Do all Salsa teachers pack so much new stuff into a one hour class that you can’t remember any of it 20 minutes later? The girls say they’d be bored working at one sequence for a whole hour, so he has to keep them entertained, but the men have to learn, so we can lead :-\”
No, not all instructors do this. It depends on who’s teaching, and who’s learning, and what syllabus system (if any), they are using. In the Black Belt Salsa (BBS) Training System, we created a fantastic progressive syllabus method of learning that involves a systematic approach that instructors use to progress their students every week, every month, and every year. The progression gets more intense, and the students are loving it because they get REWARDED to a new “Belt Level” every month!
Most instructors that do not use a systematic progressive syllabus will not usually teach at an even pace, depending on the class level. They will teach “move of the week” classes, and forget that they already taught a particular move just weeks before. They may in fact forget what they taught the week before!!! LOL. With the Black Belt Dance System, the moves are all online for the instructors to review, learn, and teach for every night, month, and year, systematically. If you’re taking a group dance class, the instructors have a very difficult job. They have to make sure their students learn, so they teach good, and challenging moves for their level. The only way the male students can learn to lead these moves is by practicing with women. The only reason the women will come to the group class is if the class is fun and interesting. So, the instructor must please both the women, and the men. Because women are the followers, and really have no say in their movement nor direction during dancing, after a while, it is very boring and sometimes aggravating to be twirled around by beginners the entire hour. We all pay the same price at the class door, and if the women don’t feel they are getting anything new and exciting out of it, they won’t continue coming back.
Until I started to learn how to lead, I didn’t appreciate this. I couldn’t stand group classes. Why? Because unless the instructor specifically demonstrated a female flair movement, or fancy trick I had to do, I would always just end up following the guy the entire hour. After a while, following, following, following… well, I’d much rather spend my money in a club than at class anymore (yes, even Edie the FREAK could be a ***** sometimes…).
Instructors must keep moving on to more interesting and complex instruction to keep the women coming to class. They must continuously make learning to dance interesting, fun, and challenging for everybody. If you feel that the instructor isn’t spending enough time on a move, then ask a gal at the class to stay a few minutes afterward to practice a bit. Buy her dinner in trade for an hour of practice after class. This works 80% of the time. If you don’t want to do that, then I suggest you take privates from the instructor.
It is so hard to find someone just to practice with. That’s why we’ve tried to provide a service here at the Dancer Hangout to connect partners in your cities.
Now that I’m learning the guy’s “Leading” part, I really feel for the guy now, because I’m in the same dilemma! I started taking group classes. Wouldn’t you figure, no girls wanted to dance with me (yes, I am a girl too!)! I was beginning to feel like “one of the guys… PISSED OFF that they all kept saying no! And for good reason! What girl would want to dance with another girl? I sucked so bad as a leader, even my OWN FRIENDS didn’t want to dance with me anymore – not even to practice! What a DRAG!!!”
So I asked the instructor if he / she wouldn’t mind helping me a bit after each demonstration. I know I will eventually have to take privates, because finding someone to practice with is too difficult. I may even buy one of my girlfriends dinner….
The best thing for both you and I to do would be to just take privates for a while, and practice with whoever and whatever lets us… the dog, the pillow, the towel, a tie .. WHATEVER!!!
– Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
Edie The Salsa FREAK!! Website