Dancing takes time, especially if you want to be a great dancer. When I started dancing, I was no better than anybody else in the class. I looked like a regular beginner who is just learning the steps. After my first couple of lessons, I was committed to learning! There is no secret to it, the more you do it the better you will become at it. I would arrive early to class in order to get a few practice minutes in before the class started. I would practice the steps with my stepmother, and if not then I would shadow the dance by myself (I made sure to lock the room though). There were nights where I could not fall asleep just thinking about the steps: 1,23… 5,6,7… Little by little the steps would make more sense, and every salsa class I took would make me a little bit better. Soon, after a couple of months I was able to combine and recall more patterns.
This is how I looked like after 3-4 months of taking lessons.
I was able to recall enough patterns to dance through a whole song, but I did not look that great (The first time I saw this video, I was really disappointed because I thought that I was dancing a lot better at the time).
I started going out salsa dancing often in order to practice the moves. Social dancing is a great way to gauge how much you have improved. You start to see that ideas start flowing in the dance floor, and your lead/follow gets progressively better. In class you learn the steps and you get help from the instructor, but when you are out social dancing you don’t have anything (especially no one to count the beat for you).
Something that really helped me become WAY BETTER in my dance and how I looked is the body isolation exercises. They really helped me loosen up and dance like a natural dancer (I use to look STIFF when dancing). By doing this exercises I was able to REALLY dance, not just look like a pattern leading/following machine.
Here is a video of Latin Dance Movement performing in New York.
-Take Classes (Never Stop Learning or improving)
-Practice before the Salsa Class (It will help you remember, and warm up before the lessons)
-Find a partner (Great way to practice outside of the studio, also can help you split the cost of private lessons)
-Go Out Social Dancing
-****** MOST IMPORTANT****** DO NOT get frustrated. It is all a learning curve. If you go to class and grasp something new, even if it is just a little bit, you become better dancer than were before.