Some of you were probably hoping that this wouldn’t be on the list of “HOW TO A BETTER DANCER”. Pero si, it’s definitely on the list. Some of the most admired Latin dancers in the world can throw down and burn the floor with funky, sexy, playful and always musical footwork (otherwise known as "shines" in salsa and cha cha). Needless to say, their talents go beyond just turn patterns. While partner connection is the essence of the Latin dances, evolution has brought other elements that allow for individual freedom of expression.
If you’re thinking “I hate shines!”, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to step up your game, have more fun, and become a more well-rounded dancer!
Coming from an urban dance background, “solo” dancing not only taught me HOW to move, but also WHEN to move, and have the confidence to go for it! So naturally, coming into the Latin dance scene, it wasn’t as scary to learn footwork. But for the millions of people whose first ever dance steps were to Acid (which I still love by the way) or some super slow salsa/cha cha/bachata, dancing on their own isn’t what they signed up for. And for as long as possible, they avoid doing it AT ALL COSTS. Eventually though, it creeps up on you... eventually you'll encounter some really awesome dancers who enjoy a balance of partner work AND time to shine on their own.
By the way "on your own" doesn't mean you forget about your partner! On the contrary, it's an opportunity to groove together without actually holding onto each other. You have both hands available, you can move around each other freely, you can play with hair, jackets, arms, legs, drops... when you can both connect to each other AND the music without a physical lead/follow, it can feel pretty awesome :)
TOP 5 REASONS PEOPLE AVOID SHINES
8 Ways Foot work/Shines (“solo dancing”) can help you improve your dancing
Caryl Cuizon, iFreeStyle.ca Co-founder.
This blog, originally posted back in November 2007, is dedicated to an iFreeStyle student and friend who, like many shy intermediate salsa, bachata and cha cha dancers wanted to know how to “crack the code” on how to get more dances… This one is for you! Enjoy my friend and I hope it helps!
If you’re SHY or NEW to the Latin dance community in your city, it may be scary to ask complete strangers to dance. You might be a beginner (stay tuned for more on that), or you may have been dancing for a while and you don’t understand why experienced dancers aren’t asking you to dance. We all have some insecurities and fears of rejection, but know this… rejection has happens to EVERYONE. The best of the best dancers out there were obviously NOT the best when they started. You’re not alone. And there’s ways to get out of the barren dance experience.
It’s partly a numbers game… The nature of partner dancing requires some sort of explicit or implicit invitation to dance. Many times in one night. Sometimes the answer is “yes”, sometime “no”, or sometimes “later”. We put ourselves out there and rejection is a real possibility. The frequency of this invitation also invites more opportunities for “no’s” and yeah, that might not sound very encouraging. If you want to be a dancing machine instead of a wallflower, prepare to put yourself out there. It’s going to take some courage and know-how to maneuver your way to success, but chances are good that results will come fairly quickly if you give these tips a try.
These 10 tips on HOW TO GET MORE DANCES (applies to both men and women :)
These tips are doable, right? Ultimately, pro-active people get more out of life. So don’t wait. Ask. Give some or all of these tips a shot and see how it goes. Take charge of your night and you may just kick yourself in the butt for allowing yourself so many dance-less nights… Go get’em. Have fun!
Caryl Cuizon, iFreeStyle.ca co-founder.
(originally posted 2007)
If you're considering learning to dance salsa, there's a lot of reasons to take the plunge and just do it! Salsa dancing is one of the most social dances in the world...it's a style of dance accessible by people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, professions. And if you think you can't dance, think again...!
Here's our TOP 10 reasons why people love to dance salsa...
Let the fun, experienced instructors at iFreeStyle.ca Latin Dance School take you on a salsa journey that you only wished you started sooner! We offer 6-week group lessons, drop-in classes, workshops, performance classes and private lessons.
Various authors including Caryl Cuizon, co-founder of iFreeStyle.ca Latin Dance Company.