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7 Latin Dance Myths

1 You can become a good dancer without classes or training.

Not every talented dancer follows a strict routine of taking regular dance classes, but they still put in the effort to hone their skills. Some seek guidance from a mentor to help them progress, while others who lack the resources may make the most out of one or two classes by dedicating hours to self-training. However, it's safe to say that not taking dance classes at all is not an option for those striving to become great dancers. When encountering someone who boasts about never taking classes, it's highly likely that they lack the strong technical skills. Even those who are considered "self-taught" and possess impressive technical abilities (beyond just being "fun" in social dance settings) most likely received guidance from a source they may not acknowledge as legitimate training. After all, good dance technique doesn't spontaneously appear without any form of instruction.

2. The only way to become a good dancer is to take allot of classes

This idea is the opposite of the self-trained myth. While the person who takes 20 privates a month is likely to improve more quickly than someone who takes only group classes, it is not the only means to becoming a great dancer.

There are some people who are great dancers and barely have access to formalized training. For example, someone may attend congress workshops – but have no regular classes in their hometown. Or, they may only have the funds for one private every few months. These people can still become strong dancers by training and really seeking to pull every possible gain from the information they received. They often also communicate quite closely with mentors who can help them on their journey.

3 You cannot be a great dancer if you don’t have talent

Incorrect. Firstly, the notion of talent is subjective. Obviously, someone who has trained in classical ballet for 20 years will find it easier to pick up social dance than someone who has never engaged in sports. Similarly, musicians are often more skilled in rhythm and musicality than non-musicians. What appears to be talent is often simply life experience. This could be from other dance genres, sports, theatre, or other types of movement. It is not necessarily innate talent. With dedication and practice, anyone can develop the ability to excel in dancing. The key is to work hard, train your body, and maintain discipline. These factors are far more critical than any perceived "talent." While talent can certainly help one become a great dancer, it is not the only factor that determines success in the craft. With hard work, dedication, and proper training, anyone can improve their dancing skills and become a great dancer."

4. You should always accept a dance when someone asks

Incorrect. It is your decision whether to accept a dance or not. You have the right to decline a dance for any reason, even if it may be considered rude or unpleasant.

However, it is important to exercise this right with discretion and kindness. While declining a dance due to personal preferences is acceptable, it is important to avoid hurting or disrespecting others in the process. For instance, declining a dance simply because someone is a beginner or because their style does not align with yours may not be the most gracious approach.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that declining a dance is a personal choice, and should be exercised with respect and consideration towards others.

5. Great dancers are great teachers

Incorrect. Dancing and teaching are distinct skills. Being a great dancer doesn't necessarily make one a great teacher, and being an average dancer doesn't mean one can't be an excellent teacher. This phenomenon is similar to university settings where there are exceptional researchers who excel in teaching and others who only teach because it is part of their job description. Additionally, some instructors may enjoy teaching but struggle to convey their knowledge effectively to their students.

6. I already know that dance move

Incorrect. You might know how to perform a part of that move or get through it, but that doesn't mean you fully comprehend it. There's always room for improvement in any move, and denying that would hinder your progress. To improve, it's important to examine the areas where you're falling short. Analyze your weight transfer, body placement, hand placement, timing, style, hip movement, and core engagement. Simply getting through the move isn't enough; mastering it requires a more in-depth understanding of its intricacies.

7. Theres only one way to do a move

There are many right ways to do things in dancing. For instance, two well-regarded teachers can have a completely different way of creating the same movement on a follow's body, and both ways can be valid. However, this does not mean that every way is acceptable. While there are certainly wrong ways to do things, it is important to be wary of anyone who claims that there is only one correct way to do a move.

Most professionals in the field of dancing understand that achieving the same end can be accomplished through various means. They may have a preference for a particular approach based on their training background, experience, and what they consider important in a dance.

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