A Perfect Plate

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Welcome to Episode 20 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast

In this episode, Andres talks about the idea of a perfect plate. What Andres means is that he views a perfect dance is like a perfect meal. A dance should always have the complete dance in mind, the end goal. Andres feels like the scene does not reach the larger goal or keep the big picture in mind when dancing. Teachers need to be able to express this better in words. Hence, Andres’ metaphor: The perfect plate

The first part of this is the ‘appetizer’. It creates space so that people can appreciate the ‘main course’ of the dance. These bits give space so that people can appreciate the biggest flourishes of a dance. You don’t just have a steak for dinner, after all. You need veggies and sauce too after all. These are to help you appreciate the main course of the meal. This is the role of the appetizer.

There is also your ‘prep’, the way ‘cook’ your dance. This is more strongly understood: technique, choreography, timing, and being in sync with your partners. This part is simply about ‘getting it right’.

Then there’s the ‘quality’. The quality of ingredients determines your meal. In dance, this is in reference to the complexity, dynamism, and control of the dances. If you don’t keep the quality of your work solid, it will suffer. Oftentime, a lot of the appetizers are just ‘bread’; filler made to take up space rather than to compliment the dance. Look for quality appetizers that compliment your dance.

The next two are the most important.These are things that are not, but could be taught on a student level. Neither should be prioritized over the other. This would put the dance out of balance, thus not being a perfect plate.

Next is presentation. How does your dance look? How is the energy communicating? How is your effort being reflected. How much work are you putting into it? How much emotion? A well-presented dish immediately shows the quality of the work and the meal. While food is meant to be eaten, there is an intent to visually impress. Dancing is very much the same. You need to be able to connect to your audience and show how much you care.

Finally, there is ‘flavor’. Food needs to taste good of course. In this case, this is the personality. The dancer is the medium after all. Your own personality, the flavor of your dance needs to come through. Andres laments technically proficient dancers who do not bring any flavor into the dance. Flavor is what makes you as a dancer undeniably you.

All dancers should be working to make their dances a perfect plate, and keep these in mind.

“Don’t get on stage,Do your choreography, and hope that they like it.

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