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Dancing with others... how to "fit in" and/or become a better dancer...

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Dancing with others... how to "fit in" and/or become a better dancer...

Post  Admin on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:21 pm

Dancing with others... how to "fit in" and/or become a better dancer...

by Rose Lau (aka Rose Knows...)
January, 2001


Let me share my experiences of how to "fit in" and/or become a better dancer so you can start dancing with the "more advanced" dancers.
Obviously unless you have friends who dance salsa already, you have to be pretty brave to "stick it out" until you make new friends to "hang with" in the clubs.

When I first started, I hardly knew anyone in the salsa scene; and I would go to the clubs on my own. It was tough because I was "new to the scene" and was too shy to go up to guys myself and ask them. I would watch on the sidelines on the one or two nights I went out and would wait for the guys to ask. Then luckily from the dance classes I was taking, I started to meet people who regularly went dancing in the clubs and we would go out religiously one or two nights a week and have a blast. After about a year, most of them dropped out of the scene and I was stuck again, not knowing anyone. I went to the clubs by myself; but because I didn't have the nerve to ask guys to dance, I would go home "not happy" as I couldn't get my salsa fix. I realized that if I wanted to get my fix I would have to start getting the nerve up to ask guys to dance; so I decided that I would ask any guy who I thought was a "great dancer", a teacher or was a dance competitor. They didn't all say "Yes", but that didn't stop me from asking someone else. After all, if guys can handle rejection, so could I.

When I made that decision, it was a turning point in my dancing for these reasons:

1. From dancing with so many male dancers, I learned to adjust my reaction time as a "follower" to their lead, which made me more desirable as a dance partner.

2. With some dancers, I formed a "dance connection" right away, or surprised them with the fact that I could "follow" so well. They became my new regulars each week and sometimes we would dance whole salsa sets together cause there wasn't anyone else at the club that night who we bonded with.

3. As I started going to the classes or workshops with the more "dedicated" dancers, I also got to meet some new great male dancers that I normally hadn't seen or met in the clubs before. And when we saw each other again, we would ask each other to dance.

4. As I got to know my "regulars", I also took the initiative to talk to the male dancers who were interested in practicing or learning new moves and we would get together for an hour or two on a regular basis and practice what we had learned already or work from a dance instructional tape.

5. To become really proficient at salsa, you can't expect to be great from one or two nights a week -- most of my friends, male and female, dance consistently for hours at least 3-4 nights week at the club, plus take dance classes/workshops for at least 6 months to a year, depending on your dance background.

In other words, you can't just stand around and expect to "fit in", you have to work at it. If you want to dance with "more advanced" dancers, then you have to take the initiative yourself and analyze why they may not want to dance with you.
Can you dance their style?
Can you give them their fix?
If not, then take some classes or workshops or maybe you just need to find a partner who wants to practice and become a "more advanced" dancer.

For the men, learn how to lead well. And that doesn't mean a "tug of war" -- there is an art to leading. Some of the best male dancers have a lead that is so precise and feels "like butter" when we dance. It's all up to you -- it's your choice whether to take action or just stand around.

And maybe one day soon, you'll form your own "circle" of dancers/friends you like to dance with --

Admin
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