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Lesson 10: Dancing with Ghosts

"Salsa Bachata Class Accelerator" Lesson 10: Dancing with Ghosts

The video below is part of a paid program on one of our sister sites. We're giving the program away for free here at Movers and Shakers.


This "Local Class Learning Accelerator" series is about learning how to learn. 


The series will teach you to squeeze the absolute most benefit from your salsa and bachata classes.

The series is meant to be completed in order, so start from Lesson 1.

Audio Transcript: Below is the audio transcript of this lesson. Headers have been added.

So let's talk about dancing with ghosts. What you're going to start to do is when you get a new pattern that's done with a partner, I want you to also do that pattern without a partner or do it with what we call a ghost partner.


This can be during class, it should be during class once or twice. It definitely should be between class. Also you know we don't always have a partner available anyway to dance with us, so it's actually a good skill in general to have.

Enhancing Your Dance Skills Through Visualization

There's really interesting psychology behind this and what science discovered is that visualization is actually more powerful at times than physical practice. So , if we visualize ourselves doing something, then it can actually make us do better than if we're doing it in the flesh. Some of the top athletes in the world do a lot of visualization these days. Michael Phelps, multi-time Olympic swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, visualizes every single day.

Visualization vs. Physical Practice

There's one study, they took a study of basketball players and they have three groups that control. Group is people who didn't and they were. They were studying free throws, all right, and I don't know all the ins and outs of the study, but basically they had a control group where they didn't do any practice.

They had a group that practiced physically for a few weeks and then they had a group that didn't practice physically but practiced mentally by visualizing things and guess which group did the best? Obviously not the control group that didn't do any practice.


Actually, the group that visualized it did better than the group that physically practiced the free throws. That's a really interesting thing, and that's really powerful.

The Power of Visualization and NET Time

What you can start to do in class is if you do a pattern with a partner and we talked about net time, "No Extra Time" time like when the instructor goes to change the music or during a break or when they're answering a question, for example, you have a little free time.

Do it either with your partner or without your partner. By doing without your partner, it's going to get interestingly, more into your muscle memory and help you to master that little piece of the pattern, even better.


I know at least one instructor who routinely does this during classes, which is a pretty clever thing. Also, they'll separate the guys and the girls and and have them just do solo without a partner and occasionally in classes. I'll have students do this as well, if if that particular movement or or pattern calls for it. So what you're going to start doing is you're going to start practicing with a ghost partner both during class and between classes. 

Salsa Bachata Class Learning Accelerator Lessons

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