Salsa Etiquette- Part 3

Here is part 3 of the article “Salsa Dancing Etiquette – A Guide for Salsa Students and Dancers”. Please make sure you read before your first salsa class and outing to a salsa club!

• What moves are appropriate to execute

A crowded dance floor is not the right place to practice new moves so only execute moves that can be followed by your partner. Try to practice new moves in a classroom, a practice session such as an afternoon or evening social or during a slow club night. Dangerous moves such as dips, tricks and lifts are also not appropriate in a busy club as you are endangering yourself, your partner and those around you. Gentleman, consider yourself drivers and please watch where you are leading your partner. Every traveling move should be executed only after checking the direction that you are taking the follower. Be aware of your surroundings and the skill set of the dancers in your immediate vicinity.

• Respect on the dance floor

The best position to dance in is the slotted position in a linear formation. It is much easier to go into someone else’s space when you are dancing in a circular formation. Keep your movements clean and small and ensure your partner is doing the same. Try to keep your heel up when stepping back so as not to step on others. This is especially true for ladies wearing high heels. Please be considerate of other dancers and keep to your space. If you do bump into someone, please do not ignore the situation. Make eye contact and apologize at that moment. Gentlemen, please respect your partner and treat her with care. She is entrusting you with her safety and this needs to be the forefront consideration in every leading decision you make. Ladies, please do not execute moves you are not comfortable with or cannot execute properly as you are endangering your partner and others.

• Partner communication and connection

Salsa is a very connected dance. Every leader has different moves to execute, every follower interprets the lead in a different way and every dancer has their own style, strengths and areas of improvement. Communication and forming a connection is the key to ensuring both parties have the best dance experience possible. An introduction is always a great way to build a connection. Eye contact throughout the dance will ensure you are aware of each other’s lead and follow and can react/alter your movements appropriately. Gentleman, the women are relying on your lead so please lead. That means having a firm frame, consistency in your pulls and pushes without any surprises and jerky movements and a close lead. The busier the dance floor, the more the closed hand hold should be used to keep the follower closer to you and safer. Keep your elbows in and take small steps. Ladies, please mind you own business and focus on your dancing responsibilities: creating resistance having a strong frame, keeping your core engaged for balance, staying alert and reacting quickly and safely to each lead.

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