Friday, June 22, 2007

My Favorite Tunes: Part 1b of 367

I forgot about it!

"Basicarita" reminded me that YouTube has a great clip showing some social dancing using The Salsa Never Ends tune referrenced in my previous article. (I greatly appreciate the comments! I always learn something.)

The clip features Frankie Martinez and Nancy Ortiz social dancing, plus a gentleman I don't know. The contrast between the two leads couldn't be more interesting.

I don't think Frankie leads Nancy through anything more than a double spin throughout the whole tune, although he does a triple or quad himself at one point. He totally showcases her (a very smart man!) and while at first glance he doesn't seem to be doing much, this is a perfect example of less is much more for the man.

His brilliance is in his simplicity, appropriateness, how much he leaves out, plus his understanding of Afro-Cuban dancing (including the "Hen and Rooster” and “Old Man, Young Woman” metaphors that are foundational to Cuban dancing).

Most intermediate leads could do his patterns easily in their first couple years of dancing. It’s not what he does, it’s HOW HE DOES IT! Most leads will take many more years getting to his level of mastering what to leave out, and being appropriate to the music and his partner.

Check out the other lead for a contrast.

I’ll have more to say on this in another article, but enjoy this clip now--and again, a big “thank-you” to Basicarita for adding a comment and reminding me of this clip!

Give me my golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner,
and you can keep my golf clubs and the fresh air.
-Jack Benny


  1. Thank you for sharing this videos. One Question came up: is there a video that shows you dancing? I couldn't find one at YouTube....

  2. Me too! I'd love to see you dancing. Anything. Even if it is jazzdance ;)

  3. Hmmm... I don't even have anything recent I could post. I will be in Palm Springs late July and I should film something when I'm social dancing with Edie and/or others.

    While I take some jazz classes, those are primarily for building solid fundimentals like balance, control, core strength and spinning. (Remember: Musicians don't dance, I'm working to be the exception to that rule.)

    Most of those skills don't show until you've done them a few years, then they allow you to advance very, very quickly.

    I'm still a very immature dance student in terms of the jazz routines so unless you are looking for comic relief, I'll avoid letting those hit the net anytime soon.

    One of the strange things is being a very advanced musician, I intellectually know more about dancing than most because of the parallels between the two.

    Knowing the concepts still means I have years of effort to put everything together. I'm a major work in progress but I'll get a video together this summer.

    There are currently so many guys who dance better than me, you won't miss my video at this point. That said, I'll get something up ASAP so I can provide hope for many others.

  4. That would be nice - a sample of you teaching would be great, too, I still wonder how you'd teach musicality for dancers...

  5. Musicality is the tougher gig and there are two major phases: Knowing about the music, then knowing what to do with the music.

    The first thing is awareness, and I'm working on some articles that outline different aspects of the music.

  6. Great video, and song - watching it - I was wondering, have you featured an article on isolations before? I know you mentioned practising isolations in the car in another article. Amazing to see both of their talents in using their bodies to express themselves and play and match the music.


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Don Baarns - Unlikely Salsero