I attended Dani K’s classes in December 2014 Târgoviște/ Salsa Linda Fest and Oportunidad Escuela de Baile / Bucharest. If any of you might wonder why it took me so long to write down a few things I learnt from him… well, it is simply because I wanted to check if my memory is good enough for me to remember everything after four months.
The most precious thing I truly appreciate about Dani is his modesty – it’s in the way he adresses you, looks at you and acts around everyone. He’s been dancing for over a decade, he’s one of the greatest teachers (not only dance teacher) I’ve met and he managed to preserve something so human about him that makes me want to a better person.
And the cheesy writing stops here.
Let’s see 5 useful lessons I learnt from Dani K:
1. People are watching you.
Yes, sir. They stand right next to you, their sharp gazes surrounding you while dancing and paying attention to e-ve-ry little move you’re doing.
So what? You’re not a rock star. Fool around, have fun, dance your a** off and be totally careless of what they might think of you. That’s when you’re really dancing.
In salsa music, there are so many overlapping instruments – therefore, one does not hear only one beat which goes like 1-2-3-5-6-7. Therefore, why should we dance like this? You can move on the clave, on the conga or the cowbell for instance. Of course, this tip is for advanced dancers who already reached a good level in musicality and are able to play with the music beyond the rhythm.
3. Spice it up!
Add some flavour to your moves – instead of dancing at the same level, on the same rhythm and in the same spot of the dancefloor, why not changing the height, the speed and the direction? Surprise your partner and have fun by doing the following:
– dance a few steps high, then go lower (bend your knees some more);
– move to a fast tempo then switch to a calmer one – qo quick then slow, then quick again, slow and so on;
– move around the room when possible – considering the space between dancers – like you’re taking a dancing walk with your partner (this is for those who lead).
4. Are we like, dancing?
I remember Dani playing a song and asking us to dance to it. It was a melodic piano sound and all of us thought it was only the intro of a salsa song, so we were waiting. But it kept going and going and everyone was like… panic, panic! It was creepy, indeed.
Truth is, if we expect the music to be a certain kind, we’ll be able to set the moves beforehand. However, there are billions of salsa songs in this world and we’ll never know all of them in order to prepare the moves.
After all, isn’t this what dancing is all about? The lack of coreographed moves? Because not only what you dance on stage is coreography but also doing the same moves the same way no matter the music. Letting the music move your body, that is dancing.
One should feel the dance, not reason it.
5. Música, maestro! If you don’t like the song the dj is playing, don’t look at him – he ain’t gonna stop it.
Did you attend any classes of Dani K’s? If so, what did you learn from him?