Salsa Cliques
By Salsero, Jeff Camilo, aka "Don Fiti"

"Do you belong to a Salsa Clique? Are Salsa cliques a benefit or are they a detriment to the Salsa World?

I am reminded of the Biblical tale of the Tower of Babel. Everyone was trying to build a Tower to reach Heaven and the only way God sought to stop this was to divide everyone by changing their languages so that they could not communicate. Hence, the Tower ceased to grow.

In this day and age I see what I would like to call the Tower of Salsa. The more we try to share with the rest of the world this fascinating music the more obstacles pop up to hinder the spread of Salsa.

If it isn’t the Casino Rueda Groups who have created a very sophisticated type of dancing, it’s the little Salsa clique’s that have proliferated onto the scene, which come with rules and regulation. The worst part of it is that now we have certain individuals who what to infringe on other individuals rights to express themselves based on those individuals sexual orientation or preferences. What is this Salsa World coming to? I can only hear the echo of the six words uttered by Rodney King that were heard across the world, “Can’t we all just get along?”.

We are our own worst enemies. We invite people into our Salsa homes and then we separate them at the door. I believe that people who get together as groups in order to compete against each other is good for Salsa. It demands that the dancing become better and more refined. However, to not even associate it with other groups or intermingle with them for the purpose of entertaining the public at large is just plain wrong.

Everyone seems to be on a quest to capture the spotlight, and once they have got it they hang on for dear life. Why is it that people won’t share this illusive spotlight? Why do people get angry when someone who has an alternative lifestyle captures the spotlight?

As a Salsero from the heart it is disappointing to learn of all the division that is going on in the Salsa scene. I see the Tower of Salsa endangered. What is needed more than anything, to ensure Salsa’s longevity, is unity. My suggestion is this: tear down the barriers that have hardly had a chance to become unbreakable. Companies, groups, clique’s, etc, should unite for the sake of charity and thereby strengthen Salsa’s place in history as the humanitarian art of expression.

Many say “Que Viva La Salsa” those are words to live by if you truly love this music.
- By Fiti 2000