hopelessly addicted - newbie anxiety

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by ladyjazz, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. ladyjazz

    ladyjazz Changui

    hi everyone, it's my first post and I hope to hear from you with any advice and tips you can offer a newbie.
    A few years ago I was invited to a salsa club by a new friend who is a great dancer. I on the other hand was an absolute beginner with no knowledge of how to dance salsa at all. The music was incredible and somehow I felt confident enough and ended up dancing for most of the night with a few partners. I tried to follow the best way I could and I was lucky to have danced with very nice partners.
    I went back a few more times as a complete newbie but following that my career and personal life made me take a long break from salsa.
    Fast forward a few years and I decided to re-visit the scene with proper instruction this time around. I have taken about 6 classes and 1 private so far and I never would have imagined just how difficult learning salsa really is.
    At this stage I would like to start going to a few socials and clubs to practice however, I am feeling a lot of beginners anxiety and fear that I will be rejected somehow (kind of hard on myself). :(

    Any tips on how to overcome that initial anxiety and nerves? Advice for a newbie follower?
  2. olamalam

    olamalam El Sabroso de Conguero

    welcome to SF ladyjazz :)

    always focus on your own satisfaction (maybe its not the right word) on the dance floor, dont worry to make mistake etc. actually there is no mistake. we're just having fun, this is not an exam or competition. when your partners see you're having fun, they'll have fun eventually too. you can be a beginner or advanced, if you dont reflect that you're having fun, we (most of us) wont have fun.

    learning salsa is not hard at all as long as you dont put yourself some milestones to reach since it's an ebdless journey. from the first day you can assume you "learned" salsa but also you'll keep learning as long as you dance. no destination to reach, just a joirney to enjoy.
  3. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Smile a lot when out :)

    It will make you feel better and it will make it easy for guys to ask you. If you are projecting your anxiety, the guys might feel uncomfortable or intimidated about asking you. Most guys that are not beginners will dance to your level.

    What do you mean by rejected? No one will leave you stranded on the dance floor. Having friends who already dance or socializing a little bit with other dancers (just saying hi and getting to know them a little), also ensures that people will be ready to ask you more often.

    It is far easier than joining a new school as a kid :)
  4. UnlikelySalsero

    UnlikelySalsero Rhythm Deputy

    Welcome to the forum and your new dance life!

    We've all been there. It's a little different as a lead (and tougher from my POV) but here's some ideas that may help:

    1) Go to a place that has a class before the social. Take that class! During the time you rotate you'll have a chance to meet the guys. Smile and be nice, if you have someone who is comfortable, say something like "save me a dance after class..." and most will find you when it's over. Dancing with people from the class is very comfortable, because they already know your level, and you've already established a small connection before social time. (A huge win.)

    2) Go into the social assuming you'll need to go a few times before you'll have the best time. Many guys ask their existing dance friends first, and faces they have seen before. Some will ask anyone.

    3) Decide you are going to have a good time/attitude no matter how you're really feeling at the start. If you see someone from an existing class, say hi to them off the floor.

    4) Once you meet someone you feel good about (they seem to like it, you are comfortable) ask them if they know other good leads. (Guys love hearing "you're fun to dance with, any of your friends dance like you..." type comments. Many will introduce you to their friends.

    5) Realize some of it's social. If you show up at a club I frequent, I often know more people than I could dance with in one night because I've been around a while. If you're an unfamiliar face, I may not ask you. Don't take that personal, it's just those who I already have a dance connection with are generally higher priority than someone new. IF you ask me (or 98% of the other guys) for a dance, almost all of us will say yes. (I always say "I'd love to..." unless you are obviously drinking...)

    Again: Assume you need to go a few times, try to say hello to anybody you've seen at one of your lessons (or meet last time you were there), smile and be friendly. Wear clothes that make you comfortable and feel good about yourself.

    You'll do fine if you simply show up a few times, keep saying "hi" and smile when possible while dancing. The rest will take care of itself (and you'll improve a lot over a month or two of social dancing...)

    Let us know how you're doing!
  5. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Key advice I would give to you is: fear not! Especially, don't get hung up on other people's opinions. People who look like good dancers to you now might actually be all "flash and trash"... when you're new you can't judge that and you might put a bad dancefloor experience down to yourself when it's anything but.

    Dancing is like personality, and conforming to a dance style is like manners. You will fit differently to each person you meet on the dancefloor, and you shouldn't focus too hard on the manners part but look for the personality. If you don't click with one or two individuals, focus instead on the individuals you do click with. Don't assume that the failure to communicate is down to your lack of knowledge of the salsa secrets.
  6. tresto

    tresto Descarga

    Go for it. Any fear goes away by practicing what you fear. You'll see the fear gradually move from a lot to a bit then to none.
    I remember at first I was scared of just setting a foot in the studio. Now I go to just about any social/congress and I dance with everyone including so called "stars" without the slightest apprehension, because my I have conditioned myself to FEEL (emotionally) that "everything is going to be OK". It's one thing to think it, it's another to feel it. It just takes consistent practice. I ALWAYS make the effort to invite people I don't know at salsa events.

    After about two months I was OK with going to classes. I was able to social dance with a few people I knew. After about three months I started inviting people I didn't already know. After about six months I felt OK to invite beginners and intermediate dancers... I guess confidence just builds up with time.

    I hope you all the best. You'll be fine. Condition yourself to FEEL IT. It will come. It's OK to be afraid we all are.
  7. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    This :)
  8. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Try to remember the fun you had the first night dancing. You knew nothing and yet had such a good time that you wanted more. So get back to that idea of really having fun. I've seen videos of salsa "stars" social dancing together and sometimes the follower will miss a signal and nothing happens; the sky does not fall, the lead does not slap the follower and stomp off the dance floor vowing never to speak with her again...most of the time people will just grin at each other when they mess up. People who get upset about mistakes probably have a lack of confidence. So don't worry about it. Just go out and enjoy it!
  9. ladyjazz

    ladyjazz Changui

    I am sending a big hug to all of you for your kind words of encouragement and insight. It means a LOT. I find that I don't have anyone in my circle at this time who I could talk to about this.(my only salsa bud moved away a couple of years ago).
    I decided that I'll go to my first social practice this coming Saturday, solo. I just need to start somewhere and not put it off any longer.
    Reading your advice, I feel a bit more confident and relaxed about the whole thing - not expecting anything but to have some fun. :)
    thanks guys!

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