1. Listen before you speak

Something I heard once in a Frankie Martinez Salsa class that I took… this goes a long way if you try your best to be sensitive to your partner.  Feel out how she reacts, how she does her basics, what level she is… before starting your moves.

2. Candles are better than fireworks

Don’t be too concerned with the amount of moves you can pull off, what your dance partner really wants is a smooth and cool dance.
I often hear ladies say ” he almost ripped me apart doing tons of moves more than anything else”. So remember, small precisely led simple moves go a long way.

3. Don’t get discouraged after your first no   

We all go through this.. we walk up to a girl and she turns us down… we all handle rejection differently… some are more sensitive than others but
not to worry… keep the big picture in sight : you love salsa dancing then keep on going to socials and ask away…
It’s not a sprint it’s a marathon!

4. We are not saving the world

Don’t take yourself too seriously.. at some point you’ll get real good and a bunch of ladies will want to dance with you… so keep your head in check… its not brain surgery and were not saving the world. It’s just dance…

5. Smile

As simple as it sounds, many dancers don’t do it because they are shy, nervous maybe or worse snobs…not smiling almost always gives bad vibes to your partner… she might think that you’re not enjoying the dance… therefore you should always have a bit of eye contact and a smile… this relaxes your partner and helps you to have a cool dance. Why be serious when we can smile and have fun !!!

6. Keep your arms relaxed and your elbows down

When you put tension in your arm your partner most likely will respond by putting some tension too… this can escalate and a cool salsa dance might end up a UFC fight. You want to find out the least amount of energy and tension that you need to put for the move too work. You will be surprise to find out that you can lead the same moves you know with just 10% of the strength and tension that you’re presently using. Try it out… Brute Strength always has to concede it’s place to precision.

As for elbows… they are better down then up… for security reasons but also because you’ll be able to move your arms faster in intricate salsa patterns.

7. Move of the week

Don’t put too much pressure in remembering all the moves you learn. I actually don’t even remember the move I taught 2 weeks ago. Pick a move or a part of a move you like and practice it with as many dancers as you can for a week or so then pick another move for another week. Segment learning makes it more practical. The goal is to lead well so there’s no reason to do things haphazardly, instead do one or two moves really well.

Ilias Benz