Hi! Nice website. I love this Dancer Hangout! – Getting addicted to reading it during the day, getting READY to dancing it all night long!
I am brand new to the Salsa scene. I have just started taking lessons. Should I go to the clubs and try out what I know so far, or will I get eaten alive? I barely have my Cuban motion down, and I don’t have a partner. My friend said that there would be many women willing to teach me, but I just don’t believe him. I have had one private lesson. Thanks in advance!
– A Budding Salsa Freak”
Continue with your private lessons. If the instructor is good, you should take at least six or seven more. However, during your “privates” period, you should go to the clubs, and just jump in, head first. That’s the only way you’re going to truly learn, and more importantly, it will stimulate you to WANT to learn about 100 times faster than if you just took classes. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a partner. Partners are for competing purposes or fancy tricks – or for going home with… or both (you did NOT read this here!!!).
I didn’t find my first dance partner till a year after I started going to the clubs. Then I had several, and as I started touring, I had one in every country. Your friend is right. I’ve helped hundreds of men “get that Cuban thing goin’ on”. What a great way to meet women, and make great friends in the process! Don’t ever be shy.
Another word of advice: While you’re at the clubs, don’t ask a girl “Will you teach me?”. Just ask if she wouldn’t mind showing you a couple turns that you saw her do. But DON’T say, “Will you teach me?” at the club. Most women are there to dance, and have a good time. Not teach male beginners. Number one, 90% of them don’t know how to lead, and secondly, they haven’t a clue as to what the guy is supposed to do.
Three exceptions to this rule are:
- They’re instructors themselves
- They are like me, and feel for beginners, so they take time out to help whenever they can (a rarity).
- They think you’re cute.
But don’t say “Will you teach me?” at the club!!!! This drives women crazy!!! I have men ask me that all the time and I don’t know why, but I just can’t stand that phrase!!!
This turns many good female dancers off. A lot of women will be rude and answer “Try taking a lesson”. Try as often as you can to dance with the best women dancers. They are easier to control, and follow much better than a beginning female – of which you may get frustrated. Besides, good female dancers ALWAYS make the man look good.
Try not to find a partner yet. Get good first, by becoming a smooth, subtle, yet solid leader. Dance with as many women as you can fit into one evening. This will make you a great dancer. Reason? You and your partner will get “locked in” to what each other is doing, get used to each other, then when you want to dance with someone else, they will not be as “easy” to maneuver, they’ll feel like they can’t dance that well, and you won’t lead them correctly. Watch good male dancers. They don’t turn the women all the time. They don’t do a whole lot of fancy stuff either. They just lead well, and most importantly, they have fun!
– Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
Edie The Salsa FREAK!! Website