I wish I had these tips when I first started dancing that I am about to tell you.
The tips that I wish I heard from my dance instructor that could have helped me have a better time, learn faster…honestly it would have helped me get out of my own way and get a more richer and fuller experience out of dancing.
More than any dance moves, more than any tricks you want to learn, dancing in Salsa, Bachata, any style of partner work dancing, below are the tips to help you feel like you #belong on the dance floor.
Tip 1: Moves don’t matter, energy matters: When I first started dancing, I was so worried about messing up my moves…which I did a lot…so worried about my partner not being happy with me that…guess what? I created this cloud of energy of self-consciousness and insecurity. After dancing over 10000+ songs over the last 12+ years I have learned, dance partner appreciate a positive energy more than any fancy trick. So, be kind to yourself, that self critical voice inside your head that always speaks harshly…it just ruins the experience for you, for your partner(s) and be honest, people notice our energy before they notice our skills. So when you dance, just go in with the mentality “I am here to have fun”.
Tip 2: As a leader, your job is to serve your partner: Oh my gosh, I lost count of the number of times I would want to impress my partner hoping they would smile. Often doing moves that were harder than they could follow. All I got out of it? Followers that left the dance floor feeling frustrated with themselves that they couldn’t keep up. Like in Life, a great leader, wants to see their followers win. A great leader doesn’t care about themselves but only focuses on serving the people that follow. Apply that in your dancing. Your job as a leader to is LEAD not bully them into moves, not force your needs on them. Once that switched in my head…I started to find more people wanted to dance with me. I found more followers left with a smile…even if all we did was basics and single turns.
Tip 3: As a follower, practice listening: Have you ever been with a friend and all they do is talk about themselves? Maybe you had a bad day and you just want to let something off your shoulders and they just keep bringing it back to them? How about they keep interrupting you and guessing what you are going to say and interrupt your flow? As I had to learn to be a better follower I learned that, like a great friend, a great follower listens and doesn’t predict what’s coming. They stay in the moment, turn off the brain from what they want. The best dances I had were with partners (beginners, intermediate, level never mattered) that were PRESENT with me. I felt them not looking around the room, being distracted, not rushing when I led something. They made me feel safe, I felt they trusted me, connection can’t happen if you have two leaders battling for attention. 🙂
Gang, I have so many more tips I can give but just applying one of these 3 will have a transformative effect on your dancing. The common thing is your mental game in dancing more than tricks in how to do a move better.
Remember if you have more questions please contact me! There are so many more tips that I want to share with you! If you have a question, please message me on Instagram (torontodancesalsa), on Twitter (#torontodancesalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected]