HOW TO LEARN, IMPROVE, BECOME A BETTER SALSA DANCER

Do you REALLY want to become an excellent salsa dancer?

 

1. Learn to see what your weaknesses are. Recognize them. It's the first step to get better. By putting your head in the sand, by quitting salsa, by moving to other possibly 'easier' dances you won't work on those weaknesses, you'll just avoid them.

2. Don't stop. Don't switch to other dances. If you really want to be an excellent salsa dancer it'll take you years. Of course all respect for the many people who just want to 'do it for fun' and don't mean to become excellent. But if you do want to become excellent: keep on going. Keep on practising, keep on going to classes, workshops, parties. Find ways to keep your motivation going. Again, find what your weak points are and try to work on them. Of course it doesn't mean you shouldn't dance other styles but don't abandon salsa because it's too hard (or because you make yourself believe the other style is 'cooler').

3. Try to get to know the music. No, you don't need to be a music expert to be a good dancer. But it helps. It will only make your motivation stronger and it will keep you going for years and years. We are dancing on music, not on beats ... It will ask an effort because Latin music is usually not what we have grown up with, it's hardly on the radio etc. Get to know it, it's worth the effort cause the Latin music is a fantastic playground. How? Start for instance here: http://www.leuvensalsa.com/dp/node/335.

4. Progress is different for every person and for every level.

Beginners need to find good classes and practise a lot. Try to overcome shyness and try to feel more 'at home' in this whole thing. Go to parties, agree with others to go together.

After a while some other specific classes can be useful: ladies' styling classes for the ladies, body movement classes. Repeat a lot. Work on the basics as much as you can. If you get the chance to take extra classes for free as extra leader or follower, go for it.

After a year, two years. Make sure you know what your weaknesses are. The fact that you're dancing one or two years doesn't mean much. You're maybe an advanced in your city but in fact you're still a beginner for many aspects. Body movement classes, musicality classes, on2 classes will probably help you to improve and become more complete. At this stage many people start to believe they are advanced, can't learn much anymore and are less open to advices or comments of others (teachers or not). Dancing one or two years doesn't mean much. If you're playing soccer, tennis, playing chess only since a couple of years, you're not a beginner anymore but you're also certainly not an advancer player so why would it be different in salsa?

5. Keep the flame burning. It is normal that every now and then you're less crazy about salsa or about dance in general. Don't force it, if you really like it it'll come back anyway. Find ways to keep the motivation going: go to parties in other cities, go to festivals, try on2, change teacher or class, listen to Latin music, participate in a show team.

6. Progress is different for every person. So ask advice if you're doubting, from your teachers. They should know what good options there are for you.

7. Learn the rules, master the rules, break the rules. First get to know the rules really well, then break them, make your own thing out of it. Don't believe all your teacher is saying, don't believe all I'm saying, I'm just giving my 50 cents, think for yourself and make your own style!


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