How to Shine when Dancing Salsa Solo


Hey Aleks!

Can I practice and dance salsa when I don’t have a partner?


Hey Gang!

It’s Aleks, your friendly neighbourhood director and instructor at Toronto Dance Salsa. That’s a great question and the short answer is absolutely! Traditionally, salsa is danced with a partner. There is a leader who does the signaling and a follower who executes the moves. But the great news is you can also dance salsa solo.  These are called salsa shines. At Toronto Dance Salsa we teach salsa shines from level 2 through to level 6. Salsa shines include everything from basic steps and swivels to more advanced moves like body waves, double and even triple turns.  


Even when you dance salsa with a partner, you do salsa shines. The leader releases the follower and both the leader and follower dance while facing each other and do their own solo shine patterns for several counts and then come together again. 


If you know your basics (dance on 1, 2, 3, pause on 4, dance on 5, 6,7, pause on 8) a great way to learn and practice shines is to check out my dance challenge videos on our YouTube channel ( These videos are specifically designed for solo dancing. I instruct you to do right turns, reverse turns and call out different moves.


These videos not only teach you salsa shines but they are a great workout when you are doing them solo. They also will boost your confidence. When you start to feel confident dancing solo, you will feel confident no matter who you dance with and make you feel like you #belong on the dance floor. 


I hope that was helpful and remember to keep checking the website ( for new tips on dancing each week. Also if you have any questions you would like me to answer here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodancesalsa), on Twitter (#torontodancesalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].   Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel ( for more videos, tips, articles and so much more.  


I can’t wait to give you a big hug and I will see you on the dance floor very soon.