Salsa course and learnings

I’m going for 4 weeks to a salsa course, and almost every time there is a new learning, besides the actual moves for salsa, bachata and merengue.


So far, a few of my learnings, woman perspective:

  • Always expect to be turned, to be spinned, to make a turn…to get dizzy of too much spinning :)) …and eat before going to the course…or you’ll get dizzy with only two twists 😉
  • Make a connection with your partner (details here). Learn the signs for starting a move, a twist, a spin…all related to hands touching and moving, swinging in a different direction than while doing the basic steps.
      • And because of this connection that you are learning with one partner, it’s best to keep the partner instead of constant changing. Not when you are learning new moves…which means basically not in the beginning.
      • I find that changing the partner it’s useful when you already know some basic moves and turns and you practice more than learn new moves, like I was last night.
      • Ok…now where is the line between beginner, intermediate and advanced? I have no idea, but there are some experienced dancers who are saying this is the timeline to learn to dance salsa (details here)
        • Basics 1 – 6 weeks
        • Basics 2 – 6 weeks
        • Intermediate – 3 months
        • Advanced – you’re on your own
  • Expect to be tricked and your partner to lead you to a different move then expected! True story! 😉
  • Salsa isn’t just about the steps. Its about moving and feeling the music. You aren’t really dancing until you are moving every part of your body!
      • Don’t count the steps…especially the Germans that I danced with during the partner change are so rigid…and their mind is at counting the steps, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8…..whenever you count the moves, your mind focus is not on the dance and rhythm…but on a boring counting from 1 to 8… yac…not graceful, dislike….keeping the tac-tac instead of counting is a little bit more acceptable, they are a little bit better…but still I don’t recommend it… .
      • You probably expect that only latino natives can dance without counting, with a very good rhythm in their blood. All the latino natives that I danced with – Brazilians, Peruvians, Chile, Spain, Italy – proved they have rhythm without counting.  What about the other nations? They must be really bad at dancing latino songs, right? I started with the same preconception. Reality: Not True! I realized I am so wrong after I danced really in a very good rhythm with people from Pakistan, Turkey and even some of the Germans…the ones that don’t count the steps anyway!
      • Just loosen up and have fun, feel and follow the rhythm, your brain can record the right moves without the numbers… it’s called kinesthetic learning and if you ever learned how to bike and how to do any move in your life, then you are all very well equipped with what you need for this type of learning…so loose the numbers and the tic tac, follow the music and rhythm instead.
      • I must say I love how me and Ali are really relaxed enough and having fun while dancing salsa, no boring step counting included, we danced spontaneous while being on a picnic with friends near Starnbergersee, a beautiful lake near Munich, and this is my first photo dancing salsa 🙂

Dancing salsa – my 1st photo – 9th of April 2011, Starnbergersee

  • Hear the music, understand the lyrics, let it tell a story to your body and guide your movements. You can salsa dance better if you know the music. It will give you the advantage of knowing what comes next. Salsa music tells a “story” and you can synchronize your movements to the musical phrases of this story. (details here)
      • I have a dream now. Today I saw 2 new class mates dancing together on  the song below…they were not counting, they were dancing so gracefully and stylish, so wonderful, so full of passion, so into the rhythm! Both of them! And I found out that he is dancing for 5 years, and out of the two of them, he was the one where you could really see the fire and passion in his eyes and in his moves, really inspiring!  One day, I will dance like them. I made also videos of some of  their moves until my card got full, I really want to remember at least a small part from such a graceful moment.
      • The song that was danced by the two charming dancers from tonight was La vida es un carnaval by Celia Cruz and I could understand the lyrics, I saw the way they adapted the meaning to their movements.  This song was today in the salsa course and it’s message it’s so full of truth, “There’s no need to mourn, Life is a carnival and it’s more beautiful to live it singing” read below the lyrics translated in English…plus, life as a carnival has another meaning, also full of truth…Life is a carnival and everyone is wearing beautiful or interesting masks…but one day the masks may be taken down and then you see their true face.

Anyone who thinks that life is unfair
must know that it is not
That life is beautiful, you must live
Anyone who thinks they are alone and it’s wrong
You must know that it is not
That in life no one is alone, someone is always

Oh, do not mourn
That life is a carnival and more beautiful to live singing
Oh oh oh oh no need to mourn
that life is a carnival And your pains go away singing
oh oh oh oh no need to mourn
That life is a carnival and more beautiful to live singing

Oh oh oh oh no need to mourn
that life is a carnival And your pains go away singing
Anyone who thinks that life is cruel
You must know that it is not
That there are just bad times and everything happens
Anyone thinking this will never change
You must know that it is not
What a brave face and everything changes

Oh, do not mourn
That life is a carnival and more beautiful to live singing
Oh oh oh oh no need to mourn
that life is a carnival And your pains go away singing
oh oh oh oh no need to mourn
That life is a carnival and more beautiful to live singing

Oh oh oh oh no need to mourn
that life is a carnival And your pains go away singing
Carnival, is to laugh
No need to mourn, to enjoy
Carnival to enjoy
no live singing
Carnival life is a carnival
No need to mourn, we all can sing
Carnaval, O Lord
We must live singing
Carnival, anyone who thinks
That life is cruel
Carnival will never be alone
We must live singing, God is with him
For those that complain
For those who only criticize
For those that use weapons
For those that pollute us
For those who make war
For those that live in sin
For those who mistreat us
For those that make us sick

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