Why men keep doing the same patterns over and over?

Imagine this: you go to a Salsa, Bachata, Zouk or Kizomba party and you are all set. You put on your favorite shirt and pants, you bring your extra shirt, your latest dancing shoes and last but not least; you bring your latest moves. And of course you are going to try this range of fun and exciting combinations with all your dance partners tonight.

You enter the hall, the dance floor smiles at you, your favorite DJs are playing that night. You know for sure. You are going to enjoy!

And then, your 1st dance… you do a (in the case of a salsa party) Cross Body Lead and you follow with a basic step and a turn for the lady to the right. After this you do another Cross Body Lead. Followed by… yes…. a turn for the lady to the right. You know what? Another try. And yes; again you do a cross body lead. Followed by…? Yes! A-NOT-ER Cross Body Lead!!! What is going on?

Your database just crashed and you didn’t bring a backup. Your server currently has no network connection and all your helplines are disabled. Do you recognize the above story, or do you recognize this while you were dancing? The good news is: No worries. The solution is near!


Your “dance database” is often not available in real dancing situations


90% of all men experience this with some regularity. For some this gets so frustrating that they stop going to parties or even stop dancing all together.

So what can I do?

You need to know that your brain, when it comes to dancing, has 2 rooms. In one you’re your database is stored. This is the beautiful archive with all the combinations. In the other room, room #2 is where the music is playing. And this is usually the room where the lady is. These 2 rooms are, for many men, separated by a very thick wall. When you are in the room of the database you can hardly hear the music playing in the other room. If you are in the room where the music is playing, it is hardly possible to access the database. Your goal is to break down the wall between the two rooms and to be in both rooms at the same time. But how do you do that?

During a dance class you usually first receive the instructions without music. At that point, during the explanation phase, especially in the database room, you are your rational side of your brain. When the music comes on afterwards, you go to the other room, as it were. Your emotional side is now being triggered. Because the time span during a dance class, between switching from one room to another, is very short, this works fine. In fact; the teacher usually continues to count while the music is on. In this way he makes a connection, as it were, between one room and the other (the left and right hemispheres of the brain).


Break down the wall between all your library with all your learned steps and the room where the music is playing


About ten years ago I discovered something that would change my dance life forever. And I assure you that it can also change yours  if you are open to it and make the effort to try it out.

In the past I also left the dance floor with some regularity because I simply forgot all the combinations, once on the dance floor. It got so bad that, about 10 years ago, one Saturday night I made the decision not to dance.

That evening I wondered why, once on the dance floor, I didn’t seem to remember any of my moves anymore. And I wondered; “How many different turns can a lady do on the dance floor”?

I took a pen and paper and wrote the letter V (for woman) at the top of the sheet and the letter M (for man) at the bottom.



It soon became apparent that I could make the lady turn in 3 different areas. I could turn her on the spot, I could turn her to my left and I could turn her to my right.

The two turns on the spot are the single right turn and the single left turn.

Via the man’s left side these are the cross body turn inside (to the left via my left side) and the cross body turn outside (to the right via my left side).

The last two take place on the right. One is the Enchufa. The other is the reversed cross body turn and in terms of footwork for the lady it is the same as the cross body turn outside.

But is this all? Are there really only 6 spins?

Not really!

There are definitely more ways to turn the queen, but the ones from, what I call, the 6 Turn Pattern System are without a doubt the most used. In fact, about 80% of everything the best dancers in the world do consists of these 6 turns! The only difference between the different twists is the way the hands are gripped and whether a hand goes up or down. But the core of the twists is the same.

So, why try to remember so many patterns when 80% of everything that happens on the dance floor is 6 turns?

Oh, and one more thing. If you give a lady the choice between man A: the man who can do 100 combinations but does NOT make any eye contact with her, or man B: the man with only 4 variations but makes her feel like she is, during those few minutes that the song lasts, the only one that counts, 99.9 of women choose man B!

So… plenty of reasons to get started with the 6 Turn Pattern System!

What are your experiences on the dance floor when it comes to forgetting moves and doing the same 100 times? Do you have any tipps to share for other learners to remember their steps on the dancefloor?

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