Here Is Your Gringa Guide to Salsa Dancing, How To Get Started!
One of my favorite things to do is go out salsa dancing. Now, please note, I use this term very broadly to kind of incorporate multiple styles of latin dances…salsa being just one of them and my personal favorite. I began dancing years ago, and while I am nowhere near being an expert or professional dancer, I’ve done enough of it for long enough to be able to give some helpful hints here and there. As far as sharing salsa dancing tips goes, I decided the best place to start would be the very beginning. My hints won’t be very helpful, if you’re not actually getting out there and shaking it on the dance floor. So, let’s look at how to get started!
Step 1: Take a Lesson…Any Lesson
This is kind of a no-brainer, but the best place to start is with a lesson. This should help you discover the very basic footwork and maybe a turn or two to get you started. And the good news is, you can typically find lessons in all shapes or sizes. There are dance studios that specialize specifically in latin styles of dancing, but you may need to look for a more general ballroom instructor depending on what’s available in your area. Most clubs featuring a salsa night or theme will typically have a lesson before the dancing begins, so call ahead and see what’s up! Also, DVDs are a great back up if you can’t find a suitable instructor in your city or town.
Step 2: Put Those Salsa Jams On Repeat
It may sound cheesy, but a big part of dancing, especially latin dance, is getting in touch with the rhythm of the music and really…well…feeling that beat! It will help you enormously if you go ahead and download a few salsa tunes to listen to when in the car, working out or even cleaning up around the house! Get your headphones on, crank up the sound, and get into the rhythm!
Step 3: Hit the Club
I know everyone has a different style of learning, but you will only improve your dancing skills by getting out there and figuring out what works for you. The best place to break in your new and developing skills is at the club, where you are likely to encounter a variety of people and dances. Make it a social thing, and really enjoy yourself. Take a friend or a group of people with you when you go out. I aslo suggest finding a couple of people at the club of your choice who you’re comfortable with when you dance. This will help you relax, and make it more fun and easier to learn! It’s also in your best interest if you choose dance partners who are slightly more advanced than you. That way, you can learn from their experience!
Step 4: Get Into Zumba
This might sound like an off-the-wall suggestion, but its not. Zumba became a big deal years after I learned how to dance, and as an experience dancer, I can tell you, its hugely beneficial to ones dance skills. Zumba is an aerobic workout that is based in the latin dance steps and rhythms. Its a high intensity experience that will help you forget your self-conciousness and let you practice the basics in a more relaxed environment. The added advantage: it’s tons of fun and a killer workout! Zumba is currently all over the place! No doubt you can find a class at your gym or local community center.
There you have it! La Rubia’s four simple steps to get you started on your journey to becoming an amazing dancer…or at least on your way to having a lot of fun! So, get out there and bailar!
Not sure which music to download first? Here’s one of my all time favorite songs to get you started: