While working on my multiple-turn lead, I’ve noticed that I’ve picked up a nasty habitby putting my lead hand way too high when turning my partner. A weird lead no doubt, but one that is very common. While I can really focus on keeping that lead hand closer to proper halo height, I feel that the real culprit is that most followers aren’t using ‘Barbie’ technique.
You’re probably thinking, wait, that Barbie? Yes, I do mean the one and only Plastic Princess of Pink. Now, before you pronounce me crazy, I want you to think about how Barbie’s arms are slightly bent. When her arms are down, they are in the perfect position for being lead with perfect tension. When you move her arms upward, they are in the perfect position for being guided through her turns. If you start to dance thinking ‘must dance like Barbie’, you’ll be benefitting everyone.
First, let’s look at the proper form… when you get ready for a turn, try to always keep your arm bent somewhere close 90 degrees and keep your elbow parallel to shoulder (it should be in front of your face, closer to your forehead). If you keep your arm in that position, it’ll help you keep your balance.
Next, you should try to turn ‘as a unit’. Imagine that you’re a more flexible Barbie. What I mean by this is that when you’re being turned, that your torso and your arms will be pretty solid and both turn at the same time. When your arm moves before your torso, you’re dancing with what we call ‘spaghetti arms’ because the turning connection becomes very weak/limp. It makes it almost impossible to turn and you really lose the one thing that Salsa is all about, manipulating momentum.
By keeping your arm slightly bent and moving as a unit, the guys’ lead will be better as his hand will be at proper halo level. You’ll be teaching your leads to guide more effectively and everyone will benefit. Take a look around and see how many people are leading turns improperly… you’ll see tons of people in the correct position at the beginning of the turn and suddenly they’re raising their arms straight up in the air mid-turn!
So ladies, be like Barbie and gents be sure to summon their ‘inner Ken’ in order to keep your partner looking great with proper technique!
Stay Shining Salseros!
Summertime is my most favourite season for Salsa dancing! Whether you’re spinning at a sweltering club or open-breaking somewhere outdoors; it just feels like you’re somewhere exotic. I’ve decided to list a few of the great summer dancing events that you can go to truly feel like you’re living the music!
Every Thursday from 730-930p.m. Break out your clave and burn the pavement at the corner of Bloor and Spadina! Nothing
beats dancing outdoors with the great people who never miss this event!
Salsa on St. Clair
While this event just passed us by; it’s one of the best! Bands, schools and dancers put on one of the most fun Salsa street parties in the world!
The Beaches Jazz Fest
Get a tan and dance the weekend away! A dedicated Latin stage means the Salsa, Merengue and Bachata will accompany you while you get that perfect tan!
Wasaga Beach Party
A somewhat more informal party, people usually put together a great beach b.b.q. and dancing on one of the nicest beaches in Ontario. Think bikinis and bachata! Woot!
Check out our very own, D.J. Duck and Romantico as they heat up the newest Salsa hotspot on Thursday nights.
One of the greatest clubs to see live bands from across the globe! When you walk in, you’ll swear you’re in Cuba and when you hit the floor, you’ll know it!
Acrobat Fridays & Tds Saturdays
A serious dancers’ favourite, Friday nights feature performances, instruction from many teachers and just amazing dancers. Come dance on the special Saturdays when Tds hosts their outing as it’s more relaxed, but still really fun!
Plaza and El Rancho
Two of my fav places year-round as the music is a great mix (even playing Reggaeton) and the people come out to just have fun. Be sure to check out the special Brazilian nights as you can dance Samba, Zouk and Lambada (that’s the forbidden dance!)
A Toronto standard in the heart of Yorkville. Great dancers and new dancers take to the floor in this more upscale club. Be sure to check out the On2 and Cuban nights.
6 Degrees Salsa Tuesdays
Put on your finest dancing gear as this club features some of the best and dressiest dancers in the city. Be sure to check out their special long weekend salsa parties, with the amazing ‘White Party’ coming soon!
Tds and Dovercourt Sunday Socials
While I’m biased towards the Tds social, both events feature new and advanced dancers having a blast, dancing the weekend away! Whether you missed asking that cutie to dance on the Friday night, be sure to not miss your chance at these Sunday parties!
I love dancing in the summer and whether you’re outside or indoors; be sure to keep dancing as it’ll help you get closer to having that beach-body ready!
Stay Shining Salseros!