Dancing with a Beginner

Salsa Mambo Fest 2014

The better a person becomes as a dancer, the more that person will be asked out to dance! There are times when we are asked to dance by beginners, a lot of intermediate to advanced dancers hate dancing with beginners because they have to struggle a lot more, here are some tips to dance with a beginner dancer to try to make the dance more fun for both.

1. Keep it simple: we all love complex patterns, million spins and executing styling, if you are dancing with a beginner you really can’t do this that much as it will probably interfere with the dancer, simple patterns, cross body lead into inside turn, left turn, keep it simple so that the beginner dancer does not feel overwhelmed.

2. Be mindful: to the beginner dancer this is a new world and asking to dance someone they consider to be so good is very intimidating, remember when you started dancing and how the dance floor and the great dancers had this huge presence!! It takes a lot of guts to do what the beginner dancer did.

3. Play around: you can keep the dance simple, this will make the dance fun for the beginner. If you play with the music, with the simple patterns you or the beginner dancer execute the beginner will get to experience a little taste of higher levels of dancing and will be thrilled!! From personal experience I can tell that beginners love when the music stops and you make a stop with the music, be it in salsa, bachata or other dance genre.

4. For the followers: sometimes when the ladies dance with a beginner they tend to be rough and/or try to do more complex patterns that are not possible, if you feel your partner is being very rough ask politely if he can try to keep it simpler and smoother, try to be tactful of the beginner as he might not know he is being rough. Of course if that person is not cooperating, there is nothing wrong with kindly declaring that you don’t want to dance with him anymore as long as it is in a mindful manner.

5. Make them improve: the dance floor is not a studio, not a place to be teaching and it should stay that way. After a dance with a beginner if you feel he/she can get better and is not taking classes you can give him/her tips if they desire, and/or you can refer them to a dance studio and/or instructor that will make them improve their skills, all this as long as the dancer wants to improve, you feel it’s appropriate to give a small tip or the beginner dancer asks for advice.

There are many more things you can do when dancing with a beginner to have fun and make them have fun, try new things and always remember that dancing is all about having fun and enjoying the music.

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