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Beginning Salsa Dancing, Getting through the pains of being a beginner in the Salsa and Bachata Dance World

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  • Falling into place

    Falling into place

    "Dear Edie, I've been thoroughly enjoying the Dancer Hangout and find your sincere writing style very refreshing. Can you give me some advice for learning Salsa? Before two months ago, I never danced a step in my life. I started out with privates, learning the basics of various ballroom styles plus some east coast swing. I'm finding that I enjoy the Latin dances the most, and Salsa seems to be the most practical because there are so many clubs. However I don't really want to emphasize just one dance...I'd like to get good at the cha cha, rumba, and foxtrot as well (foxtrot bec...
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  • Bloom Where You Are Planted

    Bloom Where You Are Planted



    My tribute to Janette Valenzuela. www.JanetteValenzuela.com
    By Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!

    I have told the following story to women all over the world. Now I'd like to share it here, at Dancer Hangout with all of you.

    I had just started to learn this "Salsa dance" and was taking private lessons twice a week with Luis Vazquez. He told me that I was ready to start dancing with the better dancers now, and that I should kick it up a notch and challenge myself. So I did just that. I was determined to "only dance with the better dancers" now, and that was "it". Ms. Cocky Edie was "on her way to the top". hm. So that night, I went to Orchids Salsa Nightclub in Orange County, California, and danced with MANY men - the "good" ones, so-to-speak. I remembered in particular dancing with a guy that I thought was terrible and could not lead. He was a beginner, and was just ve...
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  • Eaten Alive

    Eaten Alive



    "Dear Edie,
    Hi! Nice website. I love this Dancer Hangout! - Getting addicted to reading it during the day, getting READY to dancing it all night long!

    I am brand new to the Salsa scene. I have just started taking lessons. Should I go to the clubs and try out what I know so far, or will I get eaten alive? I barely have my Cuban motion down, and I don't have a partner. My friend said that there would be many women willing to teach me, but I just don't believe him. I have had one private lesson. Thanks in advance!
    - A Budding Salsa Freak"

    Dear Bud,
    Continue with your private lessons. If the...
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  • No Soul

    No Soul

    "Dear Edie, I saw something I found humorous the other day at a club. There was this guy showing off for a group of female beginners (he was spinning one of them and doing some nice steps as they ooohed and aahhed). He had the steps right and he managed to get the women through the steps, but he had no Cuban motion and no style, it was like mass-produced dance, no soul. Even I could tell that this guy was missing something very big. I later found out he was a student-turned-instructor. How could a dance instructor unleash this horror on unsuspecting students? I want to find out who w...
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  • LA Style is On The One

    LA Style is On The One


    Los Angeles ... California Salseras Dance "On-1"
    "Dear Edie, I got [instructor]'s tapes the other day and watched them both non stop. They are excellent. Some of the steps I haven't seen before. I spoke to [my friend] after seeing them and asked what was different about LA style and he said that you dance on 2. Is this true? and if it is why does [instructor] teach it on 1. We dance on 1 here although I have seen and many times myself switch to 3, depending on the previous manouver (1,2, or 3 lady turns). Do you do this also? Is it correct? I am going to practice all these steps in the next few w
    ...
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  • Scared Spitless

    Scared Spitless

    "Dear Edie, What do you think about the following? Most guys that are taking the Salsa class with me don't feel comfortable (or confident) to ask "good" dancers to dance with them because if a guy makes (a) mistake(s) the good dancer won't dance with them again. I think we are perhaps intermediate dancers, but to become good ones we have to dance with the good dancers, but it is like a catch 20/20? I know that you can take private lessons (which I am seriously considering). Do you have any other suggestions? I try to practice whenever I can and have fun at the same time ...
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  • The Shy Salsero

    The Shy Salsero

    "Dear Edie, I need some advice. I am at what I consider the practice level. I go to a club to learn and have fun. I have no problem asking women of the same attitude to dance with me. But when I go to a club and everyone is at the "show off and have fun" level, I get real shy. You may have noticed when we went dancing, I watched rather than participated. How do women who are really good respond to dancing with someone who isn't? First impressions really count, and I don't want the good dancers thinking I suck because then they won't dance with me in the future, when I will be (hopefully) good. I realize that everyone respond...
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  • The Asking

    The Asking

    The asking, asking a woman to dance, asking to dance, asking someone to dance,
    Asking a woman to dance. The Asking. Dear Edie My Salsa-spirit is taking a down-turn. I am finally getting the nerve to ask women to dance at the clubs but they all say no. I have never danced at this club, so it can't be the way I dance. I always shower/shave/brush before I go out, and I dress nice. I am polite and just ask "would you like to dance". Then they say no thank you. After three no thank you's I lose my nerve and self-confidence. This is only really a problem at one particular club, but it is where the best dancers are. I would just chalk it up to my lack of dance experience, except none of them have ever seen me dance. I am practicing every day, but I have no partner, so leading is my weak point. I think I am too afraid of throwing the girl around, so I am not strong enough. But I can't know with...
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  • Beginner Class Attitude and Etiquette

    Beginner Class Attitude and Etiquette



    Beginner Class Attitude and Etiquette
    ... "Dear Edie, I enjoyed the series of letters about the "beginner man" on the club scene. I wanted to add a comment about a few issues that I believe need to be addressed on this subject not only on the club scene but also in the dance class setting. Let me preface by saying that I am a beginner female with some previous dance experience. I have been taking beginning classes for several months, and plan to take them for several more. After several weeks of class, I was bitten by the "salsa bug" and now in addition to classes 2-3 times a week, I go to clubs several nights a week, and take the (intermediate) classes beforehand. Most importantly, I am very fortunate to have a more advanced female friend who has been my "introduction" to the salsa scene, and have been able to dance r
    ...
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  • Changing Instructors

    Changing Instructors



    "Dear Edie,
    I'm really glad you have decided to do a beginners page. I think it will be very helpful to us all.

    I have come to the point where I feel I need to start taking some private lessons, and want your advice on how to proceed.

    I have thought about my goals, and at this point, I want to: (1) clean up my basics; (2) learn all the "moves" that are thrown at me on the dance floor; (3) learn styling techniques; (4) expand my repertoire of potential partners. I don't think that I will ever be dance competition material, so learning ballroom technique is not a high priority to me.

    There are two issues that I was hoping you could advise me on. First, I am considering whether I should take from a male instructor or a woman. My first inclination is to take from a
    ...
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  • The Beautiful Woman Buried Deep Inside of Me
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    I am not a dancer. I don't have the body for it. I don't have the coordination for it. I don't have the grace for it. But circumstances landed me among Latinos who danced. One said to me that it was "algo de la sangre".. something in the blood, and that I just didn't have it.

    I tried anyway, but I lacked the basic belief that I would ever overcome the limitations that came with my body.

    After taking many classes and workshops and lessons, I still wasn't much better at Salsa. I got better at Bachata, which raised my overall level of confidence, but I was still awkward at Salsa. Edie's classes, though, changed my head. I started dancing while repeating Edie's words in my head about how women should carry themselves. I was styling...
    01-20-2013, 03:56 PM
  • Confused
    ediester

    "Dear Edie,
    Hello ...My name is [name] , I am from [city]. I have been reading about you for almost 20 years. I have been teaching Salsa for the last 5 years ... we are a group that has a great impact on the 'Salsa community' here in [city]. Do you dance & teach on 1 or on the 2????? IF YOU DANCE ON BOTH.....WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT WAY....????? The reason is that we might want to come down to L.A or one of the locations that you have a workshop & check it out... Please let me know......( I hope it is on the 1 which is the original way....) Thank you
    - Confused"
    Dear Confused, Dancing on the One or the Two is liking knowing Spanish or English. Which is the right language? To dance on any beat, is simply a...
    11-19-2012, 01:49 PM
  • Where to Practice?
    ediester


    "Hi, Edie
    Could you please direct me? I have just found a partner and we are trying to figure out where we could practice Salsa. What's our best bet? Clubs may not be very conducive for practices, and dance floors may be very expensive (or not?) I live and work in Stamford, CT and she lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan. Thank you for your help, regards
    ... Looking for a place to practice!!! "
    Dear Looking... You can rent space per hour at a dance studio, or if you are absolutely broke (like I was), you can get to nightclubs an hour or so before they open - the restaurant-bar types. Just start practicing y...
    11-19-2012, 12:44 PM
  • On-2 In Miami
    ediester


    "Dear Edie,
    I am not exaggerating when I say I spend 10-15 minutes on-line at a time just to get mail etc. but when my curiosity took over and I started reading about you and your dancing tips and everything I was truly astounded! You are really in tune with the people. I spent over an hour on the Dancer Hangout site, which is unheard of for me, fully enjoying every minute of it! I live and breath Salsa myself and recently found a partner through the partner search in my area that is a dream come true. We practice EVERY DAY! My question is (Finally!!) I've danced On 1 all my life and am finding it very difficult to master On 2. Should it be easier for me to get On 2 as opposed to a beginner starting On 2? What video would you recommend for an advanced Salsero/Mambero to master the On 2 style? I'm really desperate here! I live in M
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    11-19-2012, 08:37 AM
  • Private Lessons
    ediester

    Take Private Lessons to Get Better!


    You're at a Salsa club, you ask someone to dance, and they say... "Uh... No..., thank you."

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    It just may mean that you don't lead very well (if you're a guy), or you are too crazy out there to let them control you (if you're a woman)

    My advice to ANYONE who goes out partner dancing, is to take PRIVATE lessons - not just a group class - from the best recommended instructor in town. Take JUST ONE at first, before you decide on a package deal. You will find, that a Quality instructor will IMMEDIATELY...
    11-19-2012, 12:41 AM
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