Salsa issue...

dance troupe

the idea of forming a dance troupe might not prove as difficult as you might think. You need at least 2-3 more couples. In my school, when it first started, the teachers decided to train some improver-intermediate students (because they were their most advanced students at the time), and they ended up, after regular training sessions, to become advanced dancers very quickly, more than they would be had they followed the classic path of classes+clubbing. I am sure that out of your pool of students, or other dancers you see in Bucharest clubs, you will find some eager and enthusiastic people who have probably thought of that, but never had the courage to admit it, or the opportunity to do so. I know you said that dance troupes are not very popular in Romania, but hey, dance groups in my city are always requested for animations in congresses, weddings, company parties, and all sorts of things. Perhaps you could start the trend there!

As for advice on your problem, my guess is that you should boost your initiative levels and try to invite more advanced dancers. I think that if they see your will in dancing with them, they will not feel so intimidated or inhibited, and feel relaxed enough to dance wonderfully with you. At least that's what happens when a more advanced dancer than me (I am an intermediate) who I didn't have the courage to ask asks me instead, and I just try to give my best to give her a decent dance and enjoy myself.

Anyway, I've been to Romania this year, but the city I went to (Iasi) does not have any salsa. My friend from Iasi is currently studying in Germany, and learning salsa as well, so I hope she will shake things up there when she returns. I hope to meet the Bucharest salsa scene one day, because I really enjoyed my holidays in Romania and intend to return!
lundasalsa, thank you for the suggestions!

I would love to meet you if you ever come back to Romania!

please call me if you want to come to Bucharest and I'll be your guest here!

as for your friend, when she gets back to Romania, I'd love to get in touch with her and exchange the knowledge and materials that we possess.
Gee... sorry tchaguito... and lundasalsa... I mixed you up! This is what happens when you work and read about 3 threads at the same time!

Sorry again!

But I maintain what I said: I would love to meet any of you two (or other fellow DFers... :) ) so feel free to contac me if you ever come to Romania!
squirrel said:
boriken... as always, an impressive answer!
:) This is actually what I am trying to do and it is hard sometimes, especially when they start asking: "Was that wrong? Are you ok? How am I leading? Is this the move we just learned or I remember it wrongly?..."
Guys, you were all helpful as always...
Any other comments? Insights? Suggestions?
Some additional suggestions to Borikens:

I get these questions often from beginners and some intermediate followers when I dance with them for the first time. My response is usually "just follow and have fun!". I say this because as soon as either partner starts analysing the dance they lose the connection with their partner or the music or both. Performance anxiety is a dance killer on either side. I think if I was following a less advanced leader I would just say the same thing "just lead and have fun!". You can still make yourself open as a teacher by saying that they can ask you anything after the dance (preferably off the dance floor).

What I love most about dancing with teachers and performers is that their following is so smooth but at the same time you can feel some of the rhythm of the music coming through their motion without it being off-putting at all to the lead. Also styling and rumba movement (while in close hold) which is wonderful to look at but again doesn't confuse the lead because they're also so responsive to anything the lead does. This is a very advanced skill and I would expect takes years of active following to develop *after* becoming an advanced dancer/teacher.

Like Boriken said, the music... it's so rich with different flavours all rolled into one! If you don't get the opportunity to hit breaks or even stay on a set beat because of the leader and this annoys you then you're focusing on the wrong thing! If you go on 2 and he doesn't notice so what? You know and can play with it. You can still move your body to different instruments and percussion while following very basic moves.

When I was a beginner/improver teachers that I danced with would sometimes back-lead the ending of a move to make it a little more fun and interesting for me, which it did! Also its a way of teaching without being critical. You could think of it like having a conversation with a child. You bring yourself down to their level of understanding and play and have fun! Communicating with a child is not usually boring so why should dancing with a less advanced dancer be?

Mistakes are all part of the fun of dancing and some of my partners make it even more enjoyable by playing. e.g. a hand over the head styling move goes wrong and she puts both her hands on top of her head in a mock way. So next time I play-back by faking the same move and instead putting her hands on top of my head and doing a spin or two, then picking them up again. This kind of fun interaction can happen with any level of partner and needs to be initiated by either side and built upon.

Lastly teachers are usually expected to be more friendly and open as its part of their job as host (when they're working) and so makes smiling at beginners and asking others to dance something that has no obvious ulterior motive. As long as you practice it with everyone then it can't easily be mistaken and get you into trouble? Friendship is a deeper bond and people can tell the difference between a naturally gregarious person and someone who is a real friend.

Good luck!

squirrel said:
I have a problem and I am not sure I know how to solve it...
Let me tell you that in my city there are around 200 Salsa dancers... about 2/3 females...
Lucky you! When's the next plane?

squirrel said:
Still, guys do not invite me... Not even the most advanced ones!
There are about 20 good or acceptable leaders... and I dance with 2-3!!!

I know I look bored sometimes when I dance with some of them... but it is because they are boring! And it's not only my opinion...

One advanced leader almost never invites me (unless he has something to prove), another one invites me once per evening (if he does it at all - he prefers to dance with the beginners only... God knows why!), another

The so-and-so dancers are really annoying (most of them) 'cause they think they're so good and still are afraid of me, they dance with beginners to look macho...
I see a pattern in what you describe. I'm going to go out on a limb here so don't shoot the messenger if I'm wrong! Follow my reasoning..

Females advance faster and require more advanced leaders to dance with them at their level. Intermediate and advanced leaders derive a lot of their enjoyment in dancing from the way their partner responds to them (whether they're a beginner or not). Followers of a lower level are more impressed with a more advanced leader so they enjoy it more and show it! Ego boost!

Whenever an advanced leader dances with someone at their level or higher (such as a teacher) they suffer performance anxiety (the opposite of pleasure) and risk loss of self-esteem if something goes wrong. Also since the follower *may* not derive the same amount of pleasure because the leader is NOT more advanced than them, then the dance itself becomes the sole focus for the leaders enjoyment. That may lead to a more technical dance. Either way the teacher has the opportunity to make it fun for both and therefore to ensure repeat performances.

Lastly, there's a lot of flirting in the dance scene and particularly salsa. Advanced male dancers naturally find it easier to impress beginner dancers and get positive responses to flirting (whether its going anywhere or not). Especially since partner dancing is a new thing to them. Since you already have a boyfriend and I assume he's at the club, this reduces the opportunity for fun and games since dance partners might feel awkward if you don't show them its ok to have a little fun as long as there are boundaries.

So you see that the odds are in fact stacked in the beginners/intermediate followers favour unless you actively do something about it!

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