Salsa > question about following in Salsa

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Anonymous, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    I've got a question that's tricky to formulate. Anyway, last Friday I was at a club dancing with some guy from Peru. Everything was fine with bachata and meringue, but we had some troubles when it came to salsa and cumbia. That guy is a good leader, and I honestly try to follow the leader (unless he's leading me into breaking my own arm :? ). He feels the music, but he's got some unique dancing style: from time to time he skips that "last beat" or however you call it (for cumbia it would be 4th beat, I guess) and the count becomes "one-two-three" instead of "one-two-three-four". It's no big deal most of the time, but when I can't see him moving and suddenly he leads me into a turn and I'm not on the same foot with him, it doesn't feel very nice. That's the first time I run into a problem of this kind.
    Any ideas on what I can do about it? Your response would be greatly appreciated. :)
  2. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    It's quite common to see leaders who know lots of moves and can even lead pretty well, but jump ahead sometimes. This problem is especially prevalent in Salsa. I call it premature stepulation :lol:

    A couple of suggestions for him:
    1) Study the rhythm carefully. If you dance on the 1-2-3, there is a lower pitched drum on the 4 beat.
    2) Find something to do during the pause, such as shake some part of your body or tap your foot.

    You might also try adding a little shake or dropping action during the paused beat as an extra "hint".

    Hope that helps. :wink:
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    Thank you.
    So there's nothing I can do as a follower to follow that guy's lead? Any trick? He seems to be a really good dancer otherwise, and I'm sure I'll dance with him again. But it's very unlikely he'll change his dance style...
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Hi redhead,

    As you describe it, it really doesn't sound like there's much you could do. He may be a good/excellent dancer but that doesn't mean that your styles necessarily “fit” each other. The only other thing I can think to add is to watch him dance with other women you consider to be at least solid followers – do you see them doing something different then you? Or maybe, from an outside perspective, you’ll note a pattern for where/when he does this change-up?

    Also remember, just because he’s a good leader doesn’t make him infallible! Maybe, the next time it happens, even ask him (maybe after the end of the song – depends on the situation/setting) “how was that supposed to go?” and have him break it down for you – this will provide you with either (A) insight into what you could be doing differently, or (B) an opportunity to educate him as to what the follower actually needs and where the follower is at that point of the measure.

    Hope something in here helps…and keep dancing!

  5. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    Honestly, we're giving advice to the wrong person!!!

    Bottom Line:


    Redhead, believe me, it's not you.

    One of the things I hate the most is when I see a guy on the dance floor getting upset at his partner. That is such matter how "bad" the female dances, the man by all means must lead in a way that does not confuse his partner.

    There's this dancer I know and he is just amazing on the dance floor because no matter what skill level his partner is at, they always look amazing on the dance floor. So unless you are really really bad (and even then a lot has to do with the guy) it is up to the guy to make the dance look good.

    Guys, if you see that you are dancing with someone who is not at the level you are, why do you insist on getting fancy?

    That just makes things worse. Don't show off, just dance at the level that she's at, and little by little elevate it...
  6. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Well said Fernando :!:

    This is a lot of what I was getting at with the "trying too hard" thread...
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    I'm not THAT bad... :roll:
    But you're right, I really should whatch him dancing with someone else!
    Thank you so much gentlemen! :D
  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Ack! :shock:
    Did I say anything that gave even a hint to that effect :?:
    If so, my deepest apologies.
  9. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    I agree with SD, did I say something to the effect that you were
    not a good dancer?

    If that's how it came off, I apologize.

    What I did say is that it is not your fault, it's the guy's fault, and
    I felt that you weren't the one that we should be giving advice to
    because he's the one that should be reading these posts and under
    stand that he is causing you to have problems...
  10. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    When I first

    He is definitely getting off beat, he sounds like he is dancing 2,3,4 then goes to 1,2,3 but still breaking on2 while you are still on the 2,3,4... Here are a few stories from my expirience...

    When I first started dancing, my dance instructor always did something rather creative when I got off beat... On the cross body lead she would hold-on-to my left shoulder with her right hand, as I would feel the pressure on my shoulder I would ease on the lead until I felt her ease of my shoulder. She did that enough times where I got the hint and eventually started listening more for that 2 and 6 beats. She used to tell me, it might not feel or look the greatest but you get the hint and without a word you'll eventually know where your mistakes are coming from. So each time I felt her hold-on-to-me a little harder I would know that I got off beat... Ofcourse she first told me that she was going to do it, not just did it out of the blue...

    Also when we used to go out dancing in a social atmosphere she would tell me... You and I are both going to be one no matter how off beat you get. So when I got off beat, she got off beat, yet following my beat. So to a lot of people it would come off as we were great together, when in reality, by her getting of beat with me, it kept us as one and prevented her from getting whiplash. She could do this because she was expirienced enough following that no matter how bad I danced she followed. Again since she was my instructor she could take my off beatness, so don't try this if you have problems with the beat yourself. However, you can let him know with a bit of resitance, or squeeze of the hand that he is losing you. In turn making his frigile ego feel better because he thinks that there isn't a problem with him. :D By him thinking that you are losing him, he should slow down to where you feel more comfortable. If he doesn't...

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