I often have potential students call me for more info on our salsa classes and many have an unrealistic expectation of how long it takes to learn to dance and how easy it is to learn.
It is deceiving to watch a great couple dance together. Everything looks smooth and simple and easy to execute. The reality is that becoming that smooth takes a lot of hard work and practice.
So there is no short answer on how long it takes to learn how to dance. It depends on whether you are leading or following or if you have prior dance experience. Even certain sports experience can assist in your learning capacity. I have found over the years that those with martial arts experience and gymnastic experience will learn faster generally. It also depends on whether you are naturally musical and how strong your memory is to master moves and choreography.
There are many factors that determine how fast one learns to dance. The key point is that everyone can do this. I started my salsa dancing with zero dance experience, no athletic background and no musical talent to speak of and with determination and drive I was dancing well in 6 months. I went out dancing every night of the week though and practiced at home, but the results were obvious after 3 months.
Anyone who takes a full level 1 class and practices the moves regularly will find they can already feel quite good on the dance floor after 9 weeks. Just a little practice and a regular class can make a big difference and improve your dancing.
Keep at it and you can reap the benefits of dancing!