I’ve officially been dancing Salsa for three weeks now; last night I went to the Salsa club for the third time. I’m by no means good, but I think I’m getting better. One guy even told me that I was a good dancer… and I don’t even think he was drunk.
At first, I was seriously awkward and uncoordinated. As opposed to now, when I’m only moderately so. I didn’t know what I was doing and, even to me, it felt wrong.
But, every so often, I would get a partner that was less serious and would just let me have fun, even if I wasn’t technically dancing Salsa anymore. Basically, he would just turn me a lot and that would make me happy.
Since my first time out, I’ve learned the steps and have less of a hard time keeping up. I actually know what I’m supposed to be doing, even if I don’t always do it.
I’ve also learned how to properly turn, instead of just shuffling clockwise, and I’ve learned the “cross body lead”. That’s when you switch places with your partner. Up until last night, I had no idea what my partner was trying to get me to do when he led me into this move. Now I’ve got it, and I really enjoy it.
Despite the fact that I’m learning the moves and understanding the cues from my partner, I still have a lot of areas to work on (obviously, I’ve only been doing it for three weeks!), but some of them are very, very basic.
For instance, I have a habit of putting my left hand on the bicep of my partner. (It should be on their shoulder, or on their back). I usually have this problem with partners that are significantly taller than me. I guess I’m lazy and don’t want to hold my arm up. I’ve been corrected numerous times by numerous partners, but still continue to make the mistake.
Last night, I was danced with this guy. A lot, probably a dozen times. He’s a very good dancer and could obviously tell that I was just learning, but he seemed to like helping me get better. Good dancers will either do this (show you things, give you pointers etc) or they beat it and will never ask you to dance. Needless to say, I was very thankful that he asked me to dance again and again.
But he was significantly taller than me, so my bad habit kept cropping up. The first few times, he physically corrected me by putting my hand where it should be, but that takes time and takes away from the dance. So, after awhile, he started giving me physical cues to remind me to correct my posture: he would pat my back twice.
The first couple times, I didn’t catch on, so he would pat my back harder and look down at my hand.
After that, every time I felt the gentle reminder, my hand would shoot up to the correct position and he would nod approvingly.
He left that night by giving me the name of an instructor that is very good (Giovanni); he asked me for my email address so he can send me the information/link for the drop in lesson.
He said that he was also thinking of going to the Sunday lesson. I questioned his reasons for wanting to take a beginner lesson (since obviously he doesn’t need it); he said “just for practice”. I’m not sure if he was talking about my practice or his. Regardless, I might have found someone that is willing to take me under their wing.