Salsa > Benefits of dancing with a less experienced follow

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ticolora, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. SoAndSo

    SoAndSo New Member

    Learning pattern and creating your whole dance around these pattern is exactly the way, Salsa teachers around here work. (And Youtube Videos work.)
    With some exceptions for shines and lady styling which, after the students are normalized for pattern usage, end up being solo pattern.
    And it is exactly the way the teachers ruin one promising dancer after another.

    The leads who live within patterns are often called "pattern monkey" - they climb along the pattern. While many low level and mid level dancers are easily impressed by their large amount of complicated patterns, in circles of advanced dancers few of them are treated as equals. They are seen as some kind of never evolving dancers.

    And funny to hear that about a guy, who centers himself around being Latino.
    Latinos around here do not dance pattern and despise focusing their dance around that. Only the ones that learned dancing in Germany "German-style" do that - and they often times become the worst pattern monkeys and thus despite dancing for decades, never really advance. Some teachers even have two distinct styles, one to dance Latino-style, one to dance German-style.
  2. PaulBunyon

    PaulBunyon Active Member

    I am going to ignore all the relationship stuff and answer your question about dance.

    Leading and Following dance are two different skills (equal skills for that matter). So the way your BF learns dance as a Lead will be somewhat different than how you would learn as a Follow. Do your own thing versus follow the model that worked for him.

    To become a good dancer, you generally want to exercise your skills in 3 arenas in as generous proportions as your pocketbook and time bank allow. The three arenas are, 1) Private Lessons, 2) Group Classes, and 3) Social Dancing. If you are indeed a "true beginner" you should probably take a "Intro to Salsa" group class. You don't have to drive an hour necessarily (maybe you do if you live in a rural community), your local Community Ed may offer such an opportunity. A four or five week intro class will give a foundation to look for more advanced learning opportunities. Find a Salsa program, start attending their group classes, buy a package of privates and use them up. With some investment you'll be an above average dancer in fairly short order. None of this requires a partner.

    I am suggesting this under the assumption that you are doing this to learn to dance, not build a better relationship. For relationship advice write Carolyn Hax or Dan Savage, not Dance Forums :) (BTW: Dan Savage would probably tell you to DTMFA)

    Hope that helps and good luck.
  3. Beth

    Beth New Member

    I know basic footwork/steps in salsa and basic turns, im actually more comfortable with bachata and can seem to follow that pretty well. He sees a video of a couple doing a certain pattern/"routine" and then tries to learn that same pattern/ "routine". He doesnt accommodate my more basic skill level and feels that i should have no problem just following his lead. Im not comfortable doing the " combing the hair" technique ans and more advanced stylings bc im not comfortable with it yet. So he gets frustrated with me. Thats why we never really practice together. But i wamt to learn - for my benefit and enjoyment.
  4. Beth

    Beth New Member

    I am not here to buikd a better relationship with my bf but to understand the salsa community. It just so happens that a SO is part of that and im trying to understand more about it. Ive never been exposed to any dancing community until a couple yrs ago. I was invited to try several different styles and i found that certain ones really interest me. There are many differences in WCS such as Jack & Jill. You dont have that in salsa. Im looking for positive feedback for enlightenment on the subject
  5. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    You are correct, I haven't. The little bit that I have, it didn't impress me as being a place that has an unusually high number of supremely talented dancers, but small sample size. So I'll take your word for it.
  6. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. I dance a fair amount of WCS socially, so I kind of understand where you are at. I'm vaguely aware that there are a number of different "branches" of salsa that use different basic patterns and different timings. I don't really know anything about them other than that they exist, and in my area there really isn't any opportunity to learn. Where you are dancing, there may be a lot more opportunity. One thing you might do when you're at clubs is, when you aren't dancing yourself, watch different couples and note which ones appear to be doing styles that interest you, and then maybe ask one of them if/where they get their instruction.
  7. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    It's not always about the quality of the dancing, and the numbers that fit your needs/wants, it's about ambience . Also, to judge a one time visit ( and that depends upon where )as you said ,not exactly the best sample .
  8. Jag75

    Jag75 Active Member

    Taking salsa lessons is 1000x better than not.

    I've been dancing 12 years, teaching 9, and I can guarantee you there is stuff you simply won't learn just by dancing, even if you "just dance" for 100 years.

    To become a graceful dancer, who is a delight to lead (or is a delightful lead), you need to learn the foundations, timing, leading techniques, following techniques, frame, hold, lead-follow dynamics, stepping, etc etc. There is a lot to learn. Also, you don't want to develop bad habits.

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