How To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Dance with Everyone
A common trend among new Salsa dancers is that they are intimidated by more experienced dancers. When I first started learning to Salsa, I would see an amazing dancer who could glide across the dance floor and wonder to myself, “How could I possibly keep up with my basic steps and clumsy basic turns?” I’ve grown past that now, and here’s a golden rule I follow that helps me: Dance with anyone and everyone of all skill levels and all styles.
When you do not step out of your comfort zone, you limit your learning potential. Let’s face it, when you only dance with newer people during your Salsa outings, things are going to get repetitive. I understand the need to dance with newer people who are making mistakes like you are, but it can be just as fun to dance with more experienced people. More experienced dancers have been in your place and understand what it’s like to be a beginner. When I have danced with more experienced salseras, they have sometimes played off of my mistakes and taught me new moves.
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Sometimes, we just need an extra push to get out on the dance floor. Here are some tips to help you get your feet moving:
Have a friend pick out skilled dancers in the room, or dancers who simply look like they’re having a great time and make a list for you. Your goal is to dance with everyone on that list before the night is over. In the process of meeting your goal, you branch out to meet new people and polish your moves with new partners.
After you start going Salsa dancing on a regular basis, you start to pick out songs that inspire you and make you feel like a better dancer. When certain songs come on, I’ll dance with the best of the best because no matter how new I may be, it puts me in the groove. If you are in a fun and confident mood, it doesn’t matter how “skilled” you are, you’re putting off the good vibes that make people want to dance with you more often and show you a new move, offer constructive criticism, or recommend an awesome instructor or class.
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On some nights, I simply need a warm up to break out of my shell. It helps to find a friend from dance class or even an instructor to pair up with for the first dance of the night. Checking in with peers and teachers is a good opportunity to gauge personal growth as a dancer and offers the chance to practice new moves before unleashing them onto the rest of the crowd.
Looking back on my first few months, I have decided making mistakes is all part of the growing experience. You have to make mistakes, take a moment to reflect on them and move on in order to grow. Even though I’ve been dancing almost a year, I still consider myself a new dancer and I still make mistakes all the time. I’ve learned to use those mistakes and the tips shared here to continue to grow and have fun as a Salsa dancer.
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