Category Archives: Salsa Classroom

If You Pay Attention, You Will Grow

If You Pay Attention, You Will Grow

Pay Attention and You Will Grow

While in salsa class a few years ago my instructor mentioned how when growing up his grandfather used to say, “if you pay attention, you will grow, if you don’t pay attention, you will never grow…”

This is so essential to life, dancing salsa, and just being an overall good person. It seems many people don’t know how to pay attention. We have so much going on around us in terms of academic responsibilities, concerns about money, random television shows, heart breaking news stories and just so much more….

Since this website is about salsa dancing, I’m just going to stay on topic… So my instructor shared the quote with us while in the salsa class and he was talking about how people weren’t hearing what he was saying because they were zoning out.

If you want to get better at dancing then we need to understand that there are people who are way better than us and by simply paying attention we can learn a lot from them.

If you went to the About Us page on this website, you will notice I mentioned the hardcore salsero and how when salsa was younger people played with the music to connect on deeper levels with partner work and shared what they found. Salsa has influenced manner genres of dancing and it was because people were open to learning new things and actually applying it to the way they operate.

If you are just starting off with salsa it’s important to get the foundational things down packed… and more important than anything else to have fun and connect with the music…

So some of the foundational things that are easy to get down from the beginning are

1. The basic steps (make sure you are not doing ball changes)
2. Cross Body Lead
3. Inside Turn
4. Outside turn

Once you can do these things than you can play with the music and no matter what it will look clean and the person you are dancing with will have a good time.

A lot of people are getting distracted by all the fancy moves and thinking they need to do 5 or six spins, but they aren’t on time with the music and it looks messy. However, by sticking with the fundamentals and building a good foundation dancers can do dozens of moves with slight variations in the lead.

With simple insides and outside turns and a little creativity it’s possible to create so many moves that I doubt there will be much room for boredom…

So all this is to say that from day one, if you were fortunate enough to have an instructor who focused on making you a better dancer than you’ve heard that the fundamentals are more important than anything else…

By getting all the simple stuff handled you can be a great follower, and a confident leader. Though it will still take work, this is where the best teachers put their focus…

This is not to say the dance needs to consist of simple stuff… but once the fundamentals are understood and at a certain level than with that awareness new moves are easy to pick up…

Tell me about when you first started learning salsa…