Beginner Questions

Questions by User WorkingLoad0

1) Do you think I would be able to dance with some random person who doesn’t know salsa at a club? Because the ladies seem enthralled by someone who can pull it off but how would they be able to dance with me?

2) Would any once-a-week local salsa classes be sufficient

3) I am quite muscular but quite awkward HAHA so just really scared of someone rejecting to dance with me at the classes

Answers

User anthonyhad2

Just going to address question 3) – go to classes, guys are ALWAYS missing from classes, nobody gets “rejected” from dancing in classes, it’s a perfect place to learn while making many mistakes (over and over, it’s ok) and it will give you a great base to use in the club after you start getting comfortable… you also get to try many different dance partners (girls) so it’s a great way to see how people who don’t normally dance with you will respond to your guiding (men have to guide in salsa)…. just go to classes and enjoy the music and be open to learning something new and I guarantee the rest will fall into place on its own…

User Superbacano

1. Not just in any regular club, unless she knows how to dance salsa. But there are plenty of socials (salsa parties) almost everywhere, where you can just ask (not pull) a lady to the dancefloor.

2. As someone stated, find a school with a good reputation. Once-a-week classes are fine but progress may seem slow. Practice the steps and listen to the music at home too!! And once you’ve had some classes go to a local social to further hone your skills. A live setting feels so much different than class.

3. Muscles can limit your range of motion, but that will only pose a problem with more advanced moves, and there are work-arounds for those moves too. Awkwardness towards ladies is something you can only overcome by asking them to dance. Remember, it’s a dance, not prom, that you’re asking them for. So no need to sweat it. If they say no, it’s not a rejection of you. They may just not feel the song or need a rest, etc.

4. Go out and enjoy! This thing can be addictive hahaha.

User Arshia42

Just want to add that make sure you’re enjoying the dancing and music itself as well, don’t just do it for the women because if that’s your only motivation then you probably won’t get to the level you want (that actually impresses women). The learning experience should be fun and motivate you to want to improve (though the first few classes may be overwhelming, which is totally normal). If you find that you aren’t really enjoying the dance and music itself then it might be a better idea to look into a different kind of dance and see how that goes. Best of luck, I really hope you enjoy the journey! And also try not to compare yourself to other dancers, they all started out like you did 🙂 instead, look to them as inspiration and motivation to get to that level one day.

edit: I would also look into some bachata classes if possible, maybe down the line. Sensual Bachata has been rapidly taking over in the US which means that there is a considerable amount of bachata music usually played at salsa events and some socials may even end up being mostly bachata. So it would be a good idea to have some foundation for that too.

User dwkfym 

I’d pick the most professional, serious, renown class you can find and becoming really good at it. At your age you’ll go through a lot of confusing stages but at the end, you may come out with a really awesome lifelong hobby that will help you with so many things, with being popular with women being a distant benefit you don’t even give a thought to. Don’t worry too much about girls right now.

User BadHaycock 

Salsa is a partner dance that involves a lead and a follow (leads are traditionally male and follows are female but nowadays more people dance in either role). The lead, as you can imagine, guides the follow through the dance through their frame and their body. It’s kind of hard to describe without demonstrating it, but I think of it like a conversation, the lead “asks” for a turn, and the follow “replies” by spinning the way the lead leads it. This is how the social dances are done; as long as your partner also knows the “language” of salsa, you can dance to anything.

This is a skill that will take a while to develop (it took me about half a year of once a week classes to get confident enough to dance at salsa clubs) so don’t be worried if progress seems slow, you can’t force it. I would also suggest trying out the follow role because I think its important to feel how a follow feels and helps you better understand your leading

In classes you often rotate partners and learn different techniques and patterns, so there’s no worry about being rejected, after all that’s why you’re at class, to learn and make mistakes. I would look around at different dance schools in the area and see if they have any trial classes you can do, and also see if your college has a salsa club (may also be called Latin or Street Latin or Dancesports)

User projektako 

I’ll not your typical salsa dancer as I took on dance as a hobby even later in life similar to you but well into my 20s. Also I started with just ballroom, moved toward salsa only and then expanded again into other genres of dance such as flamenco, hip hop, modern, ballet, African, Afro Cuban, etc.
I’ll also mirror the idea that meeting girls is initially a motivating factor… But I’m married now and while as an introvert, it’s nice to be able to interact with women in a social setting, it’s rewarding as a creative outlet as well. Like Dolly Parton has said, she’s married, not dead lol. Also bodily contact has etiquette in any partner dance, people know when you’re not there to dance. Relationships in the dance community can get really messy as well… Also salsa is not only a partner dance. Go back to the Palladium days and there was very little partner hold or turn patterns. Similar to hip hop, there’s culture infused in there.

My answer to 1 is, yes, but I prefer not to but I’ll never completely turn down a girl that asks me. I have been mistaken for an instructor a bunch of times and you will have to just remember to have fun even if your partner has no idea what they are doing. There are many tips for dancing with beginners. You never know, they may ask you to dance again later and be much better because they also started classes.

Again mirroring others response to 2, I don’t think you will progress quickly. Just like anything, you get back how much time and effort you put in. I know plenty of people that did the once a week thing, and they aren’t there to progress, just as an outlet or as a hobby. Very rarely do they get better.

I used to strength/weight train before I started salsa so being muscular or awkward aren’t problems. You can be muscular as well as agile and flexible. Coordination can be trained, it’s just another skill.

User HelpwithSAdog 

1. If your follow doesn’t do partner dancing it can be hard. The follow role is important too and they have to be willing and able to listen to your body. In general, you’d want to dance salsa at a salsa club, where most of the follows should at least know the basics.

2. IMO….kind of. I go 3-4 days a week, my boyfriend goes once a week and often forgets everything by the next week. I think if you aren’t practicing inbetween it may not be enough, but if you are it can be just fine. Maybe try for twice a week.

3. No one will reject you at classes. Something I love about them is it tends to involve people from all walks of life (i have men in their 80’s in classes), and lots of people who are trying to get comfortable in their own skin and body. Everyone feels a bit awkward in beginner classes. Its more than okay. My BF is a 6 foot something, 250 pound ex football player. Those types of movements did not come naturally to him at first, its all good 🙂

User edach2he

I’m super tired so here are some very quick answers.

1. ​Depends on what you mean, dance salsa with someone who doesn’t know it. No. You may end up hurting someone that way.
Just dance with someone, likely yes. The further you get in salsa, the more comfortable you get with body movement and dancing in general, a lot of what you learn can be transferred to a club setting. There is also a solo element to salsa called shines.

2. Depends on your goals but probably not. The more often you do it the faster you’ll learn. 30 minute classes four times a week will make you learn faster than one 3 hour class once a week. When I started it took classes 5 times a week, even then it took me around 3 months to feel comfortable going out to dance salsa, 6 months to feel like I was decent and 2 years to feel like I was pretty good within my scene. Four and a half years later I still have a lot to work on.
If your goal is just to be able to dance well enough to be able to dance with strangers and to be able to say you know some salsa, then classes once a week may very well be enough (You’ll probably have to practice at home a lot though).

3. Don’t worry about getting rejected. Most people are there to dance and learn. If you are polite, have good hygiene (no BO) and are careful with your partner as to not hurt them with wild jerky moves, people will generally want to dance with you.

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