Actually, nothing could be more convincing than the innocent and spontaneous laugh from a carioca children when they see a gringo international ballroom dancer and their "samba" essay. No matter how graduate he was, this dancer would feel lonely and helpless like an anthropologist scholar facing the real culture, when he is not able to appeal to the numb comfort of their textbooks, or run to the settled approval of their own teachers and judges. But this laugh has no discursive power, and it would fall under the vacuum of the history margin. International ballroom will continue to spread their version of dance with misleading nomenclature. The result is the impoverishment of the values that they once admired in the first place. Its hard to understand why, but the same prior passionate european filled with desire to learn the ginga and the heat spirit of Brazil and Caribbean, turn into dogmatic colonizers, all defensive, defending their right to shit their own rules over other cultures, and resisting against the simple call for them to start listening and learn. Real study is something that demands to get out of your comfort zone. In the case of latin-american dances, there is a whole universe of expression to be discovered. The suggestion that international dancers would have any technical advantage due to their ballet influences and tradition is at the minimum naive, and the worst case scenario, a blow of pure prejudice. Its also a misunderstanding of what "technique" means: the technicality should reflect the spirit and personality of the dance, and not the other way around. Latin-american dances are not only independent sources of techniques, but also sources of techniques that have matured alongside with decades of exposure to the music, the feeling, the spirit and the personality that created the singular beat and swing approach of each dance - samba, rumba, tango, etc. To try to impose ballet structures to read this mature and independent traditions is ridiculous, to use the best word to described it. To invoke ballet or waltz as the great advantages of international ballroom dancers to dance Latin is the same as to invoke classical musical education as a edge to play jazz. It could be a contribution, but never an edge.
In this blog i will reinforce the necessity to think about this dance colonization as a political outrageous, something that would not be tolerate in music, literature, but, for some reason, it is still common in dance. One of my aims is to educate about the technical richness of Brazilian dances, recovering our confidence to speak for ourselves and for our own culture. This way i can contribute to the latin-american dance studies that still do not exist, but that is necessary to set us free from the discursive imperialism of the international community.