Ânia Marcos
Ânia Marcos

How Dancing Explains Why Fundamentals Matter So Much

When I was a teenager I danced Cuban salsa. Here’s something interesting I learned about it:

It doesn’t matter how much you want to learn the super cool techniques. Without the basic steps, you can’t dance. The right posture, balance and rhythm are essential in getting the body moving the right way.

Everything else is secondary.

You can tell a great dance pair from others in a room filled with dancers in an instant.

Maybe that duo in red caught your eye with their flashy techniques, but are you still looking as they stop between each new step?

Your eyes paused at the pair in blue. Will you keep following them when they move so fast you can’t even tell what’s going on?

…or will you stay with the pair in yellow with the charming posture that moves so well and has the rhythm so on point?

Later you might realize that the pair in yellow didn’t do any flashy technique.

…but that didn’t keep you from noticing them, did it?

In other words, without the fundamentals, everything else falls apart.

… sounds familiar?

I believe that the basic steps, rhythm, posture and balance are for dancing as composition, color, anatomy, light and perspective are for painting.

The flashy techniques, the fun brushes, the speed painting…

…all of that builds on top of the fundamentals.

And the more you work on them, the more refined your work gets.

Shall we dance?


  1. Julia - 12 months ago

    Love this! What a beautiful way of describing the necessity for practicing fundamentals. Thanks Ania I always enjoy reading your blog <3

    • aniamarcos - 12 months ago

      Your comment makes me very happy. <3

      Thank you, Julia!

  2. Dooz - 12 months ago

    Really nice insight, Ania. I think it’s the same in martial arts. You can use more flowery, elaborate motions, but if your footwork and transitions aren’t solid, an opponent will take advantage of it.

    • aniamarcos - 12 months ago

      Oh, wow! Thank you for that insight, Dooz, that’s very interesting! Maybe it’s pretty safe to say that fundamentals apply to any doctrine/ art you want to follow 😀

  3. Neru - 12 months ago

    I’m trying to figure what colour I am but fundamentals are so lacking I csn’t tell if I shoukd be clothes in brown or grey? 😂🤣 I suppose in life the figuring out stuff part makes us get used to not feeling stable, when in truth our parents and loved ones tried to give us the foundation so that we wouldnt feel that way. And have the confidence to step.
    I feel that way about OA. And I feel thar in your words. Because Metaphors!
    Thanks Ania!

    • aniamarcos - 12 months ago

      Hi, Neru 🙂 Thank you for your kind words <3 Hugzilla!

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