Frequently Ask Questions
Applies to most classes; but specifically for Salsa Latina Academy; Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Cha Cha, Merengue Dance Classes.
Can I join after the start of a course?
The answer depends on a few factors:
For new beginners, it's best to join during the first two weeks of the course. It may be too difficult to join in week#3 or later, unless you've had private lessons or have learned from another school. If you can't join during the first two weeks, it's probably best to wait for the next course to start. Please note, only the week#1 class is free - the very first class of the course, you might pay for 1 class to try on week#2.
You can see the week numbers on the timetable here >
If you have experience with Salsa from another school, you can join partway through a beginner course. For levels above beginner, you will need to be graded or assessed before joining, so please contact a teacher in that situation. If you are travelling through Christchurch please get in contact with us prior to coming along.
Newly graded improver-intermediate level dancers should also aim to join during the first two weeks of a New course (module).
If you've been dancing at the improver-intermediate level for over 8 weeks, you can join in any week. So the answer is yes, you can join halfway through a course.
For all instances above to help determine the correct answer, you can review this flow chart >
Can I get a Free class anytime?
You may only get a 'Free 1st class' on week#1 of beginners, this means only on the start date as per our Terms & Conditions.
No other class is free unless it's advertised as Free as per our Terms & Conditions.
See the start dates of new courses which are the Free 1st classes here >
Can I bring a friend?
Yes you can bring as many as you like for a first free class in begginners 101 at Salsa Latina, remember only in the 1st week is a FREE class. You can bring them up to week#2 in a beginners course at the latest, but you will need to help them with the basics to get a head start or better yet, encourage them to watch the Free videos or take our online beginner courses to get them moving. Please ask your friends to register/enrol online to save time also.
What is 'Lead & Follow'?
Historically, partner dancing has revolved around a male lead and a female follow, with the lead assuming the role of guiding the dance while the follow responds to the lead's movements. Similarly, a band operates with a lead and a response. Nevertheless, if you are a female interested in learning to lead, this is entirely feasible. However, we recommend first gaining a foundation in the traditional roles. You would assume one role per course. It's crucial to acknowledge that these conventional gender roles have long been dominant in partner dancing across various styles, owing to the historical context of this art form. ....read more >
Can I come take a look?
Feel free to come and watch any running classes, anytime they are running, we recommend to come & watch one of our higher Latin dance levels, see our timetable so you know the times these are on
Can I try first before paying?
You are welcome to attend the first week of any of our beginner courses for free as a way to try before you commit to the course. We recommend registering for the class in advance so that you can receive updates and information about the class. However, if you miss registering online, you can still register on the day of the free class during the first week of the course.
Once you register for a course, you only need to do so once, and you can join any course at any time, as long as it is within the first two weeks of a new beginner course. For a list of our course start dates and to register......see start dates & register on this page >
Do I need to bring a partner?
There's no need to bring anyone as there are always plenty of people to dance with. Partners are rotated regularly in class time so you get a chance to dance with different people, learn faster and experience different leading and following. However you are also welcome and encouraged to bring people with you. If there is an unbalance of Male to Female ratio we can make up numbers in the following weeks with more experienced dancers.
Can I bring my kids to the studio?
Yes kids are welcome in the venue, as long as they don't interfere with the function of the class and child of any age is welcome. We have a reception area to hang out and they also can watch the adult class if quiet. Kids can't join adult classes, although teenagers may be able to join, but please contact us first.
Can I boost my dance training?
Yes! infact we have a special program called the "ultimate training program" so if you wish to learn more and get faster growth in your dance journey chat to a teacher and see this page for the details >
Is it necessary to swap partners?
If you attend our class with your own partner, we recommend that you swap partners with the rest of the group, although it's not mandatory. Salsa and Latin dancing are social partner dance styles where anyone can dance with anyone, and swapping partners can greatly enhances the learning process. It prevents you from getting stuck with one person's bad habits or repetitive mistakes and allows you to meet and make dance friends. Dancing with different partners is also more social and fun. If you feel too shy or uncomfortable swapping partners, it's okay too. Just let us know in advance during your first class, and we'll provide some tips during the class so you can stay with your partner. Practicing with your partner after class can also be an advantage for learning.
Am I too young, old, small or big?
Salsa & Bachata dancing welcomes everyone, regardless of age or physical ability. If you can walk, you can dance, and we ensure a diverse community of participants in terms of shapes, sizes, and ages.
- Children interested in Adult group dance classes, it's important to note that they typically participate in classes designed specifically for their age group. While exceptions can be made in certain cases, we kindly request contacting us before enrolling to discuss any special arrangements.
- Mature participants, age is no barrier! Whether you're in your 90s or beyond, and provided you have no learning difficulties or significant physical limitations (as outlined on this page), joining our dance community is highly encouraged. If your doctor supports the idea, then absolutely, you're welcome to be a part of the experience!
While there are many potential benefits to joining group Salsa & Bachata dance classes for individuals with learning difficulties, it's important to recognise that not every person's experience will be the same, and there may be some considerations to take into account because of the social nature of these types of classes. Here are a few reasons why some caution might be exercised:
Sensory Sensitivities: Individuals with learning difficulties may have sensory sensitivities that can be triggered in a group dance setting. Loud music, bright lights, or the physical proximity of others could be overwhelming for some individuals.
Processing Speed: Learning dance steps quickly in a group setting might be challenging for individuals who require more time for processing information. They may feel pressured to keep up with the pace, leading to frustration or a sense of exclusion.
Communication Challenges: Individuals with certain learning difficulties might face challenges in communication. Clear and effective communication is crucial in dance classes, and difficulties in this area could potentially impact the learning experience. Some individuals with learning difficulties may also experience social anxiety, making it difficult for them to feel comfortable in a group setting.
Fine Motor Skills: Salsa & Bachata dancing involves intricate footwork and coordination, which may be challenging for individuals with fine motor skill difficulties.
It's important to note that these concerns are not universal, and many individuals with learning difficulties can and do thrive in group dance classes. Inclusion and accessibility are key. Our group class instructors haven’t received specific training around learning disabilities. So we would advise to join 'private group lessons' or 'private lesson' arrangements first. We also offer some online classes for free to try out. We highly recommend to discuss with us prior to joining any class. Please contact us via the online form here >
What are Shines?
These classes are essential solo dancing, with no partner. You can focus your learning on body movement, style, flavour & dance technique. It's a great way to learn to dance without a partner, mastering solo dancing is a main key for learning to dance better. If you can't dance without a partner you can't dance with one. .. .. read more about the benefits & importance of shines here>
I have done some classes, do I still join beginners?
100% Yes, you will need to start with Beginners 101 week#1 or week#2 at the latest. Even if you have done many of these classes or had dance experience before, we highly recommend joining beginners even if you are at a higher level. This is because our fundamental system & shines (footwork) are packed with information and are progressive, meaning we build from one class to the next till the level builds higher. We don't teach random things like some other dance schools do. From 2021 you won't be able to just jump into a higher level above beginners without a grading and certificate or assessment, see below "All about gradings".... If you have been to another dance school and been learning for some time, you can check out the 'flow chart' on the grading page or please contact us so we can fit you in the right class. Contact us here >
What Level am I & Where should I start?
This follows on from the previous question. It is always best to join the Beginners level group lesson as each instructor has his/her own style and teaching methods. The name beginners isn't just for beginners, It's level '1' or 101, it's also designed for people that have learnt dance style in the past somewhere else, to learn or re-learn the style, as all Salsa & Latin Dance styles are not the same.
There are also series of shines or footwork you need to know as well, all of the fundamentals & shines you'll need to know by name to progress. With the Salsa Latina Salsa & Latin Dance Classes, there is a specific system that builds on itself, missing a level or a few classes will hold you back or drown in the deep end. It would be like missing part of the foundation of a building out. So to get a compete picture we specialise in making sure you cover all the fundamentals. From 2021 you won't be able to just jump into a higher level without a grading and certificate or assessment, see below "All about gradings" Please see this page for a flow chart and grading information >
Do I need a Grading?
To progress to the next level above beginners in Salsa & Bachata, you'll need to undergo a grading. Without grading from 2021, you won't be able to join higher levels than 101. Week#8 of the 101 level will include a grading/revision class, which is a fun and straightforward class that focuses on revising the moves you've learned at this level. It's an opportunity for Salsa Latina Teachers to provide you with direct feedback on your dancing and ensure that you're at the right level. This also helps you focus on finding your weaknesses and strengths for better and more focused training, we also offer private gradings as another option. ...read all about gradings on the grading page here >
Can I get a head start?
It's a great idea to get a head start before you take classes, its not needed, but hey why not! Private lessons used to be the only way but now there are online courses that we offer. While our group classes are designed for the complete beginner, learning a little before you join dance courses as a beginner will increase your confidence and help you have more fun, which only increases your learning. Try our Free videos so you can try the basic steps, no partner needed either. You can try out 3 different dance styles; Salsa, Bachata & Kizomba basic steps. This will help when you decide what classes to take and make the most of the experience. Or if you have already started classes, use these videos to practice. As they say, 'practice makes perfect', but really 'perfect practice makes perfect'. Make sure you are learning the correct thing, our videos line up with our regular courses..... see the video collection here and get your free vids to kick off.
I'm stuck & not progressing!
This is a normal phase during dance education. Sometimes the best way out of a dance rut is to take Private lessons. This can usually fix both the feeling of things being too easy or too hard.... Private Lessons >
Another idea, is to get some serious dancing practice is also in order, so a great way to get better is not only group classes and social dancing beneficial but online classes, check out our online courses here.
Do I need to enrol?
Ideally yes, this saves time on the first day as we tend to get many people for the 1st class. If you don't enrol, yes you can turn up and do a hand written enrolment or one of our iPads at the main desk, no problem.. But best to do it here ...... Enrol here >
Public Holidays Activities?
Generally most classes and many events still run on pubic Holidays except for Christmas period, there are some classes that might not run, but that the exception. If you are not sure please see our timetable and join our newsletter or see news so you are informed.
What should I wear?
Choose clothing that prioritise ease and comfort, enabling you to fully immerse yourself in your learning journey. It is often advisable to opt for gym wear or casual attire, so you can move more easily. Nonetheless, when partaking in Salsa club nights and events, it is worth considering attire that exudes an impressive aura. Remember that dance classes are also a social affair, so it is essential to ensure that your clothing emanates a fresh and respectable appearance.
Do I need dance shoes?
For Salsa & Latin Dancing, it is advisable to wear specialized dance shoes. However, when starting out, you can opt for shoes that offer moderate grip without being overly slippery or sticky. If you find it difficult to rotate on a wooden floor, consider trying a pair with less traction. Bulky shoes such as work boots or those with thick soles are not recommended as they hinder your ability to feel the floor.
As you advance in your dancing journey, it's best to avoid sneakers or shoes with rubber or spongy soles, as they can stick to the floor during turns and spins, potentially causing ankle and knee injuries. Some street shoes can be suitable, but it's ideal to choose non-bulky, flexible, and lightweight options that have minimal tread, allowing for easier sliding. However, during the initial beginner-level classes, comfort is the priority, and any comfortable shoes will suffice. Nevertheless, as you progress, we strongly recommend investing in dance shoes, dance heels, or jazz shoes. You can either purchase them before starting or inquire with your teacher as we also have a selection of dance shoes available at the studio. Another option is Ali-Express, we have a selection of shoes we recommend here >
What will I learn?
Everything you need to feel comfortable on the dance floor - so you can have a great time and able to freestyle partner dance with anyone, anywhere in the world to Salsa & Latin music! The same fundamentals are used if you want to take it further into performance & competitions. We cover basic structure and techniques of dancing with and without a partner. The more you understand the fundamentals the faster you can develop your own style.
Do I need to bring anything?
Because dancing is also cardio exercise, we recommend that you bring a hand-towl. We also have drinks available for purchase or bring a drink to keep your fluid intake up. Also with all partner dancing think 'more' about personal hygiene by making sure your breath is sweet and use deodorant.
How long will it take me to learn to dance well?
Everyone learns at a different rate which makes this a hard question to answer!
Every student will learn the basic steps and have two or three variations in their first class. In every lesson you will learn more and have more fun. The best way to learn is to take these group and private classes, be familiar with the music (listen to Salsa at home) and practice! This makes all the difference between a fast and slow learner. We recommend that you take classes, private lessons now and again but most importantly attend socials/parties and dance with everybody to get the best results!.. read this article for more info >
Do I need to Practice?
We recommend for every 1hr learnt you should practice 2hrs-3hrs to make it stick, and to get the most out of class practicing simple things like the basics, or practicing 5mins a day will even make a huge difference. Social nights like Salsa Parties are good too, usually the start of the night there are slower songs as Salsa Latina.
Not going to Social dancing is like learning to drive but never driving on the road, social dancing is where Salsa & Latin Dancing becomes a part of you. You can also get all of your practice in one evening dancing at an event or Salsa Dance Party and have fun getting fit at the same time. Even practicing a few mins a day at home will make a huge difference. If you don't have a partner, practice your shines or footwork.
Practicas Make the most out of lessons with practice .There are time slots before or after class that are deisgned to be used. Practice makes pefect! These pratice slots are Free for Salsa latina Students! Guides & Taxi dancers may also be available to get help if needed.
We also have a huge range of videos on our website you can use to help practice with some free ones to start... see here >
Should I use Youtube to help learning?
We generally discourage the use of YouTube and Instagram videos as a learning tool for Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba dance techniques. These videos can be misleading, confusing, and often do not adhere to proper technique. Anyone, including new or beginner dancers, can post videos with incorrect information, leading to a lot of disinformation circulating online. It's difficult for new or even experienced dancers to discern good quality content from poor quality content, as good quality education is not typically offered for free online. Even paid online content or DVDs can vary widely in terms of quality. Therefore, it's essential to research the teacher or dancer and their background before investing time and money in their content.
Additionally, there is the issue of the different styles of Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba, which can vary greatly. Street dance forms often have multiple flavors and styles, leading to incompatible moves and incorrect understandings of how to teach these dance forms. It's always best to learn hands-on and supplement your learning with relevant information.
We have a programme called "Salsa Latina TV", it's a series of comprehensive online courses for learning Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba techniques from the ground up focusing on the individual. These video classes are aligned with our in-person courses, allowing you to get a head start or enhance your learning experience. We even offer some free videos to get you started. Check out our online classes to learn more.
Do I need private lessons?
If you want a head start or to jump levels, private lessons are the fastest way to learn. But we don't usually recommend private lessons until you have started classes unless you want a confidence boost. Ideally group classes are the best place to start and if you need a convince boost or want a head start do consider our online classes, there's even some free video classes to help with you basic steps. Generally, we recommend that you do both private and group classes to feel the greatest benefit. After a few weeks of dancing private lessons are great for working on good technique, ironing out bad habits and catering information directly for you. Also if you get behind in classes, or miss a class you could always try taking a private lesson to catch up. Privates lessons you can either come with your partner or as a one on one. .... more here>
Latin Dancing vs Ballroom - what's the difference?
Authentic Street Latin vs Ballroom style/Dance sport... what is the difference? These two types of Latin dancing are easily mixed up, one is a modern freestyle dance that we teach, the other isn't, its a ballroom style- see article page for more info
Should I Learn Salsa or Bachata first?
Bachata is probably the easiest to learn first while Salsa is a bit harder initially, but it changes as you progress to higher levels. But it probably doesn't matter which style you learn first, they both aid each other in learning. We recommend try both and see which you like best, infact is a good idea to learn both anyway since the co-exist in many Latin dance events. You can always learn more than one style at once or you could learn one then the other. We recommend coming to a class to watch to see what styles you like, or come to social dancing events because these are all danced in the same parties & social dance nights.
What Should I Do If I Am Being Harassed?
The latin dance community is a massive social environment, and we have measures to help with issues if they arise within the bounds of our school. Our Latin dance school, Salsa Latina, is dedicated to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students. We prioritize providing a space where every student can enjoy the many benefits of dance without fear of discrimination, harassment, or any other form of inappropriate behavior.... see our code of conduct here >
What are the Benefits of Latin Dancing?
- Salsa & Bachata Dance classes are an easy way to meet someone & gain more friends & is one of the few hobbies that couples or friends can do together.
- Partner Dancing is a great social asset & promotes confidence
- Salsa & Bachata dancing develops co-ordination of mind, muscle & balance & Salsa is a Fun way to exercise your body that fits into a lifestyle, You will lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- You'll have Fun & you will have a lower chance of being depressed or other emotional problems.
- Go anywhere in the world and Salsa & Latin dance with anyone & meet people fast ....read more here >
Do I need a mask?
Not needed and we discourage them during exercise of any kind.
Is there Memberships?
Free 1st class on the start date of new beginner courses then you can pay casually or pay for a whole beginner course with our beginner concession cards, or we have concession cards that can be used for any class ... see pricing here >