Beginner here, 2 months and a half later. Don't know what to do...

I already practice by myself on an empty garage the dance routines of the performance with the assistance of some videos of our classes. I'm paying attention to a mirror and correcting my posture. I also went to a kizomba club but it didn't work because I am not really the type of guy of enjoying myself on that kind of enviromnent. I also don't drink.

Frankly, if it weren't for these last two episodes I would say that I have been improving quite a lot. Compared to a month ago, I'm starting to get a feel on what my arms and hands should be doing when leading. But like I said I have confidence issues and because of what happened yesterday I'm having a rough Saturday.

Also, sorry guys for what seems to be whining about all this ordeal to people I don't know. I really don't know who to talk to about these things and it feels great getting this off my chest.


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It sounds like you're headed in the right direction, willingness to practice by yourself is a big plus. But it may take some time, be patient with yourself. I'm still working on issues, but I get the impression that I may be a few decades older than you. I think younger people learn things faster.

Consider taking private lessons to help work through your issues. And the private lessons should focus on basic technique -- posture and frame, footwork, etc as opposed to learning complicated patterns that you'd only be able to perform with a pro capable of "filling in the blanks" of your leads.

As far as drinking, I don't either. I think it's possible to enjoy yourself without drinking, and I enjoy my dancing more if I don't drink while doing it.


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Part of the problem I think is that you are in a show. So there is pressure from the way the thing is set up to do certain things, and pressure to dance with certain people. Not everyone wants to dance with everyone. Not everyone wants to dance with beginners, or with people they aren't married to, or people aren't used to dancing with, or people that aren't of their preferred height, or whatever else. (Ladies like that probably shouldn't have signed up for a show where you have to rotate partners, but clearly they have.)

The way these ladies handled this was tasteless and inconsiderate. Try not to take it personally, though.

I would suggest you avoid shows / showcases, etc for a while, unless you are able to do them with a particular partner (or teacher) that wants to dance with you, and that you want to dance with, and there is adequate training time so that you feel prepared, etc.

Continue to work on dancing in lessons (group or private). And also at social dances where you can pick and choose who you ask to dance with. You may still run into some ladies that are inconsiderate in their refusals - it happens. But you will also figure out who you like to dance with and who is happy to do a dance or two with you. In that environment, you can work on your own development. Trying a different studio or teacher might be a good idea too. Depends on what is available in your area.

It is normal for any new dancer to feel insecure at times. Totally normal. And for leaders, you have extra responsibilities with leading, asking ladies to dance, etc. Just keep at it, and keep looking for situations where you have a good chance to succeed. And try to let moments of failure or problems go - they happen to everyone. Keep trying and you will improve.


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Also - different studios, different venues, and to some extent different dances (e.g. salsa vs. ballroom vs. argentine tango) etc have different atmospheres and different social etiquette and norms. This can vary from area to area as well as venue to venue and dance to dance, so you either have to ask around or just try things until you find the type of environment and dance and crowd that you will enjoy.

As a non-drinker, you may enjoy dances that are less "club" - things that aren't necessarily danced in night clubs where the emphasis may be on the bar scene as much as the dancing.

In my area for example, many ballroom dances may have small amounts of alcohol available (e.g. a spiked punch bowl, or there may be a bar that serves soft drinks as well as other things), but most dancers are there to dance and not drink. The bar tenders tend to look quite bored a lot of the time! I am not as familiar with the west coast crowd, but I suspect a lot of it is more focused on dancing than drinking as well.

Also - congratulate yourself on getting started and getting through the show (or whatever parts of it you are able to complete). It is a big thing for a new dancer to get started, follow something through, get through the rough parts and not drop out. Once the show is over, you can focus on finding a better dance situation for yourself, whether by changing things at your current studio, or trying other places.

And it's fine to come here for advice and let us know how you are doing! It's part of what the forum is here for.


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And PS, sounds like you should listen to the 12 year old instead of his mother. ;) I am sure you have made a lot of progress in your dancing already, even if, like all of us, you still have a long way to go to get to where you want to be.


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Here's another thought: with this show coming up, the focus is on drilling the demonstration routine as opposed to teaching the students how to dance. Perhaps your own mental bandwidth is consumed with trying to remember the next move you were supposed to do rather than actually performing the move of the moment.

In my experience, patterns begin being counter productive to learning when they get beyond 5 figures. Some teachers and their students value patterns with lots of figures. Rarely do I see these students actually using these patterns and their figures on the social dance floor (fortunately). Your mileage may vary, but probably not.


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A figure is a movement usually accomplished in one measure of movement. Maybe you have basics, underarm turns, cross-body leads, etc.

A pattern is a sequence of figures strung together in a certain order. I imagine that in your show you have quite a long sequence perhaps including figures you really don't know how to execute. Perhaps if you focused on doing the basic reasonably well and then added figures with gradually increasing complexity you would have a better time with it.


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Well, just last class we had a big drama because of me. There are 5 couples and there are 4 days of shows. And in each day we are supposed to rotate partners. I have partners for 3 days but in 1 of them I don't have any. And two of the ladies don't want to switch partners.
How is it because of you? You were included in the shows by some organizer or teacher or choreographer. Just wait for the someone in charge to find you some partners, or if he fails to, to rework the choreography and add a two-leader-one-follower dance, or some DWTS choreography where the star guy just stands still with his cool sunglasses while the pro female flies around.


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To be honest, that really says more about them.

Your peers - particularly those at barely-above-beginner level - are hardly the most reliable sources of info on your dance ability. Ask why (which you are), use it as a learning experience should you find value in the response, then forget it and move on.

(Some choose to move on, but never forget, crossing them of their list of partners forever. Whether you do this is up to you.)

IMHO, the best partners ask what they are doing wrong before looking to their partner for the case of an issue. Doesn't mean it's never their partner, but that is not their default assumption.
macbadoo may I hug you?

The drama is not your fault. Like newbie said, the organizer put you in the show. Those ladies are foisting their drama onto you. You're putting in your share of effort. It is normal for a new dancer's lead to be uncertain. That is not your fault.

I have seen this situation before in a performance piece that intentionally included newcomers along with dancers more experienced and more skilled. (And I do not equate experience with skill in all cases.) At first, partners were assigned by height because that's important in our kind of dancing. But that put together some couples where both lacked skill. That did not work well. So our teachers re-assigned the most skilled ladies with the newest men and vice versa. That worked better, but one experienced lady complained she could not make it work with her assigned partner. Our teacher responded something like "I can see you are not yet skilled enough to partner a beginner. This will be good experience for you." What our teacher says, goes.

I am not sure it is a good idea to put performance pressure on newcomers. Some students respond well, practice hard, and accelerate their progress. Others become discouraged and resent the pressure. For me the short-term choreography practice distracts from the long-term technique practice. However, I like the feeling of teamwork, so group performance pieces can be fun. But that's only if the group supports each other. I hope your teacher can coach those ladies to play as a team.
I was actually quite in need for a hug. I mean, last Saturday I was worrying way too much, thinking about this whole situation for far too long. Yesterday I was quite seriously thinking in giving up on the dance classes altogether because I really didn't want to deal with the feeling that I'm making others frustrated. I was also thinking why I was even on the dance classes to begin with. The teamwork is there but I just don't feel any towards me. Like I said they seem to be a bunch of people well acquaintanced with each other and I'm still pretty much a stranger.

It would be foolish to give up right after the performances are over. Surely the classes will start to take a different shape.

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