In this article I compare learning salsa from a dance class versus learning it from a DVD. Both a learning format has its benefits and weaknesses.
First, if you are a totally neophyte to the world of salsa a inquiry you might have is which learning format should you start with: a Salsa DVD or a live salsa dance class? My answer is that it depends. First, Salsa dance DVD’s are great way to start if you feel a little uneasy or nervous stepping on to the group or private salsa classes right away.
Simply order a DVD on-line, pop it into your computer or DVD player and you are off and learning. Salsa dance DVD’s are a great way to learn the beginner steps. Just rewind the tape or DVD to the sections or places where you need most help with. Another great thing about learning from a DVD is that you can progress entirely at your own speed.
However, as soon as you begin learning partner work it is very helpful to have a partner. In fact, in the beginning (actually, almost at any time) it is nearly impossible to learn partner patterns without a partner. If you have someone you can practice the moves you learn from a DVD then great. If not, this might be a time to head on to your local live salsa group class or possibly schedule a private. Private salsa classes are another phenomenal way to get started if you feel apprehensive about starting with a group classes, especially if money is not a consideration.
But many people also prefer taking their first salsa steps at a live group dance class. In my opinion, live group salsa classes are always the best and most cost effective way to get started. The group environment often makes salsa both a lots of fun and a great way to learn. If you only rely on learning from a salsa DVD what often happens is time simply goes by and one day you find your salsa dance DVD on some corner of a bookshelf just collecting dust. Don’t let that happen to you. Of course, you may live in an area where no salsa classes are offered, which makes salsa DVD’s worth their weight in gold. This is what happened to me as I begin my salsa journey in a removed part of Louisiana. Don’t ask me how I ended up there, I’ll tell you later.
But here is another thing to consider. Sometimes when you begin to advance with your salsa dancing and you have taken some group classes for awhile again, Salsa dance DVDs may become another viable option to continue your growth as a dancer. At some point you might find that your local group classes are simply not challenging enough anymore and you are ready to learn some more complicated patterns. Salsa dance DVD’s are great for this. You can literally invite some of the best salsa dancers in the world to your living room through them. This is another thing I did as I became more advanced dancer.
Finally, how about starting your own salsa dance classes? Believe it or not as soon as you know more than someone else begin teaching them. You will probably gain more out of teaching than the student you are teaching your knowledge to. When you teach and share your skills and knowledge with others you will re-inforce what you have learned and you will continue to grow.