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.

How to become a good lead

I'm still getting used to my life back in the Netherlands which is one of the reasons my updates are still very infrequent at the moment.

The other reason is that I just don't have a lot of time at the moment.I've started in telecom, am helping out a friend with a flower shop a couple of days a week and aside from that there is a severe shortage of men dancing salsa so I help balance the number of men vs women in class most nights of the week. However, sometimes I manage to find some free time like this morning which allows me to browse the net and write updates.

While I was browsing youtube earlier today I came across a video in which William Carpenter gives some tips on leading and following.



As you can see William states how important it is for the leader to understand what their partner is supposed to do, to know exactly how much time it takes to do it, what's necessary for it to happen and to execute it.


While I watched the clip I realized that a lot of this has applied to me at one point or another. Or rather, just the opposite. Not knowing all of that.

When I began dancing I had no idea what my partner was really supposed to do. I was happy if I knew what I was supposed to do. Ok,I did know that my partner was supposed to turn but when or how... some time during count 5 and 7 was probably the best answer I could give.

Once I had finally figured out when things were supposed to happen my leading improved a bit. I still had no idea though how long it took to do some moves. In fact I would have probably never 'really' found out if I had not gotten bored in class one day.

As most classes are short on men I often get asked to come to a class so there are (closer to) enough men. This means I do a lot of beginner classes as well. One day when the ladies were struggling with the steps they had to do I was watching them and I decided to join them.

I found myself stepping along with them, doing a move I had seen a hundreds of times before. Being confident and familiar with the steps it is obvious that I failed.

Or rather, I struggled. We were doing a move that I had seen a lot of times already and one that I had heard being explained a fair number of times as well. It wasn't even a complicated move (cross body lead turn if I remember correctly) but I still struggled to make it through. I had no idea how much time each of the steps would take. As I did have the advantage that I had seen the move a lot of times already the second try went a lot smoother already. Soon after that I picked it up.

This experience also changed the way I lead the move. I had gotten a much better idea of how the lead should be and as it turned out, I had always started turning the lady just a little bit too soon which affected her balance. Just a tiny correction made for a great improvement. It had given me an idea of what was needed for it to happen.

Taking the advice in this video to heart (even before I had seen it) has improved my lead according to the feedback I have gotten. Perhaps it can do the same for you.

And I realize that there is more to being a good leader than just knowing how to lead a move properly but more about that in another post.

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