I received a comment on an old post that I wrote called “Salsa Tips to Keep In Mind”. Here was the question that Mark asked:
“I just have a quick question. The other day I went to a salsa class and the instructor said we shouldn’t use our thumbs when holding onto the woman’s hands. For me I find it easier to create and control the tension if I use my thumbs especially when it comes to dancing with women who lack tension in their arms. I tried not using my thumbs and it feels little awkward. What do you recommend?”
Well Mark here is my answer:
When you close your thumb or palm over the follower’s hands, the follower immediately relaxes their arms and, even subconsciously, thinks that because you have them they don’t need to do anything. The result is a follower with Spaghetti arms who won’t follow quickly and accurately your lead. So you may think that you have more control because you are holding on but in actuality the follower will not respond properly to your lead.
Instead, if you open your thumb and palms and curl your finger tips and try to have your partner create the same tension with only your fingertips, you will force your partner to create resistance in her frame to keep from letting go. The more often your partner lets you go the more she will strengthen her fingertips and create more resistance. So you may feel like it is out of control at first because you are losing your connection but eventually your partner will firm up her fingertips and frame and then you will have a partner who will follow you quickly and accurately.
In other words, it is worth the initial growing pains to get the right tension and frame so that you can move on to become a great intermediate and then advanced leader.
So followers and leaders, make sure you never use thumbs and palms and instead curl your fingertips slightly and pull a little to create consistent tension and resistance.
Hope that helps – happy practicing!
We are excited to celebrate Valentine’s with you all TDS style!
On Saturday February 13th we will be having a special outing to Acrobat Lounge. As usual we will be holding a beginner and intermediate lesson from 9pm – 10pm. Social dancing will commence at 10pm with DJ Evan. By the way, Evan always accepts song requests so make sure you let him know what you want to hear!
We will also be having a special Valentine’s Day Dancing Game which will get people meeting new people and winning prizes. Come with your partner or on your own as it is a great night to get to know many awesome salseras and salseros.
At 11:30pm we will be having special performances by:
1) The TDS Pro Team
2) United Salseros
3) Latin Groove Productions
4) Brazil Dance World
Cover is only $10 at the door (no advance tickets are necessary). Hope to see you all there!
Well it is 2010 and we just began the semester yesterday with our first set of classes and our weekly Sunday Salsa Social.
It was great to get back into the swing of things. I taught 3 sold out classes (level 1, 2 and 3). Everyone was super excited to salsa after a long hiatus and, as usual, we were a little rusty. So I wanted to remind everyone not to worry or stress too much about your first class. It usually takes a week or two to get back into the salsa swing if you have taken some time off so give yourself a break.
Remember that every class begins with a review of last semester so make sure you are on time and ready to review the most important moves of the past level. Keep in mind that even if you can’t remember all the moves, as long as you can execute the main moves, you will be fine and throughout the semester as you learn new moves we will bring back older moves and add to combinations so that you will continuously practice them.
Our Sunday social is more popular then ever. It is so nice to see students coming out weekly and really improving with every practice session. It is such a cozy, comfortable environment and it is very easy to make friends and meet new dance partners. Hope to see you all out practicing this semester and don’t forget that our first outing of 2010 is this Saturday, January 16th at 8:45pm at Acrobat Lounge. See you all there!