Question By User: tiki_tiki_tiki
When can you consider yourself a beginner/ intermediate/ advanced dancer? I know that depends on how long you’ve been dancing etc. But beyond that, what are some things beginner vs intermediate vs advanced people do/do not?
Beginners are often shy and maybe step on people’s feet. Intermediate dancers start improvising…more ideas?
Edit: I’m asking not to make a classification, but to become aware of what I can improve
Why make a classification based on topics? Social dancing isn’t a competition, in my opinion, social dancing is about connection, flow and entertainment.
So higher the connection between partners, flow with the music and fun, higher the level.
The music will always tell a history, interpretation of that is key to show a “higher level”.
Social dancing isn’t about complex patterns.
Pd: All in my honest opinion. That means I can be wrong.
Try to focus on connection and technique (how to lead properly), musicality (be on the beat, dance with the music: starting with floreos, identify mambo/rumba/tumbao, when to make faster figures, etc).
Focus on your body expression as well, try to record yourself dancing and making solo steps to clean it. Make it perfect, smooth and that you look at it and don’t be able to point something wrong, like hands/arms moving awkwardly, the feets steping on different directions, the face expression, etc.
When I was learning, I was focused on learning a lot of different moves. My main goal was “not being boring” so I tried to learn a loooot of patterns but I wasn’t improving, no matter how hard was the pattern I was able to do.
Talking with teachers and other dancers they made me realize that I wasn’t improving regardless of the number of different moves. If you looked my dance, was not clear or smooth.
Furthermore, I can’t remember much of the new move sets while dancing because I didn’t have time to stop and think so I was forgetting steps that I have been learning at class.
Then for building and improving my move set what I do is focus myself on one move and doing it in all songs for 2/3 socials and when I can do it without thinking about it I start doing that with a new one.
So yeah, it’s a slow process but for me works fine. Probably you go out more often than I do (without thinking on coronavirus) so you can improve faster and find your own way.
I hope my experience is useful, and my English clear enough to be understood.
Focus on what you enjoy more! It’s not about improve as fast as possible, it’s about having fun! There is nothing good on be better if you are to focus on your performance instead of enjoying the moment.
Footwork is one of the obvious factors. For example beginners often take wider basic steps.
I’m a beginner but I think ability to adapt is so valuable! I can dance with two super high level dancers. If dancer A can adapt to my level and ability, work with me, teach me, and it still be fun and have a lot of flow, I really appreciate that. If dancer B cannot modify their style to me, is rigid, is unwilling to help or bear with me, it’s the opposite of fun and makes me lose my confidence. It’s a team effort so part of being a good dancer is acknowledging and embracing your partner, not stiff-arming them.
I think of it as a blend of technique, move repertoire, partner connection, and musicality. These all exist on a spectrum individually and interact with one another to make up some composite “skill level.” There are no hard and fast delineations, but often repertoire is used as a surrogate because it is probably the most easily measured.
Intermediate – when you can skip a lesson and not feel frustrated at the next one
Advanced – when you can skip a year of lessons and still feel at ease at the next one
Confidence has a lot to do with it. It’s noticeable how difficult it can be to get a beginning lead to actually put his hands on his partner properly. I’ve danced (I’m a lead) with complete beginners and intermediates and seen their eyes light up within seconds of me holding them because they recognise that they’re dancing with someone who knows what he’s doing – it’s that obvious even to beginners, that quickly.
Don’t be hesitant.
Dropping the heel on the backside of the count (2/5 for leaders, 6/1 for follows – On2/On1) is something basically every beginner does.
Once people stop dropping the heel, then they have to learn to actually and immediately project out of the step.
My internal classification after doing a year of salsa dancing goes like this:
Beginner: Still learning to step on beat. May only know a couple moves. Tough to dance with and occasionally the dance will end up being a train wreck (we all start somewhere). If they are the follow they can be fun to dance with since they are easily impressed.
Intermediate: Consistently on beat the whole so g. Knows most or all of the basic salsa moves or at least has a core set of moves they can rely on. Has enough experience to dance with all levels competently. Starting to chain together one or two moves at a time.
Advanced: Staying on beat is second nature. Not only do they know all the basic moves but they are able to chain them together to create complex combinations. I see an intermediate dancer as someone who has the fundamentals down but an advanced dancer has that plus a large catalog of moves to draw from, including more difficult combinations. They also have great technique making them easy to lead/follow.
A beginner is someone who thinks of themselves as intermediate.
An intermediate is someone who thinks of themselves as beginner.
Advanced think of themselves as starting to get good as beginners.