Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ's for Dancing
Applies to most classes; but specifically for Salsa Latina Academy; Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Cha Cha, Merengue Dance Classes.
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 show them the basics to get a head start. Please ask your friends to register/enrol online to save time also.
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.
Do I need to bring a partner?
There's no need to, there are always plenty of people to dance with and the class is 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 encourage 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.
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 >
If I'm bringing a partner do I have to swap?
You don't have-to swap, but we do very much encourage it, Salsa & Latin Dancing is a partner dance that anyone can dance with anyone, it also aids learning to swap by a huge degree. Plus its more social & fun to swap dance partners. You could always go over with your partner after class, this is an advantage to learn if you can practice with someone. If you really don't want to swap that is okay too, please let us know in advanced as we have some tips.
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 from others or Free Intro's which are at a very basic level, 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 without a grading and certificate, see below "All about gradings"....
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, see below "All about gradings"....
All about Gradings
Progressing to the next level in Salsa, Bachata or Kizomba you will need to do a grading on the last week of the 101 course to join a higher level. You wont be able to join higher levels than 101 without grading from 2021. On week#8 of the 101 level there 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.
Benefits include; making sure people are at the right level, focused training to find your weaknesses/strengths.
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.
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.
The focus on this grading will consist of timing, footwork, fundamentals & partner-work. When you pass this grading, you will be presented with a certificate for passing the 101 grading and then be able to progress to the following level, see diagrams below.
For Salsa Improvers progressing to Intermediate please book a private lesson 30mins for grading.
If you miss a grading or want to advance faster you might need a private grading please book a 30min private lesson with a teacher.
I'm stuck and 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.This all depends on your background... Private Lessons >
What should I wear?
Dress for convenience and comfort, so you can concentrate on learning. Gym wear or casual cloths are common. Dress to impress for Salsa club nights & events.
Do I need special footwear?
For Salsa & Latin Dancing its recommend that you wear leather-soled shoes or dance shoes. Most sneakers or other shoes with rubber or spongy soles can stick to the floor during turns and spins and cause ankle and knee injuries. Some street shoes are okay too, the best types of shoes are non bulky and light shoes that don't have to much tred so its slips more. Also flexibility of the shoes helps too. However in the first few classes at the beginner level, anything comfortable is ok. We do recommend dance shoes as you start to progress, or you could get some before you start. We stock dance shoes for men & women at our in house Salsa Latina store via "Izadora Couture"
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!
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.
Should I use Youtube to help learning?
Generally we discourage the use of youtube videos for learning as these are often misleading, incorrect, confusing and not always proper Salsa. The problem is, videos could be posted by anyone including new dancers or beginner students who often have incorrect information. Good quality education isn’t put on the internet for free and is very hard for new dancers or even more experienced dancers to tell the difference in what is good quality or not. Even paid online content or DVD’s can vary massively. You need to do serious research in the teacher or dancer and their background. Secondly there is the issue of what style to learn? These can vary massively too as Salsa has many flavours & styles because it is a Street dance. Be aware we do teach most of these as well which include Cuban, LA, NY/Mambo, Puerto Rican, Colombian, SA/Cumbia & much more. However we do post regular videos of good dancing with some education on our facebook page, so do join us there and you are welcome to email or message us with any queries. We also from 2020 have Salsa latina TV, so you can enhance your learning from our Online classes.
When will I get good? ....& Beginners Hell.
"When beginners ask me that question, I can't help but smile. My usual answer is two simple words: 'IT DEPENDS'. I always suggest educating yourself about what Beginner's go through during the beginning phases of learning" more here >
Note: this article is referring to Salsa, but the same goes for any of our partner dances.
Do I need private lessons?
If you want a head start or to jump levels, private lessons are by far the fastest way to learn. Generally, we recommend that you do both private and group classes to feel the greatest benefit. If you're new or behind in classes, you could always try taking a private lesson to catch up to the rest of the class, you can either come with your partner or as a one on one. .... more here>
Latin Dancing & International Latin, 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 first?
If you're not sure we do recommend to start with Salsa classes because it’s the worlds leading & most popular Latin dance & the worlds most popular partner dance in general. Information learnt in this course is transferable to other styles too. In our Salsa courses you will learn universal techniques, like hand holds, o/c positions and footwork & turning techniques that are used in all Latin dances including Bachata, Mambo, Merengue, Kizomba & Cha Cha etc. You can always learn more than one style at once.
Am I too young, old, small or big?
Latin dancing is for everyone, if you can walk you can dance. We can guarantee there will be people of all shapes, sizes & ages.
Salsa dancing has people as young as 4 years old, or to a very mature age, enjoying this wonderful pastime.
To dance salsa is a natural human activity comes with many benefits, as follows.....
What are the Benefits of Salsa & Latin Dancing?
- Salsa & Latin 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 & Latin 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 >