Frequently Asked Questions
This page provides answers to frequently asked questions related to dance lessons and shoes.
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- Do I need a partner to take lessons?
- No. You do not need a partner to take one of our lessons. Most students come without a partner and the number of men and women in the classes are usually almost even. In case the number of men and women are very different, there are many movements and steps that can be learned without a partner
- Am I a beginner salsa dancer?
- We offer three levels of instruction for beginner students which are described below. If you are interested in learning the basic steps, basic turns, cross body lead, cross body lead with turn, lead and follow, and basic combinations of these, we recommend you to take our beginner lessons. Please continue reading below to understand what level of class best matches your level of dancing.
Beginner Level I: These classes begin with the fundamental basic steps and is for a student who has had little or no salsa and/or dancing experience. There are many students who have danced salsa but still need a few beginner classes to break old bad habits and form a new understanding of the basics. We begin the Beginners Level 1 class with the three basic steps and several basic elements. We teach the basic steps, right turn, left turn and other elements. By the end of this class you will learn a basic combination that includes the movements shown in that class. You will learn to put these movements together, how to follow/lead, and how to hold your partner.
Beginner Level II-III: The Beginner II-III class is usually done directly after the Beginner Level I class (at the Promenade). We encourage our students to take this class directly after the first to continue practicing what they already learned. We like to add a few new movements to the first combination learned. If you are not up to moving forward we help you right where you are (at your level) popping in to help you as the other students practice the new movements. We will give you pointers and tips on what to work on and come back to see your progress. For those who can move on from the Beginner I class you will learn how to combine movements better and dance to the music instead of dancing slowly as in the Beginner I class. We speed the music up to a slow to medium tempo and help you work more deeply on the lead and follow. If you happen to be a Beginner Level III student, I will match you up with someone at your level and teach you the cross body lead and show you a combination that will look flashy or teach you how to change the current combination by the switch of the hand. At times there are those who are not quite ready for the intermediate class but are too good to be a Beginner Level I or II. We usually help these couples on the side by teaching them the Cross Body Lead with a turn and help them get used to doing various kinds of Cross Body Leads until they are ready for the Intermediate Level I class.
- Am I an intermediate salsa dancer?
- If you are an intermediate student you should be comfortable with everything that is included in our beginners class including the basic steps, the cumbia step, the cross body lead, and the cross body lead with the inside turn (please read our response to the question above). At this level we combine the basics with combinations at medium to fast tempo music. In the intermediate lessons you will learn many combinations and how to transition between them with style. You will learn how to remember combinations that you feel comfortable with and better able to implement turns, directional changes with better balance and more styling. In our Intermediate technique class you will learn more about body movement, spacing, and partnership technique. At times we may do a footwork class as well. Intermediates can be a Level I-III. All levels should take Intermediate technique classes. For our Intermediate-Advanced classes, you should have knowledge of the Cross Body Lead/Turn and many combinations, comfort with hand switches and body placement, and more experience in lead and follow. In each intermediate class you will learn a complex combination and how to dance this combination with anyone (not just your partner). We teach moves that can be led in our class.
- Do you offer advanced salsa classes?
- DWG offers advanced salsa classes from time to time in a workshop setting. In our experiences it takes much longer than an hour to learn advanced figures and technique. Recently we had a Salsa Dips workshop that was followed by 1 month of salsa dip classes at the Promenade to enforce what we taught in the workshop. A lot of advanced dancers do not like to take classes as they feel they "know enough" but Hugo and I say the best dancer is the dancer who never stops training/learning. So keep on the look out for our workshops and instructors that we are planning to bring from LA, NY and New Jersey! They may include instruction on Ladies Styling, men’s Styling, Salsa Dips and Tricks, Threesome dancing and Footwork.
- Should I take private classes or group classes?
- Many people interested in salsa classes call and ask for Private Classes. In order to save our students money we like to advise the following: Come to a setting that is not "nightclub" oriented to learn your basics first (The Promenade). Take at least 3-4 group classes and then if you really want to take Private Classes you will have a basis to work from. You will also be able to pinpoint things that you want to work on that you may be having trouble grasping in a group setting. This way you get more bang for your buck! Private classes are expensive so we want you to get the most for your money. For those of you who are on the shy side and do not want to learn basics in front of anyone else or for those of you who want 1 on 1 personal attention only Private Classes are definitely the right choice. Hugo and Grace offer those students who take private lessons that do not have a partner the option to have a partner join the class. We will give you a private class, assess your level and then pick a student who is at your level that we know and invite them to your private class so that you can dance with them and we can evaluate your progress and even point out mistakes that we see to better help you become a great salsa dancer.
- How much do your private classes cost?
- DWG offers private classes at The Promenade Dance Sport Facility. Cost ranges from $75 to 85 each for 1 to 2 people. Checkout our private class packages.
- What is you cancellation policy for private classes?
- Cancellations happen from time to time when private classes are scheduled. Life happens, but we have had to create a DWG Policy for cancellations.
If you cancel at least 48 hours prior to the class time, a $15 cancellation fee will apply (for the private room/ floor reservation). Grace will try very hard to fill this class time with another class. If she can fill the room, the $15 fee will be waived.
If you cancel in less than 48 hours prior to your class time, you must pay the entire class fee. If you have paid in advanced, one of your classes will be void. If you have a gift certificate, it will be voided. Please understand that we teach dance full-time and many people request times that other students want and then they cancel so we lose $ and get into trouble with the management of the studio because other instructors could have used the space we RESERVED FOR YOU; DWG wants to be considerate to the other dance instructors who work at the studio as well as considerate of the management's allowing us to reserve the floor space in advance.
Thank you for understanding and being a wonderful student who is always on time! (Hint Hint).
- Do I need special shoes to take your dance classes?
- For your first month of class you can wear a basic shoe with a low heel (ladies) and guys a flat leather bottom. As long as the sole of the shoe is smooth and not rubbery your shoes usually wont get in the way of you turning. Height can be an issue as well; too many times women come in heels that are 3 inches or higher and they can never turn and its always because of the shoes they are wearing. So don’t be fashionable, just comfortable. We even tell people to take their bad shoes off and dance in their socks because its just too hard for them wearing the wrong shoes. So make sure not to wear one green sock and one orange sock okay! ha ha
- What kind of women’s shoes should I buy?
- The right shoes can change your dancing drastically. Most professional dance shoes/practice shoes are made with suede on the bottom to help control turns and grip the floor properly. The shank also helps with support of your arch and the fabric is usually softer than a regular shoe. The best height for a shoe is 2.5 inches. For competitions 3 inch heels are normal and even 4 inch heels are used. I recommend 2-2.5 inches for practice or going out to dance as so much pressure on the ball of your foot can be unbearable at times! I should know!
- What kind of men’s shoes should I buy?
- A basic black shoe is best for your first pair. As you can see from the shoes we sell, some men’s shoes actually have a 2 inch heel on them. This is totally acceptable for men’s Latin dancing and for those of you who are on the short side this heel can make a great difference to you as well (Just make sure to buy pants that are a little longer!) Elegance carries a wonderful line of men’s shoes. The men’s practice shoes usually have little dots on them so if you want a shoe to wear out, do not buy the shoes with the dots on them; those are strictly practice shoes. You will surely be helped buy the suede bottoms of these shoes especially if you want to work on spinning better!