Most Important Aspects of Dancing?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Lola, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Lola

    Lola Sonero

    What would you tell a beginning, intermediate and advanced follow/lead is the most important thing to learn?

    i.e. - here are some thoughts I've had when dancing. I'm sure that some aren't quite dead on by a lot of standards, but these are what first come to mind.

    Beginner - Find the Beat, and try to keep it.
    Intermediate - Find the connection with your partner.
    Advanced - Make sure you're making the follow feel good and not just worry about making yourself look good.

    Beginner - Learn the Footwork, and keep that footwork small.
    Intermediate - Please for god's sake let us lead when we're the leader
    Advanced - Don't sacrifice your ability to follow for making yourself look good...all the time. (Some hijacks are worth of breaking the connection, but many aren't).
    durbat likes this.
  2. hyh

    hyh Rhythm Deputy

    I wouldn't call your points "most important aspects of dancing."

    I am not sure if there is a single most important aspect of dancing applicable to everyone - or even for everyone of certain experience level.

    The things you point out could be argued as some of things people of certain experience level often overlooked (i.e. things they forget/never learned/ignored/etc). How about changing the thread title to "Frequently Ignored Aspects Of Dancing?"

    Finding the beat and keeping to it could be problematic for people of all levels - sometimes even for so-called "advanced" people (e.g. accidentally switching between On1 and On2).

    No doubt we'll have sizeable number of people chiming in "having fun" regardless of the title...
  3. azzey

    azzey El Sabroso de Conguero

    I would tell each level the same thing, not all at once though, but the meaning in each phrase changes as you progress with your dancing:

    Think about what each of these things would have meant to you as a beginner and how they mean to you at the level you are at now.

    - Master the fundamentals! The basic is everything and everything is basic. Learn the fundamentals and your own style will come out.

    Don't believe me? Listen to Ismael Otero:

    - Really know your basic steps. Aim to continually improve the quality.

    - Understand the structure of the music (e.g. where the 1 is, your 1 from your 5, the other beats, then phrases, accents and instruments (e.g. clave and conga).

    - Timing is everything, not just in the steps!

    - Aim to reflect the music when you dance, however simply.

    - Aim to put contrast in your dancing between one part and the next. Use repetition, variation and improvisation but whatever you do mix it up!

    - Create and try to maintain a physical, emotional and visual connection with your partner throughout the dance. Look, smile and hold them like a loved one. Aim to build rapport with your partner.

    - Synchronise your movement with your partner. Learn to dance with unity, together.

    - Lead your partner smoothly with a relaxed precision, flow and self-control (rather than
    force) and give your partner opportunities to shine like a star.

    - Follow smoothly with self-control and grace and let the leader give you the opportunity to shine like a star.

    - Be aware and in-control of yourself, not your partner.

    - Know your role and focus on it.

    - Know your partners role, so you can know yours better.

    - Take care of your partner and help make you and your partner look good together. It's a partnership!

    - You can be individual, cool, stylish and sexy to the music and still lead or follow smoothly. You just have to learn one thing at a time. Be patient.

    - Find your personal style and develop it.

    - Share the space with your partner. Each step of any move has a perfect match with the one that your partner does. You are the Yin and she is the Yang of the Yin-Yang symbol. You are together, intertwined and interdependent. You both move at the same time and so share the space, swapping complete positions from time to time. Your momentum becomes her momentum. If your lead flows, her follow flows and and vice versa.

    - Be mindful of your neighbours. Share the space and the joy of the dance with them too and extend the flow to move around the dance floor.

    - Learn to develop body movement that works naturally.

    - Watch and learn from the best and the worst dancers.

    - Learn the rules before you break the rules.

    - Echo your partners movement to the music.

    - The more advanced partner compensates and adapt to the less advanced partner.

    - Aim for consistency in your dancing.

    - Turning well is about quality not the number.

    oh and don't forget to have fun and let it all hang out baby! :lol:
  4. maartenvdpol

    maartenvdpol Changui

    Thank you so much for starting this topic Lola :D

    Azzey, in reply to your post:

    Pff love to watch these, you really are a walking find-a-vid-map aren't you? ;)

    Of course this is me again only being able to talk from beginners point of view, but I really agree on this. I dance a lot with intermediate followers, and it really strikes me as odd when a follower suddenly stops because she does not know the turn she was led in. I keep saying night after night, please no matter what keep dancing and doing your basic step.

    I think this really requires some extra attention (not talking about the people that where "born knowing it all"). I spend quite some time myself to break different kind of songs down (Azzey your YT playlist was also a big help ;) ) and this really helps me now, I only count if the follower is a beginner who needs to hear a few counts to "get into the music". But I can't blame anyone in the scene here because they hardly mention anything about it in lessons here.

    I would like you to explain this a little bit further if you are willing to take the time :)

    I personally love to break certain patterns that are being taught in classes down to blend and mix em up. I love to surprise followers with combinations they never danced before. Downside is that this really reveals the "pattern followers". At least once a night I dance with someone who, after being led into a certain turn, automatically starts moving towards her next programmed turn.

    Think these are very similair points. When the follower does not look me in the eyes, it really ruins my feeling for the dance. Most of the time I make a joke about it, ducking to where I look her directly in the eyes while doing basic step. It often helps if I ask her where she's looking at and try looking in the same direction.

    I'm 6,4f fyi ;)

    For the rest of your post I really agree on those points, and have nothing to add ;)

    Looking forward to the other replies!
  5. Lola

    Lola Sonero

    Yeah, I know my 'answers' are far from the be all and end all of answers. I pretty much just threw those out there so that people would have at least a faint clue what I was talking about and a starting point. I had a teacher ask the class that the other day (not about salsa) and it just stuck with me.

    Loving the answers already though!

    And glad to have posted it maarten.
  6. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    I need to run, but the most important aspects for me are:

    - Timing

    - Lead/follow

    - Trinity (music/partner/you)

    - Fun

    Will elaborate later.
  7. barrefly

    barrefly Nuevo Ritmo

    "Most Important Aspects of Dancing?"

    Start very young. :>)
  8. opm1s6

    opm1s6 Sabor Ambassador

    that was from 2004! he's still saying the same thing 4 years later...and I have to give him props for getting me on the road to improving my basic, which is still and will forever be a work in progress.
  9. kkksss

    kkksss Son Montuno

    I say, the most important thing for dancing is: confidence and awareness. Confidence will drive you to go ask somebody unknown and start dancing on the floor; awareness will let you know if there's any need of adjustment to your dancing so that you can improve. Having too little or too much of these two elements will make you one of those forever-schoolers or partner-killers.
  10. crazygirl

    crazygirl Rhythm Deputy

    Same true of most sports you want to excel and compete in but thankfully the rest of us are still permitted to play with the other amateurs....
  11. crazygirl

    crazygirl Rhythm Deputy

    Azzey, I loved reading your insightful list thank you :)
  12. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    To me it's not... it certainly helps if you are trying to be a world champion or something, but it's not an important aspect of salsa dancing for me. As a social dancer, one of the big attractions of salsa is that you can start at any stage of your life. Edie TSF started when she was 30; Ray Pradel (a performer/instructor based in Spain) says he started at the age of 40; I also met a lovely gentleman who started when he retired from his job at 60...
  13. UnlikelySalsero

    UnlikelySalsero Rhythm Deputy

    Lots of great ideas on this thread.

    As someone advances, the biggest issue for me is to continue learning, growing and refining the fundamentals, while expanding their other abilities.

    Most world-class athletes, musicians and others continue to work their fundamentals regularly, even when they are elite in their field.

    Most of us would do well to continue working on basic, connection, music (timing and structure), and remain humble enough to seek out feedback from someone qualified to provide advice, no matter what your level.

    I'll think about your order issue, I'm not sure I'd break it down the same way. The great thing is you're thinking about it, which is way beyond what most people are doing.
  14. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    The 2 MOST important aspects for beginners is the same in all disciplines, and maintaining them is a constant battle ( even for pro,s )

    BALANCE and POISE/HOLD... they define everything we dance

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