Salsa > What's your biggest fear or concern while learning to dance salsa?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Cha Cha Chá Fan, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. Cha Cha Chá Fan

    Cha Cha Chá Fan New Member

    I see a lot of men in "Beginner's Hell" on the social dance floor, and really sympathize. I dance with ones I see to give them a positive experience, but there's only so much I can do as one person on the dance floor. So I've been thinking of creating something (I have a few ideas) to make the beginner phase easier, more productive, and more fun. In order to know what things would make the most impact for you, I'd love to know: What's your biggest fear or concern right now?

    I sincerely appreciate all input. Thanks so much!
     
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  2. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Well to ease men's suffering on the floor, perhaps there should be a "men only" lesson or group class. Put in a bunch of female pros and they should show up... and it might inspire their confidence a bit.

    As far as group classes before social events, I often see the patterns they teach are often way too advanced for the group they're taught to. They may be taught 4-5 advanced patterns when they really can't even pull one off properly. Really catering these lessons to beginners might be the best bet to get more men in the events.

    Another thing that came up from a friend's husband as to why he doesn't dance - he feels like a fool on the dance floor. He's been an athlete all his life, and people have lied to him that "dancing is easy." It's not, and it should not be positioned that way. I like to tell men that want to start that dancing is more or less like learning to ice skate or ski. It's going to be awful at first but eventually the investment will pay off.
     
  3. Cha Cha Chá Fan

    Cha Cha Chá Fan New Member

    Hello MaggieMoves,

    Thanks for your thoughts. That's an interesting idea about having female pros dance with the men in a beginner class. Can I ask why you suggest this - what elements female pros would bring to it that would be more helpful than beginning female follows?

    Also thanks for sharing about your friend's husband. I wonder who's been telling him that (people who don't dance, probably).
     
  4. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    Mostly to get a feel for what each individual man is lacking, rather than having an amateur with him and having not being able to identify it. Usually it's the lack of a proper lead, or the timing of things. I'm just going by what I feel off group classes.

    A chain studio, unfortunately.
     
  5. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    I think that once the man overcomes the fear of being called gay or looking stupid, the next big fear to overcome is that he will step on the lady. I think that common newbie faults like trying to step around the lady or poking the leg forward derive from that.
     
  6. Cha Cha Chá Fan

    Cha Cha Chá Fan New Member

     
  7. Cha Cha Chá Fan

    Cha Cha Chá Fan New Member

    Thanks, Snapdancer. If the first fear of being called gay or looking stupid applied to you as well, how did you overcome it?
     
  8. JTh

    JTh Member

    In my AT group, there are extremely few if any that are gay. Men or females. Young and old.
    Yes, it requires some bravery to get started and to continue going.
    Same with will you look like a fool.. Perhaps buy we are there to learn and all are in the same boat. No one (not followers nor leads) will judge harshly in class and practcas - that I'd what they are there for. Finally, I looked at it in a way of '.. Even if the followers judge me harshly, it's not like they are so good either...'
    Specifically to answer your question.. The number one thing that will save me is competency... I practices very hard...to a point where I now have followers yearning to dance with me..even if they are more advanced. Young and old...yep..noone will say anything when you are good. It's probably the biggest ace up your sleeve..
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  9. Cha Cha Chá Fan

    Cha Cha Chá Fan New Member

    Thanks for your thoughts, JTh! So would you say the 2 things that helped you push through are:

    1. Your realization that a follower's opinion isn't necessarily true.

    2. That's really admirable that you practiced even harder to get better faster. I know that some guys will stop practicing because they feel it's hopeless, though. Would you say that you had confidence that you COULD get better from past accomplishments?
     
  10. JTh

    JTh Member

    1. Even if the followers opinion is true..what's important is your personal views and that of the instructors (and they will be encouraging and helpful). Even if followers didn't like the dance (everyone has those) then they probably won't say anything and even if they do say something negative.. Cannot let it get to you!!! You have got to know that you are learning (simetimes just part of the learning process), and that you have the bullets in your gun/gas in the tank yo get better. Keep persistently practising.
    Your instructor will see that commitment as well. Your instructor will be encouraging. Part because that's their job, part maybe to encourage continuity of a customer...
    This is what separates the floosies (can't think of a better word...I mean..those not serious and just there to check out the crowd types - men and women) vs the the people who will eventually get ahead.
    The floosies will drop out after a month or so of classes. The effort and time and probably money as well adds up and is too much for them if they don't see what they like in class (ie any attractive partners).. This is about 40% of the class - equal spread of men vs women.

    2. Confidence is everything in dance. Even if you don't know moves well...being a good partner and confident is at least half the battle.
    In the beginning I would seek to establish the rapport with followers such that even if the moves were not great ( supportive, cracked jokes etc) , I got away with technical errors...and then practiced hard to not make those mistakes again.. .got more and more competent.
    .all the while...hey they still like me as a person..= they want to dance... Maybe a bit more off the floor..but let's keep it professional :))))
    Edit: I don't mean the literal sense of the word floosies.. But just can't think of amyother better word.
     
  11. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    Regarding the gay thing: To Jth's point about the number of gays who are dancers you (1) might not realize that someone is gay and (2) I doubt that men are afraid of dancing next to a couple with a gay leader. The gay thing never bothered me. Now I have gotten some snide comments about dancing and gayness. I simply ask what's so gay about holding a woman in your arms and she has to do what you direct. Have never received an answer to that.

    As far as the relative skill of the other person you're dancing with at the moment, most beginner follows can't tell the difference between a crappy lead and a skilled lead because they're struggling with their own issues. (Though typically not struggling as much as a man.)
     
  12. Cha Cha Chá Fan

    Cha Cha Chá Fan New Member

    Thanks for elaborating, JTh! It really sounds like everything you mention boils down to having a core of unshakeable confidence. It also sounds like you might be an extrovert and enjoy talking to and getting to know people - a great asset to have in the social dance scene, where a friendly personality smoothes over any technical mistakes that happen during the learning process : )
     
  13. Cha Cha Chá Fan

    Cha Cha Chá Fan New Member

    Snapdancer - do you really think that's true that a beginner can't tell? The common belief (that seems to be borne out on the dance floor) is that a skilled lead can lead practically anyone (including a beginner follow), but an unskilled one can't. So a beginner follow would find herself executing moves more smoothly/easily with a skilled lead than with an unskilled one. I don't know if there's a big difference in this regard between Argentine Tango vs. Salsa, but have you found that a beginner follow will set the tone of a dance regardless of the skill level of her partner?
     
  14. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    A little anecdote: A woman who has been dancing for a few years but is still struggling a bit exclaimed that this lead had gotten worse. She and this lead had danced together when she first started dancing and at the time she thought he was a good lead. Watching this lead you can tell that he has no technique or skill. I told her that this lead had not gotten worse, but that she'd gotten better. Early on she didn't realize how bad he was (and still is) but with some experience under her belt can recognize the difference between an unskilled lead and a more skilled lead.

    Another anecdote: Asked a newbie follow to waltz. We were getting around the floor but she required some compensation and extra management.
    Newbie follow: Can you tell when I make a mistake?
    Snapdancer: Yes....... Can you tell when I make a mistake?
    Newbie follow: No.
     
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