Why learn more than one style from the get go you ask? We are asked this question often because our most popular starting point, Latin Dance Starter see’s complete beginners learn 6 styles simultaneously. Some people think “woohoo, fun!”, others “whaaaaat, that’s too much for me!”.
So, here is why we believe it’s the best way to go.
To start with, generally in South America it’s how people learn. They both see and generally naturally try a variety of dance styles from a young age, even if they say they “don’t dance”.
Each of the Latin dance styles we teach are linked in some way or another. For example you can do the same turn patterns (with different footwork and style/feel) in Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Zouk Lambada and Forró to name a few. The basic step in Linier Salsa is essentially ‘the same pattern’ as Bolero and Forró Universitario from brazil, again with a different feel and stylisation.
The same principles of permanent, directional and visual leading and following apply across most dance styles in one way or another, some dance styles use more one than another but they all generally utilise all three at some point. The frame needed in one dance style is the same needed in another, whether that’s a closed embrace or an open hand held frame.
So you can see, when you learn a principle, leading or following skill, turn pattern or basic footwork in one dance style you are in fact learning skills which will help in the other dance styles also.
So what’s the difference between the styles? It’s the cultural feeling, often interpreted as style or styling, it’s the music it is dance to which evokes a certain feeling. It’s sometimes the basic footwork or whether the weight is predominantly in the bent leg or straight leg. An even more subjective difference, and challenging to explain, is the amount of emotion, energy and dynamic used in the step and to communicate with your partner.
Not to mention all the Latin American dance styles come from the same cultural roots of a strong African influence which permeates through them all.
We have found that the very best social Latin dancers are those who dance more than one style, even if they end up specialising in one or just a couple. People who start learning a variety of dance styles become more technically able, and more highly skilled in their chosen favourite later on. They are also a sought after commodity on the dance floor because it doesn’t matter what music is playing, everyone knows they can dance to it!
If you don’t believe us, we encourage you to find out for yourself through our signature Foundation program, beginning with Latin Dance Starter.
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