Salsa Dips – How to Make Better Dips as A Leader
I assume you’ve been dancing for at least some time. Otherwise, I would never encourage beginner students to do Salsa dips. There is too much potential for injury if you don’t know what you are doing. Therefore, with a big disclaimer, I want to share some pointers that will help you execute safe dips that look great and feel smooth to the follower.
Salsa Dips Shouldn’t Feel like a Fall
You push the button, and the elevator goes down. In a good elevator, you don’t feel that drop, right? You don’t feel the elevator going up or down. You look up, and you only see the numbers increasing or decreasing. That’s how a dip should feel.
One of the most common mistakes I made as a leader was turning my partner from a cross-body lead into a dip that would always feel like a sudden drop. Though that might be exciting for some followers, It’s scary for most. So consequently, I’ve learned that resisting the fall and lowering her is a better experience for followers. And also, it’s safer for you because if you have too much momentum and you’re tossing your partner and your partner doesn’t know how to hold their core to support themselves, you can injure your neck, your shoulders or your lower back.
Being at the Right Place at the Right Time
I wish my instructor had told me that half of your body needs to be further ahead of your partner whenever you do a Salsa dips as leader. This position is hard to explain without an in-person demonstration. When you are getting ready to dip a partner, you turn them, and then you bring them down; you should have your left foot where your partner’s head is. So your body is further ahead while your partner’s torso is in the center of your core. This precaution makes a dip safer for you and your partner because you have more support.
To illustrate further, think of it as doing a deadlift. You want to be at the center of the bar to have the weight evenly distributed.
Focus on the Hands
A common misconception is that when you do a Salsa dip, leaders should dip with their followers. So when you bend down, you lower your hands, and the torso follows. There are some dips like that, but most of them, the good ones, are where the leader stays upright, and only the hands come down.
Suppose your partner loses balance or doesn’t know how to hold their core from this position; you can pull them back because you’re upright.
And finally, as a bonus tip, just remember, don’t do Salsa dips on people that you’ve never danced with before. My general rule of thumb is I dance with someone, and if I feel comfortable with my follower and they feel comfortable with me, I will do a dip in the next song. Why? Because dips can be dangerous and scary, I want to ensure I have trust and comfort with my partner.
Dips are an incredibly fun and exciting part of Salsa. So use these tips and level up your Dance Salsa Like a Pro.
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