March 25, 2008

I have been observing that the ability to use and manage high energy while dancing is a giant divider between the less accomplished and the elite dancers on the floor.   Coming from a dance background, it’s been an interesting journey to see just how much has to evolve before high energy can even enter the equation.  The biggest piece that you can feel in your body driving this readiness for “more” isn’t the acquisition of necessary strength & technical knowledge, but a decrease in tension throughout my body. The diminishing tension in your lower thighs will enable more power thru your quads and thus better connection thru your feet to the floor, and the diminishing tension in your shoulders & shoulder blades will make you crave more energetic shaping and expression.  Whenthe tension is there, it’s an awful feeling of the opposite… wanting to move but feeling bound & unable.

So clearly, unlocking the bodys skeletal & muscular components seems directly related to the amount of energy one can put into one’s dancing.  Of course, that by definition is called youthfulness, and says a lot about the difference between young people’s dancing vs. the senior crowd.

Isaac Altman

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Is It Legal?

March 12, 2008

It has been brought to my attention that the Salsa Championships shown on ESPN may have some legal issues they may not be aware of.  Sources have revealed that certain people competing in ESPN Salsa Championships are illegally here in the United States and that some of them have won prize money as well.  This could be a big problem for ESPN, Albert Torres Productions, and the Salsa 7 as would bring about some legal issues that will be discussed in a later blog.  I wonder what the sponsors will do?  At the very least, a full investigation should be conducted by the Organizers before things get out of hand.  If true, this could involve INS, IRS, and Homeland Security.  I certainly think ESPN should look into the matter BEFORE it airs the possibility of illegal aliens winning U.S. dollars.

Isaac Altman


Salsa and DanceSport

March 10, 2008

Below is an excerpt of an article from “Edie The Salsa Freak” on Albert Torres competition in Las Vegas, December 2005.  What caught my attention particularly was her attempt to polarize the Salsa and DanceSport Worlds.  I really believe her statement was really irresponsible coming from such a well known figure in the Salsa World.  Many of us including the WSF are trying to bring these two worlds together so that each will experience the best of both kinds of dancing.  Since Salsa exploded on the scene over 15 years ago, many changes in styles have evolved including borrowing techniques, style, and patterns from the DanceSport World.  DanceSport has benefited as well as it has incorporated turn patterns and tricks from the Salsa World.  The World Salsa Federation at its World Championships, also holds a DanceSport competition.  The WSF is one of the few organizations who really believes in Unity through dance, not just says it.  The WSF event “Best In The Midwest” Salsa Festival will bring both Worlds together,  as well as our 2006 World Championships.  Edie and people like herself are not the models we should follow as their personal prejudices get into the way.

Edie’s Personal Thoughts…
Cut the Fake and Stiff Left Arm While Walking Onstage.
I know this was an event for television, but the way the girls came out on the dance floor looked too much like a Ballroom competition. Their left arms pointed out looked too fake, and too stiff. Instead of Salseras trying to “copy” what the ballroom dancers do, we should come out with our own Salsa Style of walking out the dance floor. After speaking to a few social dancers each night after the competition, many were taken aback by this type of presentation. I personally would have liked to see a less stiff, more relaxed flowing movement of the hands; a more flowing, stylish, comfortable caress in the air, in and out, softly brushing the hip, up and out, with beautiful arm and finger styling. Why not let the ballroom women take a look at how “We Salseras” grace the stage prior to performing, and
have THEM copy US for a change.

Isaac Altman
CEO of the WSF

 


2006 WSF World Salsa Championships

March 10, 2008

November 16, 2006

After experiencing the most successful WSF World Championships, I have drawn a few conclusions about Salsa Competitions vs. performances.  It is now clear that the best performers are those who are either former or current competitors.  Having to compete on a regular basis brings ones level of dancing on a much higher level because you are always trying to beat someone and therfore your training schedule will almost always be more rigorous.  Competition in Salsa is still in its infancy, although it has been around several years.  Performances, as in Congresses, has been more developed and has a bigger circuit, but lacks a high standard of dancing in general.  I would suggest to performers to try competition.The other area where I see could improve in Salsa Competitions is coaching.  The majority of Salsa Competitors do not take regular coaching lessons to improve.  This is unlike any sport in the World where coaching is the mainstream.  Who I do see taking coaching more and more are the South American countries who are becoming a real force in the competitive Salsa World.

Isaac Altman

CEO of the WSF


Judging Salsa

March 10, 2008

December 24, 2006

I would like to address Judging, as this subject can be very controversial. The WSF uses the skating system for judging which is the same used in the Olympics. This has been proven to be the most fair system for subjective judging. Those competitions that use any kind of “audience applause” as part of their judging scoring, are cheating the hard work and practice that competition dancers go through not couting the amount of money they invest traveling to competitions. You can see the results of such a scoring system at this years “Dancing With The Stars” on ABC. Clearly the better dancer was Mario, but the audience chose Emmit. Another faulty scoring system for subjective judging is throwing out the top and bottom scores. What judge wants their score thrown out? Every score should count. It is a false belief that this will give a fairer score. The WSF has one of the strictest and most comprehensive judging system for Salsa and it would be well advised for those Organizations and Promoters to take a good look at theirs before something controversial hits the internet.
Isaac Altman
CEO of the WSF