me share my experiences of how to "fit in" and/or become a better
dancer so you can start dancing with the "more advanced" dancers.
unless you have friends who dance salsa already, you have to be pretty
brave to "stick it out" until you make new friends to "hang
with" in the clubs.
When I first started, I hardly knew anyone in the salsa scene; and I
would go to the clubs on my own. It was tough because I was "new
to the scene" and was too shy to go up to guys myself and ask them.
I would watch on the sidelines on the one or two nights I went out and
would wait for the guys to ask. Then luckily from the dance classes
I was taking, I started to meet people who regularly went dancing in
the clubs and we would go out religiously one or two nights a week and
have a blast. After about a year, most of them dropped out of the scene
and I was stuck again, not knowing anyone. I went to the clubs by myself;
but because I didn't have the nerve to ask guys to dance, I would go
home "not happy" as I couldn't get my salsa fix. I realized
that if I wanted to get my fix I would have to start getting the nerve
up to ask guys to dance; so I decided that I would ask any guy who I
thought was a "great dancer", a teacher or was a dance competitor.
They didn't all say "Yes", but that didn't stop me from asking
someone else. After all, if guys can handle rejection, so could I.
made that decision, it was a turning point in my dancing for these reasons:
1. From dancing with so many male dancers, I learned to adjust my reaction
time as a "follower" to their lead, which made me more desirable
as a dance partner.
2. With some dancers, I formed a "dance connection" right
away, or surprised them with the fact that I could "follow"
so well. They became my new regulars each week and sometimes we would
dance whole salsa sets together cause there wasn't anyone else at the
club that night who we bonded with.
3. As I started going to the classes or workshops with the more "dedicated"
dancers, I also got to meet some new great male dancers that I normally
hadn't seen or met in the clubs before. And when we saw each other again,
we would ask each other to dance.
4. As I got to know my "regulars", I also took the initiative
to talk to the male dancers who were interested in practicing or learning
new moves and we would get together for an hour or two on a regular
basis and practice what we had learned already or work from a dance
5. To become really proficient at salsa, you can't expect to be great
from one or two nights a week -- most of my friends, male and female,
dance consistently for hours at least 3-4 nights week at the club, plus
take dance classes/workshops for at least 6 months to a year, depending
on your dance background.
words, you can't just stand around and expect to "fit in",
you have to work at it. If you want to dance with "more advanced"
dancers, then you have to take the initiative yourself and analyze why
they may not want to dance with you.
Can you dance their style?
Can you give them their fix?
If not, then take some classes or workshops or maybe you just need to
find a partner who wants to practice and become a "more advanced"
For the men, learn how to lead well. And that doesn't mean a "tug
of war" -- there is an art to leading. Some of the best male dancers
have a lead that is so precise and feels "like butter" when
we dance. It's all up to you -- it's your choice whether to take action
or just stand around.
And maybe one day soon, you'll form your own "circle" of dancers/friends
you like to dance with -- Rose Knows...