What Is Technique?

Technique is what makes your Salsa moves and shines look, feel and work better.

The better technique you have, the better dance partner you are.

If you are leading, this means you will be more comfortable to dance with, and your leads will be better timed, leaving more time for the follower to respond. You will find it easier to extend your repertoire.

Followers will have faster reaction speeds, better balance, and feel light, fast, yet grounded. Partners will lead more technical and varied material they are only able to lead with followers who know what they are doing.

The technique is also what differentiates one style of dance from another. An underarm turn in Foxtrot or Jive looks very different from one in Salsa. And there are even technical differences between a right turn in for example Cuban and LA Salsa.

Moves Are Not Technique

This is one of the reasons many social dancers do not understand how to improve, and it’s also why many underestimate the technicality of the different Salsa styles, and what differentiates them.

When you are used to learning long routines and pre-choreographed turn patterns, and you can do them without too much difficulty, it can be hard to work out what you need to do in order to take things to the next level. In fact you may not realise that improvement is possible, or feel any need to do so.

After all if it works and you are getting lots of dances, why would you change it?

Here’s the reason:

You can’t upgrade your repertoire until you upgrade your technique. Often, in order to upgrade your technique, you need more strength, control, flexibility and core stability.

This is the primary reason people get stuck.


Does Dance Terminology Help or Hinder?

I believe that some dance language complicates matters. Terms like “feel the music”, “find your centre”, “use the floor” mean nothing to people who have never experienced it for themselves. And as adults we often want to analyse. We have a need to understand before we attempt to put into practice.

It doesn’t explain to someone without dance training what needs to happen in physical terms to get the required result. So this is something I’ve always tried to address.

I’m a person who takes language literally – I appreciate clear instruction and precise cueing. This is because I’ve worked with coaches in other areas who excelled in their use of language.

I wanted to make technique simpler to understand, and disconnect it from the moves in a way that empowered people to understand the things that weren’t working for them on the dance floor, and give them the tools so they could address the problem off of it.


How I Teach Technique

I came up with my own system of teaching technique – a simple method of explaining it and helping students to understand exactly what they needed to do to improve their dancing.

I called it “Five Star Technique” and in the next lesson I’ll explain how it works.