Salsa dancing
DVDs by category
Practise 'Solo' at Home
"On the line" Salsa & Mambo, On1 & On2
Cuban Salsa
Styling inspiration from amazing dancers
Turn Patterns
Timing & Rhythm
Bachata & Merengue
Cha Cha Cha
All Products
From Salsa to Mambo via Cha Cha Cha
Timing Products
Timing Exercises Vol 4
Timing Exercises Vol 3
Timing Exercises Vol 1&2
Salsa Timing DVD
Salsa Timing CD
Salsa with the Stars
Advanced Salsa Figures
Cuban for "Non Cubanos"
Salsa Personal Training
Bachata Caribbean Style
Feelin' Merengue
Tools for Students
Timing Lesson
Salsa Dictionary
Salsa Footwork
Salsa Articles
About Salsa
About Merengue
Salsa Video Scripts
Salsa Music Reviews
Salsa DVD Reviews

Us on Youtube: Salsa and Mambo, Bachata, Merengue

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

© 2002-2012SalsaIsGood
All Rights Reserved.


Timing, rhythm & music interpretation in Salsa

Timing Training Set$120

Previous Page  

How to improve your timing...


Now that you understand the concepts and the theory behind music, rhythm and dancing on time, all you are left to do is to put this into practice. Ultimately this relies on your determination, persistence and will to put in the effort and practice a lot. Instructors can teach you but you are the one who has to learn.

Here we give you 8 hints on how to 'make happen' all you have learned so far.

1) Listen to salsa all the time. There are two reasons why pop music comes so naturally to you. First its beat is easier. Second, you grew up with it; you spent thousands of hours listening to it. And there is one reason salsa is so natural to Caribbean people, they grew up with it and they spent thousands of hours listening to it. You need to catch up. Listen to salsa whenever and wherever you can: in your shower, in your car, when you do your housework. Day by day, you need to let it sediment on your brain. Initially you will not notice the difference, but one day it will suddenly 'click'.

2) Dance to slow music. All beginner dancers find it easier to be on time with fast music. The reason is simple, at fast speed mistakes are less noticeable. Pauses are shorter; not emphasizing them can be easily 'covered up'. Since beginner dancers tend to dance faster than the music, they find it easier to tune into fast music. To improve your timing you need to do the opposite. Practice to slow music. Very slow music if possible. Try to dance salsa to Cha Cha Cha. You will have to control your movements to be able to discriminate the subtleties of the accents. Learn to enjoy taking your time on the beats. Only when you are fully comfortable with this, then proceed to fast music. This is the rule music students have to follow when they learn to play an instrument, there is no reason it should be any different in dancing.

3) Count the beats. Don't be ashamed to count when you practice or dance. Everyone has to learn from the beginning by doing this. This is essential for you to learn to discriminate the fundamental salsa beat from the rest of the percussion. Count even when you listen to music and you are not dancing.

4) Play or vocalize the percussions. This is the next step after counting is under control. Try to dance while you play some percussion music, the clave being the best choice (as in this example.). Try to vocalize, that is to sing, the conga or the clave or the piano when you practice your basic steps or when you are listening to salsa. This will teach you how to isolate the instrument and how to 'find' it within the full salsa band. Then you will be able to listen to it and dance to it in a club.

5) Never, never, never practice any salsa figure out of time! At times you may find yourself practicing a figure that you have just learned and you may feel temped to execute your movement without marking the salsa beats. maybe because you just want to make sure you remember the figure. Train yourself to NEVER execute a dance movement out of time, whether at home, at a salsa class or in a club. If you need to try a figure slowly, do it at half speed. If you do not have music with you, count the beat. Train your brain to always associate dance with music, movements with rhythm.

6) Dance with people with good timing. This may sound a bit cruel to beginner dancers, but nothing helps your timing as much as dancing with advanced, confident dancers; and nothing damages it as much as dancing with other dancers with poor timing. Mistakes just get reinforced and harder to erase. Be nice to good dancers and try to practice a lot with them. When you become good, remember this, and be nice to beginner dancers by offering them a few dances.

7) Exercise. And don't even hope you will learn salsa without exercising- it just won't happen. Whether you want to learn nuclear physics, playing a piano or dancing salsa, exercise and practice is essential!

8) And the very final suggestion. what ever salsa figure or shine you execute don't forget to dance!!

Previous Page  


Ordering & Shipping Information Translated pages Contact Us