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The 5 Biggest Misconceptions About Salsa Dancing

Posted by Danijela on June 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM

 I really like this guy and his articles, and therefore I am sharing with you! :D




The 5 Biggest Misconceptions About Salsa Dancing

 Author: Todd

 MISCONCEPTION 1: Only latinos and naturally gifted dancers can learn salsa

Anyone who attends a salsa congress or goes to salsa socials will know that latinos are now the minority of the salsa scene. Salsa has also become immensely popular internationally in countries like China, the UK, and Australia. Most salsa dancers have normal jobs like engineers, programmers, bankers, bartenders. You don't need to be specially gifted with a dance gene or born into a latino family to learn salsa. The learning process is part of the fun. Joining a dance school is a great way to meet people and you become a part of a close community of friends who share a common interest.

MISCONCEPTION 2: I just feel the music. The music tells me what to do.

This is often an excuse used by people who are insecure about their lack of technique. They accuse trained dancers for being too technical and not feeling the music. The problem with this kind of thinking is that expressing yourself to the music is only one part of the salsa equation. If you're only dancing by yourself then feel free to do whatever you feel like. We all know that salsa is a partner dance NOT a freestyle solo dance. It's not just about your personal individual expression. It also needs to be an act of connecting with your partner so that you express the music TOGETHER. This connection cannot happen when one person does not know how to lead/follow. Remember that it takes two to tango! This is why people go to a dance studio to train, because an instructor will be able to give you guidance about the proper way to lead/follow.

MISCONCEPTION 3: I don't need classes, the man should be able to lead me

I hear this from women who learned to salsa through social dancing. I personally know somebody who is a world famous instructor and only took one beginner class her whole life. She is the exception to the rule. This method would not work for 90% of the people I know who need things broken down for them. What I find from dancing with girls who are untrained is that they expect the guy to do all the work when a dance should feel like a 50/50 partnership. A good follower is light and easy to lead and this is where I think everyone follower can benefit from classes.

MISCONCEPTION 4: He/She is an amazing dancer therefore they must also be a great instructor

This probably the most untrue statement of them all. I have found the opposite to be true most of the time. Being a good dancer requires a completely different mindset than being a good instructor. The focus has to go from your own performance and technique to developing the skills of your students. A good instructor also needs to be able to think like a beginner and this is the achilles heel for most experienced dancers who tend to teach fast and are unable to empathize with students who require more time. When picking a good instructor, don't look at their ability to dance. Pay attention to their communication skills and also their temperament. Are they teaching because they like helping people or are they just trying to pay the bills? Are they patient with students? Do they teach at a pace that their students can follow? Have they put a lot of thought into breaking down the steps in a logical manner?

MISCONCEPTION 5: I have to be really really good before I can go social dancing

2 or 3 lessons from a good instructor is all you need for your first salsa party. It's okay if you don't have everything together yet. Most of the dancers out there are still learning just like you. There are always beginners at every salsa party I've ever been to. You will have no problem finding people on the same level to dance with. The best way to improve is to take what you are learning in salsa classes and apply it on the dance floor. Relax and don't worry so much about what other people think. Remember salsa above all is about having fun!

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