January 1, 2017

How To Learn Efficiently

by Magna Gopal

Question: I have been to a couple of salsa events and people mentioned that I have the potential to dance salsa. The thing is I don’t know where to start and I am very picky about who I want to take my lessons with. Not to mention, they can be a little bit expensive.  I’ve been searching for somewhere to learn for the past two years. Unfortunately, I work and go to school at the same time, so I am often busy. Is there any advice you can give me for where to start?

Answer: Your schedule does seem pretty unforgiving and budget can definitely pose an issue.  I’m not sure of your level of dancing but if you’re just starting out, you might want to take some intro lessons to learn the proper steps and timing.

If you’re not an absolute beginner and want to target your learning, then you want to start with a self-assessment by asking yourself: What’s your strongest method of learning?

  • Visual (watching people)
  • Auditory (listening to instructions)
  • Kinesthetic (dancing w/ people — learning by doing)

If you’re primarily a visual learner, you may be able to learn something by just observing other good dancers, by going out social dancing or through YouTube.

If you’re more of an auditory learner, taking classes and having moves broken down and explained will help you the most in laying a foundation for your dance. Private lessons, although expensive, might give you the most bang for your buck.

If you’re more of a kinesthetic learner, you can benefit from group classes (dancing/practicing with different people) and/or just going out social dancing. This will give you body plenty of opportunities to understand what things should feel like and with time and practice, you’ll be able to add more.

Either way, you will need to make some sort of investment, whether it’s taking private lessons, attending group classes, or just going to parties and social dancing.  If this is really something you want to get better at, include a weekly dance class and party into your budget.

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