Group & Private Gradings
Salsa Latina is a leader in the industry in Street style Latin dances styles in NZ. We are the first in New Zealand to apply Grading classes or 'Group gradings' to progress students to higher levels. Gradings ensures better quality of dancers and it's better for everyone in so many ways, as listed below. Currently in New Zealand there is only one other school in Auckland "Latinissimo" that is applying a grading system. Since 2020 this has had a major positive impact on the classes and there has been a real shift in quality while challenging dancers & increase enjoyment for everyone. We hope that other dance schools follow the lead and take on the same approach to increase the standard throughout New Zealand.
Gradings Required for Progressing
Progressing from beginners to higher levels in Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba you will need to do a group grading or private grading. You wont be able to join higher levels without a grading. In some cases you can be invited to a higher level, which includes Salsa Intermediate Advanced or if you are coming from another dance school which you may get an evaluation, see the FAQ section below for more on this.
- Ensuring dancers are at the right level
- Get Direct objective Feedback from a teacher
- Progress better & more efficiently
- Find weaknesses & strengths for improvement
- Ensuring the higher levels keep a higher standard
- Access to Platinum Cards with Free lower level classes
When are Gradings?
For Salsa, Bachata & Kizomba beginners, these gradings are at the end of the course on week#8 of the 101 level. This will be a grading/revision class, this is a fairly easy & fun class, focusing on revision of moves done at this level and this is a chance for Salsa Latina Teachers to give you direct objective feedback on your dancing. You'll need 60% mark or above to pass. You can see gradings dates on the timetable in "pink" see the timetable here >
When you Pass your Beginner Grading
You'll pass when you get a 60% grade, which comes with a free certificate.
When you pass the grading you can join the next level:
- Salsa Beginners 101 > Can then Join Any Salsa Imp/Int 201-208 Course
- Kizomba Beginners 101 > Can then join Kizomba Intermediate
- Bachata Beginners 101 > Can then join Bachata Intermediate
If you Don't Pass the Grading
If you score less than 60%, it indicates that you have not passed. However, failing to pass is not a cause for concern because our levels are intended to be repeated multiple times. The classes are designed in such a way that you will be asked to repeat the level or a part of it and/or take private lessons to improve your dancing skills and obtain a graded pass in the future. It may take several attempts, but we are confident that anyone can pass a grading if they continue to persevere. The outcome largely depends on your background and how much time you dedicate to practicing your dancing.
To enhance your skills, we recommend social dancing and regular practice. We may also suggest utilizing our online dance training videos to improve your technique. It is a good idea to repeat levels regardless of whether you have passed or not, as this will allow you to gain a better understanding of the basics. Rushing into higher levels without mastering the fundamentals hinders the learning process for everyone in the next level, and we want to ensure that our students have a solid foundation before moving forward.
What happens during a group grading?
Grading classes offer a non-stressful environment where you can showcase your skills. To participate in a group grading, you will need to arrive at the class and register for the grading during week#8, which will be similar to a regular class in many ways, including starting with the usual warm-up routine. The teachers will then review 4 moves that were previously taught in the course that will be graded.
Throughout the course, teachers may also be observing and evaluating your performance. On the day of the grading teachers will be grading on several aspects, including footwork, partnering, timing, technique, connection, and four partnered fundamentals. During the dance practice session phase, teachers will have a quick 5-minute dance with each student who is grading (some students may be practicing but not grading). The feedback will be given in private, on a one-on-one basis between you and the teacher, and you will be informed right away if you can progress to the next level. Full results, along with a certificate, will be emailed to you if you pass.
Platinum Level & Concession Cards
If your make is 74% or higher
- Once you gain a platinum level grade you then gain access to buy Platinum Concession cards.
- These are a supercharged gold cards but gives you a 2 for 1 class deal, its a FREE lower level class with your current class.
- However you must do 2 for 1 on the same day, they cannot be stored up
Examples with a Platinum Level & Platinum Concession Card:
- Kizombna Platinum 101 - 2 for 1 with Beginners & Int Classes on Mondays
- Salsa Platinum 101 - 2 for 1 with Beginners & Imp/Int Classes on Tuesdays
- Salsa Platinum 201+ - 3 for 1 with Imp/Int & Int/Adv Classes on Tuesdays
- Bachata Platinum 101 - 2 for 1 with Beginners & Int Classes on Wednesdays
- Salsa Platinum 101 - 2 for 1 with Beginners & Imp/Int Classes on Thursdays
- Salsa Platinum 201+ - 3 for 1 with Imp/Int & Int/Adv Performance Classes on Thursdays
We want this to be free so it helps your dancing and practice at the fundamental level. This is available for improver, Intermediate & above dancers that pass with high marks of 74% or above in their gradings. You will be able to get a special card to access lower levels to boost your training & practice.
Once you have done a grading you will be notified if you can gain access to these cards & it will be on your certificate that you have attained this level. If you didn't get a platinum level grade you will have feedback on what you might need to work on to attain one..
.. More about these cards here >
Salsa Int/Adv Progression Update:
- You're No longer required to do an Improver/Int grading to enter Int/Adv Salsa.
But there are requirements as below & 2 choices:
#1 - If you have completed all of the Improver/Intermediate Salsa courses; 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207 & 208 and are feeling confident in the material, & can do a double spin on your own. Then you probably ready to give the Int/Advanced Salsa Level a go. It is a step up so we recommend joining week#1 of Int/Adv when a new course starts. We also recommend chatting to a teacher first.
#2 - Private Gradings are a great idea, because you can get direct feedback (15mins) you will need a 60% pass rate generally speaking, plus if you do well you will be rewarded. Book one via our form below. Going for a private grading has benefits, you'll get more feedback and you also can potentially gain a platinum level if your mark is 74% or above, which has benefits of free lower level classes.
If you miss a grading or want to advance faster you might need a private grading. Please book a 15min private grading with a teacher. Use the form below to book your private grading session. You can purchase a 15min Private grading in the website or buy on the day.
- Private Grading#1 - 1 or 2 Students w/ Robyn, Marcela or Amy) = $25 (per 15mins)
- Private Grading#2 - 1 or 2 Students w/ Reuben = $30 (per 15mins)
Step#1 - To book a private grading use the booking form below
Step#2 - Pay on the day or pay prior via our online store here >
Frequently Ask Questions
Who Can Attend Grading Class?
Anyone at any level can attend a grading, and attend as many as you like. Except once you have reached platinum you can't keep re-doing the same grading itself, but you are welcome to attend the session.
What Mark do I need?
For a Normal Pass for a grading to the next level 60% or 30 Stars is needed to pass
For Platinum Level a 74% or 37 Stars is needed and no 2 stars in any area.
Note: pre August 2021 50% was required to pass a grading, however we have just shifted marking up a notch and the ratios have changed slightly, so its not any harder to pass. Also marking will not be the same if you compared over the change over.
When are Grading Classes?
These Group beginner gradings are on week#8 of Beginners Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba. These are also highlighted in "pink" on the timetable >
Why do Int/Adv no longer require gradings?
This level is a real challenge, it will be obvious if you can't keep up and now with 8 months of improver/Intermediate classes students are able to generally decide if they are ready and will be much more capable. So since 2023 we decided to change this because the beginner grading is enough. However if you want real feedback, definitely consider a Improver/Intermediate Grading.
What if im already an Intermediate or Improver Level?
You don't need to do a grading if you are already at that level, its only on progression from a lower level to a higher level. But we do highly encourage gradings so you can learn about what you need to work on because there is always something you can learn in fundamental levels.
Platinum Level Benefits?
When you get a Platinum level grade 74% or higher in Salsa Beginners. you will be able to get a platinum concession card for lower levels. This basically means you can get the lower level free while you do your actual level on the same night. So for example, you are taking Salsa Improvers you can get Salsa Beginners free on the same night. its a 2 for 1 access. You can read about this in the platinum card info here >
What if I miss a Group Grading?
If you miss a group grading you can join in another course or look for a grading class coming soon, you'll see these in pink on the timetable. You can also choose to do a private grading which is 15mins. If want to advance faster you might need a private grading please book a 15min private lesson with a teacher. See form below
What if im already at a higher level?
Courses & dance styles vary so much between dance studios. The only way to ensure you are a the right level is to asses your dancing.
You have 4 options:
Join in beginner classes & work your way up to the next level from grading at week#8 or just join in week#8 and go for your grading. This is the most highly recommended method.
Book in for a private grading so we can properly asses your level, you will get all the benefits available in a regular grading such as platinum gradings which give you free lower level classes.
Wait for week#8 for grading and just just in the class, you can see grading weeks on the timetable.
Message us or Talk to a teacher and join a lower level like beginners, join in any week - you can then potentially get a invite to a higher level once we get a visual assesement we can give you the best level suggestion based on your dancing.
What if I have been away from dancing?
If you have been away from dancing or our classes before 2019, we would recommend to do the lower levels again and do a grading. Please contact us if you have been away, this would depend on how long and your level as a dancer. See "what if im already at a higher level" above.
Do I get the Certificate once I pass?
Only if you selected this in the grading registration yes you will be emailed with your results after the grading, this could take a couple of days. You will emailed with your certificate once you join into the next level. More details will be given on the email, so please check your spam if you are unsure if you received this or not. If after a week or 2 you haven't received it, please contact us
Special Awards & Results
There are a number of special awards which are stated on the certificate you will receive and we post dancers names on the new blog page for those that attain these awards
• Awards from gradings after 17th July 2022 are added to the blog >
• Students that have gained awards pre 17th July 2022 have been added to this page >