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body movement

7 BODY TRICKS TO BRING YOUR SALSA “SHINES” TO LIFE

~ Your Body Is a Work of Art

Are you ready to take your dancing skills to the next level? If so, you’re in the right place! If you’ve attended classes at Rhythmology, you’ll learn powerful body techniques to stand out on the dance floor. The subtle nuances of body movement that most dancers overlook are what will make you look like a pro. Over the past year and a half, I’ve studied from amazing Rhythmologists, and I’m sharing my notes for free! Keep reading if you’re ready to learn how to be a Rhythmologist, aka, a dancer, who studies the movement and feels the rhythm. 

Your Body Language Matters

Dancing is more than doing the steps. It’s an art, and our bodies are vehicles of self-expression. Therefore, the way we move our bodies on the dance floor matters tremendously. 

When I first learned the Salsa shines, I focused entirely on memorizing the steps and neglected technique. My brain couldn’t juggle all the moving parts like timing, styling my arms, or connecting with my partner. Over time, I grew comfortable with the steps and shifted my focus on movement and connection. I’m also thankful for Rhythmology instructors, Alfred and Bryan, who didn’t hesitate to give me constructive advice.

Nowadays, I’m learning how to apply these body techniques to elevate my dancing. Think of these tips like checking and adjusting your body before you hit the dance floor. I promise that you’ll notice a difference in the quality of your dancing. If you want to take it a step further, I recommend that you take the weekly seminars on body movement and musicality with my favorites, Bryan and Luis. 

Check Your Body Before You Hit the Dance Floor

Stand Like a Royal. Royals like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle mastered the art of body posture and carry themselves with poise and confidence. I’m guilty of sitting and standing with slumped shoulders, but a firm stance is fundamental in social dancing. So pretend you’re a royal and straighten your spine, lift your chest, tuck your belly and push your shoulders down. If you feel movement from your back muscles, then you’re dancing correctly.

Raise Your Arms. Your arms should never flap aimlessly down your side while social dancing. Instead, position your arms at an obtuse angle to maintain your frame in solo and partner dancing. 

Position Your Feet at 11 and 1 O’Clock. I still struggle to remember this technique, but Alfred says that our feet must be slightly turned out while dancing. It feels awkward to perform the shines in this position, but you’ll look like an advanced dancer. 

Bring Your Energy Forward. Social dancing requires us to dance on the balls of our feet. Therefore, bringing our energy forward as opposed to backward prevents us from dancing on flat feet. Further, bringing the energy forward creates a stronger connection while dancing with a partner. I can’t deny that social dancing sometimes feels like an invasion of personal space, but physical closeness is part of the connection.

Inhale and Exhale. I recently took a class with Rhythmology instructor, Mitchell, and he brought up this vital tip. Most of us forget to breathe while dancing. Breathing helps our muscles relax and reduce tension. So don’t look lifeless on the dance floor and forget to breathe. It’s the most natural thing on this list to do.

Ready, Set, Dance!

Once you’ve aligned your posture, feet, arms, and energy, you’re ready to hit that dance floor and shine!

Caress the Floors. I stole this line from Alfred, who helped me visualize how to move my feet. The Salsa shines involve a lot of knee bending and the shifting of our weight. However, we sometimes lift our feet off the floor like we’re marching. Instead, we must stay grounded and brush the floors with our feet.  

Emphasize Counts 4 and 8. As you know, the Salsa steps involve a sequence of eight counts. However, counts four and eight are silent. Even though we consider these counts to be “breaks” or “pauses,” they still require energy. Therefore, use these counts to propel the next step. 

Remember, the dance floor is your canvas. Dig deeper beyond the steps and create art with your body. You have what it takes to be a Rhythmologist! 

Naldine

About Naldine

Naldine is a dancer for Rhythmology and enjoys sharing her journey to inspire people to step outside of their comfort zones. During her free time, you'll find her reading a new book. She also mentors college students, who aspire to pursue a career in law. If you see her in a Salsa or Bachata class, you can't miss her because she always wears her smile. So don't be a stranger and smile back!

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