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

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

  1. azzey

    azzey Member

    If you apply these tips to bad followers as well you will find much more benefit. If I'm dancing with a good follower these tips are mostly unecessary.

    Once you get really practiced it is possible to keep the dance seemless AND cover up their mistakes while applying these tips and have the follower still enjoy the dance.

    When I said stop - I meant you don't actually stop dancing in order to stop the particular lead/follow you were both half way through when it went wrong. An example of this might be when the follower has her arm blocking a particular move like a cross body and you just take her into something else instead.

    Indeed the are lots of things that are better taught verbally, in my experience once you start teaching you stop dancing.

    I answered your question in the first line: "Don't criticise verbally, learn to be a better leader. You'll get more respect that way." and what the resulting effect of trying to teach on the dance floor might be.

    If you're going to teach teach otherwise dance. In my opinion non-verbal is the only in-between which works - where she is dancing and you are dancing (and teaching at the same time).
    1 person likes this.
  2. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    I think there is space for educating a follower - and learning from a follower - both physically and verbally. Different people have different learning styles and respond better to different types of input.

    But nobody likes to be invalidated by being given a whole torrent of unexpected criticism, so keep it to one or two tips (probably one) each person per night.

    Also remember your crits are only your opinion and you might find it's you not your partner who needs to adjust. Among my favourite followers I have to adjust my lead strength quite a lot because some prefer to be manhandled and some float like clouds. I wouldn't say any of them were wrong - but if one of them asked me what I would change about their dancing, I might suggest a change in their tension that moved them more to the middle of the scale.
    1 person likes this.
  3. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Interesting. That's why I think like at parties and other events, you should dance with other leaders or followers. Sometimes it's a good idea anyways in case someone comes up with a new mistake that you and your partner haven't caught yet. ;)
  4. alemana

    alemana New Member

    ayup. muscle memory is agnostic; it doesn't judge.
  5. azzey

    azzey Member

    Ran out of time during lunch hour, but what I wanted to say was..

    The only situation where in my experience verbal teaching/critiqueing while dancing is acceptable is when a dance parter (usually a friend) has specifically asked you to evaluate/teach/critique her.

    She must first respect your leading/teaching and knowledge of the subject before being able to accept feedback from you. Usually this is better done after the dance. Even then it has to be handled sensitively. Keep it to one or two points of technique a session.

    This changes the dance into a form of mini-private lesson where you need to be able to simultaneously: dance and lead well, remember points of feedback for later instruction, be able to teach technique clearly and concisely without offending or confusing her. Then be able to answer her questions about why when she dances with someone else it works the old way..

    Challenging huh?

    Much easier to teach a class of beginners by the demonstrate, copy and hints method.
  6. azzey

    azzey Member

    Some suggestions for you and your partner to learn more quickly:

    - Both of you taking private lessons with your instructor, so he/she can correct both your technique and work on more advanced technique.

    - Practicing together what you learned in your private lessons at home or on a different night.

    - Both of you dancing with as many different partners as possible (of any level) during class and socials to improve your leading/following technique. During these dances you can focus on a single specific technique you were taught in your private and that you need to work on. Dancing basics does not mean you are not improving.

    - Dancing regularly with your partner.
    - Dancing reguarly with other partners of your level or higher.

    Dancing with just your partner will make you very good at dancing with *just* him/her and very bad at dancing with anyone else. Depends what your goals are.
  7. azzey

    azzey Member

    Quix - Even physical "corrections" on the dance floor can be misinterpreted or frustrating depending on the partners attitude to the dance and you.

    It's always a bit of trial and error involved to find the right dancing style that works best with her. She may just be there for fun. What she thinks of as fun varies from follower to follower. Some followers love being put into new really hard fast combinations that are above their level - go figure! Others like a relaxing dance at or below their level.
  8. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    Oh yeah, I've learned that on the floor :) I was dancing with an intermediate follower who still hasn't learned to respond to really minimal leads and needs a bit more of force to get her to do the right actions. She is strong, so I suppose it is okay for her. But it is bad for improving leaders.. So one day, I figured that I'll just treat her like she was advacned and won't apply _any_ force, and just lead her with two finger and minimal touch. Of course she was all confused, but immediately told me that she couldn't feel me at all, and asked me if it was some form of teaching exercise I was playing with her. She said all this in very good humor and didn't show any offense at all. But I figured that if she perceives it as an attempt to teach her, I shouldn't do it then and there. I made up a lie that I was too tired and didn't realize what I was doing, and went back to leading her with a bit more application of strength.

    The learning then was that non-verbal attempts to teach, even if it was for my own good (I didn't want to get bad habits from leading her), can not always be successfully done on the dance floor.
  9. la morena

    la morena New Member

  10. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Great advice! :p

    But this one you stated, "- Both of you dancing with as many different partners as possible (of any level) during class and socials to improve your leading/following technique. During these dances you can focus on a single specific technique you were taught in your private and that you need to work on. Dancing basics does not mean you are not improving."

    I can't practice my techniques with new beginners that don't know how to lead. I tried that this week, and it didn't work. And I'm really trying to get out of my bad habits like posture and technical stuff, and I can't do so with new beginners.

    But I absolutely love your other advice that you gave me!!! I haven't thought of some of those things!!! ;)
  11. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    Thanks for the lesson. Do I need to respect you before I accept this criticism in a public forum?


    1) you underestimate me
    2) I only ever choose one point. If I can't remember it, then it can't have been that bad and I don't mention it.

    what are these hints? Non-verbal?

    (feeling bolshy today, can you tell?)
  12. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    Heheh, it's not that harsh, she's not on the "do not dance" list, only the "do not ask" list :)
  13. azzey

    azzey Member

    Actually it was meant as an addition to your text, not a criticism. I agree with what you said. The remarks were not meant for you but for Quix, but if you want to pay me for the lesson that's ok. LOL.

    I was being ironic and forgot to put in a smilie for it (dry british humour). I'm referring to crap so-called teaching (demonstrate and hint, because they can't explain) methods that some instructors use.
  14. Ismile2you

    Ismile2you New Member

    Sometimes it is hard to not give any advice..
    I mean... Some man get to enthousastic and dance over everything, which makes it almost inpossible to follow, or just nog fun anymore, because as a follower, you are only correcting and running.. And he as well, he only gets more and more frustrated....

    First I let the man do his thing, but at after a while, when I see he is not getting more relaxed, but more streched.. I smile at him and make him start again in the right beat... I think that's a good thing.. I will not start talking with him, but he will know, I don't mind he made a mistake, and he can just relax and start again... Mostly guys like this and dance better after restarting...

    But this is only my impression.. So guys.. tell me... Would you mind or like this?
  15. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think I am going to have to correct all of you. :)

    Sometimes I cringe when I see someone correcting one of my students, and knowing the advice they are giving more shows that they don't know what they are doing yet, but I have yet to come up with an easy solution.
  16. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Someday, I am going to have a perfect night with perfect timing, leads, floor craft etc. Of course, it will be just like Caddy Shack and I'll get hit by lightning leaving the dance. Until then, I don't mind at all a boost.
  17. Mario B.

    Mario B. New Member

    Hello all,

    Just want to say that all of these threads R very interesting & I would like 2 THANK most of U 4 concidering 2 attend my social next Saturday night.

    PS. I won't say anything about that "ROUGH" dance school in NYC!

    Mario B.
  18. Mario B.

    Mario B. New Member

    Ah I almost 4got, 2 all of the feamle dancers on this post... PLEASE SAVE ME A DANCE! THANK U in advance 4 all of your time & PLEASE have a safe jouney to NYC.
  19. The lead is the expert on what he was trying to lead, but he isn't necessarily the expert on whether he actually led it or not. It's a tricky thing.

    As a lead, I think you simply learn more if you take as much responsibility as possible for what your partner actually does as a follower. Maybe I could have given a clearer lead at this or that point. Maybe I thought I was leading my partner into a half turn but somehow it felt like I was leading a complete turn (or whatever--I'm having trouble thinking of specific examples I can describe in words).

    Despite that, there are times when I am pretty sure that a follower has made a mistake. I'm not going to pretend I never think that, but I try not to jump to that conclusion, and I personally would almost never make verbal corrections to partners on the dance floor.

    Haha, yeah, I wish. Followers will correct you too, especially in a class setting, or especially if they happen to be instructors (even if you are just dancing with them socially, and they aren't your instructor).
  20. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

    Heheh, yes. In class you can get terrible back-leaders who don't properly understand following but have got the sequence of moves figured out. I remember I had to do some kind of drop-hand catch, open break behind the back into a broken left thing in one class, and this woman was saying "no, you do this" and I was trying to get her to give me some tension for the open break. With my back to her I was completely dependent on the physical connection to read what she was doing.

    You can always ask your follower "was that too strong?" or "that was supposed to be a double, was it too weak?" and start a verbal dialog... but you have to be sincere about it. If you believe you are perfect then that will come across and the dialog won't work.

    It's true for followers I think. If it's phrased like a personal preference rather than an absolute criticism: "Be gentle with me! I don't need that much force!" it can be better received.

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