Leon Rose entitled Piracy! Plagiarism: Copycats. SalsaNewYork reader Joe Wieder who has in the past contributed several articles to our site, felt the need to state his thoughts on the subject matter.

Piracy! Plagiarism: Copycats: Rebuttal 

By Joe Wieder

More like hissy fit!

I read the article by the English salsa dancer and instructor Leon Rose regarding his concerns about people who go around copying his steps and fail to credit him for them.   I appreciate his concern as a teacher, but I don't share his indignation in feeling "ripped off."

I know a lot of people here who have very strong views on the matter as well, especially when they feel that it's their own original creativity that's being copied and they're not being given the credit and/or the compensation they feel they deserve.

Personally, I feel imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. My own dancing is an amalgam of combinations I've put together from watching people dance, steps from other dances, and steps I've made up along the way that have worked (many don't).  I actually enjoy watching people watching me intently and then trying out my routines.

At clubs here in NY, I watch as "new and original" steps are created, and smile knowingly to myself that the teachers who "created" them have in fact "borrowed" them from other dances - notably West Coast Swing, Hustle, Tango, and even Country Western Two Step.  These teachers have obviously seen these steps and routines done elsewhere and figured they could use them in salsa - since salsa dancers are largely unaware of anything outside of the salsa world.  Soon these "new" steps are copied by others and begin appearing everywhere - the dancers blissfully ignorant that they are in fact doing west coast swing, hustle, etc. to a salsa beat.

On the other hand, dance is not a science (unless you're a ballroom dancer), but rather an evolving art form and an expression of self. The neat thing of it is that even if you copy a step or a routine, the execution of it reflects your own self. And in that area, we are all at least a bit different. And so, it will keep evolving, a bruised ego or two notwithstanding.

That said, indignant teachers such as Mr. Rose might as well get used to it - people will imitate you if you're good and you've got something different.  He should use that as an incentive to get even better and more creative.

What it comes down to, I think, is  a matter of some dancers taking themselves too seriously.  They aren't creating epic novels, or Beethoven's Fifth. It's just dancing!

Joe Wieder

[Main Menu ] [Magazine Home ] [New Articles this month ] [Instructors ] [NY Dance News] [Articles
 [Submit an Article] [Calendar of Dance Events]
Best Viewed In Internet Explorer






Hit Counter