Do It Again!

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Welcome to Episode 23 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast

In today’s episode, Andres wants you to do it again! …and again and again and again… until you’ve completed ten thousand hours of mastery. Yes, ten thousand. We live in a very impatient culture that wants to master things immediately and everyone at the very least seems like they are skyrocketing to success. In this era, we are used to instant gratification. That can lead dancers to devalue or diminish practice and experience. You want your dance to turn into muscle memory, to be able to do it reflexively on command.

This of course does not have to be limited to dance. Anything can benefit from cont inual practice. Musicians should always practice their scales, no matter how long they go. You want to make sure your foundation is good, you can expand upon it. These are foundational aspects that will make your more complex techniques better.

There is a catch-22 here because teachers need to teach this level of practice, but students will often want to simply move onto the next thing, regardless of whether or not that would actually benefit. Teachers need to step in and explain that what they are doing is what is best for them, rather than simply taking the path of least resistance and giving students what they want.

It’s important to know that those who will phase out thanks to the tedium of practice will probably phase out anyways, as they likely do not have the dedication. Students need to understand the importance of continuing to practice the basics. Of course, teachers also owe their students an explanation. That is, after all, the point of being a teacher.

Remember to repeat, repeat, and repeat. Even advanced classes will continue to review and do the basic moves, though on a most basic level. You need to go back. You can’t understand anything complex if you don’t master the basics.

This is something that should also be a dancer’s mindset. Even though it may be repetitive and discouraging, this is important for the benefit of your dancing.

Andres also talks about a point when he could do a step slowly, but not quickly, and how his teacher explains that if you couldn’t do it quickly, you could not do it. Mastery is the ability to do it immediately and reflexively, not simply the ability to do something measured once.

In an era of instant gratification has made us expect things instantly, even mastery. What people forget is the only way to mastery is dedication. For those who struggle with maintaining the basics, this episode will encourage you to improve your practice skills.

“Words are merely words. Training is merely training to get you to a place of awareness or understanding to put in yourself to do use these lessons, to be able tie Andres to the lesson of whatever it is that I learned in that class, that day. To then be able to tie it in with my own personal experience and make it my own.”

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