stepbystepsalsa method

Timing

The very first thing we will learn is the timing. This is the basis of your learning process. Having a good timing not only makes you dance in accord with the music but it also makes develop your sens of rhythm and the understanding of the musicality.

Rhythm

The rhythm is the next important point, which by the way is related with the timing. As soon as you have grasped the timing, you will easily learn to hear and feel the rhythm and how to move accordingly to it. Rhythm is everywhere in your dayily life. Even without being aware of it, everything you do has its own rhythm. Challenging here is not to have a rhythm but "the right" one. The one which the music is communicating to you. This does not mean that you will be trapped in a specific rhytm and won't have any freedom. On the contrary! You will have A lot of freedom and of personal improvisaton. Important is that you hear and understand the background rhytm of the music. The rest is up to your fantasy how you want to decorate it with your 'own rhythm'.

Technique

At this stage the next step is to deal with the technique, which is necessary in order to become a good dancer. As in any other discipline, the technique makes you a master. The most and first important thing to learn at this stage is the Basic step in Salsa/Bachata.The basic is the start. Without a good basic you cannot become a good dancer and you will always look up to good dancers with admiration and some envy. Actually, you can also become that good, provided that you are willing to deal with the technique. Once you have learnt the basic properly, you will have achieved the most important requirement to improve. A clean basic makes you improve rapidily. Both Salsa and Bachata are a partner dance, therefore the knowledge of the right technique of the leading and the following is extremely important, but along with it you should definitely deal with your own "dancing". Being a good solo dancer is the key to become a good partner-dancer. You will deal with footwork, spinning technique, body posture and body tension. Learning how to lead and follow sofisticated routines is an important aspect of the dancing, apart from the fact that it is fun, but the question here is: "Did you learn it properly?".  It makes difference to lead/follow cleanly than just barely. Have you ever asked yourself why does his or her 'whatever turn, footwork or just the basic' look different then yours? What makes his or her dancing look smoother, cleaner, more elegant and better? Well, believe it or not, the answer is: "the technique". Usually only advanced dancers know the importance of and appreciate the footwork. But foowork is exactly that ingredient which makes your dancing not only look better but it really makes you become a good dancer. It will provide you with the confidence and the skilfulness that make you move to the music harmonically and elegantly. Footwork is really bread and butter for your feet. We normally use the feet only or almost only to walk. That is why when you want them to dance they are still slow and lazy. In order to make them agile you need to train them. Therefore footwork training is just essential! Every dancer likes to spin. But here again, we need technique to be able to spin smoothly, precisely and by very little energy. You first need to find your axis in order to be able to learn the spinning. It takes some time and effort through training to gain the right technique and stability but, at the same time, the improvement is constant and very motivating.

Communication with the partner

The communication with the partner is an aspect whose importance many dancers tend to neglet. A good leading is not what makes your partner be a good follower and viceversa. Both parts are like the two sides of the same coin; the two things must match! Therefore, both the leading and the following person have to know things such as "what is the right body resistance", "the right amount of energy that should be used in the leading and the following" etc. To give and intepret the the impulses precisely means to learn "the precision of the leading and the following". It is not unsual to see dancers who have a very strong way to lead. Not only does it cost lots of energy for both parts which makes the dancing tiring but it also feels rude and absolutely not smooth. What we want to learn is how to lead and follow precisily, smoothly and gently using exactly the right amount of energy at the right moment RATHER THAN wrenching and pushing your partner back an forth or around. This is not my way of understanding the dancing. Leading your partner in a triple turn does not mean that you have to use a lots of energy in order to make her/him turn. You are not milling coffee! What you both need is just the right technique. Having a smooth leading/following technique makes you definitely to a good dancer. Communication with the partner is not only this. When you dance, you are in a constant communication with your partner and you both are moving to the music. Communicating means to find the same frequency, so to say, to tune with your partner and toy with the rhythm of the music.

Musicality

Musicality is something for which you will need some time before being able to grasp it. Most dancers dance "only" to the counting of the music. Dancing "to the music" is something quite different. Instead of dancing to the 1-2-3 5-6-7, one should dance to the melody of the song and intepret it with the movement of the body, with the decorative rhythm of the footwork. We need to train our earing. To learn how to listen to the music and to feel it. As soon as you have understood what it is and what it feels like to dance to the music, you will have discovered a new way of feeling the dancing.

Improvisation

A good portion of improvisation is the right ingredient to make improve your understanding of the musicality. When you listen to the music, do not think about what you should do next. Try to switch off your ratiocination for a while, relax and just let the music come into your body and persuade you. Feel the music and move in the way you just feel without caring what it appears to the other. This is the key to learn to improvise. Footwork, and technique will make it easier to you to move harmonically to the music.

These are the areas we will deal with in depth.

©Stepbystepsalsa 2013