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.