Salsa > men who try to "correct" you or "teach you" during a dance

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by yippee1999, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. yippee1999

    yippee1999 Member

    I just wanna rant, and see what others have to say.

    I've only been dancing salsa for 1.5 years. I think I'm "good" for 1.5 years. Granted, I don't know every technique. Often a guy will initiate a move and I have no idea what he wants me to do in response. While I understand some men want to genuinely teach me, another part of me feels that "some" guys will "correct" me during a dance almost out of their own insecurity. In other words, they know some people might be watching us. They want to put the "blame" on me, because I am clearly not as experienced. But I feel that, yes, while it's part my doing, simply because I haven't learned a particular move, that it's his "fault" too... that maybe he's just not a good leader. And it seems to me that a good number of guys can't admit this. And quite frankly I get tired of it. But... I'm not good with conflict, so I'll be polite and accept his suggestions, direction, etc., even though I really want to say "why do you have to be so insecure. Just admit you didn't lead me well enough".

    Like the other night, this guy said "you should never let go of your partner's hands". He said this to clearly imply that I had let go of his hand when I shouldn't have, and that I was then not able to take the direction he was trying to give me. But it's not like I just "let go" of a guy's hands when I'm dancing. I only do so when I think he's trying to release me into a move. So then, I was afraid to let go EVER with this guy. It's like "you need to tell me when it's time to let go and not let go!"

    I also have to wonder if, the more advanced a guy is, the more apt he is going to be to correct a woman, even if he was at fault,

    As a woman, I find it sorta unfortunate that, due to the understanding that the guy always leads, and therefore "knows" what you as a couple are supposed to be doing, that it is then only the men who feel they can make a correction to the woman. I guess the woman can never do so to the guy, or say, "here's how you do it", because the guy is supposed to be the authority on HOW to do anything, and the woman just follows. How I'd love to just say to some guys "uh, no, you're just a bad leader", or "while you're a good leader, on this particular move, you lost me."

    While I realize part of my thoughts on this could be due to my own pride (I don't like being wrong or corrected :--), I still believe that part of me is right on some of these guys...
  2. nikita

    nikita New Member

    Just put them on your DND list:raisebro: ...
  3. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I made a thread like this a while back, so I completely understand. I had one guy during my first month of dancing correct me on every single step that I was taking. He would take my arm too, and pull me or whatever, and I was like man that hurts. I finally decided to tell my friend one night at a club (that teaches Ballroom), and she said that she will watch him more, and she did. When I showed her who he was, all of the instructors took note, and pretty much toned him down. He was trying to work ahead of the instructors anyways while we were just trying to cover basics, so the instructors weren't too happy with him. But yeah... I was so frustrated after that night. I didn't break down in tears or anything, but I was pacing back and forth for a while until I calmed down. I learned a lesson from it though, and that was to always tell one of the instructors if someone isn't treating you right no matter how little the problem maybe, because these people do the same things on others, and the instructors sure as heck don't want to lose any students over a student that thinks they are better than everyone, and especially if they know that they can take care of the problem without any fuss!

    On the flip side of things... I have been taking lessons from two instructors for the past seven months. And I was telling my dance partner this past week, that same guy that would correct me on everything now asks me for my opinions, because I am now the more advanced dancer than he is. I might not have it all down technically yet, but I can teach them how to lead, and he knows this now lol! What can I say... gotta love karma! ;)
  4. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    Sometimes it is not about karma at all. Some beginners are genuinely interested in giving/taking critical feedback and are as much comfortable in giving unasked for advice a they are in asking for feedback. They just don't have enough social skills to know when it is inappropriate...

    So yeah put them on your DND list..but do so temporarily. Some of these folk are good learners and are bound to learn better dancing as well as better social skills soon enough.
  5. nikita

    nikita New Member

    I don't know, if anybody shares this. But after my experience- people, which correct:uplaugh: and explain all the time, so that you count the seconds, untill the song is over, are the worst dancers:D . Good dancers don't do this.
  6. nytransp

    nytransp New Member

    A TRULY good leader knows how to make the lady look good no matter what. I can remember when I was first learning and could barely do a basic, I had some great leaders that made me look good and feel good on the dance floor and with each one I learned and improved with each dance. It's one thing to gently correct someone during the process of dancing and it's another to embarass someone or shame them into thinking "OMG when do I let your hand go! Am I doing this right?!" Dancing is supposed to be fun. If the corrections are too abrasive I will usually just smile and nod blankly and hope they get the hint, they usually do. If they start leading me to hard because they think I'm not "getting it" when in reality, I just am no longer enjoying the dance and I want to walk off the dancefloor, I will just say smile and say .."um, can you soften your lead a bit please?" , they are always VERY surprised when I say this but I don't have to say it twice.

    The same applies to women. If a guys is clearly struggling with a move or is a beginner I will ask them "would you like me to offer suggestions as to how to do that move?" or something similar, mostly they say "yes please that would be great!"..other times they will say no and that's fine too, I smile and follow as best I can and say thank you at the end of the dance. I never correct anyone or offer unsolicted advice, it's nerve wracking for alot of guys to ask a woman to dance and I'm not going to compound that by offering unsolicted advice.
    1 person likes this.
  7. la morena

    la morena New Member

    I don't mind a bit of constructive critisism to improve my dancing. But the other day (in an improver lesson), I was in closed position with a guy and he 'corrected' my left hand by placing it differently. For some reason this really peeved me - it wasn't like my hand was halfway down his back or anything. And it is nicer to say something rather than just moving the follower to where they want me to be!
  8. englezul

    englezul New Member

    The reverse of that is that a truly good follower knows how to follow a bad leader (and thus make him look good ) no matter what.

    They are both useless afirmations. Reality doesn't work so conveniently.
  9. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Yeah I agree. I don't think that these people have the right dancing skills to be trying to teach you anything (unless they are helping you count a step that you don't get, and you know you don't get) lol. Then I don't mind them counting things for me.

    And I like learning from people, but it's been my experience that you have to watch out who you are learning from. The guy might think he knows all when he doesn't (most likely he's just trying to show off). I have one guy that's sweet as can be, and that's really the best male dancer in my opinion (he's not an instructor, but is working on being one), but its hard to learn from him, because his frame is off, and he doesn't prep me right even though he knows the steps (and he is good at his steps, he just needs to get the frame down and the prep down). I love dancing with him though, because he's so talented, and I'm getting used to his movements lol, but again (and I know that he'll be great once he gets everything)... so I'll listen to him, just cause he knows his steps and is good at explaining them, but I don't think that you should listen to everyone. You have to be picky. And my advice for that is when in doubt... get an instructor!
  10. africana

    africana New Member

    It depends on who it is, it doesn't feel good, but I'd like to know if I'm doing something fundamentally wrong especially if the lead is someone I respect.
    It's better than thinking you're good when people actually see those issues. I spent a lot of time not realizing really bad things I did like backleading/anticipating and being heavy. I'm happy that people eventually told me. And bad habits are hard to kill so I occassionally ask for feedback or videotape myself ;)
  11. sara1011

    sara1011 New Member

    Neither do it. However, maybe four weeks ago I was out dancing. A cha cha came on and someone that I know whom I hadn't seen in ages asked me to dance. We were dancing just fine--he was leading and I was following--when he tried some type of cross body move. I'm still trying to figure it out because it wasn't a regular cross body. Nor was it a cross body followed by a turn because I can follow that. Anyway, I missed a cue that (apparently) I was supposed to get right after the cross body. He told me that he was "trying something," I smiled, and he tried it again. I missed the cue again, which to me was saying that he wasn't exactly leading it in a way that I would get the cue (since I had gotten his other cues up 'til that point). Rather than just laugh it off, 'cause hey! it's a dance, not open heart surgery, he said, semi-jokingly (and we all know that often times truths are cushioned between jokes): "Why can't you do this? All the other girls I've tried it with got it."

    That was the last time I danced with him that night.
  12. nikita

    nikita New Member

    Ok. I give you an example. Last week- Kizomba (Zouk). Very slowly music. The guy- much too fast, tries to do some steps. Me confused, what to do. He:" Ah- you don't know this step:raisebro: !" Me- nice, smiling "No." He showed me...Fortunately slowly, what brought us closer to the rythm. His comment:" Ah- much better!"
    Next step- much too fast again. " Ah- you also don't know this step:raisebro: :raisebro: !" Me. "No- this step I also don't know", I wispered less, but still smiling. He showed me, thank God slowly. Somehow we finished this song.
    Next time he came, I just said:"No:nope: .
    But sara's is worse.
  13. africana

    africana New Member

    LOL I just read this part hahaa! I hate to be wrong too, very stubborn. but I do correct things like lack of timing or roughness, especially if I know them well and I expect better from them.
    So I think it's only fair that they can correct me too. besides they're always complaining about women who correct themn (which side wins? :rolleyes: )

    But the blame game is never fun from either POV, it's a waste of time imo. Just ignore it if possible. Also the dance is not all about the lead doing everything or taking blame for everything. I find myself apologizing if I think I missed something or did it wrong, just to acknowledge that I had some responsbility in the matter, and then try to be aware next time. And there's no hard feelings...
  14. nytransp

    nytransp New Member

    I must agree
  15. amo_dile_que_no

    amo_dile_que_no New Member

    When social dancing, I want to give the lady the most enjoyable dance that I can possibley give her. If I lead something and it turns out awkward, I apologize for the lead regardless of who's "fault" it was. Offering unsolicited advice (or criticism) in a social setting is not something I care to do. I try to lead it better the next time or don't do it again. If she asks me what I wanted her to do, then I'll certainly respond. Otherwise it's about the enjoyment not the technicality of the dance.
  16. devane

    devane New Member

    If someone is making a serious error on the dance floor I don't stop a give lessons I would just forget about that particular sequence and do easier ones. If it's class time and you're practicing well that's ok.

    Just by this statement alone I tend would tend to blame him. He seems to have learnt a sequence but doesn't know how to lead it correctly.

    So if a sequence required him to switch from a parallel hand postion (left holding right) to a cross-hand position (right holding right.......) ,you holding on would prevent him from changing hands. So this rule holds no merit :rolleyes: . He was only saying it because in the particular sequence it required it.

    The correct way would be the guy holds the girl's hand and HE lets go when needed. He has to be the one in control of this as he is the only one who knows the next move.
    Don't pull away your hand but there are times when it happens.
    When you are loosing your balance
    Your hands slips......but the main thing is to learn how to hide/recover from a mistake and continue.........not stop and have an argument.

    When you are truly dancing , non-cheorographed and not practicing a sequence you have done in the class, the girl has no idea what move comes next. She is following individual movements : "There is no sequence as far as a follower is concerned".

    You see you can learn a complex sequence in a class and believe you can lead/follow it because you are doing it but if the guy tried to pull it off in a few weeks without the girl practicing it again what would happen? Trust me you can get away with not leading/following when you're in a class.

    I am apparently supposed to be good at leading, I can pull off sequences on people who haven't learnt them (well that's what leading is) BUT there are times when you will have a sequence where you feel "this won't work unless they knew it" or "this only works in rueda". I feel a loss in connection in these moves and try to correct this but some will rely on verbally giving instructions like "Keep your hand behind your back when I let go" or "on the 5,6,7 spin" or rely on the girl knowing the sequence which is wrong. This is why the guy blamed you. Because he can lead some moves but not others and isn't aware of this.
    It maybe you too :D but get a good lead to find out this.
  17. devane

    devane New Member

    The Reason they are good is because of the Golden Rule "Dance at the common level".
    I can't remember where I read/heard it but it makes perfect sense. If you don't dance at a common level someone's gonna look awful.

    Ever danced with a guy who's trying to pull off a double/triple spin with a neck drop on a beginner:shock:
    That's the extreme but I've seen it a few times.
    I read a few posts here where the guys broke this rule.
    Shame on them!
  18. nytransp

    nytransp New Member

    True, it's considered the courteous thing to do. I think I heard that at a Salsa Freak bootcamp. The same guy that maybe did nothing more than a copa or a few turns and CBLs with me will do multiple dips and head drops with the next person he dances with. He knows how to adjust for the level he is dancing with and he is the guy that all the ladies want to dance with : ).

    I find dancing fun and even theraputic..I don't want to be corrected unless I am paying for a lesson or I ask the guy for feedback.
  19. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Wow! I hope that guy never becomes an instructor! I've had guys try new moves on to me too. The one guy that's training to be a teacher that I talked about in my previous post will try new things on me. He's great at teaching (even though his leading and prep needs work), and there was one song two weeks ago that we danced to, and we did the same step over and over again until he made sure that I got it (I didn't get it, because it's not a step at my level yet), but it pretty much lasted the whole song. He stayed and asked me to dance another dance though, so I know I didn't frustrate him lol. And we actually danced more songs after that. But if he had said that to me, well... I know how to throw a good evil eye if I ever need to! :p
  20. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    At this point in my dancing (I've been dancing for just over a year now), I actually appreciate pointers. If they're done right. Example, I have a rather regular friend who was trying to lead something, but I was doing it wrong again and again. HIs accent is very strong and I wasn't getting what he wanted from me... and finally he just gave up and forgot about it. I got frustrated because I wanted him to just slow down a bit and walk me through it. Once I do it properly once or twice I've got no problems with it. I just have to understand first. This was a nebulous lead and something I hadn't encountered first. This is an example of what I don't like. What I don't mind at all is if someone sees Im having repeated trouble with something and openly tells me how to do it. Then if I don't get it, let's just move on, please say "oh that's ok. We'll get it sooner or later", and have a good time. I even like it if someone takes me to a quiet spot and just goes through it with me once or twice. I'm a perennial student. BUt during the dance, on the floor, in the club, brevity and patience and FUN are key. PLus, no one should ever muscle a lady through a series of moves she's not ready for. Leads should obviously read the level of their follower and adjust accordingly, so everyone can have a confident, good time.

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