Latin Dance Tips

Learn the secrets of dancing to Latin music, and enjoy yourself the next time you get on the dance floor.

Dancing Salsa, Merengue, or Flamenco doesn't have to be a difficult task.The smooth moves and light rhythms of Latin music can be easily learned and mastered with a few simple tricks.In no time, with the right approach and attitude, you too can learn to dance the night away to Latin music.

Move Your Hips:As any Latin dancer will tell you, learning to dance starts in the hips.In order to get your body moving freely, you should relax your muscles and let your body sway to the music.Latin dancing, unlike many other types of dancing, is not just about steps or feet positions. It is an entire way of moving the body, and to learn it you must be relaxed enough to try new movements.Sway your hips at first, even without moving your feet, and feel your body react to the music.Once you do start the basic steps, don't forget to let your body relax, tightening up your muscles is one of the most common mistakes by beginning Latin dancers, and it leads to tense and jerky movements.Instead, let your movements slide into each other, let your arms relax and sway by your body, and move your shoulders as you dance.Once you get the body movement right, the feet will follow.

Listen to the Beats: Latin music is often more complicated than basic Rap or Pop music, and knowing when the beats happen is crucial for starting on the right foot and not getting lost.Some music relies on the downbeat, other songs have a changing emphasis, so take a moment to identify which beat is stressed in the song and which to start on.If you get lost, don't feel bad if you have to stop to find the beat again, but if you can try and keep dancing while adjusting your steps.Stopping in mid-dance not only breaks rhythm, but makes it harder to find the beat later.

Keep Your Head Up: Although most people's first instinct is to look down at their feet, to make sure they're doing the right movements and not stepping on anyone else's toes, you should fight against that inclination and keep your head up.This gives you a much more balanced feel to the dancing, even though it may seem harder at first.Instead of concentrating on your feet positions and movement, you get a feel for how your whole body is supposed to move.And since Latin dancing is a whole body experience, you should be concentrating on how your entire body is reacting.Keep your back straight and your hips loose.Hold your partner easily, without pulling them too close, and move your arms with the music as you move your feet.

Follow Your Partner: Latin dancing, more than any other type of dancing, should be an exchange between two people.It doesn't matter if you're the guy or the girl, both people should learn from each other and learn to anticipate the other's movements.If your partner is more experienced than you are, let them take the lead and try new moves or movements out.Just follow them, try and do what they are doing, or let them take control and lead your movements.If your partner is no more experienced than you, then you can explore new moves together, by looking at the couples around you and trying out

Try New Things: In the end, dancing to Latin music is all about enjoyment and fun.So don't be afraid to try new things or make mistakes!It's very common and normal for people to make mistakes when learning to dance, and most people are fine with casual errors as long as you are putting in the effort.So try things out that you've never done before.A new twist or turn can be easily incorporated into your dance steps, and will make the entire experience more pleasant and unexpected.If you lose your beat or forget your foot position, don't stop entirely but keep moving and try and pick it up again. Often, a short loss of foot position will go entirely unnoticed if you add a turn or small spin.

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