Beginners’ first steps

You decided to put some dancing in your life and also chose a rhythm to start with. The next step is to start learning and put it on the field. How long shall it take until you have a decent level?

This is a recurrent question on beginners, including myself. We want to learn fast and have enough skills for enjoying it. Our modern lifestyle puts even more pressure on us, since nowadays everything shall go at the speed of internet.

Last week I had a chat with a kizomba teacher, who has been doing it for almost 20 years. He gave me 5 good tips which you shall consider in your new crash course:

  • Learn 2 or 3 steps per week at most. There is no need to overload yourself with lots of techniques. After a couple of months, you will have learned at least 16 steps. That is everything you need for the parties.
  • Practice in front of a mirror. Yes, see yourself moving your legs and shoulders. Feel weird, then get used to it and finally look proudly at yourself. At that point you will finally focus on the steps you want to improve, and less on your ego.
  • Watching videos is fine, but make sure to automatically practice them in front of your mirror. However, the best is to join a dance course, for example on a weekly basis. After a bit of research, you will see that you can find a course almost everyday going on in Vienna. Another plus: after the course the party is opened. You may keep practicing with your new dance friends.
  • Enjoy being a beginner: you started learning to dance because you wanted to put something fun in your life.┬áThen enjoy the process of putting yourself in new situations and moving your body differently.

The dance teacher told me that despite of those years of practicing, he still enjoys putting the basic steps on the floor. Even though years of experience brings him mastery, what keeps him on the music is the fun. Keep that in your mind at all times: technique is ok, fun is the goal.

Do not ask. Take to dance.

Being in a party and meeting people for the first time is great, but also a bit of challenging. Almost everybody sticks to their social circles and in most cases people will not approach you. On the contrary, you will have to take the first step.

This is specially challenging in latin-afro parties, because you shall dance in couples. Therefore, it is not just about connecting with a woman you don’t know, but taking her to dance at first place. Most guys will go for the “asking for a dance” step. However, in some cases women will respond negatively stating that they are waiting for a friend, or resting for a while. I have experienced that by myself in the past and felt a bit down.

Do it differently

Instead of asking, stand up in front of her, offer your hand and show a slight smile. She will understand and come with you to the dance floor most of the times.

Why does this work differently?

  • You are a man who takes what he wants without apologies. Come on, you are not stealing purses, you are offering a woman the chance to have fun.
  • You are present in the moment (men and women dancing). There is no need for asking about something which is obvious.
  • Emotional strong: you are not concerned about the response of a woman. If she rejects your hand for dancing, then you simply offer it to somebody else who will value it. And by the way…
  • You are value and you show value: a woman watching a man coming towards her with confidence and taking her to the dance floor is joyful.
  • Enjoyment: you make the first move and therefore have the chance to choose with whom you dance. Isn’t it great? then do not bother and offer the hand.

All these factors are also understood by women through their intuition. Amazingly for men, sometimes speaking less and simply doing it is more fun than explaining things through dozens of words.

Try it out and enjoy leading by dancing.

Kizomba for healthy roles

A few months ago I took a Kizomba course for trying out something completely new. It ended up actually being a short class on masculine and feminine energy.

During the very first class the teachers told me some facts that reminded me about my role:

  • The man leads the dancing steps, he must recreate the sensual interaction pleasantly for him and the women he dances with.
  • The woman must open herself and trust the man’s movements. She shall follow the steps and complement them with her feminine choreography.
  • The man must take firmly and confidently the woman’s body, in order to let her know on which direction to dance. He shall not be ashamed on leading the story.
  • The man shall be relax and enjoy the dancing steps, which will provide comfort to the woman as well.
  • The dance increases the energy gradually. At the beginning there are simple steps for warming-up and building comfort. As the time passes, the man inserts the steps that add beauty and sensuality to the song.
  • The songs are mostly about feelings, connection, senses and lovers’ stories. Topics about materialistic lifestyle and/or with negative energy are avoided.

At the beginning I was unsure to try this music. But fortunately I did, and it reminded me to take away the structured thoughts that work / studies place in our heads. And to embrace the beautiful chaos which leads to a natural interaction. Under my lead as a man with the feet on the earth and fun in my dance.