Salsa > How long did it take you to learn Salsa?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by H2ObugS, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. H2ObugS

    H2ObugS New Member

    1) I'm curious how long did it take you to learn Salsa (from complete beginner to comfortably dancing in clubs)? What were the phases you went thru to become a better dancer (I'm male)?

    2) I have been learning Salsa for 8 months now (8 hours a week) and I'm ready to move from the studio to club dancing. What were your experiences in this transition? Any advice? People in the clubs dance differently than students in studios. Will taking higher classes help (I'm a novice)?

    3) My goal is to keep it simple, smooth, and get good at dancing with the music (I learned LA style). Should I go back to the studio to take more classes or take private lessons, join a dance company, or other options that you can think of? I wish to keep learning and dancing Salsa without burning a big hole in my wallet.

    Thanks greatly.
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I have been doing salsa little over a year now and am still a beginner.
  3. dTas

    dTas New Member

    if you've never been in the clubs before then you're in for a shock! those guys can dance!

    it also depends on what you've been learning in the studio but its like anything else in life. the classroom is nothing like the real world.

    if the club offers a lesson before they start dancing then show up for that. it will help "clubbify" you.
  4. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Hi H20BugS. Welcome. I'm still learning as well and still a beginner after three years. :lol: I recommend you go out to a club and get your dance shoes scuffed up a bit. :wink: :)
  5. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I have been dancing on and off for about 3 years now. (On for the past 1.5 years) I do feel comfortable dancing in the clubs but I still have lots of room for improvement.

    When going into a new "scene" as you are it can be very difficult to break in unless you are one of the few "eye-catching" dancers. I have seen excellent dancers have a hard time breaking into a scene. Since you are a guy though you will have more control over how quickly you break into the scene. I suggest you invite some friends(preferably a mix of female and male) to go to the clubs with you. Dance some with your friends and dance alot with people you don't know. Don't get discouraged if you get turned down alot at first, breaking into a new scene can be hard for some.

    At this point I don't think taking higher classes will help. I suggest just getting used to dancing with the people in your scene. You may have learned la style but it is completely possible that la style is not the dominant style in the clubs where you live.

    Keeping it simple is a good plan to start with. You will hopefully feel yourself improving alot when you go to the clubs, if after a while you feel like your growth has stagnated then I would suggest taking more classes or joining a group.
  6. tanzsegler

    tanzsegler New Member

    I've been dancing for 2.5 yrs now and I'd still call myself a beginner. Although, I can dance without problems with anyone now.
  7. Danoo

    Danoo New Member

    do you have msn
    maybe we can talk :)

    as for your questions most of them have been mentioned above :)
  8. SalsaWinnipeg

    SalsaWinnipeg New Member

    I've been doing Salsa for about 3 years now. Before I started Salsa I was a competitive International Ballroom dancer (10 dances) for about 14-15 years. I started learning Salsa in the club, by asking people to show me some moves there and there, and now Salsa is all I'm dancing. Learning patterns and moves was never hard for me considering my background, and I can keep up with some pretty advanced patterns, but I would still consider myself a beginner. One should never stop learning or try to improve. It took me at least a year to start looking like a Salsa dancer - very hard to loose proper posture and strong frame (ballroom habits), and I probably still look like an ex-ballroom dancer :).
    It's a good idea to start going to the club. No lessons, no matter how advanced they are, will prepare you for social scene. Social dancing, however, will most likely make you a better dancer. It's a good idea to keep it simple. Don't worry about taking more advanced / private lessons or joining a dance group, that time will come, and you will recognize the need to do so yourself. First just try going to the Club and then you can decide whether you need more instruction or not. And don't be discouraged by more advanced dancers at the club, they had to start from the beginning as well, to each is his time.

    Good luck.
  9. lundasalsa

    lundasalsa New Member

    What?? 35 weeks, 8 hours per week, that is 280 hours of training and you are still wondering whether you're "good enough"?

    Edit: maybe you meant 8 hours per month, or two hours per week, which seems more reasonable... Some of the teachers of the dancing studio over here got hired as teachers after 150 hours of classes or so.
  10. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    Oh man, you've been dancing 8 months and never been to a club? Honestly, be prepared for a rude awakening. Dancing in the club is a whole different animal in my opinion. When I first started I waited two months before hitting the clubs and totally regretted it once I did. All the confidence I'd built up really went out the window my first time out. There are so many other factors you have to worry about there that you don't in a studio.

    I've been dancing salsa just over two years now. I can say I didn't really feel comfortable about my skill level until about 1 1/2 years in. My first 6-7 months my skill level shot up the chart, and then I plateaued for about 6-7 months and almost gave up. It was so frustrating that it didn't seem like I was making anymore gains. So I stopped taking lessons altogether and only social danced. A month or two later my skill level started increasing again at a significant rate culminating in a night where I was absolutely on fire. From that point I've been comfortable and confident in my abilities--doesn't mean I'm done learning though. I have a long way to go to get where I want to be. :)
  11. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I've started almost 4 years ago (it'll be 4 years in January 2005). And I've got so much to learn still!

    I first went to a club, saw the dancers and decided I wanted to do that thing too! So I started taking lessons, and kept on taking lessons for the next 2 years (on and off...), I became the assistant of all my instructors and in the end (last February) I opened my own school, with my partner.

    But all this time I kept on going to clubs and dancing (no matter how bad I was...) and I felt the "plateau" thingie a couple of times (last plateau period ended about a month ago, as I feel I have started learning and improving again...).

    Good luck for your coming club visit! And be prepared for a surprise! :)
  12. amrimi

    amrimi New Member

    Take some people with you that you can dance with but not to many, because men and women alike want to have seen their dancing partner on the floor before they accept or ask for a dance. If you don't feel confident about your dancing, just keep it simple, basics with 2 or 3 turns. Women are more likely to dance with somebody who has the basics right than somebody who does a lot of complicated figures but doesn'tget the basics right and doesn't keep the beat. Thats my advice from a female point of view.
  13. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Hi Ting, long time no "see"! Good to hear you've been keeping up with your salsa lessons. :)
    Everybody learns salsa at a different speed, but I can say this: no amount of studio lessons can take you to the stage where you are "comfortably dancing in clubs" straightaway. The only way to reach that stage is to go to clubs and dance. It's the amount of experience you have of dancing as opposed to learning that counts here. The more you dance in clubs, the more comfortable it will become. It doesn't matter how many lessons you have taken or what level classes you have done -- the first time club dancing will always be a shock to your system, especially when you are a leader. Don't give up if the first time doesn't go well. Keep going back. There's no shortcut -- you just have to do it and keep doing it.

    Again, my advice is to go out to clubs as many times as you can and dance with as many different followers as possible. Your aim should be to give them all a good time, no matter what skill level they are at. If you can do that, then you are a good dancer. Keep up with your classes at the same time, focusing on learning how to lead well rather than learning patterns. If you feel your teacher is not teaching what you want/need, then go to a different teacher. Also, listen to salsa music. Immerse yourself in salsa, even when you aren't dancing.
  14. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    I don't know what's up and down in the Salsa world, but in my oppinion you should have been out there a long time ago. The only way to learn social dancing is to go social dancing. You can't learn that in classes.
  15. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    i learned salsa at the clubs from the start.. it took around 3 months or so b4 i got relatively 'comfortable in my shoes'
  16. tj

    tj New Member

    Like the others suggest, go in with low expectations for the first few months of you going to the club scene. It'll likely take a little while for you to find people that you like to dance with. Just be patient, and it will come.

    With you taking so many lessons, your technique should be quite good, so if anything, you might have more problems with people not knowing you rather than your dancing ability.

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