Salsa Lessons: What’s Salsa Nightclub Level 1 Like?


You’ve been to a Salsa night at a club and you’re hooked – you love the music, the energy, the look of two dancers gliding across the dance floor executing cool spins and turn patterns. You’ve tried one or two of the free classes offered at the clubs and while they’ve been fun you still can’t seem to “understand” salsa music or the moves or get that smooth and effortless execution.

It’s time for lessons.

With so many studios out there and different styles to choose from, where does a complete newbie start?

Most brand new dancers choose to learn L.A. “On-1” style – slotted Salsa styles are the most prevalent in North America (with some exceptions of some urban centres that still predominantly embrace Cuban and Puerto Rican styles) and L.A. style is thought to be easier to learn than New York “On-2” style. L.A. Style will quickly teach you the fundamentals of Salsa timing, weight transfer and turn pattern execution. Many dancers, once they’ve had a year or two of dancing L.A. Style Salsa under their belts, “switch” to New York style in order to diversify their dance vocabulary; but many dancers decide to stick to just one style of Salsa and enjoy their time on the dance floor in that particular style.

Luckily, in Canada the Salsa community is very diverse and you’ll find all styles of Salsa on pretty much any given Salsa dance floor – in major urban centres like Toronto or Montreal the influence of Canada’s diverse cultural groups is very apparent on the dance floor: you will see Cuban Style, L.A. Style and New York Style all being danced in the same club, with many of the dancers being able to switch from one style to the other from one song to the next.

No matter which style you choose it’s important to stick to that style until you’re very comfortable with the fundamentals of timing, body rhythm and foundation move execution before considering “switching” styles (if you want to). Like any new skill, it’s always best to focus your efforts into developing muscle memory in one discipline before moving on to another.

Once you embark on lessons be ready to commit time and energy to learn how to dance – in general, it takes a complete newbie (i.e., someone with little or no dance experience) about 6 months of actively taking lessons and going out and practicing at least twice a week to get to a point where pattern execution starts to feel “natural”.

I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you coming in week to week, having fun, connecting with new friends and letting loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.

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].