The best way to learn to dance is to dance. That’s, of course, a truism. Coming to classes is great (just ask our regular students!). But if you don’t have an opportunity to dance “in the wild,” you’ll never really learn to apply the class learning to real music and random partners.
But what if, because of other demands in your life, work schedule, discomfort with going to salsa clubs, or any number of other reasons, you simply haven’t got the opportunity from week to week to dance socially. Here are some other ideas that will help you improve, even at home, and even without a partner.
First, play Latin music. Be it on your home sound system, or through earbuds from your mobile, listen to as much Latin music as you can. Having the music we dance to flow through you throughout your day will attune your ears and your body to the particular rhythms of salsa.
Second, dance as if no one is looking. Dance around your home, even on your own. Practice your basic, your turns, your cross-body footwork drills. As I say in class, “dance with the ghost” (who never makes a mistake). If you have a partner at home with whom you can dance, even better!
Third, if possible, go out to a venue which is both safe and welcoming to a dancer at your level. Toronto Salsa Practice (at the church on Saturday afternoons, from 3:30-5:30) is a wonderful opportunity for relatively inexperienced dancers to practice without being judged harshly. The motto of TSP is, “everyone was a beginner once.”
Finally, try to enlist other students to accompany you to a “scary” venue for a fun evening out. You’ll have a few, friendly-faced, level-appropriate people with whom you’ll be able to dance and share the great time.
The more of these ideas you can incorporate into your week, the faster you’ll become a fantastic dancer.