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No partner required?
How long does it take to learn?
Any drop-in lessons?
Class size?
What do I wear?
What shoes?
Shoe Stores and Supplies?



Where to buy music?
Age Group?
Which style of Salsa do you teach?
Why take classes?
How soon can I start?
Can I do it?

 
Since 1996, thousands of students have recommended close friends to Salsa Vancouver classes because of the clear, concise teaching system which does NOT rely on your ability to naturally "get it".

Learn more by clicking on any of the above links to find an answer, or browse through them by scrolling down. If you have further questions on Salsa dancing in Vancouver, please email me: susana@salsavancouver.com.
 
 
 

No Partner Required?
No partner is required to enroll in Salsa Vancouver classes. In fact, many students come without a partner. Partner switching occurs approximately every 5 minutes, in a circle formation, ie the men move to the next lady in the circle. The result is a friendly, fun environment.
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How Long Does It Take To Learn?
No social dance can be mastered in a few lessons. Classes are taught in 10-week sessions. Students will find themselves able to use their basic step on the dance floor after the first class. After a 10 week course, students have already learned numerous underarm turns in the salsa as well as several basic patterns in the Merengue. However, the joy of expressing yourself freely through dance is only increased as the technique is understood and practiced in more depth.
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Any Drop-in Lessons?
No. When there is a course structure in place, each class builds on the last. Allowing total beginners to drop-in at any time impedes the progress of the established group. Therefore there are no drop-ins (AKA trial classes) or pay-as-you-go arrangements.
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Class Size?
Salsa Class size is maximum 15 ladies, maximum 15 men, up to 30 people. This is an ideal size. Students feel they get the attention they need, yet a group this size still has a good energy level. Partner switching occurs approximately every 5 minutes as a learning aide.
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What Do I Wear?
Although at the start, most people wear their street clothes to class, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

- Pants are good, except for very wide leg styles.

- Medium to shorter length skirts with side or front slits are the most comfortable and allow movement.

- Long ankle length skirts make it difficult for you and your teacher to diagnose difficulties in technique.

- You should expect to perspire during classes or dance events. Cotton or cotton blend shirts and tops are ideal for their ability to absorb moisture.
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What Shoes?
You'll need leather or suede bottom shoes that allow your feet to swivel easily on the floor. Rubber soles inhibit movement by gripping and can cause joint soreness over time.For ladies, high heels are not required, but I find dancing more comfortable in heels than flats. Avoid bulky heels or thick hard soles and platforms that don't allow bending of the foot or shoe-sole.

Your dancing will require more precision as you advance. Fit is important and you may find you need to continue the search for the brand that suits your foot best. Do not buy custom made dance shoes in Vancouver, BC. Unfortunately you will not get a quality product here.

Here are some tips:


For men & women:
- Avoid "lips" on soles (lips are where the sole extends past the shoe itself).

- Avoid extended points on toes. They do not allow an easy roll onto and off the ball of the foot. A rounded toe is better.

- Suede soles require periodically brushing the bottoms. Poor quality suede bottoms can flatten too quickly and require much-too-frequent brushing in order to prevent them from becoming slippery. A good brush for suede bottoms can be bought for around $10.

For Men:
 photo of mens shoes
- Varying heel heights exist for men to suit every preference, from 3/4 inch to the 'Cuban heel', a boot-like heel about 1+1/2 inches tall. Others prefer something in the middle.

- Avoid slip-on loafer styles in favour of lace-up styles.

- Flexibility of the shoe bottom is a matter of preference. For those who prefer to feel as though they are dancing in bare feet, shoe bottoms can be so flexible that when holding the shoe in your hand you can bend the toe all the way back to the heel. I prefer a more solid shoe bottom for leading. There are pros and cons to both.

- Softness of the leather upper is another matter of preference and degrees. Perferated leather provides maximum softness but is too soft for some. However, leather uppers that are too thick and rigid (e.g. Florsheim brand) can result in many blisters.

For Women:
- Front ankle straps, cross straps or T-straps attached to a closed back, keep the shoe from slipping off.
 photo of ankle-strapped shoe  photo of cross-strapped shoe  photo of t-strapped shoe
- An open space, where there is no material between the ball of the foot and the heel gives more comfortable mobility without digging into the sides of your feet.

- Some stops on ladies shoes are too plasticy and may require replacing ($20) if you find they are too slippery.

- If the shoe fits properly, the arch of your foot does not float above the arch of the shoe. This provides support.

- Many ladies wear open-toe shoes. Just be sure the shoe style will stay snuggly on your foot and your toes will not slide forward during dancing.

- Open or strapped backs are not ideal unless well designed. The better the design, the longer it will take to get wobbly when some stretching has occured.
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Shoes Stores and Supplies

Avalon Dance Shop

4750 Main St (just North of 32nd)
604-874-2461
www.avalondance.ca
Carries only ballroom shoes - not tango shoes. Ballroom shoes are generally not as good for tango as authentic tango shoes but they are less expensive and students often resort to them temporarily at the start.

The Dance Shop
1089 W Broadway, (604) 733-6116
www.thedanceshop.ca
Carry very basic mens' and ladies' ballroom dance shoes in black, priced competitively.

ByWorld
in Yaohan Centre (Mall), Unit 2425-3700 No. 3 Road, Richmond, B.C
604-232-0328
www.byworld.ca
Carries only ballroom shoes - not tango shoes, in their own store brand. Therefore quality is supect but prices are aproximately half of what a regular ballroom shoe costs.

Foot Solutions
2620 West Broadway, (604) 267-7463
Foot and shoe products geared to foot health and comfort, including inserts for shoes (custom fit in-store), gel toe straighteners, flexible footbed inserts and more. Speak to the knowledgeable staff.

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Where To Buy Music
Most major music stores now have a Latin Music section. You can find the CD's under world music (and then under the country where the album was released), or they may have a specific section for Salsa. Unfortunately not all music stores allow you to listen before buying. This is something I highly recommend you do since there are a lot of Salsa artists out there. Not all of them will be to your liking. Not all of them have spent the appropriate amount of money or effort on good production. You may want to visit internet CD stores, listen to the short samples they often provide, and decide what artist you prefer. Then visit your local music store or choose to buy online.

For recommended music please visit the Venues & Music section of this website!
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Age Group
Susana teaches adult classes. The age of students in Susana's classes varies widely. However students must be 18 years or older to attend.

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Which Style of Salsa Do You Teach?
There are 3 main styles in our city: Mambo Style (L.A. and New York style), Colombian Style, and Casino Style (Cuban). Susana teaches Mambo Style and Colombian Style Salsa.

(For more on Salsa styles, please see Susana's Soapbox.)

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Why Take Classes?

  1. Have Fun! Be Creative!   Creativity is a necessary part of life! If we don't take time out from responsibilities, the signs can often show up in our ability to perform well at work, to relate to our loved ones and also in our health. When we don't take time to play, our health can force us to take time out to rest. We all need to be creative. However, this often doesn't happen in a controlled and repetitive work environment. Dancing is an excellent way for individuals to express themselves and be creative. Music provides the inspiration from which to express ourselves through movement.

  2. Meet People Through This Wonderful Social Skill!   In a dance hall or club you don't need a special reason to approach someone to dance. Dancing provides a pretext for personal interaction. When taking dance classes, a class of 30 is a great advantage: an instant network. Salsa Vancouver courses provide a comfortable environment where interesting people of many backgrounds and walks of life, interact through weekly classes and their new common interest.

  3. Stay Fit By Dancing!   It provides regular exercise for those who may not feel comfortable with public weight rooms and gyms. You'll hardly know you're exercising when you are enjoying yourself dancing.
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How Soon Can I Start?
Many students have thought about taking classes for years before deciding that they want to start, now! Quality of instruction is of greatest importance. Susana Domingues Dance offers new beginner Salsa courses 3 - 4 times per year, so there may be a short wait before you can start classes. Don't be discouraged, it will be well worth it. Many students, hasty to begin as soon as possible, find themselves re-starting beginner classes because the course they selected didn't provide a structure they could learn in.
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Can I Do It?
The first day of classes is full of people who's primary and secret concern is, "What if I don't get it?" It's a common preoccupation that is quickly alleviated when people realize that just about everyone in the class is feeling a little nervous. The structure provided in the classes is one that ensures that members of the class are not left behind without a grasp of each dance step along the way. Dancing and rhythm is a learned skill and everyone who can move their body, can be taught.

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