Well, it might seem like a given…but sometimes we don't make enough of a commitment to actually take time and video tape ourselves dance and see how we can become better.
Now, I posted a video of myself dancing at the Marriott (with Alina). Now, it has been less than 1 year since I've been in San Diego, CA and really pushed myself to become better (especially on2). The last episode I had put out before leaving Iowa was Salsa Episode 19 back in August 2006. Comparing these two videos – I already see a difference in what I have improved upon, and where I still need some work.
Now, with that said, every time I see myself in a video (just like the one in the previous post, I analyze myself to very fine detail). It is important because you end-up realizing what looks good (that you may have not thought it looked good) and what things that you thought looked good, actually aren't so hot. Literally, looking at he previous videos – I noticed what things body movements I need to cut-out, and which ones to actually like (so I can make them even smoother and better). Even little things on where I've been placing my hands doing specific patterns makes a huge difference on whether a pattern looks good and looks perfect.
The hardest part, I think, about videotaping yourself is having to look at yourself. Just remember – YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST CRITIC. So, know that you will be hard on yourself. However, getting feedback from your peers on how you look with the feedback you give yourself can speed things along to help you get better – just keep an open mind, take a deep breath and put yourself out there. Let others help you become better faster.
You know… putting a video out there (and knowing you aren't a perfect dancer) is kind of like.. knowing you might be overweight, and still have to stand on a scale to actually confirm the inevitable. However, just remember it's like cough medicine… sometimes you have to do it so you understand where you need that improvement, and just like cough medicine, in the end – it will make you feel better than you currently are.
You can always upload your video to YouTube, and link it to the addicted2salsa forums and see what other people. Remember, this is about community, and getting your friends (even though they might be half-a-world away) to help you get better.