These tips can be used for all genres of dance including Bachata, Salsa, Modern, Ballroom and much much more.
Basic to advanced timing techniques. Take bachata for instance the basic could be as simple and 1,2,3 tap but once you master the weight shift musical timing and so forth you move to more advanced concepts in terms of syncopation, these are the “and” between the beats. These may take some time to master but keep trying and you will learn that these essential elements of timing will be your greatest friend in dance.
Another important concept is learning body isolation from upper to lower body techniques, how to use it in your basic movements and then how to use these concepts in more advanced theories as how to combine body isolations or separate depending on the song and what you are trying to compliment. The next thing that can be learned is how these isolations affect your partner. Do not forget to focus on how/why you use these techniques in the song…. What are you complimenting in the music? Knowing this helps to builds your concept of musicality.
A typical dance class depending on instructor and level will also teach you body awareness of yourself and your dance partners. This awareness is basic concepts of weight shifting, partner connection (holds) techniques and the pressure, counter pressure and locking movements used to communicate your thoughts to your partner. Remember that its not about the combo that the instructor is showing you but more of how one move will translate into another smoothly efficiently while complimenting music and your partners movements.
Also take classes from multiple instructors and dance genres, this will be key in helping your development as not all instructors explain thing in the same way. A different perspective may be just what you need to unlock your movements.
Do not just rely on classes, you need to practice and grow
Social Dance is KEY!
This is not only the place to make friends, socialize and flirt. It is a very important place for you to test your skills on in adaptive level. When you first start it is all about discovering a balance of timing and confidence, however you will feel an overwhelming sense of urgency to learn more moves (What I call definitions), as you will feel that your dance partners are bored with the limited definitions that you have learned. Quick tip, watch the level of dancers out there and find others that is your level to dance with, this may be done on the fly in the dance scene or by forming a group of friends that will help you to develop. If you need help keeping on time, count if you must, who cares what others think, this is your development and not theirs and trust me you will surpass those types of people who make comments soon enough. Trust me I did!
Do not fall into the bad habit of wanting more moves and combos than you can handle, I would rather see a solid dancer doing everything perfect to musicality than a show off who has no concept of the basic structure, timing or rhythm of the music and how they all flow together.
After you are comfortable with asking those around you and your skills are starting to grow, feel free to explore the world of shines. You may feel stupid dancing by yourself but keep at it, explore your movements to the rhythms, basic counts, syncopations, and vocals. Throw in some turns and start to go wild. See what works and what does not, this will only help your development in musicality, adaptation and speed.
Form a dance group that you can meet up with outside the clubs and in the clubs to practice concepts and theories. They will help you to get in the extra practice that you may be missing in-between classes.
This can be a great tool to reinforce your basics as well as obtain new content to practice. It will be hard at first as you will get overwhelmed but as you develop your fundamental and advanced skills this will help you gain more perspectives as it is a source of knowledge from around the world. Just be careful do no attempt these new cool moves and sacrifice proper form or fundamentals. Also not every person on youtube is an person you will want to emulate, there are a lot of show off that do not understand dance let alone how to explain a movement or combo properly.
Workshops and private lessons
When you have a change take a few private lessons to push yourself. Also if you have a chance to take workshops from instructors that you love or who you do not have access to, this will also give you more perspectives and definitions to add to your collection
Never stop pushing yourself
Lastly, never give up and never stop pushing. Do not let others get you down, focus internally on your goal and what you want to look like. In pushing towards you ideal look of dance, your goals and idols and even style will change. Just keep pushing…..