Salsa Technique - And Why It Matters
Most salsa classes are all about steps. Dance- and salsa technique is often something we don't really learn when we
take classes, except a few tips here and there. There are two reasons for that:
1. Teachers Don't (Know How To) Teach Salsa Technique
Sad but true. It's easier to teach steps than to teach how
to dance. Salsa is first and foremost a social dance that people do as a hobby, wanting to have a good time. There
is not much emphasis on learning technique, so even experienced salsa teachers usually focus only on turn patterns
and give additional tips and tricks.
2. Students Don't Understand The Importance Of Technique
Since it's a social dance, what do we need technique for,
right? Most of us don't want to be on stage or win competitions. When the teacher explains details of salsa
technique or drills the students with the technical exercises, a lot of people get bored quickly. They want to
learn the fancy steps and cool moves. They don't realize that they need the necessary technique to execute those
moves (and look good while doing it). So many teachers just feed them turn patterns to get them to come back next
This is a vicious circle that both teachers and students keep perpetuating. But it comes at a high price. You
need basic technique to dance well, even just to dance "ok". Salsa technique is not as difficult as for
example ballet, but there are basic fundamentals that you should know and be able to do if you want to get to
an intermediate or advanced dance level.
Why You Should Care About Proper Salsa Technique
Proper technique in any dance has one basic reason: to avoid
injuries. Dancing can be very demanding on the body. And even if salsa is
quite low-impact compared to for example ballet, there are still things that can be harmful if you do them
extensively or for a longer period of time. Proper salsa technique will keep you out of harms
Making Things Possible
In dance one movment builds upon the other, one principle
makes way for a higher concept. If you don't understand basic concepts, you will not be able to progress. It's like
building a house: if there is no ground floor, you won't be able to build the first, second or third
A lot of times students exclaim: " How does he do it? It's
not possible!" That's precicely because they're lacking the groundwork, the technique, to make it
Creating The Style
Every dance has its typical style that makes it unique.
There is a certain technique and way of using your body that creates a recognizable style and lets you distinguish
between salsa and ballet, or even between different styles of salsa.
Moving With Grace
Dancing gracefully is all about technique. The smoothness,
poise and quality of movement that separeates a skilled dancer from a novice is proper dance technique. If you want
to look good on the dance floor, you need more than steps. You need to be able to control your body and understand
how to create the desired movements. Basic dance- and salsa technique will not only enable you to do what you want
to do, but to do it with style.
So if you want to improve as a salsa dancer and reach an intermediate or advanced level, make sure you
take learning technique seriously.
Here are some articles about salsa technique you might want
Cuban Motion Technique
Leading & Following