First time I felt like a failure

Question by User Absolut1on

I have been learning Bachata since early Jan this year and did 4 weeks of learning the basics moves.

Then, I moved into the Improvers category.

For some reason, the non-beginners group size went from 40 to 10 that same week so they combined us all together (Improvers, intermediate, and advanced). Not a problem as I was super happy to learn some fun combinations and moves.

That was 4 weeks ago. I admit I have struggled to keep up with remembering the routines as we go, but always managed to nail it by the end of the class.

Today was different. It was the first time I felt like a failure, and was actually looking forward to the end of the session. The moves were complicated, fast, and just always out of to grasp. I don’t think I completed the routine successfully once.

I know it’s not my failure but the instructors, but I really didnt enjoy it and it has knocked my confidence.

Rather than a just posting a rant, I would really love to know how you all learn routines and have any tricks I can use, and if you have any similar stories to share that ended in success 🙂


User fschwiet

Aye good people have bad days.

Are you doing socials too? 4 weeks is a good amount of time to learn the basics, but not to really master them. If you’re doing socials you might find challenges in your leading/following that motivate you to try the basics again with a better eye for the challenges.

Personally I don’t like classes that emphasize just routines. Leads often don’t really learn how to lead the individual steps, and followers don’t learn to follow. It all falls apart when social dancing. I try to pick a few moves up at a time, try them out, figure out how to lead them properly, figure out how to connect them to different moves, how to fit them in different songs, etc.

Don’t make completing the routine your objective, make it to learn a few things to improve you social dancing. If you’re finishing the routines in class but not actually executing them in socials then its not really progress.

User TijoWasik

I’ve been dancing Salsa and Bachata for 18 months. My partner and I regularly get told by other members of our class that they look forward to dancing with us (follows with me and leads with her) because we’re good at it, and that if they need to check something in the routine while the instructors are otherwise engaged, they watch us instead.

I take a footwork class every Tuesday to improve my Salsa technique and there are times – this week was one of them – where I just cannot get it right. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m a bad dancer. It doesn’t mean the instructors failed either. It just means that there’s gaps in technique that I found that I need to fix. The only way you can fix that is by practice.

I know it’s frustrating and I admit that it definitely gets the best of me sometimes, I end up super frustrated but I go home, I go through the routine myself and I keep going because it’s a part of dancing that I don’t know yet and need to learn to improve myself. I listen to the music immediately after class and when I’m free to listen to music and play the routine back in my head to make sure it sinks in.

You’ve not been dancing long. This is a common thing, and you’ll have it a lot more times. Your reaction now is important – don’t let the fact that you couldn’t do it make you not do it. Learn how to do it and if you’re still unsure, write it off for now. Believe me, it’ll come about again soon enough, but every week, you’ll get better, and at some point, something very similar will come along, and you’ll find you breeze through it and you’ll wonder why you ever got frustrated with it!

Keep dancing, friend!

User phoenixbouncing

Honestly, you’re taking classes with people who have more years experience than you have months. Let that sink in a moment.

The fact that you’re keeping up at all is a credit to you and your instructors. Everyone has a bad day when that spin on 3 always lands late, but as they saying goes, keep calm and keep dancing.

Good luck, and most importantly Have Fun.

User DanielCollinsBachata

Yeah to echo some others here, the techniques are generally way more important than moves and patterns. If you learn a move alone, you may only be able to use that move. When you learn correct techniques, you’ll be able to pick up and create many moves, and you’ll look and feel better as a dancer as you use them.

You won’t always get everything in a class, and that’s ok. Even if you did, after a while there’s no way to remember every move and pattern anyways. Just try to get a little something that you didn’t have before from each class. In my opinion those things are what build up and actually improve your dancing over time.

One of the most important things in dance is to enjoy yourself, because if you are you’ll get better without it really feeling like work. Dance can be hard, and if you were to move out of the salsa/bachata world to classical styles or hip hop, it’s infinitely harder. I was looking at taking some hip hop/street jazz classes the other day at a fairly famous dance studio, and the suggested dance experience for beginner classes was 5-8 years. You’re still fairly new, try not to get too discouraged. You never know where dance can take you 🙂

User tvgtvg

Even 2 years of rxperience is not much if you are not talented and make a LOT of miles on the dancefloor. Also remember: routines are just combinations of moves you will switch up anyway. Concentrate on having the single techniques right

User MariusDA


I hope this post finds you well and will help you in our evolution.

This is our bachata FREE tutorial playlist ->

The thing is the I could write a 30 page material with advices for you, but trust me… as a professional dance artist, only Practice and Patience will help you.

Your best training is at socials (learning by doing).

We started doing this free tutorials so that anybody can have access to good materials and lessons. Over 150+ tutorials on salsa and bachata (kizomba coming soon) on footwork, musicality, body-movement, etc…

Hope this will help you.

P.S. Never loose confidence in yourself. If something is hard… it means you are on the right path.

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