Hey everybody, Patrick here once again from the Dance Dojo.
Today, I’m going to be addressing a question we had from one of our online students and that is…
“What is the fastest way to progress my salsa dancing?”
- Find a good instructor or salsa school
- Take Group Classes
- Have Practice Partners
- Develop Rhythm Recognition
- Do! Your Output Should Exceed Your Input
- Enjoy the Process
- Supplement Your Learning Online
1. Find a Good Instructor or Reputable Salsa School
Now when I say find a good instructor, there are instructors who are very clear in explaining what they know but if what they know is very limited, then you’re going to be limited to that. If you find that they only have beginner classes, then there’s probably only so far they can take you. If they have a developed curriculum where they have beginner lessons and everything all the way up to advanced, performance and competition, then it just goes to show that their knowledge is a lot more complete and when they know stuff at the highest levels, then it also influences what they’re able to share with you even at the lowest level.
So remember that there are people who are really good at explaining what they want you to do but it might not be the best habits for you as a beginner and you might as well learn everything correctly right from the beginning. Learn those good habits and eliminate having any bad habits. That’s what I mean when I say finding a good school and instructor.
The best thing you can do is go out to the local community and find out what the actual dancers are saying and where they recommend you go.
2. Take Group Classes
Group classes are the best bang for your buck (aside from our online salsa lessons). You could take private lessons but you’ll probably only do that for so long unless you have unlimited funds.
We have people who are really gung-ho and they want to learn and take a ton of private lessons, but in private lessons you don’t get enough practice. That is, private lessons are more for being able to get details about the things that you learned in your group classes. Also, in group classes you have a ton of different people that you can meet and dance with which is also really important.
That brings us to our next point.
3. Have Practice Partners
Become a part of the community. Go out and social dance and find practice partners. Generally you can find them from your classes. They’re working on the exact same techniques you are so you guys can get together and practice on those techniques you’re both working on. In having practice partners you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to one person – you should definitely try to develop a network of partners because you can’t always rely on just one person to be available to practice when you’re free.
4. Develop Rhythm Recognition
Rhythm recognition is really important and with most newcomers, we don’t stress it enough. For newcomers we go over rhythm recognition but if you’re just trying to remember your first set of steps and learning some basic vocabulary, we don’t give them a hard time. But, to get to a certain break through point you’re going to have to have rhythm recognition and dance on time. For that reason, it’s worth investing in rhythm recognition now.
5. Do! Your Output Should Exceed Your Input
The other thing to ask yourself is, “Does your output exceed your input?” For example, for every hour of class, you need to put in multiple hours of practice. Who knows how many hours of practice you’ll need but you want to make sure that it outweighs the time in class.
6. Enjoy the Process
By the way, social dancing is considered practice so go social dancing, meet up with your network of partners on the side and have fun enjoying the process. I find that the biggest barrier in that department is usually that people are afraid of judgement. They worry about what others think of them. Who gives a poop what anybody thinks of you? Do it because you have fun and you enjoy learning. If you go ahead and do it for that reason, then you’re not going to give a crap if people like what you’re doing or don’t like what you’re doing. Their thoughts shouldn’t affect you either way. Do it because you enjoy it and you’re committed to learning.
That right there has been a big personal issue for me over the years and competing has been a really helpful thing for me in getting over that. Now I can get in front of you guys and chat on camera. Before, I had a total fear of dance, but also public speaking for many many years. I even used to drop courses in college because of that. So don’t give a crap what anybody thinks.
7. Supplement Your Learning Online
Don’t forget! Supplement your learning online. If you can, if the material is good, and if you find that you’re learning things that are helpful continue using online resources.
Just a little reminder: these salsa tips that we’re giving you are just the tip of the iceberg. This is our free YouTube stuff. If you’re looking for a lot more information as well as breakdowns of everything you see online, check out our full online salsa program. With this program, you can learn any time, at your own pace and go to any section that you want whether it be musicality, body movement, rhythm recognition, partner work, spinning techniques – you name it. It’s all access for anybody who is one of our online members.
I hope these pointers have given you some direction. Good luck and enjoy the journey!