The Image Problem

Salsa has a terrible image problem.

To those that have never been into a decent club or seen a good show, the image of salsa seems to be something like this or this:

or this:

Other impressions that have been mentioned include big hair on women, chest hair on men, and quantities of bling that would shame Mr T.

Now the salsa that keeps my interest looks more like this:

or this:

or of course, this:

Alright, I’m never going to be as good as most of the people in the second set of videos, but at least what I’m aiming for has style and musicality.

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  • Iain Cheyne  On December 19, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    Very nice! The black and white video is the best. I watched it to the finish. That guy can *really* move – pity about his taste in scarves.

  • ealing  On December 20, 2006 at 9:32 am

    True. And if I wasn’t jealous enough of Frankie’s moves, it sounds like Conjunto Libre are playing live in the club as well.

  • sweavo  On December 20, 2006 at 11:29 am

    Am I the only on2 dancer who doesn’t like Frankie’s style? Sure he’s amazing, but I don’t always want to be amazed, I want to be involved, seduced, moved.

    Could some of salsa’s image problem be due to the ’70s?

  • ealing  On December 20, 2006 at 11:44 am

    Yes, you probably are the only on2 dancer who doesn’t like his style. So which guys, if any, do you think look good? Is part of the answer dependent on what you look for in a dancer to watch versus what you look for in a dancer to dance with?

    As for that picture, it seems to get worse the further you go back. Check out a cover on Amazon for one of the albums by The Lecuona Cuban Boys. Pretty scary stuff.

  • sweavo  On December 20, 2006 at 2:13 pm

    I do think he’s a great dancer, don’t get me wrong… but I ‘got’ that Puerto Rican couple at Bognor a whole lot more. Also Hacha y Machete performances really rock for me. (Come to think of it though, I’ve never seen Frankie in the flesh, only on the Pee Cee screen)

  • ealing  On December 20, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    You mean Tito & Tamara? They’re pretty amazing too, although I wasn’t too sure about their disco-themed show. Hacha y Machete are awesome, no question.

    I suspect that a lot of Frankie’s fame comes from his shows. I deliberately only included people social dancing in the videos above, but have a look (on YouTube or the Abakua website) for his shows, particularly to “Revolt La Libertad Logico” or “Welcome to the Party”.

  • thomas  On March 13, 2007 at 1:40 am

    Eddie Torres has really done alot for pushing on2. These dancers are great.

  • Maria  On July 15, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Hi, I just found your blog. Great post. That first video made me CRINGE. I think I was actually in the crowd watching Burju get tag teamed at the 04 LA congress. Love that song– sonido bestial.

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