"How long have you been dancing?"

africana said:
(2) those aspects of my dancing that prompt such a question are often not at all things that I learned or picked up in a salsa class
It's a normal question. I'm gonna join a beginners class tonight to warm up. I'll be asked this question 10+ times.
Beginners what to know "when will I get good". But when they get an answer what do they process out of it?

Some people have the rhythm straight away :99% of the women/1% of the men :)
Some have either dance experience or attributes from sports/martial arts such
as co-ordination, balance, fitness and knowing how to reference moves so they remember them easily. This is why there is a varied level even in a beginners class.

The thing is though I see beginners in awe seeing basic movements for the first time. They may also stay behind and watch the intermediate or advanced class wondering when they can do these things. If they think it takes many years to do a few moves they will run. If they can have an accessment like "when you complete the beginners course most people can do this" at least it's as honest as possible.

When they're hooked you can give them the bad news that to get really good it's takes a lot of work :)
tangotime said:
thanks for giving me the best laugh Ive had today !!! -- change from all the serious stuff-- and to the guy who thinks five yrs is a long time -- Ive been teaching for 55 yrs not to mention dancing before that--and Im just getting warmed up !!!!!!!!!
relatively speaking 5 years is a long time considering the number of students who disappear before 3 months.
If Salsa had an official governing board a few of us would have "long service" medals. I got one when I worked at Safeway as a kid.:)

55 years! I don't think a pin or a medal would cut it.
Maybe golden dance shoes?


Well-Known Member

Sure is a helluva long time -- add to that my amat yrs closing in on 70-- not uncommon in the u.k. for 40 yrs and up -- but am proud of you for hanging in -- remember-- it is people like you who carry the torch-- without them-- we would all be at a loss !!


Active Member
tangotime said:
-- not uncommon in the u.k. for 40 yrs and up
Are you saying that there are many people in the UK who have been dancing/teaching salsa since the 1960s (or was it "mambo" not salsa back then)?? Or am I misunderstanding you?
I think it gets asked a lot because it's just a basic, context-related, question to ask in order to start up a conversation. I don't really like being asked because if I simply give the number of years since I started taking salsa classes, it's easier to lead people to expect that I am a much better dancer than I am. And if I clarify that answer, it gets too complicates ("well at first I was just taking group classes and almost never going out, then I started taking private lessons and danced intensively for a couple years, which was interrupted by an injury, but then I resumed dancing intensively again, only to be interrupted by a bunch of other things, and now I keep trying to get back into dancing a little more regularly, how about you?"). And that's the short version. On the other hand, sometimes if I am dancing with a beginner, I think it reassures them when I tell them I've been dancing for a lot longer than they have, so they don't need to feel funny about not moving as well as I do. (Again, not that I'm great or anything, but I don't move or lead like someone who just started taking classes a few months ago.)


Well-Known Member

Sorry-- didnt mean to confuse- teaching mambo from 1959 to the advent of salsa--made switch after kicking and screaming !! so glad i did-- still teach both if asked but 99% salsa- have only been back in the u.k. for 1 yr-- you do not want to know what is going on , here, they have things to some extent screwed up. for some reason , they have the impression that a x body lead is a style, implying that its use is only danced in that style-- pointed out that x body movements were being danced in rhumba and bolero -- mambo and cha before they were born . they say it describes the style they dance-- whatever the hell that means Being trained by p.r. ( dancing on 2 ) who changed over to 1 ( and 3 ) in the seventies separated the styles as they are generally taught in the u.s- lots of hybrids mainly due to different countries musical contributions , noticably colombia - but-- cubans stick to their guns--- mambo--( even some p.r. ) and the p.r. in general-- say --salsa- but , you know all this already. all I really care about is salsa siempre todo mundo

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