Looking for female Salsa/Bachata partner in NYC

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Vladimir, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir Changui

    Hello, I'm looking for a steady female partner to practice new turn patterns with and go to socials with. I'm an intermediate level dancer in both and I'm looking to put in a lot of hours practicing so I'm looking for someone serious. Thanks.
    HiJackSalsa likes this.

    EMOYENO Pattern Police

    in NYC?? there are plenty of girls at socials to dance/practice with.
  3. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    Here's the thing: for most follows, "practicing turn patterns" with a lead who needs to learn and practice those patterns himself does not help them improve much (unless there is an instructor present to tell them how to improve their following). So it's kind of a waste of their time (not to mention it's not exactly pleasant to serve as a "punching bag" for a lead who's trying to figure out how to lead something -- pulled shoulders being just one possible side effect for example). Unlike leads, who can benefit from leading less experienced follows, follows improve fastest by dancing with leads who already know how to lead those patterns well, not leads who are learning them and need to practice them before attempting them in their social dancing. Besides, a less experienced follow (experienced follows are very unlikely to want to "practice turn patterns") cannot tell you very well what you are doing wrong. So if you need that kind of practice (i.e. more extensive practice, rather than just asking a follow at a social to help you practice for a few minutes in-between dances), I would suggest getting periodic private lessons with a female instructor who can guide you and tell you exactly where you need to improve. You can lead her into a bunch of patterns and she can give you feedback. An hour of that will be much more effective than many hours with an inexperienced follow.

    As for going to socials, as emoyeno mentioned, you don't need a partner to go to socials with, just show up and dance with as many women as you can. You'll improve much faster than if you're dancing with the same follow.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Changui

    Well I guess since it will be a waste of time for a girl to practice with me, I'll just not even bother and move on to something else. Thanks for the replies.
  5. SnowDancer

    SnowDancer Clave Commander

    Your best bet would be to take group classes, and find a beginner follow who would like to practice. Keep in mind that there should be some benefit for her too. The best things to practice for both of you would be fundamental moves, like simple turns and cross-body-leads.
    akdancer and Sabrosura like this.
  6. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    But he's moved on to something else remember. Those selfish ladies failed to lie to him so he's too upset to continue.
  7. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    Or...you can do what every other lead in NYC is doing, which is practice in your group classes (if you don't have money for privates) and then go social dancing at all the great socials in NYC. ;)
    A lot of people would kill to be able to take classes in and dance in the best salsa city in the world -- just sayin'. :)
  8. HiJackSalsa

    HiJackSalsa Son Montuno

    hey man, that's cool that you want to work on improving your moves and have identified that sometimes the social dancefloor isn't the right place to do this.

    I think was explained to you (in a quite superficial and unhelpful way) was that girls (well follows, apologies if i use the two interchangably here) get a lot less from practicing turn patterns. This is true, to learn to execute a turn pattern from not knowing it to being able to competantly execute it is in most cases a more demanding task for leads than for follows. this means the girls will get what they want from learning a turn pattern before you do. does this mean no girls will practice with you: no. does it mean that it will be hard to find a partner that will want to do the same amount of practice time on the moves you want: yes.

    I would consider myself an intermediate lead (maybe advanced begginer, these labels always confuse me) and thus still have to practice moves i want to learn-i spend large amounts of time going over very simple movements and some of these movements require partners.

    so here has what i find helps

    1) ask your friends to practice. For obvious reasons its nice to hang out with your friends, this means that your partner and you have a social part of meeting up to look forward to and might make learning the some old move more tolerable
    If you dont have friends in this dance scene, make some. the best place to do this isn't on the dance floor but actually in dance classes. this also helps because you are both covering the same material, have reasons to talk etc etc.

    2)have multiple practice partners: lets say a girl will learn to her satifsfaction move x in 1 hour, but it will take you 3- it is unfair for you to make her practice for 2 hours after she's learnt it, so instead practice the same move with 3 different girls for 3 hours each. this also gets you over the problem of just being able to do the move with a certain partner

    3) find out what girls want to practice and help them with that. i think it is important when finding a practice partner to make sure both people get something out of the exchange. you have something you want to do, great! she probably does to... find out what the other people want to work on and try to spend the time evenly on both goals

    hopefully some of this helps and you weren't too put of by the previous answers

    for context here's my and one of my friends and practice partners playing around a few months back:
  9. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Oh please. 2 posters explained the situation clearly and succinctly. 1 briefly and 1 in more depth. Why should they be censured? It's not their fault he didn't get the answer he wanted.
    Sabrosura likes this.
  10. HiJackSalsa

    HiJackSalsa Son Montuno

    I never said they should be censored, i think its fine for people to both have and voice their opinions. I think what they are saying is also true (to an extent) which i mentioned. However being true doesn't mean its useful. You have someone wanting to actively improve and he has a very normal and well accepted plan to do this-practice with girls outside of class. To reply in such a way that in the space of one message he changes from being motivated to improve, to not even wanting to do the dance anymore; i dont think im out of line calling the response unhelpful to say the least
    wol likes this.
  11. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    I think it's safe to say that if he decided to abandon the dance altogether just because of some strangers on the internet explaining to him alternative ways to practice then he wasn't very passionate about salsa anyway. Sounds like he is interested in "partner dancing" in general so maybe he'll have better luck in the ballroom world which is all about practicing.

    There are tons of guys in the NY salsa scene and most don't get to have "practice partners" like he wants. I have one friend in NY who has been dancing for 10+ years, is a good dancer who doesn't do crazy moves, has many friends in the scene, and would love to have a semi-regular practice partner, but he can't get anyone to commit to more than 1-2 practice sessions. For the reasons I explained in my earlier post. Yet somehow many of the guys in the NY scene manage to become excellent dancers. I have been dancing in NY for 5 years and during that time I have witnessed guys go from beginners to amazing, world-class leads. That's because NYC salsa schools and socials are an excellent training ground.

    We suggested alternatives--practicing with a female instructor, practicing fundamentals with friends from group classes--but apparently they weren't to his liking.

    There is one other practice opportunity that I forgot to mention: many salsa schools in NY have "practice sessions" when they essentially play music for an hour or two so that people can practice with each other. It's like a mini-social just for the school's students, and they are often free for students from the school. These are excellent opportunities to get a lot of practice with eager partners.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
    SnowDancer likes this.
  12. HiJackSalsa

    HiJackSalsa Son Montuno

    I think you are right, if one person's opinion did turn you away then it is very likely that something in the very near future would have lead you to quit, i agree. I think i am just feel sensitive when people reach out on the internet for help/advice with this stuff because it usually because they can't find it other places so feel like given them a response with is both true and palatable. you seem to be one for more of the truth for truth sake (correct me if im wrong) which has value and will have both benifits and deficits compared to my approach.

    The answer i gave i assumed some things.
    a) the guys went to classes
    b) the guy was having trouble executing what he learnt in classes
    and c) he'd heard he should practice what he'd learnt outside of class and was trying to find a way to do this
    with this in mind i think finding a solution of practising (not alternate ways to get better is ideal). Also suggesting these ways is of course of great value aslong as the person is in a place where they can listen and accept your advice

    I think the option u gave in your recent post of practice session is a great one (not being from the area i didn't know that was offered). But that is the first place i'd go if i was looking for practice.

    Apologies if any of my post was taken as an attack on people who posted before me, it was more intended to be a way to reach out to a newer dancer.

    Out of interest (and this doesn't and wont be used to devalue anything you previously posted-more out of curiousity on how others learn) Do you/have you ever practiced with men outside of class?
  13. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    Well since I am a follow I'm not sure this is relevant to you as a lead, but to answer your question, no. Like I said earlier, I figured out pretty early on (when I went to my first congress and took a bunch of classes which consisted of guys learning complicated moves and using the women as rag dolls, while the instructor taught the entire class to the guys only, as if the women were objects to be moved around) that partnerwork practice (without an instructor) was a waste of time for a follow, and that we have to be able to follow anyone and everyone, i.e. dance with as many people as possible, and preferably experienced leads who can guide us through the correct way to execute a pattern (of course, we have to also learn following technique). I go to group classes to learn following technique, and I practice my basic step at home. As a follow, I get my following practice at socials, where I am always trying to notice if I have any issues--for example if I have consistent problems with a particular type of move (e.g. travelling turns, which gave me a lot of headaches in my first year, or things like touch-and-go multiple turns, with which I also had problems in the beginning). Then I try to figure out why I am having trouble with those kinds of moves--is it my balance, stepping, etc. Most of the time I come up with some solution which I put in practice and see if it helps. If it doesn't, I keep experimenting, or I figure it out in the group classes when the instructor makes a comment related to that issue.

    That's been my partnerwork learning process generally.

    I would also like to follow my own suggestion and take a private class where the instructor just dances with me and tells me what he thinks I can improve in my following, I did that in my first year of dancing and it was a huge help.

    Only time I've practiced with a guy outside of class was as a favor to a friend who was learning traditional bachata. I think he offered to buy me a drink/pay my social ticket for that night or something like that lol, i.e. he understood I was doing it for him and getting nothing out of the experience with regard to improving my own dancing.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
    Dissonant Harmony likes this.
  14. wol

    wol Sonero

    Well, I do not know how it works in NY, but in my corner of world it would be fairly easy to find a practice partner for learning to dance (of course, dis-balance between leads and follows helps a lot). I have seen answers to beginner leads even from follows with experience. But Sabrosura is right, that it does not help follows very much, so you have to realise, that she will be helping you,
    But I really disagree about everyone being able to make it in a scene without a practice partner. I am an example of that. Without regular training at home with my wife I would not be dancing any more. And I AM passionate about salsa and dancing now. So, here you have one exception already. I am sure there are others, so no need to generalise ...
    HiJackSalsa likes this.
  15. HiJackSalsa

    HiJackSalsa Son Montuno

    It's relevant to me. I work very hard on my following aswell- tho i principally lead when i go out dancing. I like you find that most classes (that i've been to) tend to end up being very lead focused and except for a few exception i dont take classes as a follow- i do most of my learning through social dancing and playing.

    Do to different mind sets, goals and skill levels we seem to approach what we can learn from others differently tho. I learn a lot social dancing and find it helps my following (also my leading of course) a lot when i go out for a night dancing, but the same style of learning can be acheived by dancing with one partner and breaking things down when problems arise- probably just a personal preference of how things are done.

    As for the whole 'favour' thing. I think have practised with girls who are much less experienced than me and some who are much more...in the same way that i have danced socially with beginners and pros. Outside of the fact that you can probably learn something by interacting with a new person in dance/life i think all of these favours end up balancing out so i try to be as generous as i can with my time. The main limitation of me training or spending time with someone is just if we get along. Imagine if the better leads didn't dance socially with the beginners because the lead got nothing out of the dance. I think the lovely thing about the dance community (or the one i am in) is that people understand that everyone needs help with something at sometime so if you are in a position to offer it, its good to do so sometimes.

    I will probably be in NY sometime in 2017 and as of writing this post i cannot really dance mambo...i'll now be careful with how i go about setting up my practice time and maybe lower my expectations for when i arrive
  16. Sabrosura

    Sabrosura ¡WEPA!

    A couple possible differences between our scenes. In NY guys generally don't really go around asking people to be their practice partners. I have never been in a situation where someone has asked me to be their regular practice partner, nor have I heard about this from female friends. Or maybe they do and I am not aware of it, but I've never seen, say, a Fb post of a guy looking to find a practice partner. I know of only a couple guys who practice outside of classes semi-regularly. I think that guys who really want that kind of practice join performance teams.

    The other thing is that NY has so many social dancing events every day of every week and people have so many other competing time commitments that there is little time left for extra practice beyond group classes (which often also get pushed out in favor of social dancing--for many people if it comes to choosing between a group class or a social, they'll choose the social). I know I certainly didn't have that kind of time when I was living there.
    wol likes this.
  17. wol

    wol Sonero

    I can not remember seeing them on FB, Usually more anonymous portals are used - most do not feel comfortable asking for this publicly on FB. Usually these kind of requests and responses are from older leads/follows. Somehow younger dancers handle public embarrassment in group classes much easier ;). And older beginner follows have very, very little chance to learn in socials, as they are asked to dance very little :( So, sometimes finding practice partner or taking individual classes are the only option for them to learn :( Another category I noticed are experienced dancers learning a new dance - they usually find group classes boring and take only few to get the basics down. Then take a few individual classes and find an experienced partner and do the rest of learning by practising with them.
    azana likes this.
  18. HiJackSalsa

    HiJackSalsa Son Montuno

    if this is true then my advice might be fruitless for the gentleman. of course all this stuff is contextually relevant and if the practice partner option is viewed to be worthless in the scene (due to better options or whatever reason) then of course it would be harder to find a partner.

    good point @wol on people learning different dance styles- i often see this done between practice partners and find it useful myself
    wol likes this.
  19. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Neither did I. I said: 2 posters explained the situation clearly and succinctly. 1 briefly and 1 in more depth. Why should they be censured? It's not their fault he didn't get the answer he wanted.



    express severe disapproval of (someone or something), especially in a formal statement

    They were honest with the OP - it's not their fault if that causes him to throw a tantrum. They could have lied to him to make him feel good, but why should they?
  20. HiJackSalsa

    HiJackSalsa Son Montuno

    addressed in entirety previously

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