Got the rhythm in your feet but don’t know how to improve? While Salsa is one of the most fulfilling and fun dance forms to try, newbies can stumble upon a few roadblocks on their journey to the dancefloor. Besides the basic patterns and steps, there is a lot more to Salsa that first timers can have a hard time wrapping their head around. Let’s face it, not everyone is a natural. But, with the right amount of attitude, a will to learn and a passion for Salsa, anyone can master the art and conquer the stage!
So if you want to know some tips and tricks to take your first steps in becoming a world class Salsa dancer, here are some points that can help you make the leap towards your salsa dream!
Join a Salsa Club
Joining a salsa club not only keeps you in regular practice, it also provides a lot of exposure to different types of dancers and different styles of salsa dancing. It’s great to socialize and meet other salsa lovers to keep you motivated. Also, joining a club gets you in touch with different partners, helps build confidence and improve a lot faster. It prepares you for challenges at a later stage.
Find a Mirror
There are so many reasons why practicing in front of a mirror is a great idea. It can help improve posture drastically, build muscle memory, and enable you to polish each step. It enables you to look at yourself while dancing and become your own critic - analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Dress rehearse to build confidence, so that at the right time you can flaunt everything - from a flashy salsa performance outfit to a sexy salsa dress for a night out at the club!
Learn the basics
Start by building a strong foothold over foundations. With a strong foundation nothing can stop you. And, before proceeding to anything more advanced one needs to master the basics of Salsa first. Start by learning to count music and matching rhythm. Learn the basic steps of Salsa - start with the front and back basic step, side basic, and closed positions, before proceeding to the beginners turns and patterns.
Focus on one thing
It is important to master a technique completely before moving on to the next. Therefore, one should always focus on learning what is at hand before taking a step further. Whether it is a step a new move or a step or a pattern - learn it to the point it becomes second nature. Dancing is all about being natural, and therefore for each minute detail should be learnt only to unlearnt. For your salsa to appear effortless, every move should become part of a flow and follow natural instinct.
Watch more dance videos
Watching more videos helps to learn about styles of the best salsa dancers and what sets them apart, which can serve as the first step to build your own style. Instruction Youtube videos can be helpful in learning and practicing basic steps, new steps and identifying with different rhythms.
Get The Attitude Right
More like, get you salsa attitude right! Attitude refers to the approach to dancing. Be confident in your skin and let things flow naturally. Your appearance should always be prim and performance ready. A great salsa outfit makes you feel more like a pro and more confident.
Choose a style
For beginners it is advisable to stick to one style of their choice. Flitting between styles can result in a slow progress and less finesse in any. Try to build an understanding of different styles. You might enjoy the L.A style, New York Style or the Cuban style - stick to one, and master it completely.
Feel the Rhythm
Sticking to time is one of the hardest thing for most newbies. But it’s also the easiest when you let the music lead you. Timing and Rhythm form the core of Salsa. There are different types of Salsa rhythms like the 1-2-3, 5-6-7 Salsa Rhythm or the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 Merengue rhythms. Also there are different timings that one needs to learn like the Basic Salsa Timing and the Core Beat Timing. Try them all out, but remember the most important thing is to sway to the music. Accentuating your moves with hip movement is essential in Salsa and sometimes wearing a fringed outfit can add that zing to your movements.
Try dancing with different partners and ones from outside your regular classes. Dancing with different partners can help you understand different approaches of dancers and help you learn a lot faster.
Lead and Follow
Understand there are gender roles in salsa dancing. The man gives the lead and the lady follows. However, both roles are equally important and requires practice in their own rights and understanding between the partners. If the girl is having difficulty to follow the lead, the guy should consider taking a stronger lead. It also takes a fair amount of practice in learning the right amount of arm tension and balance.
Posture is the key. And eye contact is extremely essential. The last thing you’d want to do while dancing the salsa is looking at your shoes or staring into infinity! Eye contact is important for a right attitude and for the chemistry between partners.
Lastly, working out on a regular basis is recommended for stronger abs. Strong abs are a great help to spinning techniques and balance work. Newbies can add some ab exercises in their workout routines to instantly up their level.
So now that you’ve got all the secrets to great salsa dancing under control, put your dancing shoes on, and get ready to strut your stuff like a pro! Keep having fun and enjoy the art of dancing, that’s the whole point of Salsa anyway!