I have two great friends named Bern and Kirah who are avid salsa dancers.  I enjoy salsa but only go out with them maybe twice a year. (I would go more often but I get fussy from all the sweaty men pulling on my arms and trying to dip me – but when I say this to Bern and Kirah they just laugh.) Recently Kirah clued me into a really great term in salsa called a “shine.”  A shine is basically a moment when the dancer steps away from her partner and does some little unique steps or posing outside of the normal salsa steps.  I love this word! And I love the implications. I’ve decided to appropriate it for my own use. The Shine. A moment outside of the norm.  A moment when the spirit shines through the dance. You can see where I’m going with this.  Well, today I explored the shine.  Put together a few of my own shines.  My puzzle today was, “how can I use the ‘shine’ in other forms of dance? How can I play with the idea that there are moments that can step out of the rest of the dance. Moments that can be shiny. 

I’ve asked Kirah to come up with some salsa shines that she can teach a group of us dancers.  She and I are planning to collaborate on a little salsa suelta. Hopefully we’ll be showing them here soon.


About Holly Shaw

Holly Shaw is a San Francisco Bay Area dancer and choreographer who has performed as a soloist with Yaelisa and Caminos Flamencos off and on for several years. Shaw is the creator of the Eve’s Elixir project, a platform for artists of contemporary world dance wanting to bring new ideas to traditional dance forms, and has produced several shows in San Francisco. Her flow between contemporary modern dance, flamenco and Middle-eastern styles makes her a unique choreographer. Shaw has spent years training Bay Area dancers in technique and improvisation, challenging them to dance from a deeper level and uncover their unique style.

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