Respect your knowledge and the roots of dance
On the picture is Sashinka during her trip (religious and study) to Cuba in the house of maestro O´Farrill . Due to the fact that I was there two months ago I wanted to respect the older professor (80 y) and I trained the afrocuban folklore daily in high humidity and temperatures in mask. No need to discuss that fact…
To the topic…
It was not that long time ago when i received the call with the offer (job and of course financial) to prepare young dancers for a championships by online trainings. Such an interesting offer (as far as during that time we, in culture, didn´t have so many offers and we were not in the position to say no).
It turned out that miss instructress really likes my work and she wanted me to make the choreo of bachata and salsa…. and here I stoped for a while. Why? Because I have been dancing for many years and I can somehow (!) dance bachata, I am even able to make nice fusion (here you can hide a lot) choreo, but…
- I know and respect bachata as a traditional dance from Dominican republic, that has it´s rules and I simply don´t know them so I don´t want to create something that would not respect the culture and tradition.
- I don´t spend my time studying bachata.
- There are teachers around me who are focusing on traditional or modern version of bachata and they spent their energy and time getting better...
I refused with respect explaining all what I mentioned now keeping the promise to make salsa choreo and recommending bachata teachers. But a problem came again….the music has been chosen already and I knew since the first time I heard that i have to refuse again. „Are you getting crazy, Saši? Why?“
- it was salsa linea music and even though I somehow (!) dance it in the parties (have you seen me? 🙂 ), again:
- I don´t study it!!! I don´t live it!!!
- I will not push my afro and rumba and movements from cuban dances somewhere where it doesn´t have what to do….
I recommended with a huge respect other teachers and lost the business. And I sleep well!
I see new courses around….afrocuban elements, rumba, whatever. I see championships where kids are dancing afrocuban things wrongly tought….and I ask myself if I´m not naive to have THAT approach.
Anyway, let me share with the students:
- fingers crossed to get the information that you deserve and are right….fingers crossed to not have youtube teachers….and to be satisfied and happy with your classes
Let me share with the teachers:
- afrocuban folklore is not just a dance, because most of his forms are the demonstrations of faith (religion) and have deep ritual character. We are not talking just about the bad interpretation of the culture and tradition, we are entering the waters of disrespecting the faith. And that is a thin ice, isn´t it?
My hugest support to everyone who shares this heritage with respect….
I personally don´t know a lot of things studying and living it for years…I admit (and I don´t have a problem to refuse to teach what I have to study deeper) and that´s why I keep on learning. For my students….for me….I am looking forward to discuss with other teachers questions like Iyesa and Orishas, cantos compuestos of Obatala, specific toques of Oshun….I would be just happy, that the community grows and then we are making fusions (THEN!) because we understand the base….It is not a movement, it is a culture, a heritage, a tradition, a faith, a strenght….it is respect!
Just my toughts…right or wrong?
With opened and calm heart to those who are interested….