First off let me say I love this forum. Some of the topics and honesty are cool to hear becuase everyone essentially goes through the same things. Ive only been dancing for a couple of months now. The studio I go to does six week sessions where you learn basic steps in the first 6 weeks then a whole new set of steps in an additional 6 weeks before you move up a level. I think this is a good format for while it reuires patiences the repition makes sure you understand at least the basics and dont have to think as hard to remember. This week I move up a level and am excited. I seem to learn pretty quick. I can generally be shown or even see (on youtube) a move and as long as they say out the counts I can remember it. At least for a short time. I dance on2 and that is a little difficult since in my area there are much more on1 dancers. Since this is the case I always stay for our one hour practice sessions after class as well as attend the socials my studio has. I also bartend at a latin night club so I get to listen to a lot of latin music all the time and that has been a tremendous help to finding the beat along with listening to salsa in the car non stop, almost obsessivly. I have read some interesting articles with respect to timing and dancing on the clave. I took a timing workshop to work on that from the beginning before I got any bad habits. Sometimes really fast songs still get me though. I do think that musicality is important right from the beginning but i think bottom line is people have different agendas of what they want to get out of dancing. This is very apparent to me when I have danced with some so called intermediate dancers and they spin fantastically but cant keep the beat. Dont know what thats about. A few weeks ago at one of the socials I attended by myself. There was a couple of girls from my class but I was feeling rather shy that night (im usually totally not). I noticed a girl standing right next to me and asked her to dance. I asked her name and experience and she indicated she was an intermediate. The song was rather fast and I was having a very hard time keeping up. I read on a forum that if your having trouble mid dance just keep it simple and do the moves you know well. Which is what I did. I tried to effect a basic compa step which she kept spinning out of and was telling me it should be a 180. I kept moving on although the anxiety was staring to mount at this point. She kept staring down trying to figure out what I was doing with my feet because I was just off. However this made me extremely self conscious and I forgot every single move I know save for a basic CBL. Within 2 min or so she had a look of horror on her face and Im sure I did as well, she couldnt make it any more obvious she wanted the experience to end. I wanted to stop and say im sorry but im so off today. Instead we finished the dance politely thanked each other and did not make eye contact for the rest of the night. This whole experience made me extremely glad I was mentally prepared for this kind of night from reading these forums. I was able to laugh it off and now its my funny, when a dance really sucked, story that I have. I dont have any questions just want to say thanks for sharing.