Salsa is perhaps the most popular of all Latin dance styles and is danced by millions of people around the world. It is an excellent starting point if you are new to Latin dance.
Salsa (music and dance) has a rich history with many influences but basically came to be in New York as the result of the mixture of Cuban music and Latin Jazz in the 1940’s and 50’s. Although it has been influenced by countries such as Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela and of course the city of New York over the years, unmistakeably Salsa has its roots in Cuban music and culture.
It is a partner dance and consists of a 4/4 beat or rhythm, with a pattern of six steps danced over the eight counts of music.
It’s fun and rhythmic and includes lots of intricate footwork, turns and spins, dips and combinations. Salsa works on a lead and follow system where one person leads – traditionally the male with his female partner following his signals and being led into all the moves. It is considered a street-style dance which basically means that there is no set choreography. It is all about spontaneity!
The dance has changed and progressed through the years becoming more sophisticated and stylish due to the fusion of many other dance genres but its essence will always remain the same – upbeat, rhythmic, sexy and fun but it can be romantic, energetic, smooth and debonair.
There are several styles of Salsa which exist and danced all over the world – Salsa On 1 (also known as LA Style), Salsa On 2 (NY Style or Mambo) as well as Cuban Style. At Latino Grooves, our classes are taught On 1 however you will also find Salsa On 2 (Mambo) on the timetable throughout the year.
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Do I need a partner?
You don’t need a partner to attend our Salsa classes in fact, a lot of people come along alone. Our classes are taught through a rotation system which means you will have a partner for most if not the entire hour. This gives you the opportunity to meets lots of new people. If you attend with a friend or partner, you are more than welcome to remain with them for the duration of the class – just let your instructor know.
What should I wear?
You can wear anything you like just as long as you are comfortable and able to move around. Many people pop in to our classes straight after work and feel that their work attire is just fine. Others wear jeans or athletic clothing. It is really up to you. As you progress through the classes you will realise what works best for you.
What type of shoes should I wear?
The most important factor is comfort. Any supportive and comfortable shoe is a great starting point such as sneakers, flats, dress shoes, heels etc. Some ladies prefers heels, other flats – it is personal preference!
We do not recommend that you wear thongs or sandal type shoes that fly off your foot easily. A smooth sole (as opposed to sneakers with grip) will make turning much easier however at a Beginner level, you shouldn’t worry too much about your footwear. Once you start getting into your spins and dips at an Intermediate and Advanced level, a proper dance shoe will make all of the difference.
Where can I purchase dance shoes?
There are several dance stores in Adelaide where you can purchase proper dancing shoes, clothing and accessories:
The Stage Shop
3 Leigh St, Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8231 9554
Dance FX Unley
152 Unley Road, Unley SA 5061
Phone: (08) 8272 2668
Dance FX Windsor Gardens
502 North East Road, Windsor Gardens SA 5087
Phone: (08) 8266 0666
You can also purchase dance shoes online:
If you are unsure what shoe to buy, have a chat to one of our friendly instructors and they can point you in the right direction.
Do I need to book ahead?
Yes – we would absolutely love for you to let us know if you will be joining us. Our bookings system allows us to achieve an even ratio of men to women (leaders and followers) or as close to as possible, which is extremely important in a partner dance such as Salsa.
I have never danced before. Do I need to have experience to attend?
Our Level 1 Beginner classes are designed to introduce you to Latin dance right from the very basics. We do not expect you to have any prior dance experience and we guarantee to have you dancing in no time at all. Even if you think you have two left feet, just come along and give it a go!
I have taken some Salsa lessons before, what level should I start with?
If you are unsure about what level is right for you, get in touch with us and let us know how much experience you have and we will do our best to allocate you in the right class. If you attend class and it is not the right level for you, you are always welcome to swap.
What are the age groups of the people who attend?
Our classes attract a lot of people from all walks of life and all different ages. You can expect to see people from the ages of 18 right up to 60 dancing up a storm.
How much do the classes cost and can I pay as I go?
You are welcome to pay as you go at any of our classes but paying upfront does offer better value for money.
The cost of a casual class is $20 or $17 concession, per lesson. If you are attending a 6 week course, you have the option of paying for the 6 weeks upfront at $70 for any Level 1 course (Beginners special) or $99 for all other levels. This upfront payment saves you $50 and $21 respectively as well as time and effort as you don’t need to bring your money each and every week.
You are also able to purchase the classes in blocks of 10 or 20 through our Dance Class Passes. A block of 10 classes costs $170 or $140 concession and a block of 20 costs $320 (concession not available). They can be used at any Latino Grooves classes and do not have an expiry date. You simply get your pass stamped each time you attend class until the pass runs out.
How long will it take me to become a good dancer?
Everybody learns at a different rate but as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect!” This is especially true in the case of dancing. The more effort you put into your classes, the more effortless your dancing will feel.
Many of our students have achieved optimal results through attending at least 2 classes per week and practicing their moves out socially at our parties and events at least twice a month. Many students have also gained many benefits from private lessons with their instructor.
We offer lots of opportunities and different pathways to suit different styles of learning and goals that people may wish to set for themselves.
There will be lots of special workshops and boot camps held throughout the year which are taught by guest instructors from interstate or overseas. These are an excellent opportunity to improve and learn new skills.
We also offer our students the opportunity to perform twice a year at our Mid Year and End of Year Showcases as well as other events that may pop up locally or interstate. We find that performances bring out the best in some students who love working towards a specific goal. At the end of a performance course, students always feel much more confident and polished.
Do you offer private lessons?
Yes – if you prefer to learn in a one-on-one environment or need a little bit of extra help, enquire about private lessons. There is no better or faster way to improve your dancing if you prefer one-on-one attention which will allow you to learn at your own pace.
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