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Dance Articles by Esteban Conde
I will continue to provide a library of dance related content here for your education and enjoyment. Click on the titles below to go to the full text of the dance article.Reasons Why You Should be Dancing Salsa Right Now! How good are you at leading? Tips to help guys lead like a professional dancer!!
Reasons Why You Should be Dancing Salsa Right Now!
Article contributed by Esteban Conde
Salsa Dancing. What is it that makes it popular today? Why is it that people who salsa seems to be happier, in better shape and in a better mood compared to others? From these questions we see that there are two major roles dancing salsa plays in people's lives: they are healthier and they have a great social life.
We all know, having heard or read somewhere, about the health benefits of dancing. Here are some of the more prominent ones to be considered:
So if these reasons alone aren't enough to understand why people pick up salsa dancing, let's analyze the social aspect of it. We all come from different walks of life; some better than others, but for the most part the one thing people mutually seek is the feeling of being important, of having a purpose and belonging somewhere (e.g., to a community or group of people with common interests or goals). That is where dancing comes in: the means to a better end, building confidence and a sense of self that will drastically improve your quality of life. So how does salsa dancing help fulfill this ultimate goal?
Here it goes:
Salsa dancing Inspires in you a positive attitude towards your daily life.
Okay, I understand that you don't want to become the greatest dancer, but dancing helps shift and balance your mental state to a positive one. The best way to achieve this is by doing it often. Since dancing and the social contact uplift the spirit, if done regularly, it helps your life to become that way (positive, happier). Your daily activities become more pleasant as your overall mood is uplifted through dancing salsa. No wonder people say that dancing changes lives. I'll say it better: "Dancing changes attitudes; positive attitudes change lives."
Helps you to meet new friends.
So here are a couple of questions for you: How many long-lasting friends did you make the last time you went to a social gathering? Or a bar (the bartender doesn't count)? Here is the answer: NONE. Salsa dancing is the perfect social ground for new friendships. You know why? Because from the go, you already know you both have something in common, something that you can talk about. You also get to dance face to face (no offense hip hop), and are able to exchange a small conversation as you dance. This contact is the perfect beginning for a more developed conversation, which usually involves more people. And guess what, these people also like salsa. Next logical step: Let's get together to have a barbecue!
And from this the next common thing to happen is…dundundunduuuun…
You meet a special someone.
How nice is the fact that you both love dancing and can share a favorite activity from the start? Forget about the awkward first date, and think about that next time you go dancing! As a bonus, that person is likely well groomed and in great shape! Yahoo!
You increase your self-esteem and confidence.
If you are shy, this is the safest place to interact with people. The salsa community is an open and extremely friendly one. From the moment you walk in the door, you will feel welcomed - it's that easy. As you learn how to dance, you find yourself in a situation that is fun, open, and energizing. Don't forget about the exhilarating Latin music! Watching yourself lose weight, learn how to move well on the dance floor, and constantly improve is an enormous boost in confidence! As a girl, there's nothing more satisfying than having guys constantly asking you to dance (and more!). As a guy, being able to go up to the sexy girl you never would have dreamed of talking to and asking her to dance is an accomplishment that will change your world. Now you will have the boldness and courage to ask any girl to dance, and to be the spotlight on the dance floor! This sense of accomplishment and self-security is something that you will take with you from the salsa club into your daily life; you will be able to watch as the wonders that come from dancing salsa spread through your life, turning everything they touch to gold!
So here they are before you: the greatest reasons why people pick up salsa dancing, as their life-changing hobbies. These are their reasons for doing it; what is your excuse not to? All you have to do is sign up for any local salsa class (they are everywhere!), and you will thank me later when I'm in the crowd watching you tear it up on the dance floor. Have a happy journey through the world of salsa dancing!
How good are you at leading? Tips to help guys lead like a professional dancer!
Article contributed by Esteban Conde
Imagine yourself in that salsa club for the first time: the music is loud, upbeat and with great energy and everyone is dressed in a fashionable way. As you walk in, you approach the dance floor. Here is when you are truly introduced to the world of salsa. You stare at the dancers as you see dancing, executing all these amazing turns; how they dance with passion, the sexiness, and then again, the turns! The never-ending, fun turn!!
Sound like your experience? It was definitely mine, so right away I knew I had to learn how to dance.
Once I started dancing, the better I saw myself dancing, the more I noticed that some girls did not enjoy dancing with me or they'd just flat out say no every time I asked them to dance. Why? After all I was doing all the turns and dips, the sexy patterns, the fun stuff - you know, the works.
It was after some time that I truly learned what makes a guy a great dancer:
“When you dance salsa, you don’t make the girl do the turns, you guide her.”
This observation alone is very general, but it opens the door to help you understand dancing in a new way. Leading is the key to being a great dancer. Let’s dive in to see how you can improve the way you play your role on the dance floor as a leader. So here we go:
LEADING VS. MAKING
Most girls will be familiar with guys making you do the turns and combinations. After all, when you go home after a night of salsa dancing, you feel that your whole body is sore as you if were beaten by a gang of wild monkeys. Guys! Lead as if you were showing the way, not as if you were making her play catch up. It’s ok to be toned and firm, guys, but not rough. There is a line between those two concepts and believe me, it’s not a fine one. There is a big difference when it comes down to making versus leading. Want to know what kind of lead you are? Do a survey among the girls you dance with. They’ll be happy to tell you.
This one baffles me: the guy places the hand up and somehow, by magic, he expects the girl to turn. What king of dance instructor teaches this concept to their students? Every move has to be specific guys. If you want to move a chair from point A to B, you have to make it happen right? So lead as if you were making the turn happen. But remember: guide vs. make. Be assertive in your moves as if she were to close her eyes and still be able to follow you.
PUT YOURSELF IN HER SHOES
Guys, guys, guys!! If she is falling after the same turn patterns, or she feels uncomfortable with some of your moves, then don't do them. Try combinations and moves that help the girl feel more comfortable, and are at her level of dancing. Always adapt to her, without expecting her to adapt to you. It's funny to see some guys doing the same endless turns until the girl is falling down. You guys, this is not your signal to stop those turns. If she is loosing her balance, don't keep going on and on.
IMPROVE YOUR LEAD VS. SHE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO FOLLOW
Changing this perspective will help you see opportunities to be better at leading. Often times, I hear guys make comments like: “I don’t like dancing with her, she can’t follow”. Instead why don’t you say to yourself: “What can I do to improve my lead in this particular move, so that she can follow it next time?” After all you want to improve as a lead right? Then start by working on yourself. Thinking this way helps you be the guy who can lead everybody. And ladies will enjoy dancing with you because of that.
BE CLOSER TO HER
Let me put it in other words: be within reach. Dance at a distance that will make it easy for you as a lead so you don't have to be running after her. I suggest a one-foot distance between your body and hers as you dance. You will feel more in control and this will help her feel your lead. In addition to this, don’t over extend your arms when you dance, especially in your open breaks. This creates extra distance between you and your partner, making it hard to reach or lead the next move.
BE IN TUNE WITH THE WAY HER BODY FEELS AS SHE DANCES
Pay attention to how she feels, her movement, her momentum, her resistance, her body language, her distance, and her styling. You will be able to place combinations and moves that flow and fit the moment versus placing moves or combos for the sake of the move.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE MUSIC
If you don't, you are just going through the motion - you are not dancing. Remember that we dance to the music, and so does the girl. You will also be able to coordinate your moves better, and trust me, your dancing will improve dramatically.
LEARN HOW TO BE AN EFICIENT LEAD, AND THEN APPLY STYLING
Many guys out there get so into the moves and styling that they end up forgetting about leading the girl, or end up confusing her. Sometimes styling can interfere with the girl’s following, so be aware of it. Assertive leading helps you be in tune with your dance partner. Do you feel in tune with the people you dance with or are you just dancing with yourself?
Learn other dances: It improves your favorite dance. Think you know it all? Then you must be a world champion and everyone enjoys dancing with you! Not your case? Not to worry! We can all improve and learn new things, even as a professional dancer I will always continue learning. Take some privates, work on your technique and try learning a new dance.
And the final one:
LEARN HOW TO FOLLOW
This is the best thing you could do, if you are really serious about dancing. Do you really want to be exceptionally good at leading? Then practice following. Take your dancing to the next level and understand dancing from the follower’s perspective. True leaders know how followers feel. What better way to know than by being one?
All these little tips will help you get there as a great leader. And always remember: when it comes down to being a successful dancer, the stronger the foundations, the better you will be able to build upon them. So get to it!