Why do we dance?
For most of us, it’s because the feeling of connection we get when we dance with a partner is the most magical feeling on the planet.
Once you’ve experienced that magic, nothing else comes close.
If you’ve not been learning Salsa for very long, you may be putting off venturing out onto the social dance floor.
You’re probably thinking that you need to be at a minimum standard, or to know a certain amount of moves. Or be in the next class up before people will want to dance with you.
Whatever benchmark standard you’ve told yourself you have to be…forget it.
Forget the idea that it has to be perfect.
Forget the idea that you need to know X amount of moves first.
You don’t…and thinking this way means you’re missing opportunities to experience the real reason you started this dance..to have fun and dance socially.
A good partner will accept you at whatever level you are, be forgiving, and make your enjoyment of the dance their priority.
That’s because a good dancer is not the same thing as a good dance partner.
Wherever you are on your Salsa journey right now is good enough.
Everyone can be a fabulous dance partner, regardless of current their dance ability.
And the good news is that partnering skills can be improved immediately, without learning a single new move.
There are three key skills that all great dance partners have mastered:
Connection – the physical and emotional relationship you have with your partner and the music through space and time.
Communication – how you recognise your partner’s intent and signal your own.
Collaboration – how you work with each partner to ensure a harmonious and enjoyable dance.
In order to work on these three skills, we need to improve what I call the “Six Constant Conversations”.
These are six pathways of communication enabling us to enhance rapport, maintain the right connection and tension, respond to our partner’s movements, be sympathetic to their experience within the dance, give them space to express themselves whilst reserving the right to express ourselves too.
These Constant Conversations take place via the mediums of the eyes, hands, feet, shoulder blades, body and brain.
All can be used for the purposes of connecting, communicating and collaborating from the day you start learning Salsa.
In my next article I’ll talk in detail about why they’re important and how you can use them to be that awesome partner who everyone loves dancing with.