You did it! You finally did it. You mustered up the courage to sign up for the salsa class that you have been yearning to take. Maybe your friend or spouse dragged you along for the experience and you're only attending for moral support. What ever the case may be, entering the studio the very first time for some can be a very intimidating experience. Questions and thoughts race through your mind as you try to picture what your first experience will be like. What do I need to bring with me? What kind of shoes do I need? Will I be able to keep up? Will I be horrible? Everyone will be watching me. What if my BO acts up? Will there be enough people to partner with? The list can go on and on and the worst thing you can do for your self is build up unnecessary anxiety. So I've compiled a list in no particular order of things you will need for your salsa classes. Some things you will need right away, and some things you can get as the need arises.
Salsa shoes are the preferred type of shoe for men and ladies. They are made specifically for the this type of dancing and are light weight, flexible, with suede bottoms to effortlessly pivot and turn on the dance floor. I like for the ladies to use a 3 inch heel, but its up to your discretion and what you will feel most comfortable with. Some like to start with a 2 inch heel and work their way up, which is also very effective. Sometimes dancing in salsa shoes takes some getting used to . Depending, your feet may get tired, achy, and burn in the beginning. When this happens its great to have a backup pair of jazz flats to give your feet a rest while allowing you to continue to participate in class. Salsa Shoes and Jazz Flats can be easily bought at your local dance shop or on-line. If you are unsure of what to purchase, do not hesitate to ask your instructor. They have years of experience and will be able to guide you through the selection process.
So you're going to move. Actually, you're going to move alot. Think of your salsa class like you would any other fitness or dare I say it, Zumba class. You will be in constant motion for the full hour or two hours that you signed up for. It's very important that you are comfortable and that you don't wear clothing that is restrictive to your movement. Along those lines keep in mind that you will sweat. So wear fabrics that are light and breathable.
DEODORANT/ BODY SPRAY
Let's face it, we are all human and we all have normal human bodily functions. You sweat, and with that comes body odors. Some of you will be arriving to class after a long day of work. You will be dancing, moving, shaking and raising that heart rate. Then let's not forget you will be partner dancing. Please do not knock your partner out with your body odor. Be nice and use deodorant, or what ever it is that you use to mange your self care. Your partner will love you for it.
AN EXTRA SHIRT
Do you tend to run cold? Layer your self up so that you can layer yourself down. Sometimes the studio can be cold but I assure you that once you get moving the temperature will soon begin to rise especially when you have ten plus people dancing in a confined space. Eventually you will need to layer down. Tend to run on the sweaty side? You will definitely need to bring an extra shirt or sometimes two to class. Iv'e seen guys (sorry for throwing you under the bus) sweat right through their shirts in class. Salsa is a contact sport and partnering someone who's all wet and yucky is no bueno. Be considerate of your classmates, excuse yourself and go change your darn shirt. Everyone will appreciate you for doing this.
Like mentioned above, you need to treat your Salsa class like any other fitness class. You'll be getting that heart rate up and burning calories, so its really important for you to keep hydrated throughout class. Salsa class will have you using muscles that you've never used before. In this technique your going to be dancing on the balls of your feet yet staying grounded into the floor all while keeping your core tightened and engaged. I can't tell you how many times I've seen students cramp up in class because of dehydration. Yikes! Do yourself a favor and bring a couple bottles of water with you to class and if you're really environmentally conscious consider investing in a water canteen.
What in the world is a shoe brush? Well it's just that, a brush for your shoes. All Salsa shoes come with special suede soles made specifically for pivoting, turning, spinning, and moving effortlessly with less resistance on the dance floor. These soles need special care and after dancing for some time dirt and grime will get caught inside of the suede. It's very important to brush this out or else you will end up with a matted leathery like sole. A leathery sole is not ideal for dancing and can lead to slipping and serious injuries. The more grip you have under your feet, the more control you have over your dancing. A shoe brush isn't something that you will need on your first day of class, but the more you dance you may find that your shoes will become slippery. You can purchase these on-line or you can ask your instructor where you can buy one locally.
This is just a short list of things to get you started for what may be a lifelong journey you will never turn back from. Salsa dancing is such a rewarding experience that will produce lasting benefits in your life that includes your health, your mind, your spirit and your social life.
Go into your first class with an open mind, a great attitude and expect to feel like an uncomfortable beginner. It will be like learning your ABC's all over again, except salsa will be the new language that your going to acquire, and what a beautiful language Salsa is. But with all things new you must start from scratch and that means building from the ground up. You will feel awkward and uncomfortable at first but everyone else in the class will most likely be feeling the same way. So don't think about being judged, join the class with a spirit of learning and you will soon find yourself dancing your cares away with the best of them.
Thank you for reading! Look forward to more blog articles written by either myself or other guest bloggers. Do you have something to add to the conversation? Make sure you comment in the comment section. Do you have a topic suggestion or would like to write a blog article? Get in touch by emailing me at Lindyraiceslatindance@gmail.com