It was the evening of a day. I walked into the club. With Salsa at my toes. And Latin rhythms throbbing the walls of the club.
Scanning the many dancers on the floor, bifurcation comes easy.
The one consciously looking at his left leg move front & right leg move back, more than he eyes his partner, *may* be the Beginner.
The one bothering more about the Hand Flick & the Hair Brush, and less about the Cross Body Turn *could* be the Veteran.
Apart from confidence & style, what stands the dancer out in the crowd is Musicality. When does La Palomilla switch tempo & pace up? When does Vehicle break for a Big 1? This swift Salsa mover knows that, and it's out there for the floor to see & tap!
A slightly more than thin line falls between the Beginner & the Veteran - between the one who thinks every time he steps & the one who has the music doing the thinking - the large barrage of dancers who are neither Beginners nor Veterans! Generally, the string of basic concept classes, followed by the simple, commonly taught combinations globally, are enough for a dancer to take the step above & beyond the Beginner level. This is the bracket that everyone wants to move out of with utmost urgency! And expectedly so. Back in school, everyone would choose to rather be in the next grade than in the previous one.
But why does it happen that *most* dancers, once they leave the Beginner bracket, stagnate, and take so long to become Veteran dancers? From the phase of conscious moving & toe tripping steppers to those filled with style & pomp; the ones that make the Beginners want to not be Beginners!
One of the biggest reasons for this is the comfort one finds in the few combinations that have been mastered. Sometimes, looking at the neither here-nor there dancers is resemblant of a cassette that's stuck on a particular song - after all, it's creativity & novelty that keeps one going to the next level. The lack of it makes it all too standard. Coming second would be the not-so-much interest in tapping the art of playing with music. It's one thing to not dance on the count. It's another thing to use music only to get through the dance. But it's altogether a different thing when one uses music to enhance his dancing - and a Veteran dancer knows this knack.
How would one want to be a Salsa dancer but still know only those many combinations? Why would one want to be a Salsa dancer but not dance to the music that comes with? Rather dance to create & use the music to marvel! It's only when you embrace both that Salsa triggers you more; all for a good cause.
The art of stagnation, it's a practice one's got to practice against.
Salsa's always going to be saucy. Music's always going to be musical. Now for the dancer to decide - to be a Beginner or a Veteran. Or to be somewhere in No Dancer's Land!