When I started dancing salsa, it took me a very long time just to understand how to dance on the correct salsa timing. In fact, I had been dancing salsa for about two years until I even found out there was such a thing. Until that time all I had known was how to dance to the rhythm of the salsa music.
So what is the difference? Salsa rhythm reflects to the quick, quick, slow, quick, quick, slow pattern of the way salsa music is structured. Salsa timing, on the other hand, refer to the counting of the music, which for us salsa dancers goes: 1,2,3,5,6,7 where we pause on the counts 4,8, and so keep them silent.
So how can you improve your salsa timing.
Tip # 1 Get Salsa Music And Listen To It
This might sound like a simplistic tip, and it is. But there is nothing more powerful to extremely help you with your salsa timing than getting into the habit of listening to the music as often as possible. Buy a salsa CD or ask your salsa instructor on where to get salsa music and get in to the habit of popping on a CD on your cars CD player Next time you are driving or playing some salsa at your house light cleaning.
Tip # 2 Develop Your Ear To Hear The Rhythm And Counts
Developing your ear to hear the counting and rhythm of salsa starts with a simple intention. Simply set your intention to master the ability to hear the salsa rhythm and timing. When I started, I was not able to hear the salsa rhythm nor keep the proper timing. I simply began my process of learning to dance salsa with the assumption that I will master it. And I did. And I believe you can too, but the real question is do you?
Tip # 3 Buy A Salsa Timing CD
Buying a salsa timing CD is a great investment. There are CD's that actually has voice overs counting out the rhythm and timing as the music plays. In fact, I am developing one right now for my students. This can be an invaluable tool to help you master the timing and rhythm. With someone helping you as you develop your ear to hear the rhythms and counts you can continuously monitor how you are doing as you get feedback from the person counting the music for you on a CD.
Tip # 4 Find A Salsa Musicality Class
Depending on where you live this might be harder to come by. But in many large cities in the United States there are people who actually teach you to hear the rhythm and understand the counting of salsa. This can be extremely helpful as you get the opportunity to focus with like minded individuals to understand the subtleties of the salsa music. In live classes, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions directly from the instructor.
Tip # 5 Buy A Salsa Timing And Musicality Course
To really take your understanding of salsa music and timing to the next level, consider buying a salsa timing and musicality course. If you do not have live musicality and timing courses taught in your area, this can be an invaluable investment. In these courses, you can deeper your understanding of salsa timing and musicality by actually gaining an understanding of the different instruments that compose the salsa rhythms. Many good courses also teach you about how to understand the mood of the music, explain you about how salsa songs are structured, how to understand the breaks, hits, and accents of the music, etc.
And there you have it. Five tips to improve your salsa timing.