(repost from 2014)
We live in the era of instant gratification.
We want to see results ASAP, right now… yesterday even.
We like challenge, but don't let your ego get in the way of your own growth. When it comes to dancing, it’s a bad idea to skip or rush through learning the fundamentals.
If you want to know why, READ ON. While the reasons can apply to dances in general, we’ll focus on the Latin street dances – salsa, bachata, cha cha.
5 REASONS WHY INVESTING TIME IN LEARNING THE BASICS IS A GOOD IDEA
The basic steps, timing, and technique in dance provide a foundation for EVERYTHING that you’re going to learn going forward. With great fundamentals, you’ll acquire knowledge and skills that can serve as “short cuts” to learning new things. You’ll ALREADY understand and can execute the most elementary skills like timing, lead and following technique, weight transfer so you can focus on what’s NEW.
Stay focused on the goal..."To be a better dancer". Be patient. LEARN YOUR BASICS. Practice your basics. Enjoy the rewards in the long term :) You and your partner will thank you for it!
Caryl Cuizon, iFreeStyle.ca co-founder.
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.
Various authors including Caryl Cuizon, co-founder of iFreeStyle.ca Latin Dance Company.