You’re dancing with your partner and all of the sudden your partner lets go of you, what do you do?! If you’re a new dancer or not very experienced doing shines, this is terrifying. You’ve never actually practiced anything other than the little footwork at the beginning of every class. So the experience goes something like this:
You’re dancing, lots of partner work, your partner lets go of you, it’s ok I’ll do a right turn, a little side-to-side, I remember the Suzy Q, crap he’s not picking me up (she still doing her own thing), basic step it is, (14 8-counts later) what the hell, finally we’re about to dance together again, nope, song ends.
Maybe not that much (unless you get one of THOSE dancers), but still it doesn’t feel comfortable to let go of your partner and do your own thing, if you don’t know what your are doing. No one wants to just do the basic and look like a complete beginner.
Shines are the other side of dancing salsa, other than the partner work. They can be lots of fun if you know what you’re doing, as it allows you to dance by yourself and express differently than with a partner. Shines also give you an element of freedom and musicality that you don’t get in partner work because now you’re free to dance in any way you like, and move your body whichever way you want. Also, they can be a bit of a break from all the constant spinning, fast pace turning, and complicated patterns.
Everyone who learns how to dance salsa learns lots of partner work patterns, but the best dancers master shines. To look good while doing shines requires a lot of practicing in the mirror, body movement training, coordination and musical knowledge. As a dancer it is harder to look good dancing by on your own because the attention is on you, but with lots of practice, shines will completely set you apart from the beginners and intermediates.
Check out our Open Work Class every Wednesday starting January 29th at VK Dance!
Class will be held from 8-9pm