As discussed in my previous blog post last week Ana Tinajero Massicot from Masacote Entertainment, an international salsa instructor and performer, has given me some great advice to pass on to our readers. It is interesting to note that Ana’s answers are similar to Super Mario’s answers so this common thread may assist you to improve your dancing and inspire you to move to the next level.

Here is the first excerpt from the interview:

SG – “What is the most important piece of advice you can offer a person learning how to dance?”

ATM – “Have fun! Dancing is about having a good time. Many times people begin to take it too seriously and forget why they started in the first place. That doesn’t mean don’t work hard…The beauty of salsa is that it doesn’t matter how much you learn, there is always something MORE. It is a much more challenging dance than people think when they start out, so many times people let frustrations get the best of them and they give up.

Just work hard, practice hard, and focus, but when you step out on that dance floor, don’t forget that your Number One priority is to have fun and enjoy yourself.”

SG – “Are there any things students should avoid doing in their development?”

ATM – “Most students want to conquer the world in one day instead of finding a focus. I would recommend to focus on one timing…Be it on 1, on 2, on 3….But focus on one of them until you get comfortable with it. Then, begin to expand into other timings. Salsa is just a language with many dialects. There is some similarity between all the timings, but if you try to learn them all at once, you can easily confuse yourself. Try to find one focus, but once you are able to expand, definitely DO IT! You never want to limit your partners, so it is great to learn and understand all the other timings possible.

Also, try to avoid staying in a clique. That is the biggest mistake most people make…They take classes, meet people in the classes, go out as a group, and dance only with themselves. That creates 2 problems….1) You don’t get to learn the art of adaptation. Salsa is about learning to connect with people whom you’ve never danced with before. 2) The salsa scene grows into a nice little slump of a community. The more open people are with each other and the more interaction they have with others from the community, the more the salsa community can grow together and create a healthy environment for newcomers. Just sit back and watch it blossom. This invariably helps the dancers in the community grow too.

Of course, I’m not saying not to go out with friends. By all means, find a group of people to go out with, make it a group trip, and dance with each other at the clubs, but don’t just stick to dancing with each other. Branch out and dance with others you haven’t met before.”

More with Ana over the next few weeks. In the meantime, check out some videos of Ana on her website Masacote Entertainment.