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Lesson 8: Trying Less & Loosening Up

"Salsa Bachata Class Accelerator" Lesson 8: Trying Less & Loosening Up

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.

All right, so let's talk about trying less, which is another interesting topic and seems to be a direct contradiction to when we talked about trying harder. It's not. We're going to talk about the differences related to this.


The Fine Line Between Trying Harder and Trying Less 

When we learn something with movement or dance, there's a natural pattern. Basically what happens is we think about the movement and we do it and we tend to get stiff and that's totally normal. You know, it's just how we are as humans, because we're focusing on the things, so we stiffen up and then some of us stay stiff forever.

Understanding the Dynamics of Movement and Stiffness 

If you get the right coaching, your instructor will probably tell you, Okay now loosen up a little bit, and a person might swing the pendulum the other way and become too loose and then eventually over time and it it really just does take time and experience.

You find the right level of tension and relaxation and find it at the right times so the pendulum starts too stiff and then it becomes too loose and then you find the right spot. Like Goldilocks, right in the middle.


Finding the Sweet Spot: Balancing Tension and Relaxation

Yeah so what I want you to start playing with is in class, every now and then I want you to just let go of all the details the instructor has given you, all the things you're focusing on from that class and just care less just for a minute and really let go and just dance.

I say this with caution because I don't want you to do this every time. The reason you go to class is so that you can drill in the details and actually learn new things so it's okay to be stiff for a while, it really is, but maybe one in five or one in 10, or even one in 20 runs. I want you to see what it feels like to just loosen up.

Experimenting with Letting Loose During Dance Classes 

This can be a really hard thing for students to do. I might be saying this and and you might listen to this and go oh, OK and then not do it. I hope you will do it, though I'll just tell a little anecdote in a certain point in my training.

I had an instructor, a coach who I was with every week, multiple times a week and that instructor kept telling me - Relax, loosen up. Relax. Relax.Relax. I'm like, - What are you? Talking about like, why are you telling me this every week? Relax, Relax, Relax. I am thinking I am relaxed. What are you talking about? and it was really hard for me to understand what he meant by that.

I see this every every week now. You know, now that I'm a full time dancer and instructor. I see my students. I say -  Relax, okay? There still tense. Relax, okay? There still tense. Relax, okay? There still tense. A lot of times we don't even know. What if we don't even know what that means to relax what that feels like.

So you know, if I'm one-on-one with somebody, I might tell them, like, really emphasize it. Like No, go to sleep like God, just let it go and go to sleep. To really feel what that's like, it's really hard to let go.


You know, I think in general, culturally we're really wound up these days. Also, we have this constant stimulation all over the place. Everything is super fast-paced, so I think we’re used to tension, and that's fine. You know, that's just the culture these days but what that means is that we have to practice more with relaxing and try harder with relaxing.


So again, you know, I've said this before, and I say this from a place of humility because this training was like a year where this coach kept telling me, relax, relax, relax, and I didn't get it. I I just didn't get it. I was like, no, I'm doing the  things you told me to do, and I think I'm relaxed, and it actually wasn't until a few years later that I even started to understand what that means to  let go, and it's a really an interesting thing.  


Learn HOW to Let Go and to Not Care at All 

Social dancing is also like when you really let go, your dancing becomes better and when you stop caring. So I want you to start experimenting with this and not doing it all the time because you know again getting stiff is part of the process temporarily while you're learning something and that's fine, but start also playing with, just relaxing when you're in class, maybe one in ten runs when you're at the club. Maybe every other dance, whatever makes sense for you at that moment, but. I want you so. So we talked about trying harder.


You're going to do that a lot when you're in class and then I want you to also try less. Let go, stop caring, let it be sloppy. See what it feels like today. It's really sloppy, just see what it feels like. Make it too sloppy, or at least your interpretation of too too loose and too sloppy and probably that'll be about the right amount of relaxation. So your mission right now is to experiment with, not caring and trying less. 

Salsa Bachata Class Learning Accelerator Lessons

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