Method to learning Bachata dance and long term success. From Beginner to Master in Bachata
The majority of bachata dancers abandon after few weeks or months of dancing. Therefore, they do not reach their objectives and dance dreams. The Method learning bachata from beginner to Master ,I am going to introduce you, is perfect to fuel your dance potential in Bachata.
The Subject is Mastery in Bachata dance. The ambition is to find a method, a journey to have a long term bachata journey with progress, serenity. This guide is for you if you want to overcome your lack of clarity, motivation in learning bachata. As dancers of bachata we all have ups and downs. This method is here to give you the right path. The mysterious process during which what is at first difficult, becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through the practice. The purpose of the step by step guidance was to describe the path that best led to mastery with the mentality that puts quick, easy results ahead of long-term dedication to the journey itself.
Being a baby you learned about learning. You started with something difficult and made it easy and pleasurable through instruction and practice. You took a master’s journey.
What is Mastery in learning Bachata dance?
Mastery in Dance starts by baby steps
It brings rich rewards. It is not really a goal or a destination but rather a process, a journey. We call this journey Mastery, and tend to assume that it requires a special ticket available only to those born with exceptional abilities. But mastery is not reserved for the super talented dancers or even for those who have got the right genes of bachata. It is available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it, regardless sex, age, or previous experience.
The trouble is that the modern world, in fact, can be viewed as a prodigious conspiracy against mastery. We are continually bombarded with promises of immediate gratification, instant success and fast temporary relief. All of which lead in exactly the wrong direction. Mentality that pervades our society, and we see how it not only prevent us from developing our potential skills, but threatens our health, education, relationships.
To go for mastery, it starts from baby steps. The teacher makes corrections, gives you encouragements. You feel terribly clumsy and disjointed. You have to think to keep the parts of your body synchronized, and thinking gets in the way of graceful, spontaneous movement.
You find yourself becoming impatient. You were hoping to get cool steps, but this practice makes you repeat the basic over and over again. And your teacher says you should not even be thinking about that at your stage. You are the type of person who cares a lot about results and you seem to be getting hardly any results at all. The practice just goes on and on.
Then, after about 5 weeks of frustration, a light goes on. The basics become natural. Almost as if your muscles know what they should do: you do not have to think about every little thing. Then again, days and weeks pass with no apparent progress. There you are on that damned plateau.
You decide to have a talk with your teacher. You ask: “How long will it take to master this thing?” “Well, for someone like you, who starts bachata as an adult, if you practice for one hour three times a week, it would take, on average, 5 years”. 5 years! Your heart sinks.
Learning bachata as a beginner can be followed by this process.
Learning Bachata is an endless process
And the process is generally incremental. You cannot skip stages. Not a happy situation for one who is highly goal-oriented. You realize that you have a decision to make at some point along the journey, if not now. Go out to see for another easy dance. Or you might try twice as hard, insist on extra lessons, practice days and nights. Or, you could quit your lessons and take whatever you have learned, you could forget about improving your dance and just have fun with friends who do not play dance much better than you. Of course, you could also do what your teacher suggests, and stay on the long road to mastery. What will you choose?
Seduced by the siren song of a consumerist, quick-fix society, we sometimes choose a course of action that brings only the illusion of accomplishment, the shadow of satisfaction.
Practice Bachata to do not have regrets at the end of your dance life.
The 3 types of Bachata dancers.
The Mastery Curve in Bachata
There is really no way around it. Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it. To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. Keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere.
We have to keep practicing an unfamiliar movement again and again until we get it in the muscle memory or program into the autopilot. When you start to learn a new skill, however, you have to think about it, and you have to make an effort to replace old patterns of sensing, movement, and cognition with new.
Meet the Dabbler, the Obsessive and the Hacker:
We all aspire to mastery, but the path is always long and sometimes rocky, and it promises no quick and easy payoffs. So we look for other paths, each of which attracts a certain type of person. Can you recognize yourself in any of the following three graphs?
For example, Daniel & Desirée followed a path of Mastery.
The Bachata Dabbler
The Dabbler approaches Bachata with enormous enthusiasm. He or she loves the rituals involved in getting started, the spiffy equipment, the lingo, the shine of newness.
When he makes his first spurt of progress in dance, the Dabbler is overjoyed. He demonstrates his form to family, friends and people he meets on the street. He cannot wait for the next lesson. The falloff from his first peak comes as a shock. The plateau that follows is unacceptable if not incomprehensible.
His enthusiasm quickly wanes. He starts missing lessons. That is not the right dance or activity for him. Starting another dance gives the dabbler a chance to replay the scenario of starting up. Maybe he will make it to the second plateau this time, maybe not. Then it is on to something else. The Dabbler has a long dance resume. A bit of Bachata, a bit of salsa, a bit of kizomba… The Dabbler is specialized in honeymoons. The Dabbler might think of himself as an adventurer, a connoisseur of novelty, but he is probably what we call “the eternal kid”.
The Obsessive Bachatero
The obsessive knows results are what count, and it does not matter how you get them, just so you get them first. In fact, he wants to get the stroke just right during the very first lesson. He stays after class talking to the instructor. He asks what books and tapes he can buy to help him make progress faster.
The Obsessive starts out by making robust progress. His first spurt is just what he expected. But, when he inevitably regresses and finds himself on a plateau, he simply will not accept it. He redoubles his effort. He pushes himself mercilessly. He dances all night and trains all the week-end to take shortcuts for the sake of quick results.
The trip to the stars. He is not like the Dabbler. When ardour cools, he does not look elsewhere. Somehow, in whatever he is doing, the Obsessive manages for a while to keep making brief spurts of upward progress, followed by sharp declines, a jagged ride toward a sure fall. When the fall occurs, the Obsessive is likely to get hurt. And so are friends….
The Bachata Hacker
The Hacker has a different attitude. After sort of getting the hang of a thing, he or she is willing to stay on the plateau indefinitely. He does not mind skipping stages essential to the development of mastery if he can just go out and hack around with fellow hackers.
Our dance community is against Mastery
Our hyped-up consumerist society is engaged, in fact, in an all-out war on mastery. We are offered an unprecedented number of choices of training and learning steps. The weirdest fantasy you can think of can be realized instantly and without effort. In all of this, the specific content is not nearly as destructive to mastery as is the rhythm. One epiphany follows another. One fantasy is crowded out to the next. Climax is pilled upon climax. There is no plateau. p30 is the path of endless climax. This vision is not just a vision of the YouTube and the series of climactic moments overexposed. It resonates in the rhetoric about scoring “i do not care how you win, just win”. About effortless learning, instant celebrities, instant millionaires and the number one finger raised in the air when you score just once. The quick-fix, anti mastery mentality touches almost everything in our lives.
But today’s hero can become tomorrow’s pariah.
Loving the plateau of Bachata Learning
Goal oriented versus Practice oriented in Bachata
Early in our dance life, we are urged to dance hard so that we will become a good dancer. We are told to get new steps so that we will be successful and then happy. Again and again, we are told to do one thing only so that we can get something else.
The achievement of goal is important. But the real juice of dance life, whether it be sweet or bitter, is to be found not nearly so much in the products of our efforts as in the process of living itself, in how it feels to be alive. We are taught in countless ways to value the product, the prize, the climactic moment. But even after we have just caught the winning pass, there is always a tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
The question remains: where in our upbringing are we explicitly taught to value, to enjoy, even to love the plateau, the long stretch of diligent effort with no seeming progress?
My first plateaus were relatively short and i could ignore them. After about a year and a half, however, i was forced to recognize that i was on a plateau of formidable proportions. This acknowledgement brought a certain shock and disappointment, but somehow i persevered and finally experienced an apparent spurt of learning. The next time my outward progress stopped, I said to myself ‘damn. Another plateau.” After a few more months, there was another spurt of progress, and, then, of course, the inevitable plateau. This time, something marvellous happened. I found myself thinking “Oh boy. Another plateau. Good, i can just stay on it and keep practicing. Sooner or later, there will be another spurt ‘. It was one of the warmest moments on my journey.
The joy of regular practice of Bachata
I was an impatient, rather driven person who had always gone for the quickest, most direct route to a given goal. I loved everything about it. The ritual that was always the same yet always new. I loved coming out of the dressing room and checking to see which other students were already warming up. I loved the entry of our teacher, the warm up technique, my breath rushing as the training increased in speed and power.
This joy, i repeat, had little to do with progress or the achievement of goals. I was aware of something new: the worm of ambition was eating at the centre of my belly.
This is not to say that we did not practice hard. The Hacker gets on a plateau and does not keep working. Unlike the Hacker, we were working hard, doing the best we could to improve our skills. Once again, we enjoyed our training. We loved the plateau. And we made progress. Dancers who get into something for glory, the fame or the medal cannot be effective.
Love your practice, willingness to stay with it even in the absence of extrinsic, reward, like good food and good drink.
Practice these secrets of bachata to feel even better.
The face of Mastering your bachata learning
But it seems to me that mastery’s true face is relaxed and serene, sometimes faintly smiling. Goals and contingencies are important. But they exist in the future and in the past, beyond the pale of the sensory realm. Practice, the path of mastery, exists only in the present. You can see it, hear it, smell it, feel it/ To love the plateau is to love the eternal now, to enjoy the inevitable spurts of progress and the fruits of accomplishment, then serenely to accept the new plateau that waits just beyond them. To love the plateau is to love what is most essential and enduring in your life.
THE FIVE MASTER KEYS in Dance
The human individual is equipped to learn and go on learning prodigiously from birth to death, and this is precisely what sets him or her apart from all other known forms of life. Man has at various times been defined as a building animal, but all of these definitions are incomplete and finally false. Man is a learning animal, and the essence of the species is encoded in that simple term.
We all participate in a master’s journey in early childhood when we learn to talk or to walk. Every adult or older child around us is a teacher of language, the type of teacher who smiles at success, permit approximations, and is not likely to indulge in lecture.
Later, however, we face the task of learning skills for which there is no cooperative surrounding environment, skills for which are not genetically predisposed to develop. More and more as we emerge into the teen and adult years, we must find our own doors to mastery. Here in this chapter, the 5 keys to open the doors.
Difference option of instruction
There are some skills you can learn on your own, and some you can try to learn, but if you intend to take the journey of mastery, the best thing you can do is to arrange for first-rate instruction. The self-taught person is on a chancy path.
Instruction comes in many forms. For mastering most skills, there is nothing better than being in the hands of a master teacher, either one to one or in a small group. But there are also books, films, tapes, computer learning programs, group instruction, the classroom, knowledgeable friends…
The search for good instruction starts with a look at credentials and lineage. Who was your teacher’s teacher? Respect for credentials, however, should not blind you to other considerations. The instructor who advertises as an eight-degree black belt in one martial art and world champion can be a lousy teacher. Teaching can be a challenge for a top performer to become a first-rate teacher. Instruction demands a certain humility; at best, the teacher takes delight in being surpassed by his or her students.
To see the teacher clearly, look at the students. They are his work of art. Focus your attention on the students. Even more, on the interaction. Does the instructor proceed through praise or through damnation?
What does not work, despite a certain macho attitude to the contrary, is scorn, excoriation, humiliation, anything that destroys the student’s confidence and self-esteem. Even the praise-stingy teacher must in some way show respect for the student in order to get long-term positive results. The best teacher generally strives to point out what the student is doing right at least as frequently as what she or he is doing wrong. Using the 50/50 ratio between reinforcement and correction, with exceptional enthusiasm on both sides of the equation.
Your teacher should make you aware about the level of competences in learning bachata.
Look again at the students, the interaction. Do the more talented, more advanced students get all the goodies? How about the Klutzes, the beginners? Maybe you are looking for the type of instructor who is comfortable only with the best, only with potential champions. There are such teachers, and they serve a useful function, but for me the essence of the instructor’s art lies in the ability to work effectively and enthusiastically with beginners and to serve as a guide on the path of the mastery for those who are neither as fast nor as talented as the norm.
This service can be listed under altruism, but it’s more than that. Teaching slow students is not only fascinating but also pleasurable. With the slow students, the teacher is forced to deal with small, incremental steps that penetrate like X rays the very essence of the art, and clearly reveal the process through which the art becomes manifest in movement.
Gradually, the mystery has unfolded. My experience as an instructor has shown me, for one thing, that the most talented students do not necessarily make the best dancers. Sometimes, strangely, those with extraordinary talent have trouble to stay on the path of mastery. When you learn too easily, you are tempted not to work hard, not to penetrate to the marrow of a practice. There is a clear challenge for the talented dancer: to achieve his or her full potential, this dancer will have to work just as diligently as those with less innate ability.
So, when you look for your instructor, spend a moment celebrating it when you discover who pursues a maximum of performance. But also make sure that he or she is paying exquisite attention to the slowest student of the group.
Comparing various modes of Instruction
How about the modes of instruction? In most cases, audio and videos and tapes have only limited effectiveness. Learning eventually involves interaction between the learner and the learning environment, and its effectiveness relates to the frequency, quality, variety and intensity of the interaction. With tapes, there is no real interaction at all: information flows in one direction only. A videotape can show you an ideal dance step but this is not ideal. With remote control, the tape can easily be stopped, reversed, repeated, and in some cases played in slow motion. This is working regardless of the learner’s progress or understanding.
A book is also self-paced, and it’s portable and handy. Like tape, it suffers from lack of feedback capability. If a picture is sometimes worth than a thousand words, then perhaps a moving picture is worth 10.000 words. But it is also true that one good paragraph sometimes has more power to change the individual and the world than any number of pictures.
Meanwhile, there are still good teachers and bad teachers. Visits to hundreds of schools have convinced me that the teacher who can make the present system work is undoubtedly a master. He or she is not the one who is delivering the most polished lectures, but rather the one who has discovered how to involve each student actively in the process of learning.
One award-winning teacher of dance at a dance class was famous for intentionally making small mistakes when he danced on the dancefloor. Students around had to catch it and correct their professor, truly a master of the instruction’s art.
Bear in mind that on the path of mastery, learning never ends.
You can start learning bachata by this method.
That usage of the word – practice as a verb – is clear to all of us. You practice in order to learn a skill, in order to improve yourself, in order to go ahead, achieve goals. This way of thinking about practice is useful in our society.
For one who is on the master’s journey, however, the word is best conceived of as a noun, not as something you do, but as something you have, something you are. In this sense, the word is akin to the Chinese word “tao” and the Japanese word “do”, both of which mean, literally, road or path. Practice is the path upon which you travel, just that.
A practice as a noun, can be anything you practice in dance, on a regular basis as an integral part of your life, not in order to get something else, but for its own sake.
For a master, the rewards gained along the way are fine, but they are not the main reasons of the journey. In a community obsessed with the achievement of goals, “it does not matter how you score, the score is all that counts”, “Do not tell me how you are going to do the 50 steps, just do all you know”, “Winning is not everything, it is the only thing”. Devotion to the goalless journey might seem incomprehensible if not bizarre.
There is another secret: the people we know as masters do not devote themselves to their particular skill just to get better at it. The truth is, they love to practice, and because of this they do get better. And then, to complete the circle, the better they get the more they enjoy performing the basic moves over and over again.
Staying on the dancefloor: a master in dance is the one who stays after the class 5 minutes longer every time than anybody else.
The master in dance is generally a master of practice.
“How long will it take me to master bachata?” a prospective student asks. “How long do you expect to live?” is the only respectable response. Ultimately, practice is the path of mastery. If you stay on it long enough, you will find it to be a vivid place, with its ups and downs, its challenges and comforts, its surprises, its disappointment, and unconditional joys. You will take your share of bumps and bruises while traveling, bruises of the ego as well as of the body, mind and spirit. But it might well turn out to be the most reliable thing in your life. Then, too, it might eventually make you a winner in your chosen field, if that’s what you are looking for, and then, people will refer to you as a master.
But that is not really the point. What is mastery? At the heart of it, mastery is practice. Mastery is staying on the path.
The courage of a master is measured by his or her willingness to surrender. This means surrendering to your teacher and to the demands of your discipline. It also means surrendering your own hard-won proficiency from time to time in order to reach a higher or different level of proficiency.
The beginner who stands on his ego or dignity becomes rigid, armoured, the learning can’t get through. This doesn’t mean that you should surrender your own physical and moral centre or passively accept teachings that would be bad for you. But you have already checked out your instructor. Now it is the time for a certain suspension of disbelief.
The face you dance with in your first class looks more like a stone than mister dancer yes? Is that a good reason for giving up dancing?
And then, there are the endless repetitions, the drudgery, the basic moves practiced over and over again.
Maybe, the best you can hope for on the master’s journey, is to cultivate the mind and heart of the beginning at every stage along the way. For the master, surrender means there are no experts. There are only learners.
It joins old words with new character, willpower, attitude, imaging the mental game, but what I am calling intentionality, however you look at it is an essential to take along on the master’s journey.
Some master dancer never launch a show without firstly visualizing it perfectly and the triumphant destination. A successful show is 50% visualization, 40% preparation and 10% execution.
“I know my dance. I am important. I can do it. I love to dance. I relax. I avoid sugar, coffee, alcohol, tobacco. I love contact. I set a goal. I love exercise. I have good hands. Dance, dance, dance. I breathe deeply. I am a winner”.
What is the role of intentionality here? Thoughts, images, feelings are indeed quite real. “All I know says Arnold S., is that the first step is to create the vision, because when you see the vision there, the beautiful vision, that creates the want power. For example, my wanting to be Mr Universe came about because I saw myself so clearly, being up there on the stage and winning.”
Intentionality fuels the master’s journey. Every master of dance is a master of vision.
Now we come, as come we must in anything of real consequence, to a seeming contradiction, a paradox. Almost without exception, those we know as masters are dedicated to the fundamentals. At the same time, there is a paradox, these people, these masters are precisely the ones who are likely to challenge previous limits, to take risks for the sake of higher performance, and even to become obsessive at times in that pursuit. Clearly, for them, the key is not either/or, it is both/and.
But the journey is what counts. In the words of the ancient Eastern adage: “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water”.
But before you can even consider playing this edge, there must be many years of instruction, practice, surrender, and intentionality. And afterwards? More training, more time on the plateau: the never ending path again.
TOOLS FOR MASTERY
Get energy to boost your dance journey
Where will you get the energy for your journey? What pitfalls will you encounter along the path? What should you pack for the journey?
Here are some travelers’ tips, some parting gift and then, bon voyage!
Why do resolutions fall and what to do about it?
You resolve to make a change for the better in your dance life. It could be any significant change but let’s say it involves getting on the path of mastery, developing a regular practice. You tell your friends about it. You put your resolutions in writing. You actually make the change. It works. It feels good. You are happy about it. Your dance life is better. Then you backslide…
Why? Are you some kind of slob who has no will power? Not necessarily. Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter it is for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behaviour have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed, and it’s a very good thing they do.
Homeostasis, remember, does not distinguish between what you call a change for the worse or a change for the better. It resists all change. After twenty years without exercise, your body regards a sedentary style of life as “normal”, the beginning of a change for the better is interpreted as a threat. So, you walk slowly back to your car, figuring you will look around for some other revolution to join.
Just let it be said that the resistance here is proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is a favourable or unfavourable one. Still, change does occur. Individuals change. Homeostats are reset, even though the process might cause a certain amount of anxiety, pain and upset. The questions are: How do you deal with Homeostasis? How do you make change for the better easier? How do you make it last?
Ultimately, you will have to decide if you really want to spend the time and effort to get and then to stay on the path. If you do, here are 5 guidelines that might help. While these guidelines are focused on mastery, they could also be applied in all your areas of life.
You can also use this dance success formular
Be aware of the way homeostasis works
This might be the most important guideline of all. Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it does not necessarily mean that you are sick or crazy or lazy or that you have made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing, just what you have wanted. Of course, it might be that you have started something that is not right for you, only you can decide. But in any case, do not panic and give up at the first sign of trouble. You might also expect resistance from friends and family. Homeostasis also applies to the social systems as well as individuals.
Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change
Negotiation is the ticket to successful long term change in dance. Use pain not as adversity but as the best guide of performance. You can never be sure exactly where the resistance will pop-up. A feeling of anxiety? Psychometric complaints? A tendency toward self-sabotage? Stay alert. Be prepared for serious negotiation.
Develop a support system
You can do it alone, but it helps a great deal to have other people with whom you can share the joys and perils of the change you are making in your dance life. The best support system would involve people who can tell their own stories of change and listen to yours, people who will brace up when you start to backslide and encourage you when you do not. The path of mastery, fortunately, almost always fosters social groupings. And what if your quest for mastery is a lonely one? What if you can find no fellow voyagers on that particular path? At the least, you can let the people close to you know what you are doing, and ask for their support.
Follow a regular practice
A traveler on the path of mastery is again fortunate. For practice in this sense is the foundation of the path itself. Practice is a habit, and any regular practice provides a sort of underlying homeostasis, a stable base during the stability of change.
Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning
We tend to forget that learning is much more than book learning. To learn is to change. It changes the learner.
The Dabbler, the Obsessive and the Hacker are all learners in their own fashion, but lifelong learning is a process. It is a special province of those who travel the path of mastery, the path that never ends.
Your comments matter on this topic:
- What do you think about this topic?
- How much does this valuable this resource help you in your dance journey?
- What key is the most important for you?
- Did i miss anything? Please add your great inspiration 😉
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