We live in the era of instant gratification.
We want to see results ASAP, right now…
We like challenge, but don't let your ego get in the way of your own growth. When it comes to
dancing, it’s a bad idea to skip or rush through learning the
If you want to know why, READ ON. While the reasons can apply to dances in general, we’ll focus on the Latin street dances – salsa, bachata, cha cha.
5 REASONS WHY INVESTING TIME IN LEARNING THE BASICS IS A GOOD IDEA
The basic steps, timing, and technique in dance provide a foundation for EVERYTHING that you’re going to learn going forward. With great fundamentals, you’ll acquire knowledge and skills that can serve as “short cuts” to learning new things. You’ll ALREADY understand and can execute the most elementary skills like timing, lead and following technique, weight transfer so you can focus on what’s NEW.
1) SKIPPING LEVELS AND FAILING TO ACQUIRE SOLID TECHNIQUE = A HOT MESS
It’s so refreshing to meet students who say “I’m interested in learning to dance properly and don’t mind starting from the beginning”. That is someone who understands the value of great fundamentals :) Unfortunately, this is more an exception than the rule. Most people like to be challenged. Being bored doing the same thing is no fun. However, if your goal is to be a better dancer, your time and money are better spent taking a progressive route, building on skills that you learn and put into practice on the dance floor as soon as possible.
2) RUSHING INTO STYLING WITHOUT SOLID TECHNIQUE = A HOT, AWKWARD MESS
Most ladies can't wait to start learning how to "style", but often it's too early. And leaders are so eager to add flare to their dancing without knowing how lead a clear basic or cross body lead in salsa, or hold frame in bachata. Imagine a house built on an uneven foundation – if you try to add new levels, the house is probably so shaky that it's bound to collapse. Similarly, styling without body awareness, timing, coordination, or contra body movement can turn into an awkward situation for both the dancer and anyone watching. We all seek challenge, but take the opportunities to learn and practice great techniques from people who know.
3) LESS IS MORE
While we all crave to learn the latest and greatest, experienced dancers know that intricate moves are built on top of great technique. In the Latin dances there are basic steps, basic timing, and essential partnering techniques required to communicate with each other on the dance floor. Forget styling or fancy moves if you aren’t even dancing together. Step 1 – connect with your partner! And interestingly, many experienced dancers enjoy dancing less “busy”, appreciating great connection and musicality over complexity.
4) YOU CAN FEEL MESSY BASICS – NO ES BUENO
Most dancers are attracted to the fun and connection they see in Latin dancers – the magic, the sensuality, the way that two complete strangers can move as one on the dance floor. It feels amazing when you have a great connection with someone and can actually feel their lead or follow. It’s heaven on earth. Things like being off time, bouncing, being too strong or invisible can be distracting, not to mention prevent some playful or intricate partner work from being executed well.
5) IF EXPERIENCED DANCERS VALUE & PRACTICE THEIR BASICS, IT’S NOT TOO BASIC FOR BEGINNERS
It seems that the more experience a dancer has, the more he/she understands that you need to practice to master their basics. In other classical dance styles like ballet or modern, you’ll find dancers with years of experience in the beginner level classes so they can continue to master those elementary skills that they use in more advanced dance moves. In salsa and bachata, it’s not uncommon to see students with less little dance experience trying to ace an advanced class. We all need challenge to keep us interested and motivated, but if you want to be a better dancer, master the basics.
Stay focused on the goal..."To be a better dancer". Be patient. LEARN YOUR BASICS. Practice your basics. Enjoy the rewards in the long term :)