one guys beginning dance struggles

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
let me also say that dance is no place for the person who needs lots of reassurance...I just had a long chat about this today with a friend...if you are going to become a good dancer you had better have some iron-clad big boy britches and an ego that doesn't bruise easily...you are no different than anyone else in that regard...it ain't gonna be a tiptoe through the tulips...you have to want it for internal reasons not external rewards....
 
let me also say that dance is no place for the person who needs lots of reassurance...I just had a long chat about this today with a friend...if you are going to become a good dancer you had better have some iron-clad big boy britches and an ego that doesn't bruise easily...you are no different than anyone else in that regard...it ain't gonna be a tiptoe through the tulips...you have to want it for internal reasons not external rewards....
I understand. I'll try real hard, I promise. It's just very easy to feel like you're the only one not getting it. Know what I mean? Especially when a group class has people that have been going for quite a while. I'm sure after a few months, I'll get used to all of this and my ego will toughen up.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
excellent...hand in there...there is no shame in eing the newest person or the clumsiest person...only in giving up for such a superficial reason...as we learn to dance, we also grow up...if we allow it
 

wonderwoman

Well-Known Member
bf wants to learn salsa and keeps chickening out... the best advice i have come up with is that everybody who can dance had to learn at some point.
 

wonderwoman

Well-Known Member
So far, in the couple of weeks I’ve been learning at this new dance studio, I’ve been learning a lot. However, frustration is something that’s killing me. Even though people tell me that I’m learning fast, I still can’t help but get frustrated when I make certain screw ups. And I have this one teacher at this group class that loves to keep on speeding up the music like crazy. So when I make one tiny mistake, the whole dance is destroyed due to the ridiculously fast speed of the music!! And what makes this even more frustrating is that I’m a guy (the leader), so whenever a dance is messed up, it’s MY fault, no matter how bad the woman is at following. It’s the man’s job to make sure the woman is keeping up with my leading. So, that’s an added pressure on me. And I notice there are a couple of women in the class getting frustrated when they make a mistake. And that makes me upset because I feel that it’s my fault since I’m the leader.

So, how do I learn dancing patiently without getting so frustrated and hard on myself? I’ve only been going for only a couple of weeks and impressed at how much I’ve learned, yet I still can’t help but get mad at myself when I can’t get things right the first time.

Any ideas?
As a follower, I can tell you that we do miss leads and make mistakes and space out and we do it with all leaders good, bad or great. It's not always you. Get rid of that mentality because its ruining your enjoyment of dancing.

When I do mess up, I smile, say oops, and keep going. Often times I will end up learning something new, in all cases I still have fun and benefit from the practice, and worse case scenario the song ends and that person thanks me and just doesn't ask me again. Oh well.
 
When I do mess up, I smile, say oops, and keep going. Often times I will end up learning something new, in all cases I still have fun and benefit from the practice, and worse case scenario the song ends and that person thanks me and just doesn't ask me again. Oh well.
I guess women have it hard too. And that explains why some women I dance with are too self-conscious. On my class yesterday, this woman said to me before we danced, "Sorry, but I'm a very bad dancer. So, I'm going to be a bad partner." I told her nicely not to worry about it and that we're all here to learn. Then she felt more at ease. And surprisingly, (while not perfect) she was one of the few women in the class that was able to follow my lead well. And she seemed to feel better afterward.
 

Gorme

Active Member
If a girl is being rude to me when dancing with me, why would I ask her to dance with me again? So she can continue acting up with me?
I've experienced this same thing when I started out. However, after lots of hardwork and determination, you will get better and then the same girls look at you in a different light. They forget about how bad you used to be and just want to enjoy how good you are now.

I met one of my best female friends on the first week I started dancing. I remember her as dumping me in the middle of the song because I was so bad. She keeps a diary and on that night, it said she danced with several people and some Asian guy. I still tease her about that.
 
What's funny with me is that I get mixed results. Like I said, there are a couple that stopped dancing completely for reasons I don't know and don't really care to figure out. There are some that get frustrated because they can't get the steps right. There are some women that are perfectly fine dancing with me because they know we're all there to learn. There are some that see that I'm learning well, so they're happy to dance with me. And there are some that are just happy to dance, period. So, it's weird how I get mixed results from different women.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
A couple of comments after reviewing how far along the thread has gone:

It is common to say it is the man's fault if things go wrong, but it is not common to talk about what that means. The man's responsibility is to keep time, and to clearly and politely communicate what he would like the next movement to be, using his lead. Once he communicates, he has to observe what the lady does in response to his lead. If she doesn't do what he intended, he needs to adjust to what she actually did do. And yes, this is hard.

Unless your follower gets hurt (Salsa provides many opportunities for shoulder injuries, among others), it is certainly rude for your partner to step away before the dance is done. My first reaction would be to find out if they got hurt if they walked away.

I always apologize when things go wrong with a dance, whether or not I think it's my fault, and I always consider what I can do differently to make the dance with that follower work. And sometimes, there is nothing I can do. For example, if she gives me noodle arms when dancing latin. ;-)

That being said, I have found Salsa to be a bit different than ballroom, in terms of people's behavior. Maybe because it's a nightclub dance, but Salsa dancers act more like night-clubbers than ballroom dancers.
 
What's funny with me is that I get mixed results. Like I said, there are a couple that stopped dancing completely for reasons I don't know and don't really care to figure out. There are some that get frustrated because they can't get the steps right. There are some women that are perfectly fine dancing with me because they know we're all there to learn. There are some that see that I'm learning well, so they're happy to dance with me. And there are some that are just happy to dance, period. So, it's weird how I get mixed results from different women.
wiseman such is life though. People will be different and situations will be different. Go with the flow as you take on this new adventure. You come off as a thoughtful and conscientious, so I think it will all work out for you. And I am excited for you as your enthusiasm for undertaking dance as a newbie is obvious!
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
What's funny with me is that I get mixed results. Like I said, there are a couple that stopped dancing completely for reasons I don't know and don't really care to figure out. There are some that get frustrated because they can't get the steps right. There are some women that are perfectly fine dancing with me because they know we're all there to learn. There are some that see that I'm learning well, so they're happy to dance with me. And there are some that are just happy to dance, period. So, it's weird how I get mixed results from different women.
I think you worry too much about the ladies in class. Concentrate on learning to dance first, and the rest will come.
 
What's funny with me is that I get mixed results. Like I said, there are a couple that stopped dancing completely for reasons I don't know and don't really care to figure out. There are some that get frustrated because they can't get the steps right. There are some women that are perfectly fine dancing with me because they know we're all there to learn. There are some that see that I'm learning well, so they're happy to dance with me. And there are some that are just happy to dance, period. So, it's weird how I get mixed results from different women.
Well, sure...we're all human beings and we're all different. Just go with the flow and try to smile. One of our studio's salsa instructors, a very cheerful guy by nature, always advises the guys to smile at their partners to put them at ease. But as a follower, I do it too. A warm, genuine smile usually does a lot to set the right tone for dancing with someone.
 
I started out doing just group lessons with my husband as my partner. I think I would have progressed faster in the beginning if I did groups and privates with a good teacher.
I've actually almost never done privates. Just haven't had the money. I would only be able to afford one per month, and only then if I gave up group lessons completely. Any opinions?
 

Gorme

Active Member
Group classes that focus on mechanics with a small number of students and one-on-one attention from the instructor are the best value and most cost effective.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
...and on who is teaching the group versus who would be teaching the private...
But comparing apples to oranges is fun! There are definitely some group classes that are a better value than a private. It's all going to boil down to finding the best value for you from the options that you have available. If your choice is between a private lesson from me and a group lesson from Larinda, well, I think most would suggest taking the group from Larinda.
 
But comparing apples to oranges is fun! There are definitely some group classes that are a better value than a private. It's all going to boil down to finding the best value for you from the options that you have available. If your choice is between a private lesson from me and a group lesson from Larinda, well, I think most would suggest taking the group from Larinda.
I didn't mean it as an apples and oranges question...let's assume the exact same person, an excellent teacher, teaches both group classes and privates for the same style of dance. I only can afford either: a group class every week, or one private per month. Which would be your choice?
 

kayak

Active Member
Jenny, I think continuing with your group lesson plan is great. Part of getting better is just floor time working on basics. Four or eight group hours gets you a lot more floor reps than one hour unless that hour is really structured. Plus, I generally like the social aspect of the group lessons. Staying in the loop makes it easier to get dances when you go out on the weekends.
 

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