Here’s Part 1 of a totally hilarious series of animated movies poking fun at the salsa dance instructional industry that has developed over the past decade or so. Its creator, Jake, is a lover of salsa and is himself a salsa dance instructor, albeit with a terrific self-deprecating sense of humor. Some of his jabs are so spot-on, that you just know he’s been in the biz quite a while. I have been waiting for someone to do something like this. Love it. Great work, Jake. We’ll be posting the entire series over time.
Here’s Jake’s own words about the series he’s created…
This series was created to poke a little fun at the salsa world that I’ve been a part of for many years. The issues it touches on are real, and it surprised me how many people have responded to say there is much truth in the hyperbole employed! The fact is, that the salsa scene has indeed changed a lot over the years, mainly as a result of its own success. The success has been great! It has attracted a wide group of people of all ages and backgrounds into dancing. It has made its way to mainstream TV shows. And classes popped up all over the place.
With success comes opportunity, and many teachers jumped on the bandwagon. Many tried to differentiate themselves by teaching different styles. Many figured out how to market themselves through dance troupes and congresses. And the congress people figured out how to market salsa to large groups of fans without the need for local clubs.
Like anything that is commercial, there are problems as well. In this series, I highlight some of the more extreme things that happen to newcomers on the scene. I should be perfectly clear: I LOVE SALSA DANCE AND MUSIC. I want nothing more than its continued success. But I also want the dance to continue to be widely appreciated and a great social activity (think date night). So, with all of the performing going on, and the fracturing of the scene by troupe leaders and congresses, this sometimes repels beginners who don’t want to sign up for a Ph.D. program just to go have some fun dancing! So, as always, buyer beware. Be sure you get what you want from dance, read my What We Teach discussion, learn as much as you can about the music and learn from different people to make your experience as good as it can be!
See you on the dance floor! -Jake
Here’s a plug for Jake’s website.