Are You Bored With The Basics...?
Once a salsa dancer has learned the basic steps, he usually wants to move on, thinking he now knows the basics, and
is ready for more advanced patterns.
Especially intermediate students are quickly bored with
the basics - now why is that? Let me tell you that if you would be really "dancing", there's no way you'd be bored
doing your salsa basics or other "simple stuff". If you truly enjoy the movements of your body, the connection with
your partner and the music, why would you be bored??
Being bored with the basics means that you are not connected
in the present moment, not doing what you came on the dance floor to do.
All you think is "I already know this". Do you? Because if you really did, you wouldn't be bored, you would be
totally and utterly amazed with the movement and the music.
The basic step is your foundation, on which everything else
is based. If you can't do a basic step right, there is no way you will be able to execute more complicated stuff,
at least not gracefully. And doing a basic step right does not mean you know where to step on the different
You will never become a good salsa dancer if you ignore your
basics and just work on patterns or styling. Same thing goes for your cross body lead and your right and left turns. Every other turn and variation is
building upon these basic moves. The biggest mistake a salsa dancer can make is to dismiss the basics in favor of
the more "cool stuff".
Tips To Improve Your Basic Salsa
Connect With Your Body
Feel the gradual transfer of your body weight with each
step, roll through your feet and connect your body to the floor. Create a flow in your forward and backward
movement without any bounce or stops. Feel the movement travel up from the floor through your feet, knees, hips,
torso, shoulders and out into the arms and head. Let your breath find its own rhythm and focus your mind calmly in
the present moment.
Connect With Your Partner
Really lead and follow the basic step! Don't just step on
your own, but move in sync with your partner. Try to feel where your partner is, and how s/he is doing. Work
together as smoothly as possible. Also make sure you have your cuban
motion down, since it will affect your partners movements.
Connect With The Music
The basic step is an excellent way to train your musicality.
Listen to the music, emphasize the mood and feel of the song, adjust your way of moving to reflect instruments,
accents or dynamic changes in the music. You don't need fancy styling to dance musical, you should be perfectly
able to do this in a simple basic step.
And now, here's probably the
best advice you'll get on how to become a better salsa dancer: dance the basics, cross body lead and single
right/left turns ONLY - until you are not bored anymore, but are completely connected with your body, your partner
and the music.