Salsa > Turnoffs at the start of a dance

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by dickda, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. diputs

    diputs New Member

    In class last week someone told me to do something that was very different from what the teacher was saying to do. And for that matter what everyone else in the class was doing. Not sure what I am going to do tonight in class if I dance with here again.
  2. Somewhat OT: I was in a group class in a club recently where the instructor was singling out a particular female and making her repeat a certain turn until she did it with her elbows down at a level that wouldn't be likely to injure her partner. I think the more experienced dancers there were kind of laughing quietly or even smiling, but I don't think it was so much a matter of laughing at the person getting it wrong, but rather laughing out of recognition of how dangerous a poorly placed elbow can be during a dance. I sympathized with the woman for being in the spotlight in a negative way, but I was happy the teacher was thinking about safety. It was an essential correction to make.
  3. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    turnoffs at the beginning? .. well they can be many, but attitude is foremost.. unfortunately more than enough are as sexy as a tree trunk.. its not looks, its attitutude.. too much or too little will be too late.. buts thats subjective ofcourse.. thankfully so
  4. diputs

    diputs New Member

    We were both beginners. I am the guy.

    To start dancing she counted us off. She had a hard time finding the beat, so this I did not really mind, but it comes into play later.

    If something did not go well, she would stop. I suggested that we try to keep going even if something didn't work. She agreed then proceeded to stop again.

    There was a move from class we were trying to get down. In the vain of it's always the man's fault, I kept trying to lead her through the move. I couldn't make it happen. She never landed on the right beat. It was a lot better if I counted out loud.

    Then it occurred to me as she counted us into the music again. Once she started dacning she totally lost the beat. So I started to try to help her stay with the beat, by physically leading the beat. I would just do the basic for a while until she had it down. But if one thing got off, she would stop. At one point I even said that I think the music is a little faster than you think. And we were fine for a while.

    It got to the point where I would just follow anything she did in an effort to keep dancing. I was trying not to teach anything. For one I had no idea what I was doing. But I was also trying to figure out how to dance with her. It was my fault after all that she was having problems.

    Any suggestions for next time? The experience was a big turnoff, but I hope to learn from it and make it work next time.

    I hope she isn't reading this. But if she is, what could I have done to make things work better? Was I trying to hard?
  5. lynn

    lynn New Member

    diputsnyc, your experience sounded soooooo familiar to me!! There was once I was dance with a guy who was completely off beat. Not only that, because he's leading, i basically had to follow what ever rhythm he's going at (not funny for a follower, that's for sure, but it definately helped to sharpen my following skill :wink: ).

    In your situation, it seems like the biggest problem your partner has is counting the wrong beat. Is it possible to tell her to not count and just follow your lead? If you're working on a new move, i find it often helpful to really slow it down and get the footwork/rhythm correct. Usually the music is too fast if i'm trying to learn a new move.
  6. africana

    africana New Member

    did you try the same dance/moves with another follow to know definitively that it was all your fault? (that's anunfounded statement until you indeed certify that you are completely incapable of leading that move under any other circumstances)
    If she's skipping off beat, too fast, too slow, there's nothing you can do about. so it's well intentioned masochism, not to mention arrogance to asumme you can defy all laws of nature to make her do what you think you should be able to make her do, and that while you're still a beginner

    Turnoff for me: men who try to move my body for me by grabbing waist or tightly on the arms, instead of letting me do my thing (if I need help moving my hips you'd be the first one to know, thank you). It's worse when they're off beat.
    that's almost always my cue to break off and do shines :twisted:
  7. diputs

    diputs New Member

    I know it's not all my fault, but I wish there was something I could do.

    There were two women in the class that I did not have a problem leading. The reality is that I do not know if I was leading them or if we were just dancing well together. We were doing set patterns, and we were always in the correct spot, but I do not know how much back leading they were doing.

    For one, I cannot make anyone do anything. She kept asking me what she was doing wrong, and I kept telling her that I had no idea, lets see if we can figure it out.
    This is why I started to follow her, but this did not seem to help.

    I keep getting comments from more advanced follows that I am not providing enough pressure. When I talked about physically leading the beat, I am refering to a slight pressure back or forward on the hand with the beat in the direction of the movement. Not grabbing her by the waist and moving her.

    Hopefully in a few months, all the answers will be clear to me.
  8. diputs

    diputs New Member

    In class the teacher would have the leads stand there and do nothing and let the women figure out where they needed to go, so we tried that I bit.

    As many people on here have said, it is a big turnoff to have someone try to teach them on the dance floor. So I have been really trying to just go with the flow and let the woman figure out her thing, just as I am trying to figure out mine.

    I know I mess up a lot, but I keep trying.
  9. lynn

    lynn New Member

    Sorry, i probably phrased it wrong. I don't mean to have you teach her, but for her to not count and just go with your lead. This way, even if one of you mess up, you'd still be in sync. Does that make sense?
  10. diputs

    diputs New Member

    Yes, it makes sense. I have a huge music background, so I think this is a little easier for me. But I find that even I have to stop sometimes if I get out of rhythm with my partner. I have been aware that this goes both ways.
  11. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Remember that "it's always the guy's fault" is really just a mentality that you should be able to make anything work. But of course the follower can make mistakes, and we guys do have limitations. At this point it may be beyond your leading skills to deal with this follower. Or she may not trust your leading skills yet. Having said that, I believe (but am not sure) you're better off thinking as you have been, thinking "it's always the guy's fault.". I think there is something to this mentality that you can make anything work, even if it's not true. :wink:

    Practically, as an experienced ballroom dancer, if a move isn't working and I've tried a few times, I just dance the other moves we know. I'll try it again with another follower, then another. And maybe I'll learn something from them so that I can make it work with the first follower.

    Finally there's the ballroom concept of "frame", where you convey tension to each other through your arms. I don't know if it comes up much in salsa. If I have this with a follower I can usually regulate the tempo.
  12. africana

    africana New Member

    It sounds great on paper, but having danced with the guys who profess that "it's always the man's fault" I can tell you that they tend to be overbearing both in personality and in their lead, you heard of women referring to certain guys as feeling like a "blender"? yes that's what happens when someone tries to force moves

    "It's everybody's fault" is a much better philosophy, with the more experienced partner bearing more of the responsibility. Otherwise you just have one person trying to exert his/her will on the other, or some form of fighting, instead of real partnership
  13. diputs

    diputs New Member

    I am curious if this is a "chicken or the egg" situation. Is it possible that you only notice the overbearing men? If I believe that it is my fault, does this mean that I have to be forceful about it? And if I am not forceful about it, would you notice that I am following that mantra?

    Just curious.
  14. africana

    africana New Member

    No, as long as you also allow that your partner has more to learn as well without making her feel bad about it, and then adapting your lead according.

    The reason I made the connection is from my dancing with those who verbally insist on that philosophy
  15. diputs

    diputs New Member

    I competely understand that this is probably the real world scenerio. I hope that as I grow as a dancer, I will not fall into this situation.
  16. alemana

    alemana New Member

    for me it's a tossup between "it's everybody's fault" (because let's face it, it takes two to tango!) and "it's nobody's fault" (because the blame game won't get you far in social dancing. better to just release it all.)
  17. africana

    africana New Member

    that's true too

    I guess everybody keeps learning until there's "no fault" at all :wink:
  18. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Now this is what I've always believed (for ballroom). That the more experienced dancer should makeup for the shortcomings of the less experienced dancer. So many of them don't though. They kept doing their advanced stuff even though I (at the time) was not equipped to handle it. :? So I'm in flux on this whole concept now. Oh well. :wink: Ironically, this isn't a problem for me in salsa as the better dancers don't want to dance with me,..., yet! :twisted:

    The problem I described above may be with intermediate dancers. When you're a beginner, the intermediate dancers look pretty impressive. But as I've improved in ballroom I've found that many women I thought were doing stuff correctly, and so I was yielding to them, were messing up some how. So now, even if I dance with someone better I'm not assuming that she's doing it all correctly. So I still try to make the dance work. I guess both people need to work it out and if you can, great! If not, maybe it will work a bit later.
  19. tacad

    tacad New Member

    I don't really like the use of the word fault anyway in this context. Yeah, blaming your partner certainly throws cold water on the dance. I just try to make the dance work as best as I can. Sometimes that means backing off a bit. One time in a waltz, we just felt like we were in weird positions and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. So I just put myself in a proper frame, put my arms in their proper positions, and sure enough. She just conformed to them. She kept trying to unconform :lol: but then would go back to the right postion. So here I didn't force her and in some sense I gave up the control.
  20. kdogg

    kdogg New Member

    Our desires are unlimited. The better dancer we become, the more we feel that we could do even better. So the journey continues forever. Is there such a thing as prefection in this world? Wise people have been contend with who they're and what they have. As dancers when should we be contend with our skill level and just enjoy dancing and not feel like there is always something to conquer all the time.

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