Which stage are you at and reflections on journey

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by smiling28, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Hi team,

    Just a quick thread of us to share some experiences.

    Briefly for me I can really feel that I am at an intermediate stage. Eg.


    - I noted that I was just so happy to be dancing as were others (very encouraging crowd generally).

    - It was fantastic. Ignorance is bliss stage he he

    - happy to learn anything

    Intermediate: (current).

    - Less encouragement from majority of dancers ( you are not obviously so bad as to need encouragement and not so good as to receive it lol)

    - probably more of an element of pushing through plateaus with your instructors and fellow students (eg. privates, history/same teams/groups etc).

    - Start to develop an identity/peers :) etc

    - Focus more on not just learning but what, when and how :) eg. more discerning as you have limited time

    - so much more time/focus invested in technique that you are not as 'free' dancing (as beginner has nothing to think about technique wise relatively lol (ignorance is bliss) and advanced has made it natural/autonomous.

    - really start returning to moves you learnt previously and actually learning them this time properly he he :)


    - to be advised - watch this space ha ha

    And of course 3 levels is super simplifying the matter as a zillion different levels within each also.

    Overall a very fun journey.

    Any reflections/thoughts from you guys on how you have felt through each level? (what I like is that your reflections during something are usually different to how you see it once completed :)
  2. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    If you'd asked me a year ago I would've said advanced.

    If you ask me now, however, I'd say I were intermediate just touching on advanced.

    I've been dancing for almost 3 years, the first two were a bit of a waste as I wasn't really getting proper instruction and going to the Congress in January was a real wake-up call, and that's when I started learning on2 and getting proper instruction (1-2 privates a month by a technically excellent on2 dancer, imho the best in Canberra and can hold her own in Sydney).

    I've not only been dancing 2-3 times a week every week this year, but I've also been studying proper technique, body movement, proper spin technique, proper lead/follow technique, and paying a lot more attention to musicality and shines. I practise every day, and I still only consider myself intermediate when most would probably consider me advanced. Why? Because the more you know the more you realise how much you don't - it's a matter of perspective.

    Future? I'm planning on moving to Sydney next year and getting instruction at Latin Motion, LDA, and Suave. After that I'll pick the school I want to stick with :)
  3. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    I know what you mean...
    I've been dancing 5 years. About 3 years ago I thought I was advanced. Now I'm not even sure if I've made it to the intermediate level yet.

    But I'm still getting as much buzz from dancing as 5 years ago. Which is good.
  4. maartenvdpol

    maartenvdpol Changui

    I'm definately a beginner (dancing exactly 6 weeks now with no previous dancing experience). I've been doing a solid 20 hrs. a week, repeating every old course during the "new" courses. This way I do every course 2 or 3 times (just started my 3rd beginners course).

    I don't share the feeling of thinking everything is going well, but this might be because of my previous sport. I'm always critical.

    I do share the buzz people are talking about, I love dancing (just 23 years to late to find out lol). I attend 1 or 2 social dances a week and there's no better thing than dancing with an intermediate follower :D

    You might think this should be the same for dancing with advanced followers, but the opposite is true for me. The advanced followers in the small scene here seem to be impatient, tend to take over the lead (which I won't allow) and are all move junkies, unsatisfied if I did not lead them into a quadruple spin or whatsoever :)

    In short, for me dancing is fantastic and I love to learn :D Just have to accept that some things take time and more repetition.

    Cheers all!
  5. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    You are doing great, beautiful follower and I would dance with you anyday!

    (plus like you said, you clearly enjoy yourself :) )
  6. narcosis

    narcosis Sonero

    I've been dancing for 3.5 years and am still a very average intermediate who just would like to keep my partnerwork simple but never ever letting go of the groove, flirtatiousness, and musicality which has marked my style for the past year. This is the most into-the-music state that I have ever been in.
  7. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Brilliant, sounds like you are keen. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey :)
  8. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    I agree with your priorities!!!

    Your last line is awesome! Well done :)
  9. Berend

    Berend Son Montuno

    Currently i’ve been dancing for about 2,5 years and currently (finally!) making the transition from beginner to intermediate (at least that's how it feels). When going to social dancing, there are so many great dancers, i’m the beginner by far, but i’m not so much intimidated by it than at the beginning. Just simply trying to make the dancing with a follower makes us both feel good with a lot of laughs :)
  10. kkksss

    kkksss Son Montuno

    wow, seems that every body here has such a high standard for themselves. Dancing 3 years and still regard yourself as entering intermediate level? I must be too easy on myself :p I have danced a little bit more than a year, and I think I am intermediate. But, I don't think I will ever get into "advanced", I am just so self-content :-D
  11. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    I've been dancing 7 years and just made it back to beginner!
  12. chrisk

    chrisk Super Moderator Staff Member

    First, I think that while it's not very difficult to distinguish between beginner and intermediate stage, I feel it to be a lot more difficult when it comes to intermediate and advanced. As you already mentioned there are varios levels around and in between those three named levels. Also what about the possibility of being advanced in one aspect but intermediate in another, what overall level would this lead to?

    I remember that I once felt in the past that I reached advanced, but nowadays I think I'm more somewhere around intermediate or maybe slightly nudged towards that direction. But then I don't really care about those levels a lot as I prefer to simply enjoy the journey wherever I'm on it. Also at least some of the points that you mention about the intermediate stage are in my opinion true for advanced and professionals as well. For example relearning moves and especially working on the fundamentals are in my opinion indepedent of the level that you are and rather show your consideration of caring about all the small details. Also 'pushing through plateaus' is something that isn't specific to intermediate, but is going to happen at advanced and professional level as well. But I wouldn't really call it 'pushing through the plateau' but rather continuing to improve yourself as dancer. Those plateaus are regularly showing up in your dancing, even when being advanced or a professional dancer. It's just up to you to motivate yourself to continue improving yourself and not stop because you simply can't see your current progress yet.

    So, as you already mentioned, it's a 'very fun journey' that we're taking to learn and develop ourself as salsa dancers. And instead of thinking about which stop of the journey we reached or what level we might consider ourselves, rather enjoy the journey itself and it's 'beauty of the moment'. I think this is a bit related to the saying 'Stop and smell the roses'. I think instead of being concerned about your current stage and how fast or slow you make progress towards the next stage, just enjoy the journey and the current point you reached. As you continue to learn or just go out dancing, you'll make new experience and further progress on the journey and therefor the next stage. But even when you've someday feel to have reached advanced and other see it as well, will that level mean that you're enjoying dancing more or less then now? I would say 'no', as long as you learned during the early part of your journey to enjoy every dance as it is and on it's own. The difference will be that you know more moves, more styling, have/show more musicality, when you dance. But those won't make the dances more fun then before. The 'more fun' is rather in my opinion dependent of your follow and the connection that you've got with them, then the stage you've reached in your dancing. So, I would say: Just enjoy the journey and don't care which part of it you've reached. :)
  13. crazygirl

    crazygirl Rhythm Deputy

    I am really not sure it's easy to identify which 'stage' you are at and to be honest I don't really want or need a label - I simply love being out dancing!

    There are no worldwide exams so everyone has different benchmarks to compare themselves with depending on the standard of their local scene and how much they have ventured onto the wider world stage.

    Just enjoy and get out of it personally what you want.
  14. narcosis

    narcosis Sonero

    Well done sweavo! :)
  15. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    I have been dancing salsa for about 10 years and I am regressing from whatever level I might have been. Probably because I never ever get to dance in public to the music I like most: timba.

    I hope to remedy that by attending the next Cubamemucho in München next April. Rumor is that the 3 best timba bands of Cuba will be there (Manolito, Salsamayor and Pupy). If that happens I will happily overdose.

    I am merely a beginner at Afro-Cuban dances and un-initiated in West African dances. Two situations I plan to remedy some day.

    Plus: if the salsa music is boring, then rueda is the best thing. Rueda is fun no matter how bad the music is.
  16. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

  17. agarcia97

    agarcia97 Sonero

    Ive been dancing for about 4 months now. I would probably say im not intermediate but an advanced beginner. Im in a new group class that has much a little more advanced moves and moves much quicker. Im definitly leaving the bliss phase I was in and am starting to see my short comings. Its good because it gives me a chance to focus more on my lead. My first three months I just focused on the music and my footwork so that at the very minimum I could stay with the timing. Consequently it made me a little oblivious to if I was doing things correctly in my lead technique. I started to notice I would almost rather break and just dance independently cause I just wasnt feeling any connection to my followers. I have made some real blunders lately.

    Here are a few
    1) Almost completely ignoring the follower in any real personal connection, ie. eye contact, paying attention to if shes enjoying herself
    2) completely outshining my follower with body movement (one girl told me she feels like shes having a body movement contest with me)
    3) not knowing my bounds as far as how slow fast to go with a paticular follower, again just ignoring the reaction and doing what I want mostly
    4) just playing a little too much with my footwork. its seems to confuse the follower cause im on beat but sometimes get a little herky jerky feeling to them.

    All and all I think Im on track and am really looking forward to learning and my experience in SF in two weeks.

    Any leaders relate to this? What did you do to practice having a better feel for a connection? If you say just pay attention then OK I prob deserve that....haha
  18. AndrewS

    AndrewS Shine Officer

    I thought I'd reached 7/10 but then I asked a friend and she thought I was a 5 or a 6. It's good to have friends to keep your ego in check :). But she thought I could make it to a 10 whereas I think I could never reach a 10. I also think I have got about as advanced as I can without upping the commitment and practice time to much higher levels, which I don't want to do.

    So, I'm following sweavo and am going back to beginner: I'm learning rueda and I think it's fair to say I'm a 1/10 at the moment as after two classes I can remember the moves but not the names :lol:

    It's been a fun 4 1/2 years though and definitely one of the better choices I've made in my life.
  19. opm1s6

    opm1s6 Sabor Ambassador

    Hard to describe where I am. It's somewhere between here and there and often it's nowhere.

    To be honest I have no clue where I am. Overall I need to improve my spinning and upper body movement, particularly how my shoulders relate to my rib cage, which requires a lot of concentration. This really is a problem when doing advanced shines. While we're at shines, I need to keep my head up more often.

    As far as partnerwork, I'm working on adding and truly feeling comfortable with the moves I'm adding to the repertoire. I need to have them in muscle memory. Increasing the repertoire is one of my priorities right now since I already understand so much of the mechanics, but understanding them and having the full control to execute are two different things and that means that my spinning needs to be at its peak so that I can finish my moves cleanly and regain control asap. I'm always improving my musicality, but increasing my repertoire is the focus and I find only comes with getting into practice sessions with a partner and just practicing it until you have the most efficient path to execute. I like drilling so it's not that bad, but I have to find the time in an already very busy salsa schedule. This is especially important as the night goes on and my legs start tiring. I find that I lose control very quickly after about 2 hours of dancing and I need to seriously improve my control so that this isn't an issue. Taking a rest also helps instead of always searching for the next high.

    Also in my partnerwork I've been adding more playful elements, which has helped a lot and I like giving her time to do shines or show off while still in my arms.

    Yeah get used to constantly noticing your short comings. That only gets worse and it comes naturally with a boat load of frustration. I say this often; salsa is the hardest skill I've ever had to learn. It drives me into a world of salvation and insanity all at the same time. I hate it and love it all at once.

    Shines are supposed to be combative to an extent. You're showing off, in the way peacocks show off their feathers. It's courtship as is the dance as a whole, and if she can't keep up it'll be obvious and then I'll stop and pull her back into my arms for partnerwork. For me I only do shines if the music requires it, but I do truly enjoy it and the follows I dance with are usually the same. Just because you've separated and are doing shines, doesn't mean that you have lost a connection to each other. It's a different type of connection and I still am able to make eye contact, flirt or play with shines just the same as I can if I'm in partnerwork. Of course it all depends on the partner; some follows just aren't receptive. I always love arousing the feeling from women of "Oh you think you're the ish, well watch this!" When a girl tries to show off, I know I've pulled some emotional strings and that always puts a grin on my face.

    Definitely increase the eye contact and make sure to show that you react to her. One of my favorite follows is an absolute goof because she's always smiling or reacting to something I've done that my be atypical or maybe a way I hit accents etc. That goes both ways and any time she does something unusual, I react in the same way. The reciprocity makes it a lot more fun and personal. As a beginner you don't get much of these type of interactions, but just be creative and see how follows react. Those girls that react positively you want to dance with again and again. ;)
  20. vancouverguy

    vancouverguy Sonero

    Amen to that! I like Rueda to, but after learning Salsa for almost a year, having someone call out moves in Spanish leaves me going HUH? now and then :p

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