Salsa Dance Classes in Vancouver
     
  Curious about dance classes? Check out this video from the most recent Open House Day (September 2017) at D2 Dance Studio and see the instructors in action and the different dance styles and classes offered:  
     
   
     
 

Dance Classes
One of the best places to learn to dance in Vancouver is D2 Dance Studio located in Mount Pleasant at 55 West 8th Ave (map)

Classes every day of the week for students of all levels from absolute beginners to advanced dancers, with some of Vancouver's best dance instructors.

For more information about current and upcoming classes visit the Dancey Studios website DanceyStudios.com

New to Salsa?

Interested in trying an introductory salsa class to see if you like it?

At D2 Dance Studio we offer a variety of options for absolute beginners to try an introductory lesson on weeknights or weekends.

Check our New to Salsa page or our Lesson Schedule for more info.

   
Dance Instructors
To see the list of instructors teaching at Dancey Studios, click this quicklink or scroll down to the Dance Instructors section.  
 
 
     
 

Drop-In Salsa Classes for Absolute Beginners

FRIDAY NIGHTS
9pm-10pm ($12 drop-in)

SUNDAY AFTERNOONS
4pm-5pm ($8 drop-in)

 

For people new to salsa dancing, these weekly drop-in classes provide a fun and easy opportunity to try a one-hour beginner salsa class for the first time. These "Absolute Beginner" lessons are the entry point into salsa dancing for many people and they cover the basics and fundamentals of salsa dancing.

If you’ve never tried a dance class before, this is the place to start. Anyone is welcome to attend, you don’t need a partner and you don’t need any previous dance experience.

Dancing can help you lose weight, reduce stress, develop new friendships, become smarter, happier and much more. What are you waiting for?

> Learn more at New to Salsa

Friday Nights (every week)
 
 

Intro Salsa Lesson is at 9pm-10pm, Cost: $12 drop-in
D2 Dance Studio, 55 West 8th Ave map

> Learn more at SALSA BACHATA FRIDAYS

Sunday Afternoons (every week)
 
 

Intro Salsa Lesson is at 4pm-5pm, Cost: $8 drop-in
D2 Dance Studio, 55 West 8th Ave Map

> Learn more at SALSA ON SUNDAYS

 

 

 
   
   
 
Salsa Dance Instructors
Teaching at D2 Dance Studio, 55 West 8th Ave
     
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
  One-Day Beginner Salsa Bootcamp  
  SATURDAY Oct 21
2pm-5pm
     
  The Beginner Salsa Bootcamp is a three-hour introductory workshop for people new to salsa dancing. Held once-a-month, it's an excellent opportunity to try an introductory salsa lesson and provides a more intensive and practical learning experience than a drop-in beginner lesson.  
     
     
 

The Beginner Salsa Bootcamp is a more intensive and practical learning experience than a typical drop-in beginner lesson and provides a good foundation for students interested in trying weekly dance classes.

Many people who register for weekly classes start off with this introductory salsa workshop to try salsa dancing and see if it’s something they enjoy.

Learn to dance salsa in just three hours! Held at D2 Dance Studio, 55 West 8th Ave. MORE INFO

 
Tips on
Choosing a Dance Instructor
     
 

Beginner Classes
at Salsa Events

One of the best introductions to Vancouver’s salsa scene is to try one of the beginner intro classes at salsa events.

Many instructors offer these intro classes at various salsa events in Vancouver and it’s a good way to try a salsa class for the first time, learn a few basic steps, assess the instructor, see if you like their teaching style and the material they teach. If you stay after the class for the social dance it’s also a great opportunity to see what Vancouver's social dancing scene is like.

See the Your First Salsa Class section lower down on this page for more information on events which include beginner intro classes.

 

Word of mouth
Word of mouth is always a good indication of who the popular instructors are. Ask around. If you have friends who are into salsa, ask them who they recommend. Or if you venture out to a salsa event, ask people there about salsa instructors. Keep in mind that many dancers are biased to the instructors who taught them, so also ask why they recommend a particular instructor. Try to get as many opinions as possible and this will help you to get a good sense of which instructors are popular.

 

Drop-ins
Some instructors may allow people to sit in on a class and watch before committing to a class. It's also often possible to do a 'drop-in' in a beginner level class where you pay for one class to try it out. Different instructors have different policies. These are both good ways to see an instructor in action and the material they teach, and an opportunity to talk with students and get feedback on the instructor. It’s important to feel comfortable with the instructor and the students around you. A social and fun atmosphere will enhance your learning experience and a fun learning environment usually means a better learning environment.

 

Bear in mind
More expensive instructors are not necessarily better. Price does not determine the quality of an instructor.

Class lengths can vary anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Take this into account when you look at the cost.

Class sizes and instructor-to-student ratios vary. Many people who take dance lessons for the first time prefer a large class with a lot of students as it can be a less intimidating experience. Larger classes often have a more social and fun atmosphere and offer a greater opportunity to meet a lot of people. For others, a smaller class may be preferable as these can allow for more focused and individual instruction and you’ll probably have the opportunity to dance with the instructor(s). The more personalized attention you receive the more likely you are to learn faster.

Male or female instructor, or a couple teaching? Obviously a female instructor may have more insight for follows, and a male instructor may have better insight for leads, but this is not always the case. A good instructor understands both roles and should be able to teach both leads and follows equally well, especially at the beginner level.

The best dancer is not necessarily the best teacher! There are some great dancers who are also great teachers, but this is not always the case. A teacher's skill set is very different from that of a dancer's. Teaching requires a fundamental technical understanding of dancing and human movement, gained though experience and training, plus the ability to verbally and visually communicate with students at a level they'll understand and learn. These traits are not always present in a great dancer, so don’t assume the best dancer will be the best instructor. The only way to tell is to take a class, watch a class and ask students for their opinions.

Instructors who teach many different dances will more than likely have studied various types of dance for a long time and can use this experience and knowledge in their classes. This experience can definitely improve their teaching ability.

 

Evaluating an
Instructor's Skill

As a beginner student it is very hard to evaluate how good an instructor is at teaching. Remember to evaluate their teaching skills, not dancing skills. You can learn a lot about the instructor through observation even if you are new to dancing.

A dance instructor must have an excellent understanding of the material he/she is teaching, including being able to teach both the men’s and women's steps, and the timing of leading and following. An experienced instructor will be able to warn you about common problems students have with each step and how to prevent them.

The instructor should also be able to successfully communicate this information to students. This is probably the most important skill of a good instructor. Just watching an instructor perform a specific step over and over is not enough for the average student, the instructor should be able to break down the step and verbally explain each segment of the pattern. They should be able to pinpoint the problems the students are encountering and help them through it using explanations, examples and demonstration.

A good instructor should be approachable and open to answering your questions.

And lastly, a good instructor should be able to encourage the students and be understanding. A caring and fun class atmosphere will greatly enhance the learning experience and will most likely bring the student back.

 

Keep in mind
How well does the instructor break down the steps? Is it too fast for you? Too slow?

At the end of the class did most of the students learn what the instructor tried to teach? Did you? If most of the students look confused or disinterested at the end of the class, the instructor most likely did not adapt to the class level, or did not break down the steps well enough.

Did the instructor cover both the leader's and follower's parts thoroughly? Were student questions answered well? Did the instructor even ask for questions or feedback?

A great way to judge an instructor is by his or her students. Can the instructor's advanced students dance well? Can they dance with students from a different instructor or different dance school?


In addition to these observations, any professional instructor should be glad to answer questions you may have about their dance experience and the length of time they have been teaching.

Ask them to explain the style they teach and if it is the same style that is most often danced at salsa events.


Note: There are different types of classes and different levels. The material in higher level classes is usually not broken down as much as beginner classes. So make sure you’re in the right class by doing a placement evaluation with the instructor

Try a few different instructors. You will notice different teaching styles. One is not necessarily better than another, but you may have a favourite from whom you learn the most. The most important questions to ask yourself after the class are: Were you happy with the lesson? Did you learn something new? Did you enjoy the lesson? If the answers are yes, then you’ve succeeded in finding a good instructor for you.

 

Private Classes
Many instructors also offer private classes. These are more expensive than group lessons but private instruction is one of the best ways to learn if you can afford it. Personal attention will let you know where your mistakes are and how to fix them. Your instructor will be able to pinpoint problems and focus specifically on the areas you need to improve on.


Do I need a dance partner to learn?
You definitely do not need a partner to learn how to dance salsa. Nearly all beginner classes accommodate students with no partners. In case you do have a partner, please remember that there are some advantages and disadvantages to dancing with the same person consistently.

The advantages of having a partner is that you have someone to practice with on a regular basis, which is great because a lot of practice is very important.

However, practicing with only one partner should be avoided, since your lead/follow will adjust to the partner's mistakes or you will learn to automatically anticipate their moves from sheer habit. So as soon as you start dancing with someone else you may encounter problems.

While developing leading and following skills, it is best to dance with a lot of different partners so you don’t rely on your partner to know your moves and compensate for your mistakes.

 

The information in this article is an edited version of an excellent article that was originally posted on a Toronto salsa web site: TOsalsa.com