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To skip or not to skip?

 
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Kimberlita



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 372
Location: Downtown

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: To skip or not to skip? Reply with quote

I seem to get a lot of questions about how to skip levels from people who are eager to learn dancing faster, so I decided to post my opinions. I can definitely empathise with this, becuase when I was learning how to dance, I just couldn't get enough of it. I kept wanting to learn more and more.

However it's important to realize that each level provides foundation moves that will be built upon in following levels. It's important to have those foundations down solid before attempting to try more complicated moves otherwise the complicated moves will look sloppy and you could even injur yourself (or others!)

If you find that some of the moves come easy for you (let's face it, some people learn fast...it's only natural that there are a range of talents within a class) there are a plethora of other things to work on besides just your steps. There are arms, posture, styling, body movement rhythm, timing, shines....the list goes on and on and there is no way that anyone could have mastered all of these things in just one semester. Though they may seem insignificant, these are all the key extras that turns a student into a DANCER!

Like Sharon said during class... beginner dancers want to learn advanced moves and advanced dancers want to go back to their basics.

As a helper who has completed all of the levels, I've found so many benefits from helping and repeating all of the classes from level 1-6 mutliple times....and I'm not talking about learning the complicated turn patterns and combinations over again. I learn something new each class from doing the basic moves alone. Each week i will concentrate on a new technique whether it's an arm styling move or body movement or experimenting with timing in the music.

Getting the most from a class is about half of what YOU put into it. You must actively engage yourself even if you are repeating a class or are finding the moves easy. The instructor can only go so far to teach you moves...the rest can only be learned through practice and experimenting!

So next time when you're in class and you find that you have all of the steps down pat...be patient, and challenge yourself to focus on another aspect of the dance. Salsa is not ONLY about your feet. IT's about the whole body, the music and the connection with your partner.
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Nathan



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you still be against it if someone passed an assessment?

Nathan
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Sephiralenden



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Grimsby, ON

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just in my experience, I think it's definately worth while to do every level and I'm only in level 2. I have been told by others that I seem to be a quick learner but I wouldn't wanna skip the levels because I personally need that time to perfect those little nuances for each move and get experience on what moves work well together in combos.

Sure you can learn more advanced moves but solidifying your basics is by far more important at the start in my opinion. At the end of the day though, if you really just wanna throw something in, there's always youtube, or addicted2salsa.com which has mini-lessons. Of course nothing can truely replace having an instructor in front of you, which is why I really enjoy the class atmosphere and our teachers are so good!

If you wanna get a bit more out of the class lessons, you can definately ask a helper if there's any more advanced ways of doing what you currently know or are being taught, or what kind of styling you can add. There's a world of possibilities so again.. more than worthwhile to enjoy the ride.

That's my 2 cents.
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Kimberlita



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 372
Location: Downtown

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a great answer, Matt. You can always ask a helper how to make the moves more advanced and there are always challenges like trying to make your own combinations, arm styling etc. A lot of the stuff you can experiment on your own! Be creative.

Of course, if you have an assessment and the instructor recommends you advance to the next level, there's your opportunity.
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Nathan



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Skipping levels - My view. Reply with quote

My opinion differs slightly. I am currently a level 6 dancer at TDS, and am not a helper, so my viewpoint is slightly different.

I can only tell you that from my own experience going through the levels, that the first two-three levels are horrible. Girls want to dance with experienced dancers, who know what they are doing, and who can keep them interested for at least a 3-minute song they don't want minute men Smile There simply aren't enough moves by the end of Level 2 to acomplish this, so I can see and identify why many men may get frustrated, and want to skip levels.

I would recommend something quite different for men looking to spice up their dancing. Continue to work on your basics with Toronto Dance 1 and 2, but try to compliment these with club lessons, outings, salsa dvds (ie. Super Mario 1-5, Alex De Silva). Then when you feel comfortable ask for an assessment to skip levels.

Nathan Rolling Eyes
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Sephiralenden



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 35
Location: Grimsby, ON

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you're able to practice these moves by going out at least once or twice every week, I wouldn't personally think it wise to try and learn things that fast. I know a lot of women appreciate men who can do the basics flawlessly much more than men who can do advanced moves but aren't very good at it. That and level 1's and 2's aren't likely in my experience to be going out to clubs where they would get the type of girl who really wants to dance with *only* advanced dancers. I've asked my share of girls to dance who I knew were way above my level and they were more than happy to take a break from all the crazy turn patterns for 3 minutes with me Razz

In the end it's not really so much about what you can do, but whether or not you're fun to dance with. Fun doesn't neccessarily mean being the most skilled dancer on the floor.
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blackout1999



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 121
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:44 pm    Post subject: You damn right Reply with quote

What's really good, playas? It's been a while since I've posted something and that is due to coming down with a head cold. I've been trying to stave this off and the battle is half-won. I'll be back in fine form soon, playas!
In response to the last post that my fellow playa just put out, as my man Shaft would say, "You damn right"! For all you new playas out there, learning the different turn patterns is a good thing but it does take time to master them into combos and you will even come up with your own stuff and stun the other playas out there. Even I am still learning new stuff. Most of the salsaritas out there enjoy playas who can move well and well as have fun. I have found that there are a few of the salsaritas that enjoy non-stop turning. Remember that the main thing about salsa is having fun and not trying to outclass the other playas. Also, if you make a mistake, keep going. Like I said, you will get better as time goes on. Holla back at ya boy! Very Happy
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