How Long Does it Take to Learn Salsa Dancing?

It seems like everybody wants to learn Salsa. Salsa dancers are admired because they’re sexy, spontaneous, and clearly having fun. To be sure, if you can dance Salsa, you’ll have no shortage of dance partners.

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Many Latin clubs have a live band for you to dance to.

How long will it take to learn Salsa?

The amount of time it takes to learn depends on four things.

  1. What level do you hope to achieve? Do you just want to get by or are you looking to be good or great?
  2. What do you know about Salsa now? For instance, if you’ve taken some Zumba classes, you’ve been exposed to some basic Salsa steps.
  3. When are you going Salsa dancing? Is it sooner or later?
  4. Speaking of time, how much are you willing to devote to learning Salsa?

Disclaimer: Without meeting you, it’s not possible for me to say how long it’ll take you to learn Salsa.  That’s because everyone is different. However, what I will do is give you an idea of what someone with average ability can do in a set amount of time.

How much time do you have to learn Salsa?

Do you have one week, one month, one year? Then, that’s how long it will take to master Salsa. Let me explain.

One Week

  • The degree of difficulty:  Extremely ambitious.
  • Amount of commitment:  Total immersion.
  • Result:  Very basic Salsa with just a few steps.

If this is a dance “emergency” and you’ve got to learn Salsa in a week then you’ll need to get an instructor at a good Salsa school or ballroom dance studio and schedule multiple lessons per day.  In addition, you’ll go to group classes and dance parties. And, don’t forget to get there early and stay late to practice.

Here you go – someone to practice with!

But, who will you practice with?  In fact, you should have no problem finding someone to dance with. Practice and repetition are what it takes to develop muscle memory.  That means you don’t have to think so much about what you’re doing. It’s the same as when you drive, isn’t it? After you do it enough times, you’re kind of on automatic.

One Month

  • The degree of difficulty: A challenge.
  • Amount of commitment:  Stay focused.
  • Result:  A few combinations of steps to repeat throughout the song.

If you have a month to learn Salsa, you can cut back to 2-3 lessons per week.  You’ll need to keep your lessons close together to avoid forgetting steps.

To be able to get by in Salsa you’ll probably need 10-20 private lessons. Furthermore, spend some time on an easier dance like Merengue. You’ll find that Merengue will help refine your moves. It’ll also teach you how to execute the turns and spins that are a big part of Salsa.

Don’t forget to take as many group classes and dance parties as you can.  And, here’s a great idea. Why don’t you get a few of your fellow students together to go to a Latin club? You know, to kind of take a test drive on the dance floor?  Knowing what to expect will help with the jitters.

One Year

  • The degree of difficulty:  Leisurely.
  • Amount of commitment:  Cruising along, enjoying the ride.
  • Result:  An accomplished Latin club style dancer.

If you have a year to master Salsa and Latin dancing, you’re in for a treat.  In contrast to one week or one month, learning like this is stress and pressure-free. Your style will be smooth and fluid. Dancing with different partners will be a pleasure. It’s gonna be a piece of cake!

Learn about the different styles of Salsa in this Dance Safari post, “Learn to Dance Bachata – Start Today”. Also, to help you stay up-to-date on the latest Salsa music, check out this list of 2019’s greatest Salsa hits from NewGenSalsa.

Keep in mind that when you go to Latin clubs, you’re gonna want to be able to do some Bachata and Merengue, as well. While it’s true that the majority of songs you hear at the club will be Salsa, you’ll be having too much fun to sit out the other dances. To be sure, with a year of instruction under your belt, you won’t have to!

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