Gradings & Assessments
Salsa Latina stands at the forefront of the Street style Latin dance industry in New Zealand. As pioneers in the country, we have introduced Grading classes or 'Group gradings' to facilitate student progression to higher levels. The implementation of Gradings has proven to enhance the overall quality of dancers and yield numerous benefits, which are listed below. Presently, only one other school in NZ has adopted a similar grading system. Since its inception in 2020, this approach has remarkably improved the classes, elevating the standard and providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience for dancers. We hope to inspire other dance schools to follow suit, contributing to the overall advancement of dance standards throughout New Zealand.
Gradings Required for Progressing
Advancing from beginners to higher levels in Salsa & Bachata, requires either a group grading or a private grading. Access to higher levels is dependent on completing the grading process. Alternatively, if you have previous dance experience from another school, you may undergo an assessment. For further details, please see below.
-• 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 2 for 1 classes
Group Gradings & Revision - Week#8
At the end of the 8 week course for Salsa & Bachata beginners, gradings take place during week #8. The grading session serves as a revision class, combining fun and ease while focusing on reviewing the moves learned at this level. This is an excellent opportunity for Salsa Latina Teachers to provide you with direct and objective feedback on your dancing progress. To pass the grading, a score of 60% or above is required to progress, however the grading itself is entirely optional, you may join in for reviewing the level and practice for fun.
ou can find the specific gradings dates listed on the timetable. see the timetable >
You can join week#8 if you are not Grading
We strongly urge beginner students to participate in this class, regardless of whether you plan to advance further. Engaging in the grading process is entirely optional. Feel free to join the class for its dual purpose as a review and practice session. Whether you've experienced grading in the past or are simply looking to have fun while revisiting previous lessons, we welcome you to join us for Week #8 Grading & review class.
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 Courses
If you Don't Pass the Grading
Scoring below 60% in the grading indicates that you haven't passed and you cannot go up a level, but there's no need to worry because our beginner 101 levels are designed to be repeated as needed. Our classes are structured in a way that allows you to repeat the level or specific parts of it if necessary. Additionally, taking private lessons can be beneficial for improving your dancing skills and working towards achieving a graded pass in the future. We believe that with perseverance, anyone can pass a grading, even if it takes multiple attempts. Your background and the amount of time you dedicate to practice play a significant role in the outcome.
To enhance your dancing skills, we highly recommend engaging in social dancing and regular practice. Our online dance training videos can also be a valuable resource for improving your technique. Whether you have passed the grading or not, repeating levels can offer a deeper understanding of the basics. Rushing into higher levels without mastering the fundamentals can hinder the learning process for everyone in the next level. Our priority is to ensure that all students have a solid foundation before progressing further, creating a better learning environment for everyone involved.
What happens during a group grading?
Grading classes provide an stress-free environment. To participate in a group grading, simply arrive like a normal class and we will ask you during class if you are doing the grading. The structure of the grading class will resemble a regular class, starting with the usual warm-up routine. During the session, the teachers will review and assess four moves that were taught earlier in the course, which will form the basis of the grading process.
Throughout the course, the teachers may also observe and evaluate your performance - they are always watching the level of their students. On the day of the grading, they will assess various aspects, including footwork, partnering, timing, technique, connection, and four partnered fundamentals. During the dance practice phase, each student who is grading will have a quick 5-minute dance with the teachers (while some students may be practicing without grading). The feedback will be provided privately, on a one-on-one basis between you and the teacher. You will be informed immediately about your eligibility to progress to the next level.
If you pass the grading, you will receive full results along with a certificate, which will be emailed to you. This process ensures a comprehensive evaluation of your progress, providing valuable feedback and recognition for your achievements.
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.
- Platinums for our highest grading imp-int allows up to 3 for 1 classes
- However all concessions must be used on the same day, they cannot be stored up for future dates.
Examples with a Platinum Level & Platinum Concession Card:
- 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 & Imp/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
Our aim with the platinum program, is to provide free access to enhance your dancing and practice at the fundamental level. This opportunity is available to dancers classified as improver-intermediate, and above, who have achieved high marks of 74% or above in their gradings. Eligible participants will receive a special card that grants access to lower levels, allowing them to boost their training and practice.
Once you have completed a grading, we will promptly notify you if you qualify for these special cards, and this achievement will also be mentioned on your certificate. For those who didn't receive a platinum level grade, rest assured that you will receive valuable feedback highlighting areas that may need improvement, thus helping you work towards attaining the desired level in the future. We are committed to supporting your dance journey and ensuring that you have the resources to progress and excel in your skills.
.. More about these cards here >
You are no longer required to undergo an Improver-Intermediate grading to enter the Int-Advanced Salsa or Bachata levels.
However, certain requirements must be met as outlined below:
#1 - If you have successfully completed all of the Improver-Intermediate modules (201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207 & 208) and feel confident in your understanding of the material, along with the ability to perform a double spin on your own, then you are likely ready to take on the Int/Advanced Levels. It's a significant step up, so we recommend joining week#1 of the Int/Adv course when it starts. We also advise having a chat with one of our teachers beforehand. The only other exception is if you have been attending our highest level classes for over a year prior to the introduction of this new level.
#2 - Private gradings for Imp-Int are conducted in individual sessions, not in group settings, and are a 30 minute session. Private gradings are highly beneficial as they offer direct and personalised feedback. To pass, you will generally need a 60% pass rate. You can schedule a private grading via the form provided. Opting for a private grading provides more comprehensive feedback and the chance to achieve a platinum level if your score is 74% or above, which includes the added perk of free lower level classes including access up to 3 for 1 classes. See Platinum level information above for more details.
#3 - If you are a student from outside of Salsa Latina and have not done our beginner course, we would need to do an in-class free assessment. see below for assessments.
If you're a student who has learned various levels from outside Salsa Latina, we highly recommend that you engage with our grading system. However, if you consider yourself an Intermediate to Advanced dancer, with several years of dedicated experience and have not taken our beginner course, an in-class assessment would be necessary before you can join levels beyond the beginners' stage.
Wondering how this process functions? Initially, you would need to get in touch with us to share details about your dance background and proficiency. Based on this information, we might provide suggestions, such as starting with a class at a lower level to gauge your comfort with that particular stage. If you find it manageable and suitable, we might approve your participation in the higher levels.
Cost? The assessment is free, no extra cost beyond doing the class itself.
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 Beginner Grading#1 - 1 or 2 Students w/ Robyn, Marcela or Amy) = $25 (per 15mins)
- Private Beginner Grading#2 - 1 or 2 Students w/ Reuben = $30 (per 15mins)
- Private Imp-Int Grading#1 - 1 or 2 Students w/ Robyn, Marcela or Amy) = $50 (per 30mins)
- Private Imp-Int Grading#2 - 1 or 2 Students w/ Reuben = $60 (per 30mins)
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 Group 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.
When are Grading Classes?
These Group beginner gradings are on week#8 of Beginners Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba. These are also highlighted 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 & potential rewards, definitely consider a Improver-Intermediate Private 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 Imp-Int 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 Beginner 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 labeled on the timetable. You can also choose to do a private grading. If want to advance faster you might need a private grading please book a 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 assessment we can give you the best level suggestion based on your dancing. See the information on Assessments on this page.
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?
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