And what the hell IS it, anyway…
Rhythm is just a series of repeated events which occur in a regular pattern.
It’s all around you.
The sun rising and setting.
Horses trotting and galloping.
It’s inside you.
Your heart beat.
So you can’t say you never had rhythm.
Your whole body is run on rhythm.
You weren’t missed out when rhythm was being dished out. You can’t blame God or your Dad because it’s not genetic either.
And no one stole it.
Waiting for you to become aware of it.
You find rhythm simply by noticing it’s there.
By consciously doing more rhythmical things.
If you try tapping your fingers on a desk at completely random intervals, you will find it incredibly difficult.
Your brain naturally wants to organise those taps into a regular pattern.
Pattern enables prediction, which your brain LOVES.
The thing that makes dance more challenging is that rhythm happens in space as well as time.
We have to learn how to manage our body parts so they arrive in certain places at a specified time.
It’s this that many new dancers find challenging – especially if they have no background in physical activity.
So this is where my teaching is radically different to most other beginner classes.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the Salsa timing and the Basic step, I like people to experience just moving to music with very simple rhythms.
We explore moving on the core beats – 1,3,5,7.
We explore moving on every beat.
We explore moving on just 1 and 5.
We explore using different foot patterns or body parts for the same rhythm.
Then we start changing direction.
This starts to give the brain a “map” for everything else it’s going to learn not just in Salsa, but every other social dance.
It creates new neural pathways which will will connect the movement to music – instead of generic counts.