If you’re a Latin danceaholic, your first few experiences watching two people tear it up on the dance floor probably got you hooked. You might have been enticed by the sensuality, the rawness, the fun, the partner connection, the music, or simply how cool they looked…
While in many Latin countries, locals grow up with the music and culture, most any non-Latin Americans learned to dance outside their home, namely through formal classes. One of the biggest benefits of classes is feedback and practice with different people to prepare you for the social dance floor. Here’s the order of operation:
STEP #1 – Take group classes and/or privates to learn how to dance, and get feedback by trusted instructors.
STEP #2 – Go out to a social/practice session/club and put those moves into practice. Start to build a level of sensitivity to leading/following others. Adjust, revise, improve. Have fun and meet new people along the way.
While Step #1 alone doesn’t typically build great dancers, taking the time to learn basics builds a foundation for great dancing. And getting feedback is extremely valuable if you hope to improve. You’ll find that all levels, even world champions and experienced social dancers have coaches to help them become smoother "movers", more musical, clearer as a lead/follow.
Step #2 is the next essential part of a dancer’s progress to greatness. What you learn, must be put into practice. Mistakes will be made, and that’s okay. It’s part of the journey and every dancer will go through it (pretty much forever). This isn’t like Calculus homework. There isn’t “one” right answer. It’s about discovering your voice as a dancer, which is just as unique as you are. First and foremost, remember that Latin dances meant to be danced SOCIALLY. That’s the best part! You'll meet people, create new friendships, laugh, connect and feel a sense of freedom that you’ve never felt before. It takes time and practice to feel the essence of each dance style and to find your voice. There will be bumps along the way but the results will be worth it!
Here are 5 ways social dancing can help you becoming a better dancer.
Get yourself social dancing as soon as possible to gain inspiration of what’s to come. Being in an environment where there are others who enjoy dancing too can keep the fuelling your fire for dancing. Feel the vibe of the Latin dance culture and take full advantage of the social nature inherent in Latin dances. Watch, admire, absorb, and enjoy! Watching can be fun, but it’s even more fun to dance! #LetYourBodySpeak
We’ve all heard the saying “the follower is at the mercy of the leader”, and to a great extent it’s true. We’re supposed to follow his choice of moves, how and when he wants to do it. And when feels good, it’s oh sooo good – it flows effortlessly, it’s musical, it’s playful and she can’t wait for the next dance. As followers, we seek those leaders who we connect with, who adapt to our skill level but can challenge us, those who share a similar groove, taste for musical style and enjoys interacting with us, not just dancing AT us. Every follower has her own special mix of traits that has her craving for more. It’s not necessarily about being the fanciest, it’s about creating an experience. Hopefully it’s a good experience, but sometimes it’s not 😬. Fellas, there’s some really basic things that will turn off a woman, so pay attention and steer clear of the “Top 8 Reasons She Hopes You Won’t Ask Her for a Second Dance”.
A huge thank you to all the ladies who contributed to this list :) Did we miss any? Comment below!
8 Reasons He Won't Ask You for a Second Dance
Caryl Cuizon, iFreeStyle.ca Co-founder
Ladies… so you think you had a super fun dance with a great dancer. But you wonder why he never asks you for a second dance. Most guys won’t tell you why, but here are some common reasons…
So girls, let's do a self-check every now and then, and make some adjustments as needed. Let your dancing speak for itself and make him want to come back for more! Happy dancing!
Thank you to all the men who shared their stories and opinions over the years! Let's make our dance experiences even better :)
Fellas, did we miss any? Comment below!
Related blogs:8 Reasons She Hopes You Won't Ask for a Second Dance
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.
Various authors including Caryl Cuizon, co-founder of iFreeStyle.ca Latin Dance Company.