Anybody have any basics/tips for dips? My problem is that I can dip anyone that I've danced with alot, but I want to get to the point where I can dip anyone. Anytime I dance w/ someone I know, it usually works. But just about everytime I dance w/ someone new or someone I don't dance w/ alot, they never get it. Am I leading it wrong or what? I like dipping, but I also hate looking stupid out there on the floor because of a dip that got stopped in its tracks. I realize that there are some women who don't like dips and won't follow you into it no matter how well you lead it, but there can't be THAT many women who don't like it. Any ideas anyone?




Staff member
RugKutta said:
I want to get to the point where I can dip anyone.
First of all, as you say, not all followers like to be dipped. I happen to love dips, but I know girls with back problems who find dips problematic.

Secondly, not all followers know how to be dipped. It's not ALL in the lead, the follower needs to know how it's led and know that she has to support her own weight. Dip a clueless beginner, and you may end up injuring yourself...

So, dipping only the people you know is, in a way, a good "better safe than sorry" approach. Another is to ask "is it okay to dip you?" -- it may spoil the fun a bit, but it's helpful especially with less skilled followers, and may improve your success rate as the partner will then know that you are likely to incorporate a dip or two.

RugKutta said:
Anytime I dance w/ someone I know, it usually works. But just about everytime I dance w/ someone new or someone I don't dance w/ alot, they never get it. Am I leading it wrong or what?
Maybe -- I assume you've been taught how to dip a girl? If not, get a lesson. Timing is important -- make sure you go into the dip when the follower's got her weight firmly on the right foot, or you end up sweeping her off her feet, literally.

Also, some dips are easier to follow than others because the lead into it is so clearly a prep for a dip it cannot be anything else. Other dips, if done when I'm not expecting it, I may fail to follow. When dancing with someone new, use one of those basic dips that gives the follower plenty of warning.

I've noticed that some leaders do a couple of "mini-dips" -- don't know what they are really called... oversways? -- before a full dip when they dance with a stranger. It lets the follower know your intention to dip and how you're going to lead her into it. It also looks good in terms of presentation if you hit the peak of the music with it.

I can't give you any technical tips (I never lead), but hopefully other leaders will chime in to help you.
RugKutta said:
I want to get to the point where I can dip anyone.
I'm at a point that I can dip most follows when I want to, but usually it's someone I'm 1/2way familiar with/have good connection. Plus, I prefer to know ahead of time if she likes dipping. (on an odd but related note, I was asked by a friend to spin & dip her while we were walking down the street since we weren't able to dance together this past weekend. Such the addiction for her! Lol!)

Without actually knowing you or the follow in question, I think it's impossible to see what the issue is. It could be you, it could be her, it could be both of you. I'd have to see it to get a better idea.

My suggestion would be to do as MM suggests and make sure your technique is sound by asking a local instructor for advice/private instruction.


Staff member
I like for her right hip to be right at my center, and I use my right hand to lock in this connection. I place my left hand just below the neck. To dip, I bend my left knee. I keeo my head up and my weight over my left foot. I hope that helps a little.
This might go against the grain, but I don't think dips should be part of social Salsa dancing. I think they are ok for choreographies done on stage as part of a performance. When I go out on a friday night, have a couple of drinks and dance...I don't want to worry about whether or not the guy I'm dancing with is going to crack my skull open. Also, even minor dips (those that seem easy) can be dangerous. I had a guy dip me without much notice, I lost my balance and he ended up stopping my fall with his knee. In the process, I ripped my stomach muscles along my right side. Also, dips are a hazard to dance couples around the couple that is doing the dipping. I can't mention enough how many times some girls head came flying by my feet.

When it comes down to it, dips are choreographed moves not intended for social dancing. They are meant for couples who practice them and understand each other's signal. You might think your signal for a dip is loud and clear, but your follower might be reading that signal as a different dip altoghether and bam...someone gets a concusion.
I agree with you Simona. I personally don't care for dips because typically they are not safe or at least I don't feel safe doing them. In the last year, threw my back out twice trying them so I have real anxiety when it comes to dips however they can be nice addition if they are done properly and without someone dipping you with a vengeance hence throwing you to the floor. OUCH! When social dancing, most times (and depending on your venue) you should not dip anyone. There's just not enough room and the traffic on the floor is unpredictable. And not to mentioned that it is very hard for the leader to compensate if someone comes at you out of a spin. ARRRGHH! Anyways, I don't like dips. :evil: :lol: :lol:
I very, very, VERY rarely ever dip. The dance floor has to have a lot of free space before I even think about doing it. And when I do, it's a very simple dip.


Staff member
scorpionguy said:
People always say DON'T...yet I commonly see one dancer who neck drops beginners and he nearly dropped one on her head a few weeks ago....and the women never tell him no.... :?: :?: :roll: :oops:
I see neck drops and dips differently. I consider simple, basic dips acceptable on the social dancefloor provided the follower doesn't mind, both partners know how to do them and there's enough room. A neck drop is an advanced-level trick as far as I'm concerned (some fancier, flashier dips also fall into the same category). You should not attempt it with someone you haven't practised it with before, and not without prior warning/consent, and certainly not with beginners. Oh, and never with someone wearing a skirt (not a pretty sight).
In response to the space thing, I do take care not to dip anyone unless I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I have enough room to do it. I couldn't forgive myself (and she probably woulnd't forgive me either unless we're close friends) if I caused my partner to get kicked in the head or if a made her head-butt someone because of a dip.

As far as what scorpionguy wrote about, as I said earlier I don't know much about the proper way to do dips, but one thing I do know is that a follower should never dip herself or try to backlead one. I think it would have been okay for her to ask you to dip her, but to force one on you is to put herself at risk at best, maybe even both of you. Whenever I try to show a follower a dip (at least the way I do it, not necessarily the correct way) I always tell her NEVER try to dip yourself. It's one thing for the leader to dip w/ the follower not knowing because the leader knows where he wants his follower to go and is prepared to catch her if something goes wrong. But if a follower dips herself, her leader doesn't know when she's dipping or in what direction she's dipping, so he's forced to react quickly and maybe guess as to were to catch her. This situation has disaster written all over it. This is just my opinion, but if you (a follower) dip youself and find yourself on the floor w/ a bruised butt, you have no one to blame but yourself.


Staff member
RugKutta said:
but one thing I do know is that a follower should never dip herself or try to backlead one.
You are absolutely right, RugKutta. Backleading is bad in any situation but backlead a dip and the follower can injure the leader as well as herself... That includes going down lower than the leader intended.
I am encouraged by what people have said here about dips.

I used to be fine having a go at them, but in the past there have been some guys I have danced with who just didn't give me warning and have thrown me into a dip. Obviously these were chaps I didn't know and were just showing off!

So now I'm scared. I'm a tall girl and even though I'd love to be able to do dips I never feel secure enough to do one properly, without the fear of falling over or pulling muscles.

Does anyone have any tips on how to work on dips and get my confidence back? I'd like to work on them at Congress this year with my friends.
findin a bad apple doesnt mean the whole field is bad !
u may have run into the wrong leads to dip you.. i am saying dips are fun but u gotta take care.
my friend is a tall tall salsera too and she's okay with dips, i guess it gives u privilage of balancing urself ! wish i was just a couple of inches taller .

dont be scared if u practiced the right way..ur gonna do it lightly.
When you're dancing, you won't know when a guy gonna dip you. Always make sure you are well balance and able to carry your own body weight. Don't ever depend on the guy or lean on the guy even if you're in a close position.
In that way, whenever a guy just gives u a dip you are able to stand on your own. Dipping is not leaning your entire body weight on the guy. Basicly you're dipping yourself, and the guy is there to support.
During a dip usually you would have to feel the lock from some where. Eg: lock on the hips (classic dip) those dips where the guy will sway you around, the lock is from the thighs, side dips where lady arms is around the guy waist. Don't ever go down when you don't feel is safe. If you are confident enough to know that you're always holding your own weight, then it shouldn't be a problem executing the dip cuz, if something went wrong you can still cover up and look good.
I hope this makes sense to you.

Look out for guys that makes dangerous dips. Too low to the floor, or too crowded and if someone heal you :shock: let's just not go there.
For me, whenever a guy dip me, if i have time i always look behind me first, to protect myself. Guys can get carried away while dancing . So better be safe than sorry
Thank you that's really helpful! :)

I can see I need to practise balancing myself more. I'll have a go at that on my own, and then see about practising with someone.

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