How long is a piece of string? There’s really no answer to these questions. First of all, what is the definition of good? Everyone has different goals: some people want to go down the competition route, win trophies, become professional dancers and perform internationally. For others, being able to dance confidently on a Friday night Salsa party is all they want.

How fast you can improve your dancing abilities depends on many factors, some of which are listed below:

[]  How much time are you willing to invest in and outside class?

Do you go to a class once a week and then go home and continue with your life until the next class the following week? Or do you go to 3-4 classes a week, practise at home, go out social dancing twice a week, and listen to Cuban music on your commute and on most of your idle time? Joining one class of Salsa two years ago doesn’t mean you’ve been dancing Salsa for two years. Don’t be surprised if one of your classmates has now started assisting teaching Salsa when you’re still struggling at improvers level. What is important though, is to use yourself as a measuring stick – are you better than you were a month ago?

[]  Do you have the right teacher(s)?

The right teacher isn’t the one with the most experience. It isn’t the one who dances the best. It is definitely not the best looking one or the most expensive. The right teacher is the one that resonates with YOU! The one who communicates with you clearly in many different ways (after the first or second explanation didn’t work). It is the one who encourages you and makes you remember WHY you are dancing in the first place. Teaching and dancing require a different set of skills. A fantastic teacher who is also a brilliant dancer would obviously be ideal, but if it’s not possible it is better to find a dance teacher rather than a dancer to teach you.

[]  Are you a natural?

Although we don’t believe that there’s such thing as ‘a born dancer’, we acknowledge the fact that some people do become better at dancing faster than average. But, and this might come as a surprise to you, even Cubans are not all professional level dancers. They do usually, however, have the advantage of being exposed to dancing and hearing the music and the rhythm from their early age. Growing up in a society and culture that encourages and rewards dancing gives them a head start, but still this doesn’t guarantee to make them brilliant dancers. Your past experiences all add up. Did you do any sport or other activities that require physical coordination and/or flexibility? Did you play a musical instrument? Are you physically fit? All these things add up to determine if you’re a “natural” or not.

So, rather than asking “are we there yet?” like a child in the back of a car, why not just relax, have fun and enjoy your Salsa journey.

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