Welcome to Episode 41 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast
This episode, Andres wants you to Show him how you feel. According to Miriam-Webster, dance is ‘to move one’s body rhythmically, usually to music.’ Andres finds this definition of reductive and left-brained. He dislikes the idea that simple shaking around while music is playing is considered dancing. Art, on the other hand, has a much better definition: ‘conscious use of skill and creative imagination’. Here, an expression is acknowledged, and those are key to dancing. The essence of dance is the expression. Rhythmic movement isn’t automatically dancing. It needs to have intention behind it. The part of art that matters the most is the intention.
In ‘Show Me How You Feel’ Andres expresses the two sides of dance. ‘Show Me’ is indicative of the technical nature of dance and ‘How You Feel’ represents the intent behind the dance and your expression through dance. What are you feeling? Are you feeling the music or are you just counting the beats? And if you’re feeling, then how are you expressing that? Of course, beginners do need to count and take measured steps, but that is a path to mastery. These are tools that you need to learn to be able to use instinctively. These tools are useless if you are not being expressive and unique, showing what makes you as a person and an artist different. The most unique aspect of your dance is going to be you.
Andres wants you to hone in on the feeling you feel at the dance. This is the only way you can bring a unique dance. So many people worry about expressing themselves ‘wrong’ without realizing that there is no way to express yourself wrong. The technique is performed, but the expression is always about what you feel, and what you feel can never be wrong. Now, are you feeling something, or just pretending to feel it because you think you’re supposed to.
In dance, as in anything, there are a lot of people wearing those kinds of masks, acting out the role because they think that’s what they need to do. Andres recommends that those of you who do that should instead allow the music and its feelings to come to you, to let the music come to you. Feelings are something you come into, not that you strive for.
Dance is more like stretching, breathing into and leaning into it. The important thing to remember about dance is your feelings and your expression over specific techniques or rhythm.
“Look at your idols. Watch your idols. See if you’re feeling anything when they’re dancing, or are you just saying ‘oh that’s cool, that’s cool.’? Because if it’s just cool, you’re looking at the movement… but how about ‘wow that’s said or that’s happy or that’s fun.’ It’s more of an energy signature that you’re associating to than that’s cool or that’s smooth.”