A lot of people ask me about the relevance of cardio salsa classes when being assessed for higher salsa levels or just in general as a way of learning salsa. Here is my opinion on Cardio Salsa classes.
I think cardio salsa classes are great. They are a great, fun workout that incorporate great merengue, salsa, cha cha and other latin rhythms. It introduces students to fast footwork, step choreography, musicality and body movement. For those looking to get healthy, lose weight, have fun, and dance it is a great step to take.
The thing that these classes don’t teach is how to dance with a partner and that is the essence of salsa dancing. Leading and following turnpatterns is the key to dancing salsa. So what you get in a cardio class is a good workout and fun steps but it really doesn’t have much to do with the partnerwork, turnpatterns and feel of the dance.
So if you have taken cardio classes like Zumba, it will help you learn footwork better in class but it won’t help you skip levels because you have to learn how to lead or follow and that is the difficult part of dancing.
If you take cardio salsa in conjunction with regular salsa classes you will definitely see the benefit though as you can last longer, learn footsteps faster, have a sharper memory due to the choreography and speed of the class. So the moral of the story is everything helps but nothing can replace a good salsa partnerwork class!