Why does partner dancing make me happy sometimes and then sad other times?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by SalsaDancer, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. SalsaDancer

    SalsaDancer New Member

    I've been taking Salsa lessons for several months now. When I first started, I was so happy and into it. My life finally felt exciting again and I was very happy I started this hobby. But lately, it's been depressing me. I don't seem to be getting better, some of my dance partners and instructors criticize the way I dance, and worse of all, I don't seem as into it as I used to be. I don't understand. I was really liking this in the beginning, but now, it's making me more depressed than ever. Why is this happening?
    chomsky likes this.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    aw...sympathies and chin up...that is normal....sort of like a relationship or a friendship...fun and easy and exciting at first...then, in order for it to get deeper and better, the hard work begins..also, the more you know, the more you discover the negatives....dance is a process...highs and lows...trick is sticking with it in good times and in bad...it can't stay in the honeymoon phase forever...it is much more like a marriage...great chapters, gut wrenching chapters, whole bunch of blah thrown in for good measure...ultimately, a tremendous wondrous investment
  3. kckc

    kckc Active Member

    well said!
    chomsky likes this.
  4. SalsaDancer

    SalsaDancer New Member

    ok good.... was ready to give up because I was like, if I'm not enjoying it, maybe it's not for me. But I shall stick with it and never give up. Thank you. Appreciate the help!
    chomsky likes this.
  5. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    agree with fasc ( big surprise there lol) just push through an improve your own dancing the rest takes care of itself

    especially as a leader once you get good you will dance your feet off!!
    chomsky likes this.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think those of us who are not accustomed to adversity have grown to have a really skewed perception of life...we tend to think something is amiss when we are experiencing something unpleasant or just neutral...as if all of life should be beauty and light...truth is that the ingredients for success and lasting satisfaction are sown in struggle....people who miss that, miss most everything worth having....everything has its seasons...
    chomsky likes this.
  7. SalsaDancer

    SalsaDancer New Member

    That is very true and I couldn't agree more with you. I tend to be like that myself and my father is like that as well. That's the reason why he can never make up his mind on what he wants to do, especially now that he's retired. He tried to take up some hobbies and did try some volunteer work, but because it wasn't the glory he hoped for, he gives up on it because he thinks it's not for him. So now, he just sits at home, bored and depressed. I definitely don't want to follow in his footsteps. I'm still young and now is a good time to do something with my life...
    chomsky and fascination like this.
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    exactly...it is why many people are alone...they would prefer to be alone if they can't have ideal(not that there isn't something to be said for solitude or standards)...and yet, what does ideal require of any of us?...skill is honed through difficulty...it is fine to move on from something if, over a protracted period of time it no longer serves any useful purpose, but I pity the person who only makes temporary commitments
    chomsky likes this.
  9. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    And if it came easily, it wouldn't be nearly as satifying when you got there - to wherever your goal is!

    As a total type-A perfectionist, I try to remind myself that mastering something takes perserverence, and it can't all be forward progression and upward progress. Tough days are part of the journey... but that doesn't mean I don't hate them when they arrive :) All I ask is that there aren't too many in a row, or that they start to outnumber the good ones. If they do, it's a sign that it's time for a break and some thinking to try and find out where the fun went.
    chomsky likes this.
  10. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I see this mentality every once in a while. Look - you are paying your instructors to criticize your dancing. That is how you get better. No one is suggesting you're a bad person because your spot turns are bad, so don't take it personally. If you do, you'll start to get a reputation for not being able to take criticism... not to mention for the bad technique you'll cling to because you don't like being corrected.

    I love the criticism... because if you accept it (not blindly, of course!) and learn to even appreciate and enjoy it, you get many more moments of "oooohhh, NOW I get it!"

    Plateaus come and go - some weeks your dancing skyrockets, some weeks it feels like you're going nowhere... and some weeks it feels like backsliding. If you want to stick with it, you just need to find ways to get through the plateaus. You can just keep chugging along, take a few private lessons, take a break, work on more familiar steps/technique, etc.
    chomsky likes this.
  11. SalsaDancer

    SalsaDancer New Member

    Not just instructors, but students too. Some of my dance partners like to teach me. But I guess I shouldn't look at it in a bad way. It's sort of like a free private lesson, I guess...
    chomsky and dbk like this.
  12. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess, if you're confident that they know what they're talking about. Though whether they do or not, it's not generally appropriate to teach on the social dance floor. I'd say that in most cases, the best response to such teaching is a polite smile while ignoring as much as possible. Their unsolicited teaching says more about their lack of understanding of social norms than it does about your dancing.
    chomsky and danceronice like this.
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Yep. I'm paying my pro to teach me to dance and improve my dancing. I am not paying Random Guy #7 at a social to give me pointers, especially when I have no evidence he's any better than I am.
    Don Silver and Bailamosdance like this.
  14. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    At a social dance, this is bad form on their part, unless you actively ask for feedback/criticism/teaching/whatever.

    At a practice party, or with a practice partner, it's a good idea to give each other feedback - which may also seem like "criticism".

    But actual "teaching" is a little iffy... take what other students tell you with a grain of salt. I come from a great team that relies heavily on a mentoring system (i.e. more experienced students teaching newer students) - it's a fantastic resource, but make sure your "mentor" knows what they're talking about.

    But no matter what it is, or what its value/correctness is, it's not a bad thing for people to want to teach you and point out your mistakes. Heck, when I'm in a "mentor" role, I tend to pick on the people who show some promise. Take it in, and use it to improve your dancing. If you're still stuck on a plateau, find a new source of information.
    chomsky likes this.
  15. SalsaDancer

    SalsaDancer New Member

    I'm sorry, I wasn't clear in my post. I was actually getting corrected by other students in a class, not a social.
  16. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Oh, well many of the same comments apply. If you're collaboratively working together to apply what you're being taught, that's good. If a student whose dancing and judgement you trust is giving you feedback and pointers based on what they're feeling when dancing with you, that can be useful and indicative of their sense of your potential. But if someone is going overboard with the corrections and/or is interfering with you hearing the teacher and/or does not have the dance ability to give credibility to their opinions, then it's time for the nod-smile-ignore. And/or at an appropriate time in the class, "Excuse me, teacher, could you come look at what we're doing? Something's not working."
    chomsky and dbk like this.
  17. newbie

    newbie Active Member

    Tango makes me sad, but without tango I cannot live. This is what a Buenos-Aires taxi driver told me once. That was seconds before he crashed into another car.
  18. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    What you learn today is available on the dance floor eight month later. Did no one told you? Your cerebellum (a part of your brain responsible for dancing) needs up to 12 month for new routines. Your brain is busy in the background. Hold on. Nothing new.
    chomsky likes this.
  19. Don Silver

    Don Silver Member

    As many others have said, most of the time other students should simply be nice and let you learn from the instructor unless you ask.

    It can take some time for some of us (read: me) to internalize something new. Over time things pick up since knowing some dance helps you learn some new dance.

    One of the worse things is the ladies back-leading when a lead is figuring out something new. Guys think they "know it" then hit the floor and find they only can do with follows who "know the move."

    If a few partners can't do something with you, then call the instructor over. They should be able to help you tune.

    Oh yea: And don't quit, it simply gets much, much better over time. You're normal.
    chomsky likes this.
  20. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    By continuing to dance, you will get better. If there is a bad vibe in the class, it might be good to branch out a little too. Just try not to be easily offended, and hopefully the people giving advice have good intentions, and even better, good advice. :)
    chomsky likes this.

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