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Keeping A Dance Journal


Improving your salsa dancing means working on different topics both simultaneously and progressivly. You work on different subjects like musicality, styling and body movement, you're taking classes with different teachers, all emphazising different things and techniques, you take additional workshops and practice at home and on the dancefloor. It's difficult to keep track of all the information, but also of the way you're progressing. Here's where a dance journal comes in handy. Get a small notebook you can take with you everywhere you go, and keep track of the following:


Track Your Progress

A reason for frustration is often that we don't realize that and how much we're improving, because there is always a new problem we need to deal with. It's easy to forget how much you struggled with something a month ago, that you're now doing effortlessly.


Note Down Feedback

Keep track of the little tips that you're getting from your teacher (if you have more than one, write down who said it). Occasionally go through the feedback and notice if there are any patterns, like problems that are showing up again and again, or when things are getting better.


Useful Information

Use your journal to keep track of all the information that your coming by, like "rules of thumbs", explanations of how to do things and why, and so on.


Exercises

Note down exercises the teacher shows you, so you can do them at home. Make sure you write down how to start, important points to remember and what is the point of the exercise (what are you supposed to accomplish).


Feedback From Other Dancers

It's always useful to remember the feedback of the people you dance with. And I don't only mean their direct comments, but also the non-verbal stuff. You may find as you advance that people become more eager to dance with you, and that things work better. Also notice things that are never working with so-and-so, but that work effortless with somebody else. It might give you valuable feedback on the possible root of problems.


Turn Patterns

Find a way to jot down turn patterns and moves. It's difficult to do this in writing, you might want to scribble stickfigures or geometrical patterns. Everybody will eventually come up with their own shorthand. Write down the name of the pattern/move or make up your own, discribe it as best as you can. It will help you to consciously break down patterns and recognize the elements they're made of.


Your Own Questions

Write down the things that are unclear to you, that you want to know more about or things you want to ask your teacher next time in class.


Resources

Write down websites that have been recommended to you, the name of the song that the Dj just told you, the teacher you should check out if you ever travel to ..., etc.


Goals & Practice Plans

Write down what you want to accomplish and set up practice plans. Track your training schedule, what you practiced when and how it worked, and what you plan to do the next time/week/month.


Writing Tips

Ideally you would take some time right after class to write in your journal, when the information is still fresh. Also go through your journal before you go to class or out dancing, to help you remember important things or decide what you want to work on. Review what you did last week in class and be prepared to build upon that.

 

Go To >> Part 5 Of The Salsa Practice Guide:

Social Dancing Tips

 

Salsa Dance Journal

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Contradictory Advice:
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