Too many turns and not Enough shines?

Question By User elnelsonperez

Do any of you guys feel like you do too many turns but not enough shines? I feel like sometimes in my social dances I just go about doing any combination that comes to mind and forget about doing any cool shines.

I think part of the problem is that I don’t know when in the song to do the shines, and every time I want to do shines while social dancing I forget everything I practiced alone and fall back to the classic Susie Q.

Any tips to incorporate more shines into my dances? Thank you!


User unstoppable-force

no. most girls don’t even know what to do during a shine outside the very best of clubs. every one i’ve talked to about it just had no idea what to do when the guy lets go. shines are on the higher end of progressive testing. unless you’ve danced with this girl before, you start out easymode, testing something simple on whether she turns herself or not when you raise her hand. then gradually move up to higher moves. shines are much farther up the list than most think.

User edirgl

I believe that shines are a natural response on what the music makes you feel. During your dance I noticed that you hit musical breaks really well, then you shy out of shining. e.g. at 00:24, that break was hit smoothly and accurately, from there you could’ve let go and thrown in a couple of eights to shine, (personal opinion, the music made it fit perfectly)

Like the other folks say though, it depends who you’re dancing with, and it depends if she enjoys shining as well, it’s really awkward when she doesn’t know/enjoy shines, and there you’re letting her go on her own for too long. And as for how to learn it,remember that it’s all practice, join footwork classes, look at footwork videos from congresses, there’s thousands on YouTube.

My 5 cents.

User r1bb1tTheFrog

Shines became fun for me when I learned body movement.

Body movement takes some practice, but once you get it, it looks really cool. Add it to a side basic or two step and you can do a lot with it.

The other comments are spot on. A lot of follows don’t know how to shine and default to Suzy Q. As soon as I see that, I go back to patterns, and she’s usually happier for it.

I also like to be aware of the follow’s expressions. In this dance, you have her smiling a lot which is great. She smiles the most during the stuff that is less common and unexpected but well executed, such as the slot change to New York walk and the triple spin that went right along with the music.

Keep up the good work.

User live1053

you can break off with your partner a little before, during, or slightly after the start of a section of a song you want to just bust out. There’s no right or wrong in shines. They are your expression of your internalization of the music you just processed.

Learning body movements and knowing your better body lines help tremendously in making you look polished and be more rhythmically in sync with the music during the shines.

But you have to do, analyze, adjust, and repeat. This is the most important.

One last thing it can be helpful if you keep timing or being aware during your shines so that you can pick up your partner smoothly to get back into partner dance. I dance On2 so when I’m done with shines I do my front side basic, which alerts my partner that I’m done let’s get back to dancing, to pick her up on 5 or 6. Then into a CBL.

User gumercindo1959

Good job, my man. I think people obsess too much with shines. In my mind, the simpler the better. First off, as others have said, it also depends on the follow – if your follow does not do shines (ie freezes up when you let go), then don’t do (too many shines). But, if your partner does enjoy expressing herself with the music, then go for it. But when you do. I would keep it simple and short (2 8 counts). It’s really just a variation of your basic. There are a number of things you can do with your basic that makes for cool footwork. It looks more natural compared to a rehearsed shine that looks like its from a performance group. I really like this guy – he has cool/simple footwork

User mstoltzfus97

I love shining, and I try to get a good shine routine in with every dance I have…

That said, others have already commented on the utter lack of shine-training, especially for beginner and intermediate-level follows… (My instructor happens to see the value in shines and how they can be used to improve overall dance form/and he uses alot of shines in his group performance routines he puts together, so he’s been teaching me building blocks for shines basically since I’ve started taking classes.) So I’ve found that, especially for your average follow who has stumbled across salsa dancing as a hobby or were intrigued about the club’s latin night and decided to pop in for the night, sending them out on their own to shine and expecting them to do anything other than stand there trying to stay in time with the basic and watching you with wide-eyed terror is asking too much…

Basically, as a lead, you most likely will be able to sense whether your follower is feeling the music or not, and if they are, when you let them go, go ham!!! Do a “drum hand slap” to the percussion, shoulder shimmy, do some son drops if theres a “pop” in the music, and basically just have a boatload of fun together (also, give her that “eye of approval” as she shines around too – goes wonders for connecting and will most certainly ensure follow-up dances)

If, on the other hand, they stand there with the deer-in-the-headlights-why-did-you-let-go-of-me-and-what-the-hell-are-you-doing look, dance a susie q, do a shoulder shimmy if the percussion allows, spin back in to pick her up, and stay connected for the remainder of the song.

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