Tips & Tricks for Dancing Outdoors

Summer is finally here, and with it comes dancing outside in the sunshine! With Salsa on Sparks Street every Thursday, Latin Sparks happening this Saturday, and Outdoor Salsa @ City Hall starting soon, here are some tips for making the most out of dancing outside!

Dance shoes or street shoes?
We don’t recommend wearing suede-soled dance shoes outdoors. The dust and grime of the street can damage the suede, and the surface of the dance floor most likely won’t give you the slip you’re used to. If you have leather or plastic-soled dance shoes (such as Jingas), those are great. If not, regular street shoes work too – but rubber soles and shoes that can fly off your feet are still to be avoided!

In any case, your best bet is to check out the floor you’ll be dancing on, and plan accordingly. Take a walk, try a few dance steps, and see which shoes might work best.

outdoor salsa

Adapt your dancing
Multiple spins are not your friends when you’re dancing outside. Rough concrete and cement are hard to turn on, and forcing a multiple spin can put a lot of impact on your knees and ankles. Leaders, be aware of the floor condition, and keep turns to a minimum. Instead, focus on patterns that require a minimum of pivoting on one’s feet, and emphasize body movement instead.

Street dancing also tends to be much more casual than studio dancing, so cut down on the technique-heavy moves, and just have some fun with the music! One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing dancers who fail to adapt to their surroundings, and do the same moves to every song, with every partner, and at every venue. This is your chance to tone down the flash and work on your musicality!

This is what comes up when you Google “dancing with luggage”. Looks like fun!

Be street-smart
Most outdoor venues don’t have a coat check or supervised storage areas, so keep baggage to a minimum. It’s no fun dancing with a bag over your shoulder, and also no fun worrying about the safety of your stuff.

The guys from Fiddler on the Roof know it – hydration is important!

Stay hydrated and summer-safe
Whether you’re dancing or hiking or running, hydration is important, especially if you’re outdoors on a hot summer day. Make sure to drink plenty of water, take breaks when you need to, and find shade (or a cooler area) if you start to feel light-headed or if you’re overheating. If you’re in the sun, don’t forget your sunscreen!

Do you have a tip or question about dancing outdoors? Talk to us – leave a comment below!


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