Feelings towards Beginners at Socials?

#1
We can't avoid those partners that ask or females that are still beginners, but at least knowing the basics would help with the lead / follow to allow for a simple dance that can be enjoyable and be able to learn from.

Giving yourself 1-2 months of classes at a new style, would be ideal before you consider venturing into the social scene to see if your ready, it's muscle memory, so patience is needed and more time at the beginning breaking those bad habits.
The better you get, the more socials you should attend, and if you aren't grasping during lessons/practice, better to take that extra time instead of guessing when timing is important at socials, even with the simplest movements.
We all get better through repetition, and not by experimenting.

I was dancing a Bachata yesterday, and this woman didn't really practice her basics all that much, and I had to walk her through the timing and steps to make the experience more enjoyable and less work for both of us.
it is too much about joining my friends, instead of learning for myself.
 
#3
Love dancing with beginners! It's like that box of chocolates analogue for life: never know what you're gonna get. Sometimes they're more responsive than the "advanced" people in your scene.
Same here. It's real fun.

I feel a positive sense of accomplishment. We always have a couple of first timers attend our social dances....had some last evening.

We both benefit. Hopefully the woman has had a boost in confidence (always give a small compliment/ word of encouragement at the end of the dance).

I also benefit from having to adapt and actually 'lead'...it's a real test of my ability to use all that I've learned in getting her to do simple steps , a turn, etc. with subtle shifts of weight, changing pressure on her back, etc. Often when dancing with my girlfriend or an experienced dancer, I don't always have the sense that I'm fully leading if they know the move we are doing...I start the move but they pick up on it and finish at their own pace. With a newbie I can keep the hand on her waist to finish a turn, or do a cross body lead by being more aware of leading her across.
 

DJ Yuca

Son Montuno
#5
Giving yourself 1-2 months of classes at a new style, would be ideal before you consider venturing into the social scene to see if your ready, it's muscle memory, so patience is needed and more time at the beginning breaking those bad habits.
The better you get, the more socials you should attend,
I disagree completely. No wonder the scene is in such a state when people are discouraged from supporting salsa music because they are not 'good enough' at doing moves.
 
#6
Yea most of the better dancers in my scene avoid beginners. One of my friends wouldn't participate at one of the smaller socials because it was "too beginner heavy" as she put it. Then the rest of the "elite" crew showed up and left right away because I guess they didn't see enough people doing triple spins or something. Christ if they want the salsa scene to improve then they need to knuckle down and give people a chance to get better. Some of them have a really toxic attitude too. They show up to events and only dance with the top follows, then they stand around and scoff at people who aren't on their level yet.
 
#7
Yea most of the better dancers in my scene avoid beginners. One of my friends wouldn't participate at one of the smaller socials because it was "too beginner heavy" as she put it. Then the rest of the "elite" crew showed up and left right away because I guess they didn't see enough people doing triple spins or something. Christ if they want the salsa scene to improve then they need to knuckle down and give people a chance to get better. Some of them have a really toxic attitude too. They show up to events and only dance with the top follows, then they stand around and scoff at people who aren't on their level yet.
I don't love dancing with beginners but I do like to dance with people who are serious about the music and learning to dance. While I am at the door collecting entry fees I talk to people coming in and watch how they do in the lesson. If they look like a promising prospect I will make a point of dancing with one or two beginners to encourage them to come back and stay with it. Over the years some of gotten quite good and have become friends and regular dance partners.

It does dismay me to see that most of the better dancers don't do the same.
 
#8
I disagree completely. No wonder the scene is in such a state when people are discouraged from supporting salsa music because they are not 'good enough' at doing moves.
The scene wouldn't be so bad, if the elitists like some students and instructors didn't just dance among themselves.
I don't mind dancing with beginners, but at least the basics is appreciated.
1-2 months of classes before a social is basically 4-8 lessons for most beginners as I don't see most of them attending more than one a week, only after a while does it become more as they get comfortable and see improvements.
Salsa is tough, but I was talking about Bachata, and 4 of the basic moves should be ledable, and don't blame me for bad leading, when I can't help someone that isn't ready how hard i try and adjust my routine accordingly.
It's often the beginners that hesitate to get on the floor when I ask them, but u try to make them comfortable.
 
#9
I don't mind dancing with beginners, but at least the basics is appreciated.
1-2 months of classes before a social is basically 4-8 lessons for most beginners as I don't see most of them attending more than one a week, only after a while does it become more as they get comfortable and see improvements.
I basically agree that it takes 4-8 classes for muscle memory to set in. As a practical matter these early beginners dance during the class and with other beginners for the first few dances after the class. Then many of them leave the social.

When I was starting out, I got some slow cuban music (Yerba Buena Social Club) and practiced the basic step every day for about 10-15 min each day. Or until I was getting bored with it. That's how I got muscle memory to set in during the first couple of weeks. You are still a beginner in so many ways but you are over the first hurdle.
 
#11
Well, I just came back from festival with dozens of greatest follows; and couple of my favorite dances were with a girl who only started a month ago and this was her first proper party. She could do quarter turns well, so we stuck to that. :) Seeing her smile was so much better than doing full turn and watching her getting lost between feet and timing and what not.

I won't dance with people who don't have their basics down after years; there are some of those. But I'll always dance with beginner no matter her skills as long as she smiles and smells good. :) Make her happy, make her desire more, motivate her to grow with best motivation there is - dancing and feeling good.
 
#12
As a intermediate-advanced follower, I don't have a problem with dancing with beginners at socials - except for beginners that don't know dance etiquette. This means:

1) If you try to cut in during the middle of a song that I'm dancing with someone else, I will probably never dance with you (yes, I've had this happen!)
2) If you hold on so tight I am forced into dancing multiple songs in a row with you, I won't dance with you for the rest of the night
3) If you ask me to dance more than 2-3 times during a night (unless you're a good friend, or there's some other extenuating circumstance), I'll start saying "no," and I won't be terribly nice about it.

The one other thing that beginners do that drives me nuts is trying to dance above their ability. This doesn't happen as much with people who are taking lessons, in my experience (they're concentrating hard on replicating what they've learned that week!), but when I dance with a guy who's off-beat, giving mixed signals on his leads, and then he tries to push me through an awkward turn, or a guy that does an extreme dip on a crowded floor I get really annoyed. It's not about the dance - it's that often, I don't feel safe! I don't want to wrench my shoulder, or whack my head on someone, or god knows what other dance injury. If you don't know a move well enough to execute it safely, just stick with the basic - that's fine!
 

Jag75

Son Montuno
#13
I dance with beginners whenever I can - I really enjoy it! I also find that my lead benefits from it.

I'll dance with people of all levels of course, it's important to keep the variety and mix in the dancing.

I'll say yes to every person that asks, but I think this is much easier for the leads as we don't have the same concerns as follows.
 
#14
if the elitists like some students and instructors didn't just dance among themselves.
This is sometimes a defense mechanism. Some guys with big egos don't want it to look like they are making mistakes, so they dance with the same follows that already know their routine. They aren't really being stuck up per se just insecure :) which comes off as an holier than thou attitude. You can really tell a lot about a dancer(especially a seasoned dancer) who doesn't mind dancing with beginners or making mistakes :)
 
#16
This topic reminded me my first dance night which is not a good memory actually:) It was about my second month in salsa and I went to the dance night with someone I was flirting with in that time and he was a good dancer BUT dancing with him was terrible for me. The biggest problem was that he dances on1 and the style I was learning was on2. Because he doesn't like on2,I had to try to dance on1 and as you can guess it only worked with basic step. During all the first dance,he complained about my false turns and steps which are mostly because of trying to adapt to on1. Anyway,now he doesn't dance anymore and I can dance both on1 and on2 right now:))) At that night,I have heard also many polite sentences which motivated me and except for this bad memory I have had no problem about neither dancing with people who are much better than me nor dancing with beginners. Furthermore,I can even say dancing with beginners is sometimes better than dancing with some people who have danced for many years and made weird moves in order to seem like an excellent dancer without taking the other person's level and comprehension into account. The beginners I've danced before were generally quite good and clear at the moves they've learned. And as an intermediate, dancing with advanced dancers is always a great opportunity for me as well as they understand my level,try to help when I don't understand something etc.
By the way,in Istanbul, dance nights for beginners in which some dance teachers also join and advanced moves aren't allowed have begun to be arranged for people who are beginner and shy to go to the other events as an opportunity.
 
#17
We can't avoid those partners that ask or females that are still beginners, but at least knowing the basics would help with the lead / follow to allow for a simple dance that can be enjoyable and be able to learn from.

Giving yourself 1-2 months of classes at a new style, would be ideal before you consider venturing into the social scene to see if your ready, it's muscle memory, so patience is needed and more time at the beginning breaking those bad habits.
The better you get, the more socials you should attend, and if you aren't grasping during lessons/practice, better to take that extra time instead of guessing when timing is important at socials, even with the simplest movements.
We all get better through repetition, and not by experimenting.

I was dancing a Bachata yesterday, and this woman didn't really practice her basics all that much, and I had to walk her through the timing and steps to make the experience more enjoyable and less work for both of us.
it is too much about joining my friends, instead of learning for myself.
I am not sure if you are suggesting that the beginners get basics down before venturing into social dancing. If that is what you are suggesting then I disagree.

As a leader I can only talk about my experiences with the beginner followers. There are some beginners who are joy to dance with. There are some who are terrible. Most fall somewhere in between. I think if one is dancing with a beginner, it is best to be as encouraging as possible, whether they are a joy to dance with or terrible to dance with. My guess is that a good experiences in the beginning go a long way in making people fall in love with dancing and become regulars.

As Salsamarty has said, some of the beginners after a few years are regular dancers. I know more than a few followers with whom I danced when it was their first social out or they were absolute beginners. Fast forward a few years later and they have become very good dancers and delight to dance with.
 
#19
I would rather dance with a room full of friendly beginners than snobbish cliquish good dancers. The later truly sour the experience for everyone.
I have tried giving instructors and performers at socials a chance, but most of the time it isn't fun, It is hard to get a smile from them and their eexpectations are too high, even though I am trying my best.
I am just not a fan of beginners that aren't trying, I've had good dances, if I am able to lead them.
I am not saying I am the best dancer, but try to fit in, and give tips to newcomers, so they can progress and improve in areas that normally doesn't tell them.
 
#20
I dance with beginners whenever I can - I really enjoy it! I also find that my lead benefits from it.

I'll dance with people of all levels of course, it's important to keep the variety and mix in the dancing.

I'll say yes to every person that asks, but I think this is much easier for the leads as we don't have the same concerns as follows.
Me too; it keeps me honest. If I start getting sloppy by, say, not leading a turn clearly in the direction I want, the advanced followers will usually turn anyway. A beginner will very likely go the wrong way, and it will be my fault!
 

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