There’s one question that I always get asked by guys after class, or during social dancing. And it’s one I often can’t answer.
That’s because it’s the wrong question.
They ask me:
“How do I get into X move?”
It could be a move we did last week, or something they saw on Youtube, or something they did at another club or with another teacher.
I answer with another question: “What move is that?”
Him: “You know, the one where I do this (arms describe a random swirling pattern) and the lady does this (as I try to picture what his imaginary lady is doing)
Me: “Errr not sure I do. Which core move was it derived from?”
Him: “Don’t know”
Me: “What were the ladies feet doing?”
At this point I’m stumped.
I can’t help.
The first problem is that if you didn’t do it in my class, and it’s not immediately recognizable as one of the six core moves, then I have little chance of figuring out what you mean. You see there is no “standard” naming of Salsa move combinations. Teachers will often give them their own pet names, which is fine if you only ever do their class, but will leave you confused when you go elsewhere.
Secondly, If you’re asking this question, you’re looking backwards and drawing from memory. That’s not true freestyle Salsa dancing. You’re not responding to the music spontaneously as it flows, and you’re disconnected from it.
You’re matching steps and moves to the beat of the music, but you’re not dancing specifically to that tune.
It’s not necessarily wrong…in fact it’s how most guys lead.
But you’ll never create true magic in the moment on the dance floor this way, and it tends to limit your ability to progress.
If you can’t remember how to initiate that particular sequence, you draw a blank. Freeze. Panic. The dance grinds to a halt. You stick to the bits you can remember and get scared to go to new places in case you can’t figure out what to do next.
Your options become more limited.
So what’s the right question then?
Try asking “What can I do from here?”
Think in terms of where you want to send the lady, which core move will get her there, and what her footwork is. Then you can dress it up by playing with different leads, hand changes, body positioning, and your own footwork and styling.
It sounds more long-winded, requires practice, and yes, learning to lead like this is a longer journey. But it becomes a more exciting and far less frustrating one because you never get caught out. You’ll find yourself making up your own combinations and styling them up in mid-flow of the dance.
Women will love dancing with you because they know they’ll never get the same dance twice.
Your options increase.
The dance opens up to endless and exciting possibilities.
You’ll have a lot more fun and you’ll never get bored with your moves.
Try asking the right question and you’ll see!