What the Koreans Taught Me...

April 25, 2016

 

The Koreans had it right... 
Last night I noticed many beginners struggling with Salsa on the dance floor. I could see the frustration is their faces. It made me realize that they are not grasping the concept of repetition of the simple steps before trying out the fancy ones.
Back in my travels, I noticed that the Koreans were one of the best groups of dancers internationally. They had one thing that many lacked - Discipline.  
I'll tell you what I saw that impressed me.
When I was getting ready to perform one night in a Korean Salsa club, I noticed about 30 people all lining up in rows, facing the same wall, over to one side of the club. I looked in front to see if there was a teacher or dancer in front that was leading them, but there was not.  
I asked a local what they were doing and she said that the instructors tell their beginner students that hey must practice their basic step 3 hours a week for the first 2 months before trying out the fancy variations. The reason,she explained, was because Salsa music was not part of their cultural upbringing, so in order to feel the music, they must dance "ONLY THE BASIC STEP" many hours to integrate the rhythm into their bodies!!  
I was impressed and if I did not see it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. They literally did ONLY THE BASIC STEP for entire songs. Not one turn, not one side break, not anything else but the basic from the beginning to end of complete 6 minute songs!!! 
Just as football has it's drills and every single sport has it's basic fundamentals that must be repeated continuously to be mastered throughout the years before playing a full game, beginner Salsa dancers need to get the basic rhythm so internalized, that the variations will become flawless in their timing execution and understanding of the rhythm of the dance!
I decided I will incorporate this rule at Sevilla Nightclub every Wednesday! Get ready!

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Josie Neglia

Long Beach, CA 90806  |  1-310-869-8313

Bachelor's Degree, Dance, York University

 

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