Salsa > Who learns faster?... The men or the women?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Guarachero, May 13, 2005.

  1. Ms_Sunlight

    Ms_Sunlight New Member

    As a beginner I find it easier to follow a lead to turn if the leader doesn't raise his hand too high. So, if he raises my hand to about my own head height, hand down, arm slightly above head, and starts moving his hand around I can follow in either direction because the movement of his hand shows me where to go. There's nowhere else I CAN go. If his hand is higher, I find it much harder to follow.
  2. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Not necessarily true, especially if there are twice as many women as men in the club and you are a new face. In my newbie beginner days before I started asking men to dance, there was a night at a club when I only got about 10 dances over 4 hours, 7 of which with people I knew from my class. I suppose younger and prettier girls would do better in the same situation... :sulk: :(

    After 2 years of classes and 1 1/2 years of social dancing, I'm still learning...

    I agree followers get better faster at the start of the learning curve than leaders. I don't think that's to do with the difference in the amount of dancing time in club -- it's more about the amount of things leaders need to learn at the outset, as others have suggested.
  3. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    With relative exceptions.. women in general learn faster for sure..

    Don't know if someone mentioned this already, but another point to note is:
    Alot of guys have psychological barriers against dance in general ... or they lose there artistic mobility and natural ritmo due to neglect of that part of culture.. or at least waste alot of years b4 re-discovering that part of soul food..

    they think it'll make them less macho and less attractive in masculinity terms.. LOL! what a joke.. obviously they haven't come across some of us (me included :wink: ) or they'd have known better.. :mrgreen:

    so saying .. sexuality/masculinity/attraction aint about what u do per se but what u do can sure intensify it multifold.. ya dig 8)
  4. dTas

    dTas New Member


    that is definitely another factor in men learning dance slower than women.

    so many times i've heard from men... "she made me come."

    and then after a while i hear... "it took me forever to get her out of the house to come here!"

    it takes a while for men to realize that dancing isn't "girly". :D
  5. tacad

    tacad New Member

    Yeah, I guess it helps for guys to grow up in a dance culture. Getting it later is more difficult it seems whereas women seem to get it faster.
  6. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    If we could only get into the minds of ten to thirteen year-old males, and inform and convince them that dancing is one of the ways to a woman's (young girl in this case) heart, we could change the world of dance.

    However, it's bad enough just trying to convince them to put down their Dad's Playboy and to stop looking at women's "hearts!"
  7. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    Playboy? I thought at that age they were still checking out the lingerie section of the JCPenney's cataloge and Victoria's Secret cataloges!
  8. kansas49er

    kansas49er New Member

    Better off if they are. Partly or barely covered is infinitely more interesting than not covered at all. :D :D :oops:
  9. Ms_Sunlight

    Ms_Sunlight New Member

    Hey kansas49er, I'm with you there. What's a birthday present without the pretty paper and ribbons, eh? :D :D :D
  10. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I would never belittle what it takes to follow. And I have often responded to women's comments on how difficult it must be to lead (after the "thank you") with my own comment that it's very difficult to decide who has the harder job, the lead or the follow, what with the follow having to figure out from a weak or just plain botched up lead what the guy wants her to do. He has to plan and manage all kinds of stuff, but she has to read his mind in real-time and get it right.

    And I do agree that many girls starting out do not know how to follow; it's a skill that must be learned. I'm a beginner in salsa but somewhat more experienced in swing (both major kinds: WCS and Lindy/ECS). When I have a beginner in closed position and she doesn't know what she's doing and she's not giving me any connection, I can firm up my frame and lead her very strongly through the moves (their usual reaction is delight at finally being able to do the move); in other words, I can usually somewhat overcome her lack of connection. I can do that in salsa and ECS, but since WCS makes much less use of closed position then her lack of connection becomes a much greater problem. I've been working more with beginners in WCS and I've been trying to teach them how to connect and it's not easy to teach. It's done more by feel, so I have to figure out how to get her to feel it.

    Back to what I recall as the original question, here's an additional explanation why a beginner follow would have more success in clubs than a beginner leader: the follow needs a more experienced leader in order to get a lead that is clear enough for her to follow. The beginning leader has not yet developed his lead to that point. A beginning leader would need to partner with a somewhat more experienced follow who would be better able to figure out what he must so ineptly be trying to lead, or she can at least continue dancing in spite of his lead.

    Which brings us to a kind of natural double-standard: an experienced leader can have an enjoyable dance with an inexperienced follower, but it would be harder for an experienced follower to have an enjoyable dance with an inexperienced leader. Which should make it preferable that the guys do spend more time in the studio learning.
  11. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    I agree.
    Take care of all newbies - leaders or followers. Threat them well whatever their skills are. Remember the your first entrance at the club...

  12. Ms_Sunlight

    Ms_Sunlight New Member

    I feel so sorry for my husband sometimes. Okay, so we're going to classes regularly, and they're ran so the levels are consecutive and a lot of the more experienced dancers sit in for the beginners and improvers classes we do. He prefers dancing with other beginners generally because some of the more experienced ladies have actually said to him "It's okay, I know this move, I'll just do it" and don't let him lead at all! How is he supposed to learn to lead if they won't follow?

    We get taught physical techniques for leading and following, but I think sometimes there should be more emphasis on attitude!

    Me, I'm working on my following technique and sometimes I wish more of the experienced leaders would give me a lighter lead to allow me to make mistakes but get the feel of things -- the better ones do -- rather than feeling the need to force me through the moves, but it's nowhere near as annoying for me as it is for him.

    There doesn't seem to be enough focus on attitude and I would like it if the instructor would stress to people to make eye contact and actually act as if you're dancing with the person. The most frustrating thing is trying to dance with someone who won't look you in the face and who stares over your shoulder, not because they're trying to watch the instructor and copy them (which is fair enough) but just because they aren't interested in you. Hello people, I do brush my teeth before I go out dancing, it's not going to kill you to face me and acknowledge that I'm a human being! Dancing is about more than where you put your hands and feet!
  13. africana

    africana New Member

    ahhh! good to have a guy articulate this point 8)
    In past discussions on here the popular explanation for this phenomenon has primarily been that more advanced follows *suddenly* become attitudish compared to newbie-follows :roll: go figure

    facts o life I guess :?
  14. Guarachero

    Guarachero New Member

  15. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Yes this is a very good point, but I'm still of the camp that it pays for experienced followers to dance with and be kind to newbie leaders because:

    1. Our scene is short of leaders, especially good ones. We *need* newbie leaders to stay in the scene and become good dancers.

    2. If/when some of these newbies do become good and popular leaders, they will remeber which of us were nice to them when they weren't good.
  16. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Yup. PLease be nice to me. I so don't feel like dancing these days. I need a l'il help to get up from my seat at the dances.
  17. HF

    HF New Member

    I think a man has to practise at least twice as much as a lady. So I have been quite happy dancing and exercising regularly with two ladies ... in the sunday class with one, in the monday class with the other. So I have been able to surprise any of them with the material I just learned in the other class :lol: This is something that I can really reccomend - for a while.
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I did that at one point in time. Worked like a charm. :)
  19. Swingolder

    Swingolder New Member

    My dh lacks the confidence to dance with a good follower. At one of our private lessons, our instructor (a guy) told my dh that the next time he gets a chance, to ask a certain follower so he could see how it feels when she does a certain move. That next Saturday night, she was at the west coast dance but my dh would not ask her!
    So, I think we learn at about the same rate, but I can learn more by dancing with other leaders. He is so reluctant to dance with anyone else, he is missing the chance to gain the confidence to make him a better dancer.
  20. africana

    africana New Member

    oh boy I would be making a beast out of myself by not wanting to dance with less experienced/advanced leads wouldn't I? Afterall I had other guys help me when I was learning so I really doubt anyone would disagree with the need to dance with beginner/improver guys (afterall we're all improving at something)

    - but one problem is like the above post where they think they cannot or should not ask you because they are beginners. For example comments like "oh no, it's too intimidating to dance with her/you..." is actually irritating to hear! Especially if I do the asking
    how else will you get better?!? you need to dance with as many different levels/styles as possible, solicit and recieve correction, accept criticism/compliments for what it's worth, and don't be stubborn or macho about the fact that some women may not find you perfect (same goes for women, matter of fact I should take my own advice ;) )

    PS: are alemna & Guarachero in love? (they keep going at it hahaaa!!)

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