Gradings for Salsa, Bachata & Kizomba
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 'Group gradings' to progress students to higher levels. Gradings ensures better quality of dancers and its 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 to the next level in Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba you will need to do a group grading or private grading to join a higher level. You wont be able to join higher levels without a grading from 2021. In some cases you can be invited to a higher level, which includes Salsa Intermediate or if you are coming from another dance school.
When are Gradings?
• SBK Beginners progressing
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 feedback on your dancing. You'll need 50% mark or above to pass. You can see gradings dates on the timetable in "pink" see the timetable here >
- Ensuring dancers are at the right level
- 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 you Pass your Grading
Once you pass you will gain a certificate, which will be presented in the next level when you come to class or could be emailed to you.
When you pass the grading you can join the next level:
- Salsa Beginners 101 Can then Join Any Improvers Course
If you Don't Pass the Grading
If you don't pass we will ask you to repeat the level or get a private lesson(s) to work on your dancing to get a graded pass.
It might take more than one go at this, but you will pass, we are confident anyone can do this. It really depends on your background and how much practice you put into it.
We recommend social dancing & practice and we also may recommend practicing to our online dance training videos.
Regardless of a pass or not It’s a good thing to repeat levels because you will pick up much more on the 2nd or 3rd round.
We don't want students to rush into higher levels without having the basics mastered, as this only inhibits the learning process for everyone.
How Does a Group Grading Work?
The focus on this grading will consist of timing, footwork, fundamentals & partner-work. You will arrive just like a normal class, check in on a register and in class we will review some of the moves done in the level(s). While people are dancing teachers will go around and grade your dancing. This is a non-stress class. When you pass this grading, you will be contacted via email and then gain a certificate for passing the grading and then be able to progress to the following level, see diagrams below.
Platinum Level & Concession Cards
One you gain a platinum level grade you can access these Platinum Concession cards. These cards are a basically a gold card on steroids. This gives you access to lower levels free while you attend your current level on that same day. So if you take 2 classes in a row like beginners and improvers or Intermediate you only pay for 1 class but but you get a lower level like beginners free. We want this to be free so it helps your dancing and practice at the fundamental level. This is available for Intermediate Salsa improvers, Salsa Intermediate/Adv, Bachata Intermediate & Kizomba Intermediate 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. When you have gained a platinum level you cannot re-grade in that same level, but you are welcome to do private classes to improve. Once you have done a grading you will be notified if you can gain access to these cards or you will have feedback on what you might need to work on to attain one.... More about these cards here >
Salsa Intermediate Progression & Grading
- Intermediate Grading
There are now 2 ways you can progress to Salsa Intermediate/Adv:
#1 - Be invited from one of our teachers, you can ask about this if you are not sure if you are ready. We recommend keep pushing in our Improver level which is 32 classes in total.
#2 - Private Grading (15mins) you will need a 60% pass rate. 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 which has benefits of free lower level classes.
- Salsa On2 Mambo Intro:
On this 1st week of the Salsa Intermediate course an Intro On2 Salsa, we will be going over the On2 Steps and each time we teach week#1 we will go over different aspects to dancing On2 known as "Mambo". We have previously had group gradings on this day, but no longer are doing this. However, turning up to this class will show teachers that you are potentially keen on learning Salsa On2 which is needed for Salsa Intermediate. You can ask about progressing to Salsa Intermediate on this night and we can give you advice, you might also be officially invited to join Intermediate Salsa.
- Level - who can join the 1st Week of Salsa Intermediate?:
Anyone at Improvers or Intermediate or Advanced levels can join week#1 of this class at 8:30pm Tuesdays, you will see this marked in pink on the timetable.
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 .
Frequently Ask Questions
Who Can Attend Gradings?
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 Gradings?
Group gradings are on week#8 of Beginners Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba. These are also highlighted in "pink" on the timetable >
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 >
Do I get a Certificate?
You will get a certificated emailed when you pass, if you don't get it within 1 week please contact us, there might be an email issue.
From July 2021 we no longer print certificates but you are more than welcome to print the emailed pdf Certificate for yourself.
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.
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 3 options:
Option#1: 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.
Option#2: Book in for a private grading to join a higher level class. Sorry we don't accept drop-in's at improver or intermediate levels anymore.
If you are unsure please talk to one of our teachers, in some instances you could be accepted into a higher level if you have had training elsewhere, but to start join a lower level so we can see how you are going with the material taught, then you can be invited to a higher level.
Option#3: Message us or Talk to a teacher and join a lower level, you can then potentially get a invite to a higher level.
What if I have been away from dancing?
If you have been away from dancing or our classes for a year or more, 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.
When do I get the Certificate once I pass?
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.
There are a number of special awards which are stated on the certificate you will receive and we post dancers names on the news page for those that attain these award, which include:
- Lead Award - (this is usually the best leader on the night)
- Follow Award - (this is usually the best follower on the night)
- Sabor Award - (Sabor is spanish for "Flavour", best dancer with good body movement etc)
- X-factor - (sometimes given out)
- Best Spirited - (sometimes given out to those that are super positive)
- Most Improved - (given out to those that have improved the most)
... see students that have attained these awards here >