Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How to learn salsa

If you want to learn how to become a great salsa dancer as efficiently as possible, consider this roadmap.


Control your own balance and momentum
Basic steps

Connect with your partner
Beginning footwork
Beginning essential salsa moves
Begin to listen for beat

Intermediate footwork
Intermediate essential salsa moves
Listen for the beat

Advanced footwork
Advanced essential salsa moves
Dance to the beat / beginning musicality

Connect with the music (musicality)

Naturally, there is a lot more to dancing than just these simple things.  And following this roadmap will probably take years.  More likely a lifetime.  But the journey sure is fun.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The essential salsa moves

Most salsa moves, even the hard ones, are based on simple moves. Master the easy ones, learn some variations and combinations, and you'll easily pick up just about any hard move.

So I compiled a list of what I call the essential salsa moves. They are basic salsa moves that I have found to be the foundation for every advanced move that I've learned, at least from what I remember. Really I think that this (plus maybe a couple more forgotten ones) are all there are.

There's only like 30 or 40.

Basic Step
Side Basic
Forward Steps
Back Steps

Head Loop/hair-Comb (style)

Right Turn
Left Turn
Right spin
Left Spin

Cross-Body Lead
CBL with inside turn
CBL with outside turn

Reverse Cross-Body-Lead
(This is actually a variation)
Reverse CBL with inside turn
Reverse CBL with outside turn

Skater's Wrap

Walk-through/New York Walk
Enchufle (cumbia)
Copa/In & Out
Mambo Turn

Back Spot Turn


Of course there's a lot more to becoming a salsa dancer than learning moves, but maybe now the mountain of salsa moves has shrunk a bit for you and you can spend some of your energy on the other more important aspects of becoming a salsa dancer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Do you want a take charge man?

I guess there are two kinds of women: those who take charge in life and those who don't. Actually, maybe I should say that there are those who want to take charge and there are those women who want other people to take charge. This is especially pertinent to the significant other. Some men want to be bossed around. Some men boss their women around. And more and more men are allowing their women to boss them around, or they are recognizing that if they don't let their women boss them around, they won't have any women.

Of course I don't like the word "bossing" used in this context. Take charge is more appropriate. No one should be bossed around. One will more often take charge, but they do
so without bossing anyone around.

How does this relate to dancing? It's HUGE because what I have found by being involved in hundreds of beginning classes in many different dance styles is that women who naturally take a back seat in life, are generally quicker to figure out following in dance. The quicker a woman learns to follow, the quicker the dance will be fun for her. Women who have a lot of practice following in life are generally easier to lead. Does this mean that all women who have difficulty following boss their boyfriends or husbands around? Well, maybe. But it might not be because they are naturally bossy. It might be that the boyfriends or husbands aren't being the leaders in life that they could be and their women have HAD to take the lead and they developed a habit of leading.

This is why I would recommend all couples learn to dance with each other, especially if the woman wants a take charge man. Dancing teaches men to be the strong take charge Men that many women find desirable. It also teaches women to let go of their take charge attitude so they don't step on the toes of the men they want to take charge. I still believe that many women would follow a man in life provided he is quick to take charge, he looks after her, and especially if he puts her interests above his own interests. This last one is another benefit of dancing. If we approach our relationships in life the way we approach them in our dancing, then our relationships would be more harmonious.

Ladies, do you want a take charge man? Do you want YOUR man to take charge more often? If you do, then learn to dance. Learn to follow. Learn to trust. And enable your man to learn to lead. He'll never take charge if you beat him to it.