A lot of the people I teach are always asking me how I make many of the salsa dance moves look easy on the dance floor and I usually just tell them practice, practice, practice. But every now and then I’ll let slip some sneaky technique that I use that can make seemingly tough moves look easy.
Today I’m going to give away 5 tricks that you can use straight away to improve your salsa dance moves.
5 Salsa Dance Moves-My Way!
1. Spin Technique
Most people try and throw themselves into a spin and consequently end up falling to one side or another. There can be many different reasons for this but today I’m going to show you the most important one, centrifugal force! Now if you don’t know what that is, it’s the force that acts outwards from a rotational object; imagine swinging a rope with a weight on it around your head and you have the idea. When translated to spinning in your salsa dance moves this equates to all your energy acting outwards of the spin and therefore throws you off one way or another.
Trick 1-Centripetal Force
The trick is to use centripetal force instead which is the force that acts INWARDS when you swing an object. So when translated to your salsa dance moves this means you pull all your energy internally into the spin rather than throw it outward and consequently you will find it much easier and be able to do many more spins than ever before!
2. Spin To Right
A lot of people find it harder to spin to right than left and also comment that they get more dizzy when going this way. Now I’m not sure exactly why this is (I’ll leave that one to the analysts) but I do have a sneaky trick that will make your next spin to right much easier.
Trick 2-The Knee Push
While standing on your left foot hook your right leg tight around the back so that your right knee is pressing into the back of your left knee. Now push your right knee into the back of your left knee and turn on your left heel and your right toe only. You will be able to spin extremely quickly now with very little effort at all
3. Leading And Following
The most common question I get asked about any salsa dance moves is ‘how do you lead that?’ and so I want to give you a trick to really help both your leading and following.
Trick 3-Using Pressure
Whenever you have hand to hand contact with your partner try and put a little pressure onto the hold so that the follower matches the energy of the leader. You should be able to vary this pressure between extremely light and very heavy and your hand position should not move at all providing both partners have equal and opposite force. Use this pressure technique throughout all your salsa dance moves and you will find it much easier to lead and follow from now on. Some moves require light pressure, others heavy and you will be able to balance this for each and every move you do.
4. Putting Moves Together
It’s hard for beginners and even some more experienced dancers to decide which moves should follow others and how one should lead into the next. The trick here is to find moves that flow into each other and continue rotations rather than ones that stop and start which leads to very blocky dancing and not so much enjoyment for your partner
Trick 4-Salsa Flow
Salsa flow is almost an entire style in itself and does lead itself to many classic moves danced in a different way but for the purposes of putting moves together you can use the following guide.
Whenever you are turning one way or the other try and make the following move go in the same direction; avoid suddenly stopping and turning back the way you came. There will be points in certain moves that allow you to stay fairly still and this time should be used to transition into a counter rotation move. Just by following this simple rule your dancing will improve greatly and your salsa dance moves will flow with grace and style and make it much more enjoyable for your partner at the same time.
5. Dancing To The Music
This may sound extremely obvious but it’s actually quite rare, even for some experienced dancers to get this exactly right. You should always tailor your salsa dance moves to fit in with the music but few people really do
If you listen to salsa music enough then you’ll start to hear nuances and patterns to it’s flow. Over time you will start to learn when the crescendos and breaks will happen and so you can start to tailor the moves you choose accordingly. Learn how long a certain move you like takes to do then try and practice fitting this in with a common piece of music that you like. After a while you should be able to time it so your whole move fits in with that piece the next time it’s played in your club. Once you start getting this correct you will find your dancing much improves and your partner will just love dancing with you.