You know those salsa classes where there is nothing to record at the end? No choreo, no super cool moves, nothing to post online so everyone can see what they missed. I love those. And thanks to the guys who invented blogging, I can happily write down what I cannot record.
Last year I shared with you five ideas taken from the amazing Dani K during several of his workshops. It seems that Romanians charmed Dani so much that he can’t help coming back here every year. And I can’t help writing another article about his classes.
Five ideas from Dani’s workshops at the 5th Salsa Linda Fest, Targoviste (December 2015):
1) Confidence all the way.
To each of us, this could be either having fun, being relaxed, having the right technique or going completely crazy on the dancefloor. Whichever your definition of confidence is, make it happen. It’s a shame to waste those minutes of your life being stressed and uncomfortable instead of feeling simply amazing. Dance without hesitation, like when you introduce yourself to someone – state who you are clearly and with confidence.
2) Adapt to your partner.
Whether it’s the dancing level, the mood or the energy of the other dancer, try to meet them halfway. Remember that the more advanced of the two should always avoid complicated combinations and patterns so that the less advanced could feel at ease during the dance. Likewise, if you’re the one with a ton of energy and your partner looks a bit sleepy, perhaps you shouldn’t put all the vitamins in that dance. Just the quantity needed to share some of your liveliness with your partner.
3) Be more than a leader.
Please pay attention – this does not mean you should not lead or become a follower. It means that leading non stop will turn the dance into a boring monologue – your boring monologue. No one listens to boring monologues. Dancing with a partner is supposed to be a beautiful dialogue to which both of you contribute.
How can you be more than a leader? Develop your moves according to what you receive from the follower, pay attention to their style and attitude. Let the other person inspire you and allow them to be free sometimes instead of „telling” them what to do all the time. You have way more chances to be fun and creative.
4) Be more than a follower.
Please pay attention – this does not mean you should not follow or become a leader. It means that following non stop will turn the dance into a passive obedience – your passive obedience. Anyone can do passive obedience. Social dancing is supposed to be a beautiful interaction where you can do more than respond to commands.
How can you be more than a follower? Let the other person be inspired by your dancing and make them feel your presence. Follow their lead and at the same time add your own interpretation of the music. Respond to your partner in a unique way – your way – and you create the opportunity of a unique dance.
5) Be nice to Cuban people.
Stop having the ‘courage’ to say that Cuban people cannot dance. It’s true, some of them cannot dance. But if they don’t do the super cool moves we often see on stage it’s because they simply don’t want or don’t need to. If you see them not giving a tiny thing on whether they step on 1, 2 or 46 it’s because all they care about is having fun, letting the music drive them and not analyzing the mathematics in it.
What did you learn from Dani K?