As I watched The Spanish Harlem Orchestra blow the planks off The Santa Monica Pier last Thursday, I started to think about the degrees of dancing in the crowd. I was busy working at the Amoeba booth so I kept my thoughts to myself. Later, I overheard my co-workers George and Anel talk about exactly what I had been thinking.
George came up with the concept that there are three types of Salsa dancers. The first type is the “look at me” dancer-- those who took Salsa lessons and want to show off every move they learned.
It may look great at a competition or even at a Salsa club, but on the packed Santa Monica Pier it looks a little awkward and out of place. Imagine a couple trying to dance in the middle of a busy airport terminal and that would give you an idea of what it looked like.
The next group is the Naturals. The Naturals are cool. They have been dancing to Latin music for years and it’s second nature. The Naturals tend to be the older folks or the younger generation who have been dancing since they were kids. Their moves are fluid and not showy, yet if one of the look-at-me’s called them on the dance floor they could hang with ease.
The last group consists of the rest of us: all the people who can’t dance, but try. Chanclas weren’t made for Salsa dancing and to watch the beach-goers give it a try in their flip-flops was nothing less than comical. I watched one couple try to do it. Not only were they wearing flip-flops, they were also dancing on a warped wooden pier while intoxicated, a trifecta for a potential disaster. Lucky for them, the only abuse suffered was my side hurting from laughing so hard.
Like I mentioned earlier, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra were amazing. Vintage Puerto Rican Salsa in the style of 70’s Fania-era Sonora Ponceña. The horns were tight, the percussion solid and the vocalists were top notch.
Amoeba Records will have a booth at The Santa Monica Pier every Thursday during their summer concert series. We have CD’s for sale, including our clearance bins. (Three used CD’s for only five bucks!) There are freebies, a chance to win gift certificates and various other prizes. Come by and say hello to us.