From class to dance-floor

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by SnowDancer, May 17, 2010.

  1. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Funny (actually aggravating) how one can learn moves or styling in a salsa class, and then find that they hardly work at all on the dance floor. Even practicing with a friend doesn't always help: I'll be able to use the moves with her, but nobody else.

    It's obvious why this is so: The women in the class are also learning the move, and know what to do. Sure, a follower at a really high level can simulate being naive and then point out the flaws of our leading, but they aren't in the typical salsa class.

    Eventually, I can sometimes work out what's wrong with enough practice on the dance floor. If the woman's not turning, or turning the wrong way, it's obvious that I'm not making the turn clear or providing enough momentum in the direction I intended. The trouble with too much of this during a song is that it results in a not-very-smooth dance.

    Makes me wonder if one should take a private after every 1 or 2 group classes to work out these issues.
  2. chr

    chr Shine Officer

  3. John S2

    John S2 Sonero

    No - in my opinion. The details of how to lead the moves should be addressed by the instructor in the group session.
    The occasional private lesson can be valuable but they should not need to be frequent.
  4. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'El Diferente' Canales

    I am not sure if that should be a purpose of a private. To fix how to lead a move. The basic techniques in the group class should cover that.

    An important question - is the move you are trying to learn leadable on a social dance floor. There are many moves which may not be suitable for social dancing unless both the follower and the leader know them.
  5. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    I think the recent moves are, because sometimes they work. This isn't just a recent class. It happens fairly often. Makes me wonder if I'm a slow learner.:? But I also notice other guys trying stuff on the dance floor and not looking very smooth. I think it's a problem once you reach a decent level: stick with what you know well and dance smoothly, or try new things and possibly give your partners a bad experience.

    Maybe this is my own problem because I no longer take a regular class, only workshops and drop-in's when I travel. So I can't just go back the next week and ask the instructor for tips.
  6. GForce85

    GForce85 Rhythm Deputy

    IMO it's actually easier once you reach a decent level assuming you don't try too many new things per dance. If I want to work a new move into useable condition I just throw it in at random points during my dances, knowing that if it goes wrong I can just fall back upon all the things I do well. The dance on the whole is enjoyable, and my failed attempts at executing the new move are just chalked up to the random errors that happen in any given dance (she doesn't have to know that the mistake only happened because I can't execute the move properly yet ;)). Heck, just Saturday night I had a pro level follower blame herself when I screwed up a move that I haven't quite gotten down yet. We just shrugged it off like any other mistake, I danced the rest of the song with my usual stuff, and she was perfectly satisfied. Just spread out your attempts and you should get enough reps to get the new things down without irritating anyone.
  7. nowhiteshoes

    nowhiteshoes Pattern Police

    I usually lead moves i know how to lead then use a small % of the dance to try new things. If/when they go wrong then it's only a small % of the dance rather than half the dance etc.
  8. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Seems like a good plan.
  9. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    Some moves are just lousy and almost impossible to lead with someone who hasn't taken the same class. They might look good but they are not really social dance moves. Sometimes instructors who also train performance teams use the moves they are teaching their team in their regular classes as well. They can charge money for it and it is less work for them but useless to you.

    Btw, you could modify the move to make it easier to lead. If it flows it goes.
  10. viosil2003

    viosil2003 Son Montuno

    don't forget the obvious fact that some patterns are simple above one's level. Either they require faster footwork than your own, or fast hand switching, rotation, quicker spins, body positioning, balance, etc. This I have experienced too often.

    Another point is that some patterns require more practice than others.

    Lastly, just because you are taking intermediate classes, for example, it doesn't mean you are an intermediate dancer. If I am an intermediate dancer, I would start taking advance courses in order to become an advance dancer. Point being, the patterns at the level you are on should be challenging, so don't get frustrated. Pick the pieces you are able to do comfortably.
  11. salsamarty

    salsamarty Rhythm Deputy

    I've seen this before and man do I hate it. It's lazy teaching IMO.
  12. Melvin

    Melvin Tumbao

    Hmm.., I often hear leaders complain about "non leadable moves", but so far, after almost three years with various instructors I still can't see anything wrong with any of the moves I've been through other than the fact that they often are too difficult for me and others.

    Mostly difficult to lead properly, and sometimes demanding a technically very skilled follower.
  13. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    I used to think I had been shown unleadable moves, but this was very early on, and I think what was really happening was they weren't teaching the ladies to follow.
  14. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Yes, these are good points. Part of the reason I want to learn some of these moves is that I feel it's a way to progress. So it's not that I need to learn a move (how many does one need?), but learning it means acquiring a new skill.

    One thing I've found with practicing is that it can be better to work with beginners than advanced followers. My one friend is really good and can follow anything. But a couple others that I sometimes practice with haven't been dancing that long, so working with them requires me to be extremely clear.
  15. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Yes, I think some moves are unleadable if the follower doesn't have a good frame. This could even be something simple like a copa where you keep hold of both her hands; and it's why I almost use my right hand on her hip (which works with anybody).

    But mostly when I've thought a move wasn't leadable, it was because I wasn't doing it well.
  16. DaveFUK

    DaveFUK Tumbao


    Much of what I dance with 90% of followers on the floor is quite simple to lead. This is largely due to a) I don't actually come across that many decent followers on the social dance floor b) quite often I'm more preoccupied with keep myself and my partner safe from the animals out there chucking their partners around the floor :)

    Just to qualify a). I do dance at a wide variety of events both local, national, and abroad. I come across loads of followers who look fantastic when they dance solo or are on the stage but when you actually get to dance with them socially they just can't follow!

    It can be very disheatening as an inexperienced dancer to "try" a move out with an "experienced" follower only to fail miserably.
    I always used to put the blame on myself. It's only as I got a lot more experience that I realised it wasn't all down to my crap leads but more often down to the poor following skills of my partners.
  17. DaveFUK

    DaveFUK Tumbao

    Are you sure? :D
  18. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    There are numerous variations that cannot be " lead ".. irrespective of the level and or skill of the follower..
  19. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    There are numerous variations that cannot be " lead ".. irrespective of the level and or skill of the follower.. even after experencing something new, it takes time to develop an ease of action..
  20. bas

    bas Rhythm Deputy

    I don't know what things are like in other countries but in Holland I find that a lot of teachers don't actually teach leading nor do they teach the specifics of leading a move unless you ask. Come to think of it, even at congress workshops I only remember 1 instructor who actually explained how to lead the moves rather than just how to execute them. So unless you have already been taught to lead properly it will be very hard to learn how to lead a move in your average class here.

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