By Ivan Wanis Ruiz
Alrighty, so you are curious about Salsa dancing, or maybe you have taken a few classes and want to check out an actual Salsa night. Here’s the rub, its intimidating, you don’t have anyone to go with, you still don’t know that many moves. These were the big questions I had, so here is some advice I wish someone would have told me.
1. Make plans for before.
Getting a group together and meeting for a drink/coffee/dessert/etc will get everyone into a good energy. No one knows what to expect and if you are like me, the nervous energy will get you giggly and in a fun mind state. If you have no one who wants to join you then meet them anyway and just leave early.
2. Take the class
Most every Salsa night has a beginner night just for you. These lessons will always have partner rotations. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and also to start finding people to dance with later. It also has the added benefit of not worrying if you have a partner (so stop worrying) when you go out. Most dancers actually come and go alone because it really is a lot about the dancing. Taking the class will also get your ear ready for Salsa music and make it easier to dance to it later.
TIP: If during the rotation you meet someone who you enjoyed dancing with say something like “lets dance later” this will take away the pressure of having to ask someone to dance (guys) or getting asked to dance (gals).
3. Make plans for after.
You took the lesson; awesome, you danced a few songs; more awesome, but now you are getting tired and its harder to stay on the rhythm. You start seeing advanced dancers doing tons of crazy stuff and keeping the rhythm, leading/following, turning is getting exhausting, but its only 11! What to do? Don’t make salsa dancing the end of the night, but rather an interlude. Arrange to meet with friends that were not at the salsa night, go to a party, a club, desserts, drinks. Now you have a story to tell and hopefully a reason to go back and try it again with a few more friends. This is important because if you spend too much time just watching dancing until you get sleepy it will dampen the fun you had earlier.
If you want to learn about Salsa music and listen to some of my favorites check out my Salsa Music Page on my blog by clicking any of the links. Its also where you can ask me questions if you have any.
Ivan Wanis Ruiz is a dancer and instructor who has traveled internationally to experience Salsa around the world. You can also ask him questions on Twitter @dance4u.ca