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HOW TO BECOME A BETTER DANCER: SOCIAL DANCING



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…


  1. “It looks like so much fun!”

  2. “I love the music!”

  3. “I NEED to know how to do this and impress my friends”

  4. “If he can dance with so many hot girls, so can I!”

  5. “Look at those awesome shoes! I want to dance in those shoes!”

So you started taking classes, picked up some moves from YouTube, tried club classes and left right after. But it wasn’t enough to get good. Why? Social dancing is simply an essential part of your dance training. Let’s say you’re not in it to be a professional dancer, so you’re not trying to “train”, you’re just in it for fun. Hopefully everyone is in it for the fun since most people don’t get paid to do it. HOWEVER, salsa, bachata and cha cha are primarily danced with a partner. Which means what YOU do affects someone else. If you’re off time, rough as a leader, lazy as a follower, YOU are affecting someone else’s experience. For that reason, it’s important to care about how YOU move. If you don’t want that kind of responsibility, then choose a partner-less dance genre where you can go buck wild and not hurt anyone else with your fabulous solo work 😜


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.


REPEAT.


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.

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