Katrina Crosbie

Re: Our Developing Salsascene (Katrina C) - 21st October 2004 13:00:47 in section Heated
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It seems to me there are a couple of different issues here. First, competition versus collaboration. Let's use last Sunday's opening of the Mood Salsa club - which is in direct competition with Salsa Sunday, the Merlin Rueda Club, Carol Ann's ladies styling and spinning class and the Salsa Lounge - as an example. Loup Garou says in his latest post that a similar thing happened in his locality when a promoter deliberately opened a club in opposition to established events. Fair enough, if that's what really happened, but. . . it's that word 'deliberately' which bothers me, when used with reference to what's happening on the Edinburgh Salsa scene. Without being psychic, do we really know what peoples' intentions are? I don't think for one minute that Janice or Orlando deliberatly engineered Salsa Mood to conflict with other organisers' clubs. I've been in classes with both of them before, and neither of them strike me as being nasty, vengeful or spiteful individuals. Quite the opposite! So, isn't it more likely that the club takes place that night because that's the only night J&O happen to both be free at the same time/the only night that Mood had free to give them/indeed, the only venue with a suitable dance-floor that they could find to get their venture off the ground? We don't know. So let's not be too quick to condemn. (And yes, I know Nick invited us to comment only in general terms but I am using Salsa Mood as an example because it is illustrative, recent and pertinent.) As an analogy, think of this: we all have to eat, don't we? I do most of my shopping in Safeway (because it's conveniently situated, at the top of my street.) Sometimes, though, they don't stock the exact thing that I want, so I have to go a bit further afield - to Sainsburys. Other times, I feel like something different, so I'll buy a ready-made meal from Marks and Spencer or go out of my way to stock up at Edinburgh Organics in Stockbridge. In other words, I've got choice. Why should Salsa be any different?
I admit my analogy has limitations in that everyone has to eat but not everyone has to (or wants to) dance Salsa, but you get the point.
My second point: loyalty. Why would some people choose to go to one club and not another? Well, sometimes it has nothing to do with the club concerned. For example, I started going to the Merlin Rueda club, and I loved it, an exhilarating experience, but recently I've fallen by the wayside and, as I've said before to Nick, this was purely because of transport problems. (I live on the diametrically opposite side of Edinburgh from the Merlin, don't always have a car at my disposal, and - despite what the City Council would have you believe - public transport in Edinburgh isn't always of the best, particularly on Sundays. Nick did suggest, in jest, organising a Rueda Club bus and I am actually putting this into practice at the moment, not a bus but trying to organise some fellow salsa class members into a car-sharing club.)
Also, again from personal experience, in May this year I was at a Sunday workshop at Dance Base and a friend there aked me if I wanted to go with her to Salsa Romantica that night. I wanted to go, but I had to say no because I was sitting an exam that week and needed to use the time to study. Yes, I felt guilty afterwards when it turned out that that was the last SR before it was suspended, but what else could I do? As they say, 'Life is what happens when you've made other plans.' And I'm sure everyone can think of similar examples from their own lives. So remember, promoters/teachers, the reason we don't turn up at your clubs isn't necessarily because we don't like you, your music, your preferred dance style or the way you teach, it's just that life got in the way.

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