Salsa > Asking experienced followers to dance.

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Jamie, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Yeah, and you haven't seen me lead my friend Jam (male) in west-coast swing. We did that in lieu of a cha-cha at a salsa dance earlier in the year. I don't think I'll ever wind up dancing with an experienced salsera in this area for maybe another two years! ;) I think I once described it here as so shocking one would go blind watching it. :shock: 8)
  2. tj

    tj New Member

    Hey Vin,

    Gotta admit, I admire how fearless you are when asking any of them!
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Oh, fearless ones!! :notworth: :lol:
  4. TheLetterJ

    TheLetterJ New Member

    This topic is probably one of the core issues facing new salseros. I've been there, and am still there sometimes when it comes to asking a good dancer to dance if we've never danced before.

    Some things I do to help me overcome things are:

    1) Practice, practice practice, in front of the mirror by yourself is surprisingly helpful.

    2) Advanced salseras sometimes get excluded because too many salseros think they're not good enough to ask them to dance, so they end up sitting out more often than they like.

    3) Sometimes advanced salseras like simpler moves (as long as they are done correctly to the music), because it allows them to play with the music and express themselves (an extra hip twist here, or an extra flick of the foot there), rather than having to concentrate on complicated moves more advanced leads like to do.

    And one final note. There's one local salsera who is just absolutely amazing. A lot of people don't dance with her because they think she's way too good. Amazingly, after every time we dance, she would apologize for not able to follow some stuff. The point is, everyone is their own worst critic. Enjoy yourself and look like you're having fun!
  5. Pacion

    Pacion New Member


    Oh and guys, if you are asking a more advanced salsera to dance, really try and dance with her, rather than giving her the impression that you are just using her as practice so that you can then go and impress some other girl :?
  6. Vin

    Vin New Member

    Thanks TJ, but half the time you are telling me who is open to dancing with someone they don't know, I just follow your lead.
  7. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    :shock: Unfair advantage! Insider trading! :shock: :lol:
  8. Cist

    Cist New Member

    maybe another suggestion to make it easier to ask foreign people:

    sometimes when I go out to a salsa venue, i am in a really bad mood. these times are the hardest to ask somebody for a dance. also if you fake your smile at your best and try to be as nice as possible. it does not only happen when i am in a bad mood but could also be when i am really tired. after one or two dances the bad mood has gone but this doesn't help you.

    the point is, it doesn't matter how good or how bad you dance (well at a certain point it matters but not in general), if you do pass on your motivation, mood, enthusiasm or just some positive energy the opponent knows somehow (don't ask me why, because usually i am also really good in acting) if the next few minutes are going to be fun or bad ones. And almost always this impression of you decides wether the other persons says yes or no.

    another thing is, since there is much noise in a club, the asked person may not understand your intonation very well. therefore i always compensate this with many smiles and laughing while talking. i mean you have to control that, else the other may think you are drunk or whatever :lol: . this really helps me, and the 2 persons out of maybe 10 or 15 an evening who won't dance with me are usually non dancers who are afraid of blaming them, but to convince them isn't the actual topic.

    hope this helps you a little bit
  9. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I'm so hopelessly addicted to the thrill of finding gems among strangers I'm willing to take a chance on anyone who asks me (or even those who don't ask me :lol:)...
  10. Vin

    Vin New Member

    You are a rare breed in some parts of the world.
    I agree there is nothing quite like having a great connection with a stranger.
    Ooh that didn't come out right, oh well.
  11. Jamie

    Jamie New Member

    Well ... I did it !!!!

    I asked the most amazing follower to dance last night ... and she said YES (wooo hooo).

    She looked v amazing too so it was like double the intimidation ... but the moment felt right (gut feeling kinda thing) so I just did it ...

    She moved like an angel ... and even though I felt a bit intimidated ... I really enjoyed dancing with her ... although not totally at ease ... not totally fluid ... felt kinda like 'gripped' inside as if i was constricting the flow of energy and movement ... WHY IS THAT AND HOW DO I LOSE IT !!! ... I wanna be fluid.

    Anyway ... it was a very positive experience for me ... I think she could tell I was slightly intimidated by her ... and she was still very supportive and encouraging and friendly with me.

    I'm trying to see this as a progression thing. Being relaxed and confident and happy asking followers to dance and also fluid during the dance. The more I do it the better I will get (he hopes). Like learning to swim ... you gotta jump in the water ... tis the only way ... likewise you have to expose yourself to what you fear.

    Funny how it's only the better followers or the attractive ones I get intimidated by though ... and I wonder why that is ? ......
  12. azzey

    azzey Member

    It's always funny when I go to different venues/clubs or salsa weekends. Although I am an experienced dancer and aware of the social/psychological aspects of the salsa scene in relation to asking/being asked and what goes through follows minds when being asked. e.g. will he try to pull my wings off as if playing with an insect, drive me like a sports car, has he got rhythm? It still comes as a surprise and disappointment when some nights I can get knocked back again and again and again.

    Often it has nothing to do with your ability, as sometimes the venue is so large that the ladies are guaranteed to have never seen you dance. I am a good lead and dance many styles well enough (LA, Cuban and New York). I'm not yet an advanced dancer but am working hard on it.

    So I am at the recent UK congress and have been dancing on the carpet area with the performers from Tropical Gem, Latin Motion DA, Imperio Azteca (Johnny Vasquez's girl) etc for most of the evening and decide to take a break and give the main floor another spin. I ask a girl, no, another, no, another, excuse, another, excuse, another, excuse, again again again. So eventually I get tired of this and go back and dance with the performers the rest of the night!

    Moral of the story? A lot of times it has nothing to do with your ability or personality, since they haven't got to know you yet.

    Perhaps in the future I can get a salsa transplant of the pefect latin dancer body and face? :lol: :lol:
  13. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Well done! :D It's great to hear it was a positive experience for you.
  14. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    You should've asked me :twisted:
    (Okay I didn't ask you either -- I was too busy hunting for strangers :lol:)
  15. tj

    tj New Member

    Busted again!
  16. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    First and foremost, Congratulations Jamie!!!!!

    Jamie, it is natural to feel this way, there are many things you can do to stop it from happening, you’ll eventually find your own way to deal with it…

    The energy blockage is coming from your mind, your mind isn’t at ease, hence causes blockage of your emotions, usually resulting in a knotted stomach, a blockage of your throat, almost feeling like you can’t swallow, and fear of creating motion as you are afraid (Ego) of displaying itself when it doesn’t feel fully equipped to handle the task. You have prevented energy from freely flowing through the body, the final result is all that you felt the other night....

    Your are afraid, but your minds instinctively knows it isn’t the kind of danger to run from, so it still tries to sooth itself as much as possible resulting in “not a very fluid motion” as it is still double guessing itself, hence, the reason it doesn’t happen with a girl you aren’t attracted to, nor one that is less in, or equal to you in skill. Your ego has nothing to fear, hence, it majestically displays itself…

    Note: the fear of the ego is really to be "judged", the presence of the other person (Skilled/Beautiful) salsera is the trigger that causes it to get all bent out of shape, she isn't the source... your mind is...

    How do you get rid of it? The easiest way is time, well not really time, but the experience acquired during that elapsed time… Perhaps you can take a couple of deep breaths to relax you before you head over to her, or simply try to do away with the ego as much as possible, it is a very hard thing to do but not impossible, try think not of what I will do, what will happen to me, or anything related to the I/ME/physical self… How you do it Jaime... is up to you…

    With me, I simply think of connecting to her in an emotional journey, I think of the energy within my stomach coming out and joining hers. I try to imagine a connecting blue line (blue usually means peace/togetherness) coming from my stomach to her stomach, when you get good at this you can actually feel your stomach connecting to her, eventually pulling her towards the direction you want her to go to, she needs not know about this kind of connection, she simply reacts, I’m not all that good at it, but for glimpses of songs, I’ve been able to feel that connection and feel my stomach joining her, and leading her in the direction I want her to go to. It feels as if you were in water and tried to move, the feeling that something is “almost preventing” your movement, is the same feeling I get when doing this. I also feel when I lose it, feels like a snapping rubber.

    By thinking of this, it leaves little time for me to worry about what she is going to think of my lack luster skills… I will have tried to create a connection that will hopefully pull her from the thoughts of skill and into sharing a dance with me… Again, this is simply what I concentrate on when I feel “fear”, however, automatically happens when I dance, for I’ve been practicing it for a while. Fear makes all of it break, hence why I must think of it to make it happen… I top all of this by looking deeply into her eyes, when accomplished there is a sense of connection unparalleled by a mere box/frame connection. Once you feel this connection you’ll never see salsa the same…

    Again, this is just what I like to do to combat feelings of inadequacy where there shouldn’t be…
  17. TheLetterJ

    TheLetterJ New Member

    Wow, I can't believe this happened. I'm curious as to what makes these people on the main floor think they can be so snobbish. Especially at a venue where everyone came to dance and have a good time.
  18. azzey

    azzey Member

    It was an extreme example. Not the norm as usually it's yes, yes, yes. Also, I would normally pick girls who are just coming off the dance floor as you have a higher chance of them wanting to dance again rather than girls standing on the side lines watching. Some of them are on the side lines because they're waiting for the perfect guy to ask them. I think it was when the band was playing a particularly long set and I couldn't be bothered to wait.

    My point though is that it can happen to any of us, not just the inexperienced. You just keep trying and not dig too much into why someone said no. Find people who want to dance with you and enjoy their company. Oh and when the ones who said no later come up to you and ask you to dance you conveniently have to rest.
    ;) :) joking.
  19. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I would say the norm for me is yes, yes, yes, I'm tired, yes, yes, yes, maybe later, yes, yes, yes, are you any good, yes, yes . . .

    Occasionally you get those no, no, no, no, yes, no , no ..
  20. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Yeah... i usually stop after the third "no". After two dances in which I get three "no's" I usually leave. And normally I won't go back for a month.

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