Frequently asked questions
Q - What dance style should I try?
A - If you are new to dancing all the options can be confusing. Generally you will know what you want to get out of a dance class: Do you want to improve your fitness? Meet new people? Learn some cool moves? Improve your confidence? Try something new? We have classes that offer something for all these goals. Just give us a call/text, send us an email or come into the studio to discuss your requirements and we will help you choose the right option for you. We recommend giving a class a go to find out if it suits you. You can try our classes for a casual rate.
Q - Do I need to bring a partner?
A - You don’t have to bring a partner, as everyone is moved around during the class. This means that everyone will get to dance with a partner at some point.
Q - What do i wear?
A - Depends on the occasion:
At Classes: We recommend anything from casual attire to gym or dance wear. Comfortable clothes that don't restrict movement. Most people come straight from work and are in their work clothes, others wear jeans or simply casual clothes.
Social dancing: Comfort is key! Wear clothes that will allow full range of movement and that you don't have to stop and adjust every 30 seconds! Clubs are usually smart casual. Girls, if you are wearing something sleeveless, you will want to wear something with shoulder straps to avoid accidents! "Tube" like tops can become a problem!
A - Dress to impress, but keep it comfortable. Here are some guidelines for navigating your first social event
Q - What Shoes are the best?
A - Guys: Sneakers are OK for 1st or 2nd class, but not ideal. From there on, try wear smooth soles, preferably suede or leather. Avoid rubber soles that will grip the floor. Best to wear enclosed shoes to protect your feet on the dance floor or you might regret it when a 3 inch heel comes your way!
A - Ladies: No thongs or sandles. Runners are ok for 1st or 2nd class, but not ideal. Its really important ladies to have a smooth sole, preferably suede. Don't wear anything that will grip the floor. Make sure it is snug on your feet and will keep your heel and ankle in place. Keep in mind that you will be turning, therefore your feet need to have stability and feel secure. This will prevent twists and sprains.
Comfort is important ladies, if they are not comfortable to walk around in, they are not going to be comfy dancing in! If you wish to wear flat shoes, jazz shoes or dance sneakers is recommended.
Professional dance shoes make a huge difference if you dance on regular basis. Here is a list of stockists that you can purchase dance shoes from online:
Izadora Coutere - Dance Shoes and Clothe - Phone: 022 041 7649
Shoe size help:
Footwear sizes and shapes vary from brand to brand, so we recommend measuring your bare foot to ensure that you select the correct size. To do this, simply follow the steps listed below:
Place a piece of paper on a hard floor with its edge up against a wall.
Stand up and lean forward, putting your weight onto the foot you are going to measure. Place your bare foot flat on the paper with the heel against the wall.
Push a straight edge/book up against the front of your toes. Mark a line following the edge of the book.
Ensure that you repeat steps 1-3 with both feet, as it is quite common for one foot to be longer than the other.
Use a ruler to measure the length from the wall (or the edge of the paper) to the mark of the book edge. You need to be as accurate as possible; there should be less than 1cm variance between each size.
Add 0.5 to 0.8 cm to measurement to allow for growth/space.
Choose the shoe that is the closest to your measurements. If your bare foot measurement falls between the lengths in our sizing help chart, it is usually best to order the next size up.
* Although this method of measuring will get you close to finding your shoe size, each individual may be different. Therefore, we cannot guarantee a perfect fit using this method – it should only be used as a rough indication.
Q - What music can I practice to?
A - Practicing to the correct music is going to be very important and could make a big difference in your understanding and development for salsa dancing as there are many different styles and flavours of Salsa music out there.
A - Below we have selected a few songs that are appropriate for beginners who are starting out with Salsa dancing. The song have a good tempo, strong beat and clear instruments which makes it easy to pick up the timing.
Appropriate music for beginners practice
Ray Barreto: Acid
Crystal Sierra: Playa no more
Angeles y Bob Marley: No Woman No Cry (salsa version)
Hector y Tito con Victor Manuel: Ay Amor (salsa version)
Los Nemus: Cuera, Maraca y Bongo
Lenny Kravitz: Thinking of you (salsa version)
DLG: No morira
Lionel Richie: Hello (salsa version)
Frankie Ruiz: Cosas Nativas
Grupo Latin Vibe: La Llave
Luis Enrique: Yo no se mañana
Orquesta La Palabra:
Q - If I miss a class during the 8-week term, can I make it up?
A - When you sign up for a 8-week term of classes, it is your responsibility to come to all the classes. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to make up for any classes that you may miss. However, we do recap the last week’s moves at the beginning of each class in our 8-week term. If you feel that you need extra help to catchup, you can book a private lesson which will get you back up to speed quickly.
A - The other option is if you know with the 8-week term that you may miss the odd class, it may be best to pay the casual rate of $10.00 per class. This gives you more flexibility (instead of paying for the full 10-week).
Q - How many people are there in the class?
A - The number of people in the classes varies from week to week, on average between 15-20 students but they can reach up to 30 plus.
Q - What is the average age in the classes?
A - Our classes are for adults and we have people of ages in our classes from about 15 to 70 – dancing is not an age specific activity. On average our students are between 18 and 40 years old.
Q - Can I pay as i go or pay for one class to see if i like it?
Yes you can do this, however it is cheaper to pay for the 8-week class upfront. If you are unsure about committing to a full term, you are welcome to try out the class first and then if you decide to continue to you can choose either to pay for the full 8-week class or pay per week with our casual rate.
Q - Can I come and watch a class?
A - You can come and watch a few minutes of a class, but we recommend that you actually try a class, as participating is much more fun and really gives you an idea about whether the class suits you.
Q - How much does it cost?
A - 8-week term class - $65.00 (singles) or $120.00 (couples) or casual rate $10.00 per week.
Q - How do I pay for classes?
A - You can pay either by Cash, Cheque (made out to Salsa Groove) or Internet Banking. Our bank account details are: SALSA GROOVE, westpac 03-1710-0073700-017 (reference is your name). NB: Eftpos not accepted.
Q - How do I register for a class?
A - Give us a call/text or send us an email or you can register with us at class on the first night.
Q - I missed the first week, can I still join in week 2?
A - You can join any of our 10-week classes in week 2 of the term. We recap the last week’s moves in each class you will catch up if you miss the first week.
Q - When can I start?
A - You can join open level and casual classes at any time. 8-week term classes can be joined up to week 2. If you are unsure about joining a class, please contact us and we will advise you of the best options available. See our calendar for class timetables.
Q - Where is Salsa Groove Marlborough?
A - Harlequins Rugby Clubrooms, Lansdowne Park, Lansdowne Street, Mayfield, Blenheim (see map)
Q - Where can I park?
A - There is plenty of off-street parking in the main area of Lansdowne Park (main entrance next to Dobsons Cafe, we are at the black building in the middle (Lansdowne Street side).
Q - What level should I try?
Beginner – try this level if you have little or no experience. Our beginner classes are for total beginners, no experience necessary!
Open level – open to all levels, the instructor will adapt to the average level in the class, anyone can join.
Improver – This level may suit you if you have been to a few beginner classes and feel you are ready for something slightly more challenging.
Intermediate – At this level you will learn more complex moves and combinations.
If you are unsure of the level you are at, you can try different classes on a casual basis and decide which level suits you best. Also you are welcome to consult our instructors as to what level is suitable for you.
How Can I Get More Out Of My Group Salsa Classes?
1) Have an open mind.
Many times we walk into a class feeling we already have most of what is being taught, but that we just need one thing ( a new step, syncopation, body move, timing etc etc). When this happens we tend to only hear what we want to hear, not necessarily what is being taught. Many teachers use patterns as a means to teach a skill, that skill would be the primary thing to learn in that class, not the pattern.
2) Be in the right level.
Having been a competitor, a teacher and a student for nearly 20 years, I can still say that I can still learn from another teachers beginning class. For example, just because you know the skill that is being taught doesn't mean that you know everything about that skill or that you can't improve the way you use it or that you can't learn another way of doing it for different dancing circumstances. Also, different schools have different numbering systems. (School A's level 4 may be equal to School B's level 2) When in doubt take the more basic class. The key here is: Upper level classes for quantity, beginning classes for quality.
3) Be on time.
If you are in class from the beginning you'll obviously have a better understanding than if you come in the middle of an explanation. Besides it's not fair to the teacher or the rest of the class to have to keep repeating things for the latecomers.
4) During the class practice time, practice the pattern that is being taught.
During class practice time, the teacher is watching. We want to see if most of the people are getting what we are teaching, if we need to teach another facet of the material, or if the majority is ready to build on what we have done so far. While you may feel "oh, I've got it" in watching you the teacher may see that you missed an certain point (see #1).
5) Encourage your partners.
On occasion we have a newer dancer tell us that one of the intermediates gets frustrated with the beginners. While you are working on your dancing, be aware of what emotion that you may be projecting, beginning dancers tend to take it more personal. If you are frustrated with yourself, they may think it is them that you are frustrated with. Let's face it, having lots of partners to dance with can be a lot of fun, especially come party-time. The more comfortable people are, the more often they will come. Everybody has fun. The key here: Remember your roots.
6) Come as often as possible.
Group teachers in schools (as opposed to nightclubs) usually progress each class in a series. In a school we can assume that you'll come regularly, so we can teach things knowing we have next week and the week after to build, improve and flesh out what we're starting this week. This ties into #7.
7) Take privates.
The group classes are a great place to learn patterns, but if you want to really understand and polish your dancing, privates are an important part of your class schedule. To be honest, some things really cannot be taught in group classes, so some "secrets" can only be fully taught in private lessons because we can get you to "feel" it. This ties to #8.
8) Get as much practice as possible.
Get to know your classmates (see #5). They are built in practice partners. Come early to class, stay after class, come to parties, go to clubs....practice as often as possible. The formula I was one told by a coach: there should be 5 hours of practice between each class. While you may not be able to to that much, obviously the more better.
9) Have proper tools.
Shoes. You don't have to have dance shoes, but let's put it this way: at least with dance shoes you are eliminating one potential roadblock to your learning. Properly taken care of, a good pair of shoes will last a long time. It's like putting good tires on your car. If you are investing in your dancing, invest in shoes. If you choose not to have dance shoes at least get shoes with thin flexible soles and ladies pick shoes that stay on your feet without flapping around. Clothing should be cool and comfortable. Please avoid tennis shoes and character or tap shoes.
10) Have fun.
Remember that this is a social activity (see #5 and #8). Remember WHY you walked into your first class. For most people it was to be able to either go out and have fun or the class itself would be fun or both. Also the process of learning guarantees mistakes will happen, if you can laugh about it you really will learn faster than the person stressing over the mistake. Enjoy the learning process.