(Repost from 2014)
We want to see the results asap, right now … even yesterday.
We like challenges, but don’t let your ego get in the way of your own growth. When it comes to dancing, skipping or rushing to learn the basics is a bad idea.
5 REASONS WHY IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO INVEST TIME IN LEARNING THE BASICS
The basic steps, timing and technique in dance form the basis of EVERYTHING you will learn in the future. With a good foundation, you will acquire knowledge and skills that can serve as a “shortcut” to learning new things. You will ALREADY understand and perform the most basic skills such as timing, leadership and following, weight shifting, so you can focus on the NEW.
- SKIP LEVELS AND DO NOT ACQUIRE SOLID TECHNOLOGY = A HOT BATTLE
It’s so refreshing to meet students who say, “I’m interested in learning to dance properly and I don’t mind starting over”. That’s someone who understands the value of great fundamentals 🙂 Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule. Most people like to be challenged. It’s no fun getting bored of doing the same thing. However, if your goal is to become a better dancer, then you’d better spend your time and money getting one progressive way, building on skills that you learn on the dance floor and put into practice as quickly as possible.
- STYLING WITHOUT SOLID TECHNOLOGY = A HOT, INCREDIBLE MYSTERY
Most women can’t wait to learn how to “style”, but it’s often too soon. And the leaders are so eager to add flare (speed, complexity) to their dance without knowing how to have a clear basic or cross-body lead in salsa or hold frames in bachata. Imagine a house that is built on an uneven foundation – if you’re trying to add new levels, the house is likely so shaky that it will have to collapse. Likewise, the styling without body awareness, timing, coordination or opposing body movements can become an uncomfortable situation for the dancer as well as for all spectators. We are all looking for challenges, but we take the opportunities to learn and practice great techniques from people who know their way around. It’s a big challenge to lay a solid foundation.
- LESS IS MORE
While we all long to learn the latest and greatest, seasoned dancers know that complicated moves are built on great technique. In Latin American dances, basic steps, basic timing, and basic partnering techniques are required to communicate with one another on the dance floor. Forget about styling or fancy moves if you’re not even dancing together. Step 1 – Connect with your partner! And interestingly, many experienced dancers enjoy dancing less “busy” and appreciate the great connection and musicality over complexity.
- YOU MAY FEEL MESSY BASICS – NOT GOOD
Most dancers are drawn to the fun and connection they see in Latin American dancers – the magic, the sensuality, the way two complete strangers can move like one on the dance floor. It feels great when you have a great connection with someone and can actually feel them go ahead or follow them. It is heaven on earth. Things like free time, hopping, too strong or invisible can be distracting, not to mention that some playful or complicated partner work cannot be done well.
- IF EXPERIENCED DANCERS VALUE AND PRACTICE THE BASICS, IT IS NOT A BASIS FOR BEGINNERS
It seems that the more experience a dancer has, the more they understand that you need to practice to master their basics. In other classical dance styles such as ballet or modern, you will find dancers with years of experience in the beginner courses so that they can continue to learn the elementary skills they use in advanced dance moves. With salsa and bachata, it is not uncommon for students with less dance experience to try to pass an advanced class. We all need challenges to keep our interest and motivation up, but if you want to become a better dancer, you have mastered the basics.
Focus on the goal … “To be a better dancer“. Be patient. LEARN YOUR BASICS. Practice your basics. Enjoy the rewards over the long term 🙂 You and your partner will thank you!”
Caryl Cuizon, co-founder of iFreeStyle.ca.