WHERE TO DANCE SALSA
Gang, that is a general question, but I want to guide you in all the right places to dance Salsa from beginner to social dancing.
Enjoy your first experience
The best place to start is at your nearest dance school. Hopefully, it’s our dance school. Something I love about Salsa is how accessible it is to everyone. Since all Latin schools will teach Salsa, they also offer the possibility to dance socially regularly.
If you need to select a dance school, you want to make sure that the dance school has a regular schedule. This feature is important because a regular schedule creates an easy-to-follow routine that facilitates learning and promotes meaningful connections with your classmates and instructor—coming week after week builds knowledge of the previous week. Think about Math lessons at school. I hated this subject, but something that helped me understand math was learning the basics. Once I was clear on them, I would be able to add new knowledge class after class and a little bit by a little. Logically you will get confused and frustrated over Algebra if you haven’t learned basic math skills. The same applies to any dance discipline as you will always feel that something is missing, and most probably, what’s missing was taught in a class you missed.
Do your research.
The convenience of your neighbourhood school is a big plus but a significant caveat; sometimes, the best of things are a little further away from you. So look around, search on Google and look at great schools that have a Google review of 4.7 or above. Read the reviews, and feel the vibe as the most important thing is culture. Pick a school that will match your personality and your goals and make sure you have an idea of the family that you want to join because a Salsa family is one of the best families you can be a part of
Get familiar with social dancing.
So you already have picked up a couple of moves, and you’re looking to go out and dance, there are many websites designed for socials you can check, but I do want to help break down the idea of social dancing. There are three general categories of socials and one special category that I particularly love.
- Latin clubs will play Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Reggaeton. These venues are usually a restaurant or bars converted into Salsa socials at a certain point of the night. People who enjoy Latin music attend these places, but not all have been exposed to actual dance lessons. Knowing their event schedules is a good idea as they feature different dance styles during the week and weekend.
- Events organized by promoters are held in banquet halls or other large spaces. Those are Salsa and Bachata events strictly; they don’t play Reggaeton and are really focused on more intermediate to advanced dancers.
- And then there are socials and parties run by individual schools, where you actually come into that school. Attendees are a mix of students, bailadores and bailarines. Bailadores is the term to define everyone who loves dancing, and “bailarines” represent those people who dance professionally. A significant advantage of dancing in a dance school social is that you can become a regular, make friends, and be in a super safe space of people who are willing to learn and teach and have fun. These socials are almost always alcohol-free and have a cover that can go between $15 to $25.
During Toronto Dance Salsa’s events, we’ll have almost 200 people dancing at our parties. We offer one or two dance lessons before the socials start. Our events combine Bachata parties with Salsa parties, and we also offer Salsa loves Bachata parties. So be sure to show up early and bring your dance shoes.
Reasonable criteria to determine which type of event is right for you is considering your dance experience. For example, I felt intimidated by Latin clubs when I started dancing. Based on my experience, my advice is to taste the waters of social dancing at a dance school where people usually feel comfortable at any level of dance experience.
Congresses are the final area of social dance.
The ultimate dance experience is the Conventions and Congresses. Conventions and Congress happen once a year, and they usually last three to four days. We host many of them here in Canada, such as “The Canada Salsa Congress,” a four-day event where local and international dancers get together. We also have the Montreal Salsa Convention, the Ottawa Bachata Festival, and many more options available in Canada. There are also international congresses in the major cities around the world. As a professional dancer, I always look forward to attending these events as they are incredibly fun and exciting.
I look forward to them because it’s my opportunity to grow as a dancer and learn from the experts. You have people from other parts of the world, professional dancers, come out and do workshops, and those are just genuinely exciting for me. Therefore I consider them the ultimate experience of social dancing.
As a recap, you have three core categories of social dancing: the Latin clubs, the promoter-run events, and school events; and if you are really in love with dancing, then finally, there are Congresses and Conventions.
As you can see, you have options; the most important thing is to get your dancing shoes ready and be open to a night of fun and adventure.
I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you come in week to week, have fun, connect with new friends and let 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]