About smiling :-)

Question: do you prefer to dance with someone who smiles and enjoys himself or herself or would you prefer someone who just does 123567? :-)

Dancing in an expressive way. Musicality. Making accents. Dancing with attitude. Smiling. Looking at the person you're dancing with. Interacting. Playing with the music. Having fun. Enjoying the dance. Interacting with your dance partner's moves. Looking up.

One can give it many names but in the end it all comes back to the same things ... We should be able to get to that level in our dancing in which we don't have to think anymore about the 'steps' and 'what to do' and when to do it. We should get our minds free of all these thoughts ('i need to dance on the 1', 'i want to go to that hand hold', 'i have to follow oh my God i have to follow,what does he want me to do??' etc etc) so that ... a smile appears again on our face and we can start having fun, listening to the music, interacting with the partner etc.

Everyone prefers to dance with someone who's smiling every now and then, right? It gives you the impression (or illusiion ;-)) that the partner is enjoying dancing with you. And it's much more stimulating to have someone enjoying the music right in front of you. As opposed to a partner doing 123567, cross, cross inside, turn, 123567 again, cross, cross block etc etc etc etc.

So how can you keep that smile on your face? How can you have the time to listen to the music and maybe interact with it? How can you be more expressive?

In fact we have a lot of expressivity inside of us, instinct, spontaneous ways of moving. When you ask absolute beginners to dance or to just move on salsa music (or any other music) you will regularly see a lot of creativity and very personal, 'special' ways of moving. These people are still 'innocent' ... Their minds are not yet full of the instructions of a salsa teacher with what to do and what not to do. Afterwards i'm often sorry to see that this spontaneity gets lost a bit. Salsa becomes then a kind of a 'corset' in which they try to fit and they loose spontaneity because of it.

So to answer my own questions ... In order to be more expressive, it takes several things. It means not making your leading that complex that you can't breath anymore and she can't breath anymore either. The simplicity of your moves will free your minds and your smiles (;-)). Of course as you will learn more techniques, as you will take more classes or go out more, that simplicity will change. What's complicated for a beginner is not complicated anymore for an intermediate dancer. So allow her to breath on the dance floor and breath yourself, keep it as simple as you can manage. Compare it with running: they always say you should be able to speak when you're running, otherwise you're running too fast. Well in salsa, if you are not able to smile, listen to the music, make some accents here and there, etc etc, it probably means you're going 'too fast'. Or it means you need to take more classes :-).

So it's a double (or triple or more) thing really: one can loose expressivity by taking classes and one can gain expressivity from taking classes.

Paul Baarn and Caroline Menya have many qualities, as dancers and as teachers. One of them for sure is their 'fun' on the dance floor, their expressivity, the smiles ... So having them over here in Leuven for a boot camp on expressivity is a good opportunity to increase your quantities of smiles on the dance floor, your seconds of interaction with music and partner, your units of fun ;-).

Express yourself boot camp with Paul Baarn and Caroline Menya, Saturday 28th of May, 1.30pm-7.10pm. Enrol beforehand.

Express yourself LeuvenSalsa! party in Redingenhof (great title isn't it? ;-)), Sat 28th of May, starting 8pm till 3am.

Jami Josephson boot camp, Sunday 5th of June, 3-7.55pm.

Extra party in Café Manger that same evening (Café Manger, Oude Markt 29, Leuven) from 9pm till 1am.

Samba de gafieira/salsa boot camp, Saturday 18th of June
with Anderson Mendes & Vanessa Jardim

LeuvenSalsa! party in Redingenhof that same evening.

Salsa in Toscana holidays
13-23rd of July with Paul Baarn, Janet Baarn, Carl Hourcau, Bram 'El Chico', Virginia Cambri, Gianni Bellaveglia.

23rd of July-2nd of August with Gaëtan Collaert, Caroline Menya, Fouad Agharas, Aris Siti, El Chico, Virginia Cambri, Gianni Bellaveglia.

2-12th of August with Didier Ukanda, Catherine Bonder, Georg Kapeller, Bob Raes, Gianni Bellaveglia, Virginia Cambri.

Info on http://www.salsaintoscana.com/

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