“I don’t want to be a professional dancer…I just want to be able to dance a bit better so I can enjoy it more.”
I hear these words a lot on my travels round the Salsa clubs of Essex, Herts, Kent and London.
And they are usually uttered by people who are wrestling with something they’re finding tricky.
What you’re really saying in effect is, “I know I need to put a bit more time and effort into learning this but I don’t want to because it’s hard and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get it, and it doesn’t matter enough to me anyway.”
And I get where you’re coming from.
You thought it would be easier than this.
You thought it would be fun…something you could just dip in and out of when the mood takes you.
You thought it would be a case of learning a few steps and then burning up the floor.
The truth is this:
Nothing costs nothing…
Everything comes at a cost, and it’s not always financial. Sometimes the cost is time, effort and the sacrifice of other things.
The thing is…there isn’t a different type of Salsa dancing invented purely for recreational dancers to learn. The techniques are EXACTLY the same as those employed by professional dancers…and Salsa is a highly technical dance.
What differs with the pros is the amount of time and effort they spend practicing and refining and styling and perfecting those techniques…that process never really stops.
This in a nutshell is why most Salsa teachers believe that most of the people who come to their classes will never be good dancers. They know how much time and practice it takes to master the techniques well enough to be able to flow through the dance with ease and make it look effortless…and it frustrates them when people turn up and expect to be able to master moves in five minutes with no understanding of the underlying techniques.
Moves are built on technique…good technique makes the moves EASY. Poor technique means you’ll struggle with all but the very simplest turn patterns, especially if you’re a follower. many ladies are quick to blame the lead if they can’t follow or are thrown off balance. This isn’t usually the case though, as a lady with solid technique will be in charge of her own bodyweight and balance and be in exactly the right position at the right time.
Salsa relies on precision, split second timing, feel and control from both partners.
Those things only manifest with time, effort, understanding and experience.
The public perception that it’s a loose, make-it-up-as-you-go-along, free for all, anything goes kind of dance is hugely misguided. It may appear that way but nothing could be further from the truth.
Taking the time to practice and own the techniques will make a huge difference, and will dictate the upper limit of your potential.
Nothing costs nothing!