Becoming a Salsero

Learning to dance Salsa !

About me

I remember the first time I saw a salsa performance. The dance was mesmerizing and I decided that becoming a Salsero would be my new goal.

Just getting started took a lot longer than planned but I still haven't regretted a single moment of learning to dance salsa. Why don't you join me and become a salsero / salsera as well?.

About this site

This is where I share my experiences and thoughts on dancing salsa.

If you have any questions or remarks please leave a comment or send an email to becomingasalsero@gmail.com.

Additional ways to contact me can be found on my contact page.

Summer Salsa Congress 2008 Brussels

Last weekend I went to the Summer Salsa Congress in Brussels.

It was a beautiful weekend.
The sun was shining, there was not a cloud in the sky and, there was no air conditioning in the rooms ! To say it was hot was an understatement (one of the instructors welcomed us to the 'Bachata Sauna').

Aside from that there was a bit of confusion as to where the rooms were (they were spread out in a huge sport center) but that only lasted a short while.

The classes themselves, at least the ones I took, were great.

Edie's timing/musicality workship was just as I remembered it but it was a lot of fun to see it again. And, as I still have trouble with my timing (although I now know it has improved a lot), it was very helpful.

Johnny Vasquez's workshop was high energy and slightly above my level. That said, I was able to come along. What I particularly liked was that he taught elements he also used in his show at night so we got to see what it looks like when he danced it.

Gerald Fraay (http://salsipuedes.nl/) is a very patient instructor as is Cissy Janssens who was helping him. His workshop was relaxed (it was the first one of the day) but still challenging enough for everybody in there. It was great to see how easily he adjusted to the level of the group.

Manuel Mascarel's Bachata Sexy & Hot Moves was hot alright.
As I mentioned before, he welcomed us to the 'Bachata Sauna'. Even sitting down we were sweating. I'm sure that everybody who attended this workshop lost weight last weekend.

Aside from the heat this class was a lot of fun. He's an entertaining instructor with an incredibly clear voice (apparently he's also an opera singer) and I like his philosophy of changing partners as often as possible. I find it helps me improve a lot quicker to have to adjust to different followers all the time.

Another downside of this workshop was that it was packed!

What is it with congress organizers?
Whenever I've been somewhere Bachata is always one of the most popular workshops. However, for some reason it is always scheduled in one of the smaller rooms. Hopefully this is something that will change going forward.

As I was helping Edie at her booth I also spent a lot of time talking to her.
We spoke about everything (and I mean everything. Diet, cars, politics, dancing, instructors, etc) and I think this was the most valuable part of the weekend for me.
It was great to hear her point of view, especially on dancing.

For instance, I'm still very much intimidated by social dancing. The level of the other dancers is often so high that I feel my partner will be disappointed after dancing with me.
Be that as it may, as Edie pointed out, she will be a lot more disappointed if she sits around all night and never even gets a chance to dance.

Something I'll have to keep in mind.

Weeks fly by

It's been a couple of weeks again since I've last updated.
Unfortunately this also means I haven't gone dancing for a couple of weeks.

The last time was almost 3 weeks ago when Salsa Life introduced their new location (Variete at the Kornmarkt in Trier).
I had planned to be there at 18:00 but arrived later as I got stuck on work (around 18:30) as we were supposed to rehearse the choreography we learned a couple of weeks ago.
As I hadn't practiced it since that week I definitely needed that rehearsal.
Eventually I got it all down again but didn't feel to confident so I decided not to dance.
Or at least, that's what I decided until I realized that in that case there would only be one couple dancing.
So I bit the bullet and walked on to the floor and we danced.

As expected it didn't go great. We made some mistakes but overall were able to keep up pretty well.
The good thing was that as I was too focused on just going through the moves I forgot that there was an audience. I think that helped me a bit and it all turned out ok (some people even thought it looked great).

The one thing that this showed me is that , for me at least, it's easier to dance a show than to go social dancing. When doing a choreography you have something to fall back on. You know what's going to come next. Obviously that's not the same with social dancing where you have to make it up as you go.
That said, I did dance that night and I learned a lot. I found that when dancing with more experienced people I tend to freeze up and default to basics while I don't seem to have that same problem when dancing with beginners. Then I start feeling so comfortable that I have to hold myself back and not try everything I've learned and scare them away. I think I'm going to have to find some improvers to go social dancing with and everything will be ok :-)

Unfortunately I haven't gone dancing since.
Last night I wanted to go but I've just started working out again and muscle aches were killing me.
Walking was hard enough so instead of going dancing I took a hot bath and went to bed early.
Today I regret it a bit but unfortunately it's too late to change things now. Besides, I know that working out will pay off for dancing as well. It's just that the transition period is probably going to be a bit hard.
Ah well, there's always next time.