Three things a Beginner Salsa Dancer Must Learn

You are a complete beginner and you are joining the amazing and beautiful world of Salsa dancing, but you are not sure where to get started. I’m here to help make sure that you have a great experience,whichever school you join. By the end of this blog my goal is to make you feel confident with yourself because a confident person is a competent dancer. So here are three things a beginner must learn to feel confident.

  1. Basics.

In the very first Salsa class you will spend quite a bit of time on the basics. That’s where everything starts.To do the forward and back, leaders will step forward on the left foot, in place with the right foot and bring your feet together.  That’s your one, two, three count and then on four there is a pause. On five you step back with your right foot, in place with your left foot on six and bring your feet together on eight and then there is another pause on eight. One of the best hacks I share in my classes is to think of the rhythm for the song “We Will Rock You” by Queen. That is the rhythm of Salsa and something you can practice on your own even before your first class.

A common mistake that beginners make is thinking that in order to learn Salsa they have to learn the tricks, the turns and the patterns. But that’s not true, Salsa is about learning how to stay upright on a bike and just pedal. Don’t worry about the tricks. They will come later.  If you can do your basics, you can dance Salsa.

  1. The Right Turn

The most important turn, the turn that will be done the most, whether you are a beginner or a professional dancer is the right turn. So when you join any school, definitely, you want to pick that up. At our classes, we learn the right turn in our first hour of a beginner class because we realize its importance. It’s something that we do up to level six. It’s something that professionals do.  It is the Swiss Army knife of Salsa turns – useful in any situation.

Here’s a couple of hints. Remember to take small steps and twist with your belly button. When I was learning, my instructor used to tell me to turn with my core. That was really confusing for me. So, in my classes, I say you turn with your belly button. Not with your feet.  Imagine this. If someone taps you on the shoulder, would you bring your foot behind your back and twist with your feet? Or would you just twist your torso and swivel around? I imagine that you’re smiling and saying. Yeah. Okay, it’s the torso.  And that’s the answer. Turn with your torso. This will boost your confidence instantly.

  1. Crossbody Lead

The crossbody lead is where as a leader, you take a follower across the room and if you’re a follower, you would be taken across the room. It’s the most critical and most used move. IAside from the basics and the right turn this move is the most critical. Once you learn this move, you and your partner can flow across the dance floor. It is amazing. It feels like a whole new world has opened up.

There are a couple of hints that will help. For leaders you must remember to use your connection to the follower’s body. That’s your right hand to their shoulder blades to carry them across. Followers please remember that you never want to leave your partner. So take small steps.

There are a lot more tips I can share. And a lot of this will make more sense when you join your first Salsa class. The most important thing is to come with the right mindset, which is to have fun, to play and to connect with people. Because when you have all of that, the learning just becomes natural and you don’t feel overwhelmed.

I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you come in week to week, have fun, connect with new friends and let loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.

If you have any questions you would like me to answer here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodanceSalsa), on Twitter (#torontodanceSalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].