WHAT MAKES A GOOD SALSA DANCER?
Gang, over the years of dancing as a leader and follower, I’ve learned tricks that I want to share with you. Believe it or not, if you follow the following three tips, you will be a sought-after dancer.
So from the leader’s perspective, here are three things that you want to do to offer an enjoyable experience to every dancing partner.
One: Dancing on the beat.
When I first started dancing, I was constantly off-beat, and I’m sure it was painful for my followers. I didn’t have rhythm; I didn’t dance on beat. Despite so many people trying to teach it to me, it took me some time to find a simple way to practice dancing to the beat and now I teach it to my students. The easiest way to learn to dance on beat in Salsa is by listening to more Salsa music and exposing yourself to it constantly.
As a general rule, when the music rises, the singer starts going up in vocals, and the instruments get a little more energetic. That’s the “ON ONE” beat. So that’s the one that you start with.
On a very special note, we are talking about dancing on beat to LA Salsa, also called dancing “On One,” but even If you’re dancing to a different beat, for example, New York-style, which is also known as danging “On Two”, you can still apply those rules.
Our website has a beginner-friendly playlist, and if you play it, it’s the easiest way to know what the beat is. Ultimately, it’s asking for feedback from your partners when you’re out social dancing. I used to ask my follower to let me know if I was off-beat, and with that help, lots of work and lots of listening. You can get there.
Two: Continue improving the basics.
After all these years of dancing, I continue attending Conventions and Congresses, and one of my goals is to polish my basics by asking the masters of dance to review how I am doing my basic steps and my basic turns. In addition, I ask them to clean up my foundation because being a smooth Salsa leader requires refining the timing and getting the exact moment for each move.
Do you know the most significant benefit of refining the art of getting your basics down? You can take a beginner, not confident themselves and amazingly lead them, and they’ll feel great. That’s the benefit, giving someone the best experience possible while feeling the joy of doing something you love.
I see a lot of students of mine coming back to level one to clean up their basics because ultimately, the first time you learn anything, you just know the surface level, and as you go back and do it again, you realize that there are many gaps, little things you missed that you get to now clean up. So it’s the eternal game of growth.
Three: You’re there to serve.
The mistake I made when I would go out dancing to clubs was to focus on trying new moves without considering if my partner was ready to try them. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it is the truth. What I learned over the years is that the best experience is when your dancing partner feels good about themselves. And so when you’re dancing with someone, don’t focus on yourself, alone. Instead, think that you as a leader are there to serve your partner, and sometimes it means just smiling and encouraging them, not overwhelming them. Although each person is different, you will grow in ability and sensibility to lead effectively and caring by meeting them where they are and lovingly encouraging them to grow. Moreover, your partner will walk away from you with a smile and want to keep coming back to you because you made them feel good.
And I think that’s important anywhere in life. We are always most happy when we serve others, and it’s no different in dance. It’s just you and your partner; get there to connect and have a good time.
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].