Eliminate Spaghetti Arms

In the last 15 years, I have danced with and taught more men than I can count.
The complaint I hear them gripe about the most is not being able to lead their partner. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Follower

How To Feel The Music

You scuffle across the dance club, palms cold and sticky, as you approach the cute girl in the corner.
“Would you like to dance?” you ask. To your delight and horror, she accepts.
She takes your outstretched hand and you weave through the soggy crowd to an empty spot on the dance floor.
You’ve practiced the moves. You’re ready for this.

The music pulses and you embrace your partner into a well-practiced dance frame.
Her polite smile restores a fleck of confidence that you can pull this off gracefully.
At least you hope so.

Summoning the turn patterns you’ve so diligently rehearsed in class, you begin leading your partner.
About midway into the song, you sense that something is off. Your partner isn’t feeling it.
Is it because you’re a bad dancer? Do you smell funny? Did you do something wrong?

Then it hits you. You’re dancing off time.
You’re so stuck in your mind, processing your next move,
that you’ve neglected the connection with your partner as well as your connection to the music.
In an attempt to regain your timing, you start counting in your head.

Dancing off time is a common problem among beginner dancers.
Dancing on time, but with no feeling or connection to the music is a common problem among dancers of all levels.

Huh? I’ll explain.

There is a big difference between dancing on time and feeling the music.
Dancing on time means you’re executing your movements on the appropriate beats of the music,
but it doesn’t mean that you’re feeling the music and expressing it through your dance.

This difference is what distinguishes a good dancer from a great dancer.

Remember the last time you saw a great performer on stage. The one who was so ‘into’ their thing that they made you feel it too. The best performers, dancers, artists, musicians, etc. are the ones who are able to move beyond the mind chatter and stay focused in the present moment, feeling their way through each moment as it presents itself. This level of presence requires practicing their craft until it becomes a no-brainer for them.

If you have to count, you need to practice more. Ingrain the beat into your ear, mind and soul.
It has to be as automatic and mindless as brushing your teeth.
Only then will you be able to focus your conscious mind on feeling the music without worrying about losing time.

What does it mean to ‘feel’ the music?

As it pertains to dancing, feeling the music means spontaneously reacting to the music with your body. For instance, if there’s a hard accent in the music, a dancer spontaneously creates a reaction to the accent in her body. This reaction could take any form, a quick stop, a chest isolation or any other movement the dancer feels inspired to create.

Many dancers express it’s as if they become another instrument, collaborating or co-creating with the music instead of just reacting to it. They feel as if they are a piece of the band so to speak, weaving their own beats, rhythms and silences into the song.

A dancer who doesn’t feel the music isn’t even fully aware of the music most of the time. Sure, he knows that there’s music playing in the background, but if you were to ask him what his favorite part of the song was after he stepped off the dance floor, he wouldn’t be able to even recall the song. He is too much in his head, counting the rhythm or worried about the next move to lead his partner into. He’s completely out of touch with the music.

From years and years of dance experience, I can tell you this…

You haven’t really danced until you have felt the music. Until you have moved beyond the counting stage. Until you have become comfortable enough with your moves to relax and tune into the music. There is almost nothing on planet earth that’s more satisfying than being able to become one with the music while remaining present and uninhibited enough to allow your body to take over and move in a way that just feels right.

Unfortunately, many beginner dancers don’t make it to this far. They give up too early. They don’t get the right education. Or they don’t have the desire to practice. I understand how frustrating it can be. I was a beginner once too. Feeling the music is something that even dancers considered to be ‘technically good’ struggle with.

For struggling Salsa dancers who want to move beyond the counting stage into the feeling stage, you may want to consider Dance With Feeling. It’s an online course to help you understand the timing in order to move beyond it.

Get started here with a free webinar on finding the first beat in the music.

Posted in Blog, Salsa Music, Timing

What She’s Really Thinking When You’re Dancing Off Time

No sooner had I just stepped off the dance floor when a smiling young man asked me to dance.

“Sure.” I replied. He guided me by my hand to an uncrowded corner, embraced me in dance position and began dancing. He turned me and, after judging that I could follow, increased the complexity of turn patterns. The dance was going well and then, about a minute or so into the song, it happened… Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Leader, Timing

Why Salsa Dancing Is My Favorite Hobby

If you’re still on the fence about learning to dance Salsa, then let me give you a little nudge… Read more ›

Posted in Blog

Listen Up…Literally! Leading And Following In The New Age.

Traditionally, we were taught (and still are) that the leader’s job is more important. Not only does he have to know his steps and have proper leading technique, but he also has to creatively direct the sequence of the dance. The follower is merely a compliant responder. This ends up placing a huge amount of pressure on the leader and makes for a less interesting, challenging and creative experience for the follower. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Follower, Leader

Don’t Dance Like A White Guy (or girl)

The number one concern students express in class is

“How can I look natural when I dance? I don’t want to dance like a white guy (or girl).” Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Body Movement

How To Look Natural: A Simple Trick

This is just a hunch, but I bet your arms are feeling a bit neglected.
So often, I see my dance students put a lot of time and effort into mastering
their steps and footwork, which is great. The problem is that they don’t spare any time
to learn how to incorporate the arms into their dancing in a way that looks natural. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Body Movement, Follower, Leader

I started the beginner session of salsa at this location. I was very impessed with the teachers. They make you feel comfortable and do not call you out. They are willing
To help one on one if you can’t get a step. I enjoy going to
The classes. I have referred friends here also and they feel the same.

Posted in Leader

salsa lessons

latin dance shoes

salsa music