Question by ikm0409
I’m a follower and in between beginner and intermediate level. I want to improve outside of classes and socials on my own. Do you know of low cost of free suggestions of how I can do this? Ex: Youtube channels, workouts to strengthen/ stretch specific body parts, etc…
The best advice is pretty much the following:
- Body Isolation. Bachata is actually really good for this – you can look up Bachata body isolation techniques on YouTube and work from there. Believe me, it’ll help a lot with Salsa.
- Footwork, footwork, footwork. Look up footwork patterns, learn them, practice them. Become more confident in being able to dance on your own and it’ll reflect with a partner.
- Learn your frame. You don’t need to do anything special, just dance and make sure you pay very high attention to your frame and where your hands are at all times.
- Spinning technique. For a follower, if you want to advance in to intermediate and beyond, spinning is going to be your biggest block. There’s nothing harder than learning to spin whilst also having to think about hand work. Learn one before the other. Start with a 1.5, move on to a double, then more if you want to.
- Musicality. Work as hard as you can when listening to music, and I don’t mean physically. Listen to it real hard. Identify and isolate the conga, the trombone, the drums, the bell(s), the piano, and when they stop and start and change rhythms.
- This fits in to musicality but is important enough for its own point. Learn the basic 3:2 Clave and clap it (silently or otherwise) to every song. When you get good at that, reverse it to 2:3 and just focus on that. When you can do both, bounce between them in a song – and learn to know when the song is doing it anyway.
- Dance everywhere, even if it’s just in your mind, or you just shift your body slightly forward and backwards whilst sat down.
You can actually do a lot solo. Partnerwork is only a small part of salsa.
Easiest way to improve your overall dancing is to improve your body movement and control.
Do muscle isolations. These exercises don´t even need to be salsa specific. Better control and balance of your body will transfer over to salsa. But if you want to do salsa specific exercises, you can look up videos and practice rip cage isolations, shimmies, bodyrolls, figure eights for hips, some shines for footwork speed and general lightness, spin drills, etc.
For musicality, listen to lot of salsa music. Either just in the background or dance solo to it in front of a mirror or without a mirror. It will add up over time.
You can do pivot and axle turn drills without a partner.
You can do all of your patterns from class without a partner – in fact, you should be able to do all of those moves without a partner. If you can only do moves with a partner (yes, even multi-spins), then you are, as we say; “Not dancing your own dance” and it means you are lacking control, timing, awareness and very probably balance, too.