There have been concerns from beginners not feeling comfortable about the honesty of some instructors. There are smaller communities with fewer Latin dance Instructors to choose from, and then there are the larger communities which are saturated with instructors. So how does a beginner dancer know which dance instructor is being honest, and which dance instructor is 'trying to make the studio rent for the month'? As with many personal endeavors, there is only so much research that can be done. After that, one has to give it 'face time' to get the real feel whether the dance instructor chosen will be best suited for your dancing experience. Maximize your personal investment to experience all that comes with Latin dancing. Is the instructor honestly pulling out your full potential? Is the instructor right for your style and demeanor?
Checking Instructor Credentials: Most dance instructors will have a website with short instructional videos of dance styles provided in their dance school or academy. Review the videos and make sure you can feel a connection with that particular dance instructor's style of teaching the dance.
Beware of Recommendations: Of course friends will have recommendations, and being in a dance class with someone you know makes the beginner or intermediate experience less stressful. However, you will need to be the judge and decide if that style of dance instructor will be best for you. Similar to choosing your dance footwear, just because a friend recommends a certain style of dance shoes, doesn't mean that style will fit you. And of course, should a dance instructor not be a fit for you, use cordial etiquette with a smile, and give your thanks but no thanks, as you continue your search for the instructor that fits your needs.
Beware of Sales Pitches: In selecting a dance school or instructor, be realistic in fulfilling your dancing needs. Paying a higher price for lessons does not always guarantee quality instruction. Do the dance classes move too fast and the instructor seems to be watching the clock too often? Does it seem to be too much, or not enough instruction for one lesson? When you ask a question is it honestly answered to your satisfaction? Granted there are other students, but if you are paying and the cost is high, you should feel every right to get a full answer, and not be rushed on to the next phase of the lesson.
Consider Group before Private Lessons: When a personal decision is made to get involved in social dancing, most would think about taking private lessons. As with everything, there are pros and cons to this decision. Private lessons are best when comfort is found in connecting with an instructor that honestly understands your level and how to grow your dancing experience. A rush to private dance lessons can sometimes go to waste because you are missing out on the social aspect of dancing. Once the private lessons are done, there may still be a level of insecurity or lack of confidence to experience what you've learned when at a real dancing event without your instructor as a partner. For this reason, getting involved in group lessons is recommended first for beginners. Dancers are always meeting up at clubs and dance events, so it's no mystery that group lessons are the way to go.
Although this is not the bible on how to choose the right dance instructor, it is a brief guideline on where to start. The thought process for choosing any Latin dance Instructor is just like choosing your dance footwear. Is it a style you like? Are you comfortable and confident? Is it a great value? Social dancing is super fun, and just as in life, using your common sense feelings in addressing your comfort level can be applied to the same process in choosing dance lessons or a dance instructor, just as if you are choosing your first dance shoes. Keep dancing, and keep smiling!
Miguel "Mambo" DeLeon has been a Latin music entertainer for over 30 years. He is known in the Midwest Salsa and Latin Jazz scene as "The Pioneer" - "El Pionero" since the mid 80's. From the mid 70's he worked alongside Orchestra Charambo and backed up various vocalists from the Fania All Stars. Other artists include such legends as Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Tito Puente and many more.
Motivated by his fans with questions about dancing and what shoes to wear or not to wear, he has opened an online store which specializes in comfort fitting dance shoes with style. Visit Classy Dance Footwear today to find your desired dance shoes.