Are you a lady who watches other female dancers wiggle and shimmy their way around the dancefloor but when you try, it feels like it just “isn’t you?”
Do you shy away from embellishing your dancing with body waves and ripples?
Do you even feel self-conscious about a simple arm extension?
Do you style in classes when the teacher does but never on your own in social dancing?
Do you feel like a pregnant duck when you try and do a body wave?
Do you feel exposed when your partner breaks free for a shine?
You’re not alone.
Many women feel the same.
It’s such a pity, because styling your dance in a way that suits your personality is one of the most fun aspects of Salsa, and it’s how you make yourself stand out on the dancefloor.
I believe there are three main reasons that ladies don’t style.
- They don’t love their body enough to want to draw attention to themselves.
If you aren’t confident about your body, you won’t move it in a way that will get you noticed…in fact you’ll do everything possible to blend in and hide yourself.
Until you change the relationship you have with your body image and how you feel about yourself as a woman, you are unlikely to be able to do the work necessary for learning the art of styling, which inevitably involves watching yourself dance in front of a mirror…a lot!
You have to drop the negative self-talk and harsh judgements.
That’s often the hardest part.
Ironically, it was the whole process of working in front of the mirror which changed my feelings about my own body, so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation.
By moving your body and looking at it more, you create a new connection and rapport with it, which invites you to further explore the way it moves and how it feels.
- They don’t know “the rules” for styling – what to put in, how to do it and where or when to put it in to the dance.
Most women are simply struggling with the mechanics of following. There’s no brain space left to deal with anything on top of that.
That’s where being able to navigate your way through the dance and be ultra-competent in your core moves and footwork is essential because it frees up your brain to recognise the little windows where styling can be layered in.
- They don’t know the “language” of styling – how to connect body movements to the music to express feeling.
Many women just think of styling as being an arm thrust up or out when a guy leads a certain move, but there is an extensive and exciting vocabulary of movement we can use to highlight parts of the music that resonate with us, or to say “look at me” when we are simply enjoying being in the flow of the dance.
We have flicks, sweeps and rolls of the head, haircombs and arm shaping, we can accent our footwork with taps, flicks and syncopated rhythms, we have body isolations, shoulder shrugs, rolls and shimmies, hip hitches, hip circles and the list goes on…true musicality happens when we have mastery over these movements and can insert them seamlessly into the dance to communicate what we feel to our partner or anyone else watching.
These three things above all else inhibit most ladies from feeling sexy, feminine, and expressing their femininity on the Salsa dancefloor.
Get comfortable with your body and you’ll open up a whole new world of fun and freedom!