Salsa > Do you think beginners know what a good lead is?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Backstreet, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. kayak

    kayak Active Member


    Sounds like a fun weekend either way. I thought I read not too long ago that your daughter was just adding Latin dance and you were trying to figure out coaches? She must have accelerated quickly - the wonders of being 15.

    The downside of being 15 is most men would and probably should dance with her more like she is a kid. Kind of hard in a sexy dance like Salsa. Of course the guy could have just been tired of dancing Salsa 15 hours a day for a whole convention? Either way, glad you two got your one big dance.
  2. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    Thankyou kayak. Yes, (...the wonders of being 15 and having danced all your life) Missy has danced latin for less than a year and is already at gold level in chacha, rumba and samba. When she gets out of school, she'll start on her jive and paso doble and perhaps get back to her standard.. She has started Argentine tango and is absorbing it like a sponge as well. She also dances hustle and just took 1st at Billy Fajardo's event this weekend, in the theatre arts catagory. She has had enough of hustle and wants to set that aside. Also, salsa is going to cut down a great deal because her Director/Pro. has gotten himself in a bit of trouble recently and I think the team is history.

    You may be correct about the guy. I am trying to figure out who they were and drop them an email. I am not one to judge which style of salsa is best, but the fast L.A. style with the tricks, dips, heavy patterns, fast turns, etc. makes the dancing a bit more kid friendly..(esp. if the kid happens to be really good). The one big dance that the guy's friend gave
    Missy, made my entire weekend. I get such a high when the (unsuspecting) talented lead realizes what he is dancing with, and a big smile comes across his face and he begins to turn it on.
  3. Kromat

    Kromat New Member

    It takes hours of practice, to get good at a style, and you can tell, who is putting in the time and effort to get better.

    Someone who has private lessons, views tutorials, practices at home, after classes with a partner from his class, to make they're doing it right, is someone that will be more comfortable, and even able to teach students, if they're having problems.

    It all comes down to, how much are willing to put into your dances, so that you see improvement.

    The dancing background, has helped you understand the music, and now your transferring that emotion with a partner.

    It might be something new at first, but you'll adapt a lot quicker, if you have danced before than someone just starting to dance for their first time.
  4. tt

    tt New Member

    well.. I think beginner can tell whether the leader is good to a certain extent - whether there is connection, whether he/she is using too much force etc...

    btw I say 'thank you' to everyone I dance with in group lessons though
  5. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Rubiks cube? High bicycle? Tornado? You've lost me :lol: I must be living in a different salsa world... are these some of those showy LA style tricks you see on stage?

    I tend to think that street cha-cha danced at salsa venues is an entirely different dance from ballroom latin cha-cha. IMHO street cha-cha is more about two partners being playful and flirtatious, which perhaps is not your daughter's strength at her current age.

    It may have been just a case of him recognising that Missy is not a fun street cha-cha dancer (you said yourself that it looks rather bland compared to her salsa). It doesn't necessarily mean that he didn't think she's a great follower. The impression the leader forms of a follower is not *entirely* made up of her skill level - it's a big and important element, but it's not all.
  6. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    MacMoto,...regarding your last two are most probably correct. Actually, there is a lot of salsa club, social dance stuff that adult dancers do, that Missy doesn't care for/isn't comfortable with. Hence the reason I am trying to get her backing off of the salsa scene for awhile. An analogy,...just because a guy is six foot seven inches tall, doesn't mean he is meant to be a basketball player.
    (I'm probably the only one that knows what I mean by that...LOL).

    ...yeppp, better known as flash and trash, (LOL) and rather passe' ones at that. :>)
    Though, it is sort of exciting to see it done improvisationaly on occasion, as long as it doesn't impede the other dancers. Especially for 2 dancers that have never danced togeather before. At her age,'s the closest thing she will get to connecting with a guy/lead. It took me a few years to figure that one out.
  7. IMO, an experienced lead can tell if a follow is a good dancer and whether if it's a good dance they just had. But how well a follow follows is a little harder to tell because of external issues unrelated to mechanics or techniques of the dance such as a meeting of the minds (or chemistry) and music interpretation. Does she have a different idea of dancing the song than he? What about her willingness to follow? Is she preoccupied by something else that distracts her from being in the moment? Also, have you consider how your involvement in asking the guy to dance with your daughter would impact his state of mind, esp. if he's a teenager and then sitting nearby watching them? If I were he, I'd be hold back some.
  8. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    In general:
    A beginner follower does not know what a good lead is.
    But a beginner follower can still tell the difference between a good and a bad lead. But they're probably not able to distinguish a good lead from a great lead.
  9. taylor1990

    taylor1990 New Member

    A good lead is someone who tells you where to go without you having to second guess. People can feel this right away so even if you're a beginner, you seem to be doing the right thing.
  10. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Kind of an old thread, but I found this very interesting when I was browsing through the site. So, I'll resurrect it.

    I get the same comments from people in my beginner's class and I've only been going for 4 weeks. Like some women would tell me "Wow! You're pretty good!" and they thank me and smile when it's time to rotate to the next partner. But then again, there are some other women who are confused and everything, so they don't compliment me like some of the other women do.

    To be honest, it's really very hard to judge whether I'm that good or not since my experience with different women vary. Of course, the women who have been going for a while are easy to lead. And surprisingly, I'm able to lead some women who are just learning or are there for the first time. And they're happy because I can lead them. But there are some others I'm struggling with. Not sure why that happens, but it's odd!

    And what's funny is that there's this one girl that has been going for quite a while and whenever I turn her, she loses her balance. She doesn't fall or anything, but I see her wiggle a little bit trying to balance herself after a turn. I was thinking that maybe it's due to my maybe I'm turning her too strong, but she's the only girl out of the 20+ women there that's losing her balance after a turn.

    It is confusing as each women is different. And each woman follows your lead differently. So, it's hard to tell how good your leading is. The best thing to do is to go for private lessons. That way, you can get feedback from a professional dancer. She'll feel how you're leading her and will correct you on what you're doing wrong.
  11. urish

    urish New Member

    Funny, I was reading throughout the thread and just now I have realized it has started 5 years ago. Still relevant after all that time :)

    Wiseman, after a few years of dancing, I realized there can't be good chemistry with everyone. You can be the world best leaders, and still, there will be some girls who can't get along with your leading, just because you can't clearly communicate to them what you want, or they can't read your communication.

    Sometimes when I dance with a beginner, she is just stunned - It's like her brain tells her: You are just a beginner, he is an advance dancer, you can't keep up with his leading. Of course I don't believe in it, and most of the time, after a few seconds I manage to break the ice and she stops being stiff and starts enjoying her time.

    One thing I can tell you, don't blame your leading - when I began dancing I blamed my leading for everything, then when I started hearing that women I danced with blamed themselves too, I realized the chemistry thing: Sometimes it's you, sometimes it's her and sometimes there is just no chemistry. It doesn't make any different who's fault it is - when it doesn't work, for me, as a leader, there are too options:

    1. Give up dancing with that specific girl, spend my time with other girls where the dance is going smooth and fun.

    2. Talk to that girl and explain to her what I mean when I lead her this or that way, sometimes after talking and explaining the ice breaks and it starts working. But sometimes it just doesn't work - so I fallback for option 1.

    There are some really good friends of mine who I don't get along dancing with - it's ok, you can be friend with someone and not dance with her a lot...

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