Your body is rarely the chief limiting factor in your Salsa dance potential…


Nor is your time, money or circumstances.


Nor the country you were born, or your culture.


Or that you don’t have a partner to practice with.


It’s actually your brain.


What do I mean by this?


You need a Phd to dance it?


You have to have a massive IQ?




It’s because your brain plays five very important roles when you learn new dance movements, and if you understand them, you can progress your dancing much quicker.

1. Recognising Patterns

Your brain is on the lookout for patterns the whole time. Any new movement you learn is compared to existing learned movement patterns.


Your brain will then decide what adjustments your nervous system needs to make based on the movement map it already has.

If you have a movement pattern that is similar, then your brain may decide that it’s close enough – this is why sometimes you can’t “get” a move, combination or shine pattern – your brain defaults to the nearest match it has available and you keep repeating the mistake, even though you know what you should be doing.


2. Keeping You Safe

Your brain is a big scaredy cat. It always imagines the worst possible scenario and limits you in accordance with these often over-exaggerated threats.


It can restrict movement, give you pain to stop you moving, abort movements that might take you into danger.


If you are following, it may make you tighten up and resist the lead.


Many people struggle with nausea and dizziness when they try and spin.

Although this can be alleviated with work on technique – spotting for example – often this is simply your brain telling you it is unhappy with the ability of your vestibular system to keep you upright for the duration of the spin.

Very often, if you do some vestibular drills which take a few seconds before you practice spinning, your results will magically improve.


3. Creating In The Moment

Your ability to dance spontaneously rather than perform pre-learned patterns relies on your pre-frontal cortex being accessible – in other words when your brain is not in threat.


This is why it’s hard to integrate new moves and styling into your social dancing.


We sometimes worry about what will happen if we mess up, or lose the plot halfway through, and stress about what our partner or the people watching might say.


4. Planning Your Movement Through Space And Time

Your pre-frontal cortex (the human part of your brain) is responsible for planning your movement through space and time.


Anytime you get stressed, overwhelmed, fearful, or your brain perceives any kind of threat, this part of the brain goes offline. This is why you experience brain freeze on the dance floor, or forget moves. At this point your automatic, reptilian centres take over, and they simply run programmes designed to keep you safe physically, mentally and emotionally.


5. Creating a Positive Mindset

Your mindset is a set of beliefs and assumptions you have taken ownership of which are so powerful that all your behaviour and actions conform to them.


Those statements about no rhythm and two left feet


About not having a partner.


What other people have told you…


About dancing not being your thing.


Your brain belives this s**t and modifies your behaviour accordingly, even if it isn’t true – unless you consciously choose not to.


They may seem like harmless banter, but if you’ve steered away from acting on your real desires because of them…then that’s actually a major deal.


It will affect your freedom to truly be yourself and limit your chances of reaching true happiness and fulfilment in life.


So “Brainy Salsa” is simply being aware of how your brain may be restricting your true dancing potential, and keeping it happy so your pre-frontal cortex can take care of learning those Salsa moves.