Salsa > How do you know beginner's hell is over?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ticolora, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I read somewhere (I think in Don Baarns' book) that there is a breakpoint in the lead's progression, when you become better than 50% of the leads on the scene - the game changes. If I understood correctly, "beginner's hell" is all the way before that point.

    Specifically, how do I know when I hit that point?

    And in general, how do I compare myself to other men on the scene (for the purpose of inflating my ego)?
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Speaking clearly, ticolora, there isn´t anything like that point, there is only a periodic alteration in stagnation, depression, and further progression.

    That´s difficult. Sometimes it´s the number of kisses you get when appearing on the scene.
    j_alexandra and RiseNFall like this.
  3. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    It's probably over when you don't need to ask. When you feel comfortable with your dancing, and with your chosen scene/social group, you are there.
  4. SoAndSo

    SoAndSo New Member

    I think you are twisting two different concepts here.
    The beginners hell is something completely personal. It's the feeling of the beginner, to be completely lost and unwanted. The struggle to simply have fun and get any girl that can differ right from left to voluntarily dance with you.
    Some men never experience this (which isn't a sign of dancing skill but more a social component - most of them never really improve as they do not feel the need). Some men stay in there for 1 or 2 years.

    Well, for everybody the change is different. Some will slowly crawl out of it, many give up before done so.
    For me it was a series of events over the time of 2 or 3 months that marked the steps out. Special dances, first attention for my dancing, actually being able to ask unknown women to dance (after nearly a year!) But at some point i knew, i was now safe at the dance floor. And suddenly the circle of follows i danced with expanded rapidly, multiplied by 3 or 4 times within a month.

    That is the moment, when you enter intermediate purgatory - and that you leave when you are in the upper half.

    Well, i would not say 50/50, but more like a 25/50/25.
    The lower quarter are the guys nobody cares for. Beginners hell and creepers paradise.
    The vast majority are intermediates of different kinds. Some are actually improving, but most people stop on this level.
    And just about a quarter of the leads is actually wanted as a dance partner by the vast majority of the ladies and can at any time get their dances even with much wanted partners.
    BUT this is vastly influenced by social issues and for someone who improved very rapidly, the social delay (which can take years!) hides that.

    I think for you it isn't time to think about this moment yet, give it some years ...
  5. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Sorry. Which moment? You covered several.
  6. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Well-Known Member

    Its when the ladies start telling each other that you are a good lead.
  7. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Maybe our local scene is different, but I already have that. But then again, I've been dancing for more than 3 months now.
  8. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    I would not use the opinions of ladies as a measuring point. Recently, I've been told by two different ladies that they once considered a guy to be a good dancer when they were starting out, but later changed their mind.

    Although for one guy maybe his beginner's hell is over. He thinks of himself as a good dancer, I call him a "snake on feet" but he often manages to trap a newby for most of an evening.
  9. SoAndSo

    SoAndSo New Member

    In this case i spoke of the moment, when you realize, that you reached the top of your scene and need to look for a bigger pond to swim in.

    When the lower level ladies start telling each other, that you are "good", that is a part of leaving the beginners hell. It's not sufficient for itself, but it's a common part.
    Snapdancers "snake on feet" would be in "creepers paradise". He does not even intend, to leave to beginners area, as he preys on those and more experienced ladies are often times refusing his approaches very quickly.

    When the local (female) dance teachers start telling their better students, that they should dance with you, that is a good sign, that you made it to the upper half.
    When they stop telling them about you, so they can occupy you for themselves longer you either are the hottest piece of flesh around or you really made it with dancing.:dancingbanana:
    ticolora likes this.
  10. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    When you stop worrying about how long it takes to learn to dance and how many patterns you need to know and you just dance.
  11. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Yep, and when they start asking the lead to dance.
  12. Jag75

    Jag75 Active Member

    Yep, and perfectly executed inside and outside turns, Copa, and checks is 100000x better than knowing 1000 patterns.
  13. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I'm admittedly a bit out of place here, as I don't know any salsa scenes all that well, so someone else will have to say if there is something analogous to this in salsa. But: In ballroom, "beginner's hell" is that period when, as a beginner at a social, you are having to sit out most of the dances because either you don't know a basic pattern in that dance, or you don't know the music well enough to pick out the timing -- either way, you can't dance it at all. It's a big problem for couples starting ballroom, because the lady (assuming she dances follow) will be ready to do some dancing at socials within a few weeks of her first lesson, whereas for the man, it will be several months. This is when a lot of men quit, because on Friday night their wives/SOs are having fun, and they are just sitting, unable to participate.
  14. SoAndSo

    SoAndSo New Member

    While the mechanics are not the same, it is similar enough to say, it's the same concept. The time when you are "as* in service" as we say here. The lowest of the lowest and everything that has a 2nd X-Chromosome far and wide makes sure to let you know, that you are not wanted - at least it feels like that.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  15. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Do follows go through a "beginner's hell", or is that place just for guys?
  16. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

  17. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Follows typically hit the wall later, at the intermediate level. A good follow could explain better than I, but basically they reach a point where, to progress any further, a huge improvement in sensitivity, connection and trust in partner is necessary. This is where the leads (the ones who have stuck with it this far) catch up.
    FancyFeet likes this.
  18. SoAndSo

    SoAndSo New Member

    I think i understand, what you mean by that.
    Interesting point to relay that to the beginners hell, never thought about that.
    "Plateau of Mediocrity" - would that be a good name ?
  19. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    To me the followers restrictions I see as a leader in salsa is mostley whether the girl is a great spinner or not. Ladies hit their spin max and that's that
  20. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Something like that. Here's a link to an often-quoted article from Edie the Salsa Freak, that includes a graph that shows the basic concept of what happens.

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