Ok this is a nice fun post that I thought I’d put out there on a nice Sunday evening, I thought the salsa leaders might need a few more pointers,
1. Salsa timing, I can’t stress this enough.. read thread Top tips to master salsa dancing to find out why
2. Get your force right, most beginner leads are too soft, however a lot of leads who are accustomed to dancing with beginner followers tend to develop very forceful leads as well. Know who you are dancing with, and get a sense of what your current follower needs, different followers have different preferences and you need to adjust to that person. You can gauge how suitable your force is by checking her reaction.
3. Know her style, if you’re familiar with the London, on.1 cross-body style, and she strictly dances cuban, be aware of the style that she’s used to. I would shy away from saying don’t lead someone who dances a different style to you. But you need to be at least familiar with other styles of salsa dancing.
4. Make sure the hand position during spins is “right”, make sure that you observe the “pizza hands” position at times, don’t move your hands too close to her center which will make it hard for her to spin using your assistance, and don’t move too far outside her center which won’t make the spin efficient or elegant. Allow your partner to observe the pizza stance during turns at all times
5. Practice and rehearse your moves by yourself in front of the mirror enough times so that you are familiar with the moves
6. Avoid pressing on your partners hands with your thumb (put yourself in her shoes and imagine someone pressing their thumbs into your hands hours on end)
7. Adjust your hand setup to your partner, if she’s tall raise your hands, if she’s short lower your hands accordingly. Followers don’t want to dance with the right hand held higher than their head, it doesn’t look elegant.
8. If the follower is a much lower level than you are, scale back the fancy moves and suit your lead to her level. Being forced to carry out spins she’s unfamiliar with are not fun, and DON’T try to teach her on the middle of the dancefloor.
10. Know which moves you are going to carry out, at least 8 beats upfront, if you forget to do that, just do the basic and know which moves you’re going to do, before you try to do them
11. Maintain eye contact, if not always at least at the start of the lead, or after the lead. Read more on Top tips to master salsa dancing
12. Main good hygiene, breatmints, deodrants, nice aftershave and making an effort with your dress sense goes a long way.
13. Rapport! Take the time to build a connection and rapport with a new follower, don’t go round dancing with followers in a conveyor belt fashion. Rapport relaxes people so they can dance and flow better, if someone is really tense because they’re dancing with a complete stranger. Then the dance sin’t going to be good.
That should be all for now, give me some feedback on this if you need to, and if anyone wants to add or comment on a point feel free to add it below, or email me using the contact form above.