Question by Davideluxe
I enjoy the dance, but feels like I am not going anywhere. I dance well, i have ups and downs, but yet uncomfortable with the teaching technique. From one lesson to another I study few moves, get a short explanation about lead- and them im on my own. I cant see the big picture or see any metaphorical staircase.
I enjoy dancing, and I want to get it to the next level. I land things only when I practice at home or invite a friend to practice. Am not considering private lessons, because im unable to find reliable teacher that cares much. Advice, please 😏
This probably isn’t the advice you’re looking for, but from my experience, you just kinda have to figure that stuff out yourself. I’m at a point now where I consider myself a good dancer, but that’s mostly because I took the initiative to try stuff out in socials outside of classes. For me, classes are there to give you a foundation, but it’s up you to build on it. Sorry if that’s zero help to you lol
Best way to improve is to put hundreds of social hours. Classes, theory, and new moves will help you shape your dancing style but it’s by dancing so many times that you learn how dancing really works and help you move on to the next step. Also, it’s not something you improve by putting in just a few hours, give yourself some months until you acumulate many more hours you will feel and see things differently. Also watch youtube videos of the best in the world to have an idea of which way you are heading with your body movement and move repertoire.
For sensual bachata: Luis&Andrea, Marco&Sara, Daniel&Desiree, Korke&Judith, Carlos Espinosa&Mariangeles. Some of them do quite a few of overcomplicated moves, focus on the body movement, style and the simple moves they make that can work for social. for youtube channels I would recommend “photomas” and “Crazy Lion Productions” or just search the artist names on youtube. Hope that helps!
Go to practica’s if you area has them. Review a few moves before the social (practica if it’s available) that you think you know. Then, just start trying to dance those moves. When you feel you have them one way, try and think about how you can lead them from other locations, back to back, small, big, what ever you can think of.
Try and watch leaders that you like on YouTube. Notice when they lead moves similar to what you know. Likely, it is the move you know, but just done in a different way. Try and lead your move in the way they did it.
Ultimately, the more hours you put in, the more comfortable you will get with the moves you do know, and as that develops, you start to feel and see how certain moves can just fall into place, even though you’ve never been taught it or seen it in that way.
Try to dance with people much better than you – to be completely honest, years ago I could do that basic step for bachata, and then I happened to get into a relationship with a woman that was extremely good at bachata – just by dancing with her over our medium length relationship learned so much and am now at a level where people think I’m “good” but in all actuality I’ve just mastered the basic steps and like 10-12 additional moves that add flair and style
Understand the fundamentals. Too many people see bachata as a bunch of moves and turn patterns. Really understand weight transfer, understand how to lead, understand timing.
Watch videos of pros and break down in simplest terms what it is they are doing. For instance, if they are doing footwork, maybe they stepped on 1,2,3, then they syncopated &,4,& to then step 5. A basic is three steps and a tap, so learn to look at a box step as just taking a basic to the side and then a basic backwards instead of its own move.
Get creative with turn patterns and try to implement them to the music. I don’t do Sensual, but I recommend watching Ataca & Alemana, Alex & Desiree, Jorjet Alcocer, and Wander Rosario social dancing. They’re all amazing and if you try to understand what they do and then try it yourself during socials, you’ll get better.
Ataca & Alemana are especially good to watch when they’re just social dancing (ie not doing a demo/choreography). You’ll see them just do basic for 30 seconds, but because of the way they do it, the style, it looks really good. Then they’ll put a generally basic pass in etc. Seeing how they can do so much with so little was really eye opening.
I recommend that you engage in other areas of the dance. For example, do a solo choreography, do lineups, join a performance team (if there isn’t one find a dance partner and make a performance). All of these experiences will improve your dancing in a different way to social dancing, and you will become a better dancer as a result.
I second what that person said above— social dancing fluidly with different partners helps you learn to better lead and follow depending on your partner. I feel like comfortably and confidently being on the dance floor is an important piece of advancing further, be it with introducing more moves or joining a competition team. The best dances I have had were fun, incorporating several different and maybe complex moves successfully, even if I had never danced with the lead before.
Yeah, I have learned that not every class or dance will be perfect. Heck, as a woman, I have had many uncomfortable and disrespectful dances. Imagine trying to learn dancing while feeling “uneasy” because people are touching you in places beyond what is necessary for actual dancing…
But I didn’t give up and after 3 years I do think I can call myself a pretty good dancer! Learning anything requires a little grit and pushing through the tough parts.