There are many tips that can help you learn Salsa,
but here is a compiled list of 10 things you should
be doing if your goal is to get good fast.
In no particular order...
Tip #1 - Go dancing at the club. This exposes you to many different styles of dancers, as well as gives you practice dancing with several different leaders and followers. You are exposed to a range of abilities that will help you learn and grow faster. Plus, it's a great place to meet new Salsa friends.
Tip #2 - It's okay to be nervous. Many beginner dancers do not go out to the dance club because they are nervous and feel they aren't ready. It's okay to be nervous. Any form of dancing, or anything for that matter, can be nerve racking at the beginning. Remember, the more you do it, the more comfortable to get. So don't let nerves stop you. Accept it as a part of the process.
Tip #3 - Partner up. Practice outside of your Salsa class is critical to improving. I always like to think of class as the place where you are "fed the material" and practice outside of class as the "digestion process". If you eat, but don't digest...your body doesn't absorb the nutrients. Same goes for dancing. If you don't practice what you learn in class, you won't absorb it.
Tip #4 - Watch online material. Watching videos and other Salsa dancing material online can help you develop your own style. And if you are just starting out, it can give you an idea of what the dance is supposed to look like.
Tip #5 - Solo practice. Reviewing the moves and steps on your own is necessary to improve. A partner is needed to practice some things such as your leading or following, but don't let not having a partner be an excuse for not practicing on your own.
Tip #6 - Focus on one thing at a time. Take a full 7 days to master one move or step. The goal is to imbed the moves into your unconscious memory so that you can spontaneously pull them out on the dance floor. If you never get to the "unconscious" level with your dancing, then it will always feel like you're working hard and thinking too much when you should be letting go and allowing the moves to flow through you instead. Forget learning hundreds of turn patterns and focus instead on mastering each move, one at a time.
Tip #7 - Stick with one style when starting out. There are many different styles of Salsa. Choose a style that you like and stick with that particular style until you develop a good understanding of it. Bouncing around to different styles can slow down your progress.
Tip #8 - Practice the basics. There is a saying that goes something like this..."Beginner dancers want advanced material while advanced dancers focus on the basics." The importance of developing a strong foundation in your basic technique cannot be stressed enough. Everything else will fall back onto how proficient you are in your basic steps. Your advanced moves will only look as good as you can dance your basic steps. So it doesn't matter what level of a dancer you are, you should always go back and revisit your basics.
Tip #9 - Take notes. You'll be surprised at how much you forget once you walk out of the classroom. Quickly scribble down everything you learned at the end of class and review it a few times before your next class. You'll surprise yourself by how easily the moves come back to you.
Tip #10 - Know when you've had enough. If you feel stressed or start putting too much pressure on yourself to perform, relax. Take a little break. Come back when you are feeling in a positive and relaxed frame of mind. Beating yourself up does no good. Enjoy the process of learning and don't worry about being perfect.
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