Why Salsa Instructors rotate the men (or women) in
"I just don't feel comfortable not having my own dance partner", "I feel weird
dancing with another person", "I don't want to dance with someone that has no
idea what they are doing".
The above statements are just a few of what we hear as instructors as to why some do not
like the idea of rotating partners. There are very good reasons why SALSA instructors
rotate the students. Some reasons are very obvious and others are not.
Let's explore some of the reasons why we as SALSA instructors rotate the dance partners.
Not enough men or women in the class. - This is the most obvious reason. It is very
difficult to acquire this balance. So to make it fair to all, either the men or women are rotate
depending on the instructors' preference.
It facilitates in stressing the leading and following techniques. - To be a good
dancer, it is necessary to be able to dance with almost anyone. So by rotating a dance
partner, you get to experience the different leads (or responses) from each dance partner.
No two people are alike. Every lead and every follower is different.
It helps in minimizing the urge of the women to "help" the men. - When you are
learning how to follow (woman), it is very difficult to not "back lead" the man. The tendency
is "help" the man get thru the move which in return "disables" the man from learning how to
lead. When you, a woman, dance with several dance partners in a class, you are less likely
to "help (back lead)" a man if the man is not your spouse, regular dance partner, boyfriend
or friend. When you, a woman, "help" a man with his move, you just disabled you as a
follower. You just turned into a Lead (because you back lead the man).
You are introduced to future salsa scene dancers. - SALSA is a social dance. Going
to a SALSA club or social can be intimidating. It is very comforting to see a classmate or
two at a club or social. Now you have someone to dance with. You won't feel alone.
It is understandable this method is not for everybody. Private lessons might suite you better.
If you have any reservations about dancing with other students, read the reasons above and
weigh the benefits. Hopefully it will give you a different perspective.
John "salseroblanko" Morey