My Salsa Journey: Tips for Beginners

Virginia and Danny Salsa

Author: Virginia Story

I am originally from Hollywood Florida and I have been taking lessons with Latin Dance Movement for a year and a half. I have always had a love of music and dance but never had the moves to feel confident dancing in front of strangers. I grew up in a family of people who were always on the dance floor…unfortunately if it wasn’t the electric slide, the two-step, or some sort of disco…there wasn’t much going on. I was shuffled into a ballet class at 6 for a year or so and that was the peak of my adolescent dance experience.

After a sabbatical from my promising ballet career, I picked up dancing again in 2014 when a friend of mine (now my fiancé) invited me to join him for a class. I can’t tell you how long it was before I started pumping out the basic step properly but I can tell you that I fell in love with Salsa that first class. I learned so much that first day and I haven’t stopped since… dancing or learning. I still attend all levels of classes and each adds something different to my learning process. In the beginners class I can really refine the little things that mean so much- elbow positioning-grip pressure-spotting- body isolation movements. In the intermediate class I learn new and exciting patterns and foot work and gain the confidence I need to dance next to Miami’s finest.

Not coming from a background of dance I can give a few words of advice to the people interested but nervous to break into the new and exciting world of Salsa….

  • Find a great instructor- look for someone who teaches you the things that no one else pays attention to and someone who challenges you rather than coddling you. We learn from honest feedback- it’s not always good news.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other dancers- If you have worked up the courage to go try out your moves at a social…get out on the dance floor immediately. Don’t stand and watch or that’s all you’ll do the whole night. Some people danced their way out of the womb. You CAN get there-Practice-Practice-Practice- and follow rule number 1.
  • Have fun- Don’t be hard on yourself. We all have different strengths and learning speeds. Don’t give up. If you’re really having trouble, a private lesson or two can get you to where you want to be faster.