10 Dance Tips for Couples Learning how to Dance Salsa

Sports & RecreationsHobbies

  • Author Esteban Conde
  • Published November 15, 2020
  • Word count 988

As you finally head down to the dance studio to take your first dance lesson, it will be your first step to starting a new and exciting journey! This experience on its own can be very rewarding or very disappointing depending on your approach. Here are a few tips on learning how to dance with your partner.

  1. First of all, I would like to ask the ladies to be patient with their dance partner. In my experience as the owner and master instructor of OC Salsa, I have seen a common trend with students who are learning as a couple in which there is friction between the two causing the joyful experience of learning how to dance not so joyful. This usually occurs because as a follower, the lady has less multitasking to focus on than the leader (man). This causes men to feel they are not getting it and become frustrated. Both ladies and men need to have patience since it takes time to learn something new.

2.     Leading is difficult! This can be a very frustrating process at the beginning as men have the responsibility of multitasking on the dance floor by having to think about their own steps, coordinating their arms and hands to turn the lady in order to do all the fun moves, all while focusing on the rhythm of the music. That is a lot to learn and is not that easy. It is a skill that takes time to perfect and can be a fun process if you understand it. You can celebrate the little or big victories together when you get a dance move right, be patient and understanding when it's not there yet. When the lady supports and compliments her man, they will both see dramatic improvements and fast results which brings me to the next point...

3.     Build his confidence. We men are already self-conscious when it comes to dancing. It is definitely not our area of expertise. When taking a class, or practicing, the lady should compliment what he does making him feel like he is doing a great job. The more confident he is the better he will get and the more you will both enjoy it. The lady needs to be like a coach and encourage him to become a better dancer. Men, stick with it and don’t give up as you will come out a winner especially with your lady.

4.     Ladies, following is easier. Most of the time ladies tend to anticipate the move and want to take control of the dance leading part. Please avoid this and leave the leading to the leader. If you can do this, you will adhere to your role of a follower and he will feel that you are not rushing or getting ahead of him which could make him fumble his next move causing him to get frustrated. Follow everything which includes the good, the bad, and the ugly (moves). This will help you become a better follower.

5.     Once again...Following is a lot easier! Ladies are not required to know what the next step or move is. They just need to allow the leader to lead them through the dance moves during the dance class. Ladies, please remember that because it will be easier for you to learn how to salsa dance, you will automatically assume it is easy for him also and may lose patience. Once he feels that, he will tend to relate the dance class or dancing with an experience that is not so much fun for him. Dance classes and coming to a dance studio should always be an amazing experience for the both of you!

6.     Practice makes perfect. Practicing what you learn at your salsa dance class and how you practice is very important. It is a lot better to practice 10 minutes a day than one hour a week. It’s about repetition and consistency to train your body and brain. Otherwise you will not progress and just keep revisiting and re-learning the same dance moves. You will also not get your money's worth!

7.     Make dance practice fun! Ladies, play dance music at home and have fun by practicing what you have learned in your dance class. Do not make practice feel like work, not only will your partner be discouraged, but so will you. Pick your favorite songs to dance to, and make your living room a personal salsa club.

8.     Choose the right dance studio and the right instructor. Whether you learn in a private dance class or group class, you should be looking forward to your dance class.  Make sure you feel comfortable and motivated, because having fun is what it is all about. Being able to dance socially without thinking about each move takes time. Picking the right place is the most important step. If you do not feel comfortable with a specific dance studio or instructor, keep looking until you find the right match.

9.     Make a commitment. Once you find a dance studio and instructor that you like, make the commitment and apply yourself to learn. Make reasonable goals and promise each other that you will continue until you meet your goals. Timelines and goals are very important because it keeps you moving in the right direction! If you are just starting, a suggested goal would be to dance together with lead and follow to the music with a couple of basic steps and then the ladies right turn. This would be a reasonable goal and once you have accomplished it, you will feel great and want to move on to your next goal. Stick with it, set more goals and see yourselves get better and better.

10.  Now the most important part is to have fun! Relax and enjoy yourselves by having fun and laughing it off when you make mistakes as even the best dancers in the world make mistakes. Dancing together can truly transform your lives.

Visit OC Salsa for Salsa and Bachata dance studio dance classes and lessons in Orange County, California at www.estebanconde.com

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