What to look for in a salsa instructor

November 3, 2015

Looking for the perfect salsa instructor and class? First ask yourself a couple of basic questions about what it is you want to learn.

What to look for in a salsa instructor

Style and country of origin

There are many styles of salsa; some of them based on a specific geographical locale. Cuban style salsa for example, emphasizes circular movements and turns, while L.A style moves in a line, back and forth, and focuses on tight spins. Your salsa instructor will usually specialize in one particular kind of salsa. While Puerto Rican style dancers may know some Colombian style salsa moves and techniques, if it is really the Colombian style that you want to learn, it may be best to seek out a teacher with ties to Colombia.

Performance vs. nightclub

While many salsa instructors train for performance events and competitions, others spend more time dancing socially in nightclubs. These are two dramatically different styles. Competitive salsa focuses on choreography and elaborate moves between partners. Night club dancers, on the other hand, rely more on improvisation; they must match their partner's energy on the dance floor. When choosing a salsa instructor, it is important to know what your particular aims and goals are: whether you are more interested in training for performance or if you really just want to be able to hold your own in a packed nightclub.

Teaching experience

Just because a particular salsa instructor has won many competitions or can really tear it up at the club, doesn't mean they are good teachers. The ability to pass on information to a student requires more than just advanced proficiency in any art-form -- it requires patience, attention to detail and excellent communication skills. Look for salsa teachers with extensive teaching experience. Check out online reviews and past student recommendations.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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