The main barrier to guys becoming proficient leads in Salsa is not what most people think.
It’s the way Salsa is taught to guys that causes most of their problems.
As you may have already discovered, leading is multi-tasking of the cruellest variety.
Not only do you have to worry about what you’re doing – staying on time, trying to figure out where you are in the music and doing your steps.
You have to think about her as well;
Deciding what moves to lead, delivering the lead, getting out of her way and watching where you’re sending her.
So aside from all the jokes about men and their multi-tasking ability, it’s no wonder that once you’ve got out of the beginner classes and have your basic timing pattern, turns and cross bodies down, you struggle.
The moves get trickier.
The counting gets faster.
The routines get longer,
The hand changes and footwork get flashier and faster.
And when you try and do all this extra “stuff” all at once, the result really shouldn’t be a surprise.
You try your best but you still get THAT look…
The one that could turn milk sour.
But it’s not your fault.
Learning choreographed routines does not teach you social dance skills.
Let me say that again:
Learning choreographed routines does not work for social dance.
It’s PERFECT for performances.
But a social dance is not a performance.
As a follower, there’s nothing worse than sensing that the guy is on autopilot and is just regurgitating the exact same pattern of moves with every single woman in the room.
We feel it and we know!
Repeating and remembering a set routine is a completely DIFFERENT SKILL.
It requires different neural processes and activates different parts of your brain.
If you want to become good at the skill of freestyle dancing, then you need to develop the neural pathways that are responsible for that.
And it’s much easier if you work on these one or two at a time.
Not all at once.
And you don’t always need a lady on the end of your arm either.
Develop your spatial skills.
Practice moving TO MUSIC and not counts.
Learning to manage the space and your own movement.
Refining your rhythm and footwork.
Finding your natural flow.
Leading is not the whole dance – these things are.
Great leading sits on top of all of these.
Class routines are great for ideas and inspiration…
But if you really want to learn the art and the skill of leading in social dancing, try this: