Salsa Dancing Essay
Robert and his wife, Lucy, decide to take dance classes at a local
Salsa dance club. They used to go to ballroom dance classes at the
same club some years ago. Because Salsa dancing has become so popular,
they book the classes in advance. On the back of the receipt a printed
clause says “For terms and conditions please see notices in the club”.
On the inside of the club door a large notice is pinned up. The notice
reads, “The club will not accept responsibility for any loss suffered
by customers”. At their first dance class, the dance instructor, Paul,
who also owns the club, demonstrates an energetic step and falls over,
knocking Robert to the ground. Robert’s arm is broken and his Rolex
watch is damaged beyond repair. When Lucy goes to the cloakroom to get
her coat, she finds her coat has been stolen.
Advise Robert and Lucy as to any contractual claim they may have.
I will begin by looking at the contractual claim Lucy has in respect
to the loss of her coat.
Lucy’s claim could be based most suitably on the area of Contract law
known as incorporation, and perhaps negligence. Dealing first with
For a clause to form part of a contract it must be effectively
incorporated into it. The basic rule of incorporation is that there
has to be sufficient notice of the terms before a contract is
completed or they will not form part of it. The contract between Lucy
and the club was concluded when she accepted the offer of dance
lessons, paid her money, and received her receipt. It was at that
moment the terms and conditions of the contract were decided and
became fixed, meaning any further terms either party tried to
incorporate would have no effect within the original contract. It was
the dance club who then attempted to include a clause excluding their
liability for loss. At no point up to the signing of the contract had
Lucy been made aware of these additional conditions the club wished to
impose within the contract. Lucy hadn’t been given sufficient notice
of the terms and consequently the clause doesn’t pass the rule for
incorporation and doesn’t form part of the contract Lucy has with the
club. She is in a strong position to claim against the club on this
basis. To analyse the validity of this, Lucy’s position can be
compared to that of Mrs. Olley in the case of Olley v Marlborough
Court Ltd. Mrs Olley made a contract to stay in a hotel, the contract
made at the reception desk on arrival. Mrs.Olley was taken to her room
which inside had a sign purporting to exclude the hotel’s liability
for theft of guests’ property. Mrs. Olley returned to her room one day
to discover her coat had been stolen through the hotels negligence,
and sought to claim loss from the hotel, who attempted to rely on its
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Salsa is a distillation of many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances. Each played a large part in its evolution.
Salsa is similar to Mambo in that both have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The dances share many of the same moves.
In Salsa, turns have become an important feature, so the overall look and feel are quite different form those of Mambo. Mambo moves generally forward and backward, whereas, Salsa has more of a side to side feel.
A look at the origin of Salsa
Written by: Jaime Andrés Pretell
It is not only Cuban; nevertheless we must give credit to Cuba for the origin and ancestry of creation. It is here where Contra-Danze (Country Dance) of England/France, later called Danzón, which was brought by the French who fled from Haiti, begins to mix itself with Rhumbas of African origin (Guaguanco, Colombia, Yambú). Add Són of the Cuban people, which was a mixture of the Spanish troubadour (sonero) and the African drumbeats and flavora and a partner dance flowered to the beat of the clave.
This syncretism also occurred in smaller degrees and with variations in other countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Puerto Rico, among others. Bands of these countries took their music to Mexico City in the era of the famous films of that country (Perez Prado, most famous ...). Shortly after, a similar movement to New York occurred. In these two cities, more promotion and syncretism occurred and more commercial music was generated because there was more investment.
New York created the term "Salsa", but it did not create the dance. The term became popular as nickname to refer to a variety of different music, from several countries of Hispanic influence: Rhumba, Són Montuno, Guaracha, Mambo, Cha cha cha, Danzón, Són, Guguanco, Cubop, Guajira, Charanga, Cumbia, Plena, Bomba, Festejo, Merengue, among others. Many of these have maintained their individuality and many were mixed creating "Salsa".
If you are listening to today's Salsa, you are going to find the base of són, and you are going to hear Cumbia, and you are going to hear Guaracha. You will also hear some old Merengue, built-in the rhythm of different songs. You will hear many of the old styles somewhere within the modern beats. Salsa varies from site to site.
In New York, for example, new instrumentalization and extra percussion were added to some Colombian songs so that New Yorkers - that dance mambo "on the two" - can feel comfortable dancing to the rhythm and beat of the song, because the original arrangement is not one they easily recognize.
This is called "finishing", to enter the local market. This "finish" does not occur because the Colombian does not play Salsa, but it does not play to the rhythm of the Puerto Rican/Post-Cuban Salsa. I say Post-Cuban, because the music of Cuba has evolved towards another new and equally flavorful sound.
Then, as a tree, Salsa has many roots and many branches, but one trunk that unites us all. The important thing is that Salsa is played throughout the Hispanic world and has received influences of many places within it. It is of all of us and it is a sample of our flexibility and evolution.
If you think that a single place can take the credit for the existence of Salsa, you are wrong.
And if you think that one style of dance is better, imagine that the best dancer of a style, without his partner, goes to dance with whomever he can find, in a club where a different style predominates. He wouldn't look as good as the locals. Each dancer is accustomed to dance his/her own style.
None is better, only different. Viva la variedad, Viva la Salsa!
Oral Interview of ISRAEL LÓPEZ "CACHAO"
Highlights by FRANK M. FIGUEROA
The interviewer asked Cachao what he thought about salsa music and performers who called themselves salseros. His answer, which is typical of most of the "old guard" musicians, was a total repudiation of the term. As far as he is concerned it is all Cuban music and salsa is a term that has more relation to the kitchen than to music. He jokingly said that there should be a law against anybody calling himself a salsero.
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