Recommend a good Salsa private instructor in Los Angeles? (Plus Tango, Swing)
January 8, 2010 6:10 PM   Subscribe

Recommend a good Salsa private instructor in Los Angeles? (Plus Tango, Swing)

I've tried learning by the dance studio lesson approach and the "just go dance" approach, but decided it would be worth it for private lessons. Any rec's, rates?

I'm in West LA but willing to travel. Trying to learn Salsa now, but also interested in Tango and Swing so please recommend those too!

My goal is to get good enough to dance in a club with confidence, and who knows, maybe even impress someone. Not interested in flashiness, competing or really even "proper" technique.

posted by jeff1010 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (2 answers total)
I don't know what the rates are, but I know (some by reputation, some personally) the instructors at the Atomic Ballroom.

Note: I am specifically a swing dancer and my knowledge of any of these people has to do with that type of dancing only. The Atomic Ballroom appears to have classes for Salsa, Tango, and more in addition to Swing.
posted by ymendel at 2:25 PM on January 9, 2010

I used to do a fair amount of salsa and swing in the LA area (but mostly took group lessons)

I think what you'll find is that in the social dance world (i.e. not ballroom [1]), private dance lessons are mostly taken by people who do want to dive really deeply into the specifics of technique and competion. This is not to say that private lessons can't be worthwhile for someone with your interests.

I'd use the analogy of 1st grade teachers vs. college professors. Both require a lot of skill to excel at, but the skill set isn't the same. For teaching first grade, it is a lot less about what you know and more about your skill at teaching. Whereas college professors are often chosen based on their excelence in the field of study, even if their teaching isn't quite as strong (though ideally they'd be good at both).

What you need is a great (dance) teacher more than a great dancer who teaches. What will make a teacher great for you isn't the same thing as what a lot of other people are looking for out of a private instructor.

Its a bit harder to figure this out, since seeing how they dance doesn't give you a good idea of how well they can convey their knowledge to you.

I think your best bet is to just try a couple of different instructors and see who is able to really make the stuff make sense to you. The teaching style of one teacher might work for lots of people, but if it doesn't work for you it isn't worth it.

I would suggest taking lessons with teachers who teach lots of beginner lessons, since they will have more experience breaking things down in the simplest way.

These people are in boston, but they have really good explanation of the pros and cons of private lessons vs group lessons. Link
[I know you said you tried, but I think it would be worth trying out different places to take group lessons, even if you didnt like the first place you tried. A good beginner group lesson will teach you almost exactly as much as a private lesson, but be much less expensive. Try taking a multi week beginner lesson series, rather than the lessons taught before a nighttime dance]

Another difficulty of private lessons for partner dancing is that there is a trade off, you can have an instructor of the same gender, who will know your part better, but will be less good for you to practice dancing with, or of the opposite gender with the those switched. You could also potentially take lessons with a couple who teaches, but that adds even more to the cost.

I would exspect to pay at a minimum $60, up to about $100. (More if you are getting taught by a couple)
posted by vegetableagony at 1:20 PM on January 13, 2010

« Older How does Internet Explorer make money?   |   Linguistic study of math/physics equation... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.