Becoming a Salsero

Learning to dance Salsa !

About me

I remember the first time I saw a salsa performance. The dance was mesmerizing and I decided that becoming a Salsero would be my new goal.

Just getting started took a lot longer than planned but I still haven't regretted a single moment of learning to dance salsa. Why don't you join me and become a salsero / salsera as well?.

About this site

This is where I share my experiences and thoughts on dancing salsa.

If you have any questions or remarks please leave a comment or send an email to becomingasalsero@gmail.com.

Additional ways to contact me can be found on my contact page.

Be a salsa star!

Why cameras are better than mirrors.


Whenever I am at a festival, congress or workshop I am always impressed with the amount of attention the stars there get.

Sometimes it seems like they have more cameras pointed at them than the average movie star. And for good reason. Their performance, whether it is a show or a demonstration of combinations that they taught earlier, is often amazing. Not capturing it means losing out on a chance to not only admire it but to learn from it as well.

But only using our cameras to tape the stars is such a waste of that wonderful technical invention. Why not use your camera all the time to tape yourself dancing instead? Or if not all the time than at least start using the camera when you practice at home.

Even more so than by looking in the mirror you will see things that you may never have been aware of. Don't get me wrong, I think mirrors are great. Especially the full size mirrors they have in studios. Unfortunately they have a downside. They don't come with a rewind button.

If your focusing on your arms when you look in the mirror you will not be able to see what happens with the rest of your body. If you look at your legs, same thing. You will never be able to see all of your body movements at the same time. Our vision just does not work that way.

What happens is that our eyes take lots of pictures. At the same time our mind processes all those pictures and turns them into a streaming movie. As it is though, our mind is also an editor.

While it is combining the images it gives most attention to what we were focusing on and starts cutting out irrelevant pictures. This means that a lot of pictures do not make the final cut and we miss out on the information that was in them.

Another downside is that looking in the mirror is distracting. When you are looking in the mirror, trying to spot what you may be doing wrong, you focus less on dancing. After all, you are already focused on looking in the mirror.

When you use a camera though, things are different. You can place the camera in a corner of the room, feel self conscious for a minute or 2 (ok, maybe that is just me) and then forget all about it. By the time you are done it will have recorded for as long as you had tape/disc space/memory and you have footage of yourself dancing. In my case 3o minutes of it.

30 Minutes that I can look at over and over again. If I think I missed something I can even rewind. 30 Minutes of myself dancing that I can use to correct myself. 30 Minutes of footage that I could even use to ask others for feedback if I was so inclined. Currently I do not see myself facing the YouTube critics just yet though so that will have to wait for now.

And last but not least, 30 minutes of video that I can store and watch again whenever I feel like it. In my opinion there is no better way to notice if. and how much, you have improved than by comparing 2 videos of yourself that were taken some time apart.

So let's quickly glance back and see what the advantages are of using a camera rather than mirrors:
  • You can see all parts of your body at any given time
  • You can pause or rewind to have another/closer look
  • You can focus on dancing instead of focusing on yourself
  • You can keep the recording and look back on it at a later date
Even if you do this only once a week you'll soon be able to correct any bad habits you might have.

So get your camera out now and start dancing. Before you know it you will be the star that is admired. Who knows, maybe at the next congress I will be there pointing my camera at you wishing I could dance like that.

1 comments:

  1. Don Baarns - Unlikely Salsero said...
     

    Great article and I totally agree.

    My only minor nit is for most people, it shouldn't be mirror "OR" video, it should be both.

    The mirror is always set up, it doesn't need any disk, tape, editing or review.

    It's real-time feedback, although I agree it's not perfect. It allows me to see things during my micro-practices (less than 5 minutes) and sometimes I don't want to set-up/review the video if I'm just doing a few minutes.

    I wrote an article similar to yours last year:
    Video Yourself Often..."

    Check it out and you'll see we totally agree on the value of video.

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