Salseros get so anxious about dance partners. Do they need a partner to start learning Salsa? Where on earth can they find one? How come they still can’t get a partner despite asking hundreds of girls? Are they doomed to a life of dancing failure now that they can’t find one? It’s so sad that so much energy is wasted worrying about it when it could be spent on dancing instead.
I’m here to explode the myth of the Salsa dance partner and remind you that the best way to improve your dancing is by dancing, dancing and dancing some more. Are you ready?
Do Beginners Need a Partner?
NO! There is absolutely no need for you to have a partner when you start learning to dance Salsa. The majority of people head to go to Salsa classes alone (as did I) and they have a fantastic time. Whilst it can be nice sometimes to have a little moral support when you start something new, it’s really not necessary, I promise. You’ll soon be changing partners, making lots of friends and having lots of fun. And I bet you’ll forget that you ever went alone to your first class!
Dance Salsa with Real People
It’s vitally important to dance with lots of different people no matter what stage of learning you are at. Salsa is a partner dance after all! And each person you dance with gives you the opportunity to learn something new, so get to it!
This goes for learning to dance Salsa online too– try to find at least someone to practice with so you can really learn. It can be beneficial to practice alone or in front of a mirror sometimes to streamline some of your body movement and styling, work out shines, Afro-Cuban elements or any other fancy stuff you would like to include. Just make sure you spend the majority of your time dancing with real people. Failing that, you could be inventive like this clever Cuban :
Dance Your Socks Off
There is only one true way to improve your dancing, and that is to dance, and dance and keep dancing. You don’t need an official dance partner, just a sense of fun! It’s the supreme way to improve your dancing and it won’t even feel like you’re trying. You’ll be exposed to lots of different styles of Salsa and body movement, you will learn not to anticipate your partners moves, you’ll streamline your leading/following, you’ll get instant authentic feedback for your dancing and you will make lots of new friends. Interested?
Salsa Guinea Pig?
You may still feel that you’d like to work on those moves away from class with another human. And why not? It might help build your confidence so you feel braver on the dance-floor. Get yourself a ‘Salsa Guinea Pig’; someone you like dancing with and that wouldn’t mind trying out new stuff with. Note that I’m not talking about searching for a Salsa dance partner- all of that business is far too serious and has no place in social Salsa dancing. We’re just talking about an informal, friendly practice person. You probably already know someone that you like dancing with; you like them and feel relaxed dancing with them, or perhaps your natural styles just ‘click’. All you need to do is ask. Just make sure it’s clear what you mean by your proposition…
You must make sure you get to as many Salsa Parties as you can and dance with plenty of different people. Take classes, workshops or attend congresses to tighten up your skills or add a little extra something to your Salsa but don’t forget to dance!
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Do you think it’s important to get a Salsa partner if you want to improve your dancing? Are you better off just dancing, dancing and dancing some more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image © Brendan Lally