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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

WHAT IS SALSA?
“Salsa” is both a dance and a genre of music. The dance as it is today has been in existence for approximately fifty years but the origins of its constituent parts or we could say the necessary ingredients for “Salsa” has been present for closer to 500 years. Deriving from, “Son”, “Pachanga”, “Guajira”, “Guaguanco”, “Guaracha”, “Mambo”, “Rumba” and “Cha Cha.

The term “Salsa” today can be said to incorporate elements of all these Caribbean rhythms and musical styles. “Salsa” music has been composed with the objective of being able to dance to it. Salsa is considered to be the fastest growing dance form in the world. The dance is fun, vibrant, dynamic, energetic, uplifting, passionate and more

WHAT IS BACHATA?
“Bachata” is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is danced widely all over the world but not identically. The basics to the dance are three-steps with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a tap which can include a hip movement also on the 4th beat. Generally, most of the dancer’s movement is in the lower body up to the hips, and the upper body can be moved more or less.

Later a newer style called “Modern Style” was developed probably from around 2005 on the “Traditional” style base. This style is widely considered to have originated in Spain, but as with all ‘evolutions’ of dance style this itself is widely debated. The basics are the same as the traditional style “Bachata”, but with added dance elements and styling from “Salsa”, “Tango”, “Zouk-Lambada”, “Ballroom” etc.

In this style, couples typically move their upper torsos more, put greater emphasis on the hip pop, and women use more exaggerated hip movements. The most direct fusion influence on modern style Bachata dancing comes from the adoption of salsa turn patterns.

WHY DANCE SALSA OR BACHATA OR BOTH?
“Salsa & “Bachata” classes provide a fun, social environment to learn a new skill and serve as a perfect relief after a hard day’s work. It tones the body and improves one’s posture, it provides an excellent cardio-vascular work out which strengthens the heart and stimulates the body to burn fat thus aiding weight loss. It’s fun and pain free. It improves both strength and energy.

The environment where the learning takes place also encourages interaction with others thus raising one’s self-esteem. The sense of well-being experienced when one masters the moves is also a great part of these dances.

WHY CHOOSE DANCE OVER OTHER WORK OUTS? The practice of dance seeks to ignite precise movements and develop an awareness of every single muscle in your body while always bringing you back to centre. Dance is about mental and physical balance. With gentle yet repeated effort, dance will help you release stress and express your body’s feelings to a beat. It is the most complete of workouts with the additional benefit of being fun, graceful and physically and mentally empowering. At the same time you will increase flexibility, strengthen your muscles and acquire a natural equilibrium that will support you amid the stresses of daily life.

HEALTH BENEFITS!

*Builds your endurance and stamina.

*Helps you lose weight.

*Relieves and reduces your stress.

*Releases toxins via sweating.

*Increases your energy level.

*Improves your strength.

*Increases your muscle tone and coordination.

*Strengthens the bones of your legs and hip.

*Medical research has proved that Salsa dancing can burn 420+ calories per hour.

*Salsa dancing can burn more calories per hour than biking or swimming.

WHAT STYLE DO YOU TEACH?

SALSA – Cross Body LA Style also known as Salsa On-1 or Puerto Rican Style.

BACHATA – Modern Style

WHAT AGES ATTEND YOUR CLASSES?
Our courses are open to Adults and Children, Couples and Singles. We offer joint Adults and Chilren Salsa and Bachata Classes. Age range is from 10 years onwards. We offer joint classes so that parents’ can also join in with their kids and learn giving parents a sense of security of being around their kids and the kids have a familiar face. Although it is perfectly all right for the parents to send their kids only to the dance class as well.

These classes are open to all age groups starting from the age of 10.

WHAT ARE THE LEVELS YOU OFFER?

We offer the following levels:

Salsa: Absolute Beginners, Intermediate Level and Advanced Level Salsa.

Bachata: Absolute Beginner  and Bachata Intermediate Level

We hope to add more levels of classes in the future!

WHY CHILDREN SHOULD LEARN TO SALSA?

We are dedicated to the enjoyable task of not only teaching your child to dance, but also to see the development of their mental, physical growth, and personality.

You are giving your child the opportunity to learn a social skill that will be invaluable to them for the rest of their lives. It will enhance them with self confidence, style, grace, coordination, posture and poise just to name just a few of the many benefits. Latin dance lessons are not only hip and but also healthy! Dancing burns calories, builds strong bones and flexibility, teaches children how to interact with one another with respect, is great for building self confidence to handle the stresses of adolescence, and it’s lots of fun! Remember the child who can dance is the child who is sought out at all the dances.

We hope that by enrolling your child with us, you intend to take an active part in helping maintain an enthusiastic attitude in dancing for your child at all times. You must place your trust in us to make proper decisions in your child’s best interest. We trust that your child’s dance experience with us will be a meaningful one.

We are here to teach your child the Art of Dance.

DO THE CLASSES HAVE VALIDITY PERIOD?

Each course/series will have one month validity. So if you miss MAXIMUM of a class or two during the course/series then you will be allowed to attend one or two classes free of charge within that month in another on-going class or next month’s course but please email and inform of your missed class so that you can be slotted in. If you do not email then you would not be allowed the make over class.

Please NOTE that these free make over classes will only be available if there is another on-going class within that month or if there are new sign up’s in the next month’s course.

Slotting of your free make over class will be at the discretion of Dance With Style so if you miss it then there won’t be anymore make over class for you. Please note that you may or may not learn new moves in these make over classes but get to practice what you have already learnt in your course/series as each series/class have their own speed of moving forward.

Lastly, these special validity offer is entirely at Dance With Style’s discretion and it has the sole right to discontinue it at it’s discretion without any notice. There will be no make over class for those who miss more than 2 classes or the entire 4 week course/series. Neither will there be any refunds of any kind for individual classes or courses.  Classes once purchased is not transferable to another person.

WHERE ARE THE CLASSES HELD?

The classes are held at: CHEONG HONG MANSION, 1/F, FLAT E, 25-33 JOHNSTON ROAD, WANCHAI

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The dance studio is located in the opposite Lane to Johnston Road Post Office and the entrance to the building is in between Japan Home Centre and a 7/11 as shown in the picture below. It is just 10 minutes away from Wanchai MTR. It has changing room facility as well!

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR IN A CLASS?

As with most dancing, attention should be given to comfort and freedom of movement. So come along wearing something you feel comfortable in. As far as shoes are concerned wear anything that is comfortable to you and allows you to move and spin. We do not recommend sports shoes, sneakers etc or any shoes  which may scratch the dance floor. You may also dance with your socks only.  Flip flops are a total No! No!

DO I NEED TO BRING A PARTNER?

No. But if you do have a partner then please feel free to bring him/her along. Our classes are attended by couples and singles who come alone or with several of their friends, colleagues or even family.

Our classes are run using a rotation system which means that in any one class you will have the opportunity to dance with many different people by changing partners every few minutes. This greatly improves leading and following skills and allows students to learn from each other in an informal atmosphere. It also contributes to the social nature of the dances and certainly adds to the fun in the class.

Couples who come to the classes are welcome not to switch partners if they so desire. Such couples must inform the instructor before the class starts that they do not want to change partners. Lastly if you do have a partner it does mean, of course, that you have no excuse for not getting in lots of practice outside of the lessons:-)) Please NOTE that your request to not to switch partners will only be entertained if there are sizeable number of students in the class. However we will try our best to accomodate your request!

WHAT IF I HAVE TWO LEFT FEET?

Many people tell me that they have two left feet. Most of them are now accomplished dancers and I like to remind them of what they once said when they started their dance journey.  We pride ourselves on our patience and our ability to break down and explain the movements. So also be patient with yourself and determine to give the dance of your choice a fair crack of the whip.

It would be great if you can do more than one class and practice but if not, there is no need to despair because like anything worth learning, becoming an accomplished “Salsa” or “Bachata” dancer can take time but is well worth the effort. Remember that it is a journey and not a destination. But guarantees a lot of fun along the way as long as you don’t take yourself too seriously.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

The easiest way to get started is to enrol in one of our 4 Week courses. For more personalized attention, some students find it useful to take introductory private lesson to find out their current level and get recommendations from the instructor.

Combining group classes and private lessons provides you with the most opportunity to get exposure to movement, other leads and follows, to ask specific questions and get personal attention. Please scroll below for sending us a reply if you have any queries.

Dancing is all about energy and can be quite strenuous at time. If you have any concerns about your physical fitness then please consult your doctor/physician before attending classes.

DO I HAVE TO REGISTER BEFORE HAND OR CAN I JUST COME TO A CLASS AND CHECK IT OUT?

We offer series/course based classes and hence encourage registration via payment as it guarantees you a spot in the class plus we offer early bird discounts which you can take advantage of, if you register in advance. Having said that you can also walk-in to any class, though space is not guaranteed without registration.

As we offer series/course based classes and hence if you miss the first few, then you may find dropping in more challenging but it’s not something you cannot do if you want to drop in. So feel free to drop in any time although would recommend that you drop in from the first class of the series. Class registration is capped to 25-30 students for 1 hour per week to ensure everyone gets  attention.

Registration via payment can be made through bank/atm transfer or with PayPal.

Lastly we insist that those who want to walk in and pay at the door inform us of their intention to walk in to our classes.  To do so please visit our CONTACT US page.

Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the class starts out of respect for fellow dancers and the instructor. You will not be allowed entry after five minutes of the class starting nor will there be any refunds.

I MISSED THE FIRST FEW CLASSES OF THE SERIES. CAN I STILL MAKE IT?

We offer series/course based classes which means that a class will run once a week for an hour for a number of weeks (usually 4 weeks). Walk-in are welcome to any class as we always revise our previous week’s class but also keep in mind that later classes in a series are built on previous weeks classes to ensure that you are learning new things in each class so you may find it a bit challenging to get up to speed with the rest of the class if you have missed a few classes but if you are confident of catching up then feel free to join in.

However we recommend that it is important that you do not miss a class in a series unless you have to.

I’VE TAKEN A BEGINNER CLASS BEFORE. SHOULD I MOVE UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

We feel that dancers should be very confident with the basics before moving onto higher level classes. When you think you’re ready for the next level, talk to the instructor.

Having said that there is no shame in repeating your beginner class if you are not confident of moving up to the next level as the more you grind yourself in your basics, the better dancer you will be in the long run as all the intermediate/advance level moves emanate from the basic moves you learn in the beginner class.

WHERE CAN I PRACTICE WHAT I LEARN?

We organize Salsa/Latin parties for all our students and others dance enthusiasts on a regular basis where our deejay spins sensuous Latin tunes especially Salsa and Bachata all night long. Our instructors also sometimes give quick lessons and teach you some moves to get you off the ground and dancing at the beginning of the party as a pre-curser to your joining our regular courses/series.

These are great opportunity for you to practice what you have learnt and we highly recommend that you join our parties as well as “practice makes you perfect”. Please feel free to bring along your dancing, non-dancing friends and more.  Please click on EVENTS  on the header to open the sub links!

I’M THINKING OF HOLDING AN EVENT WITH LATIN TWIST. CAN YOU HELP?

Of course we can! We can liven up your special event with a fun filled package especially for you. We can provide event dance lessons, deejays, live bands, international and local performers. Infact we can take care of your entire event production and management. We can not only liven up your party with a Latin twist but with other genre’s like Bollywood etc.

WHAT IS OUR VENUE POLICY?

For our parties, we try to select venues that have a good dance floor and bar facility that would help in creating a good all round, safe, social atmosphere for our students, dance enthusiasts and dance wannabe’s who attend our parties.

All that we ask from the attendees especially our students is to buy LOTS of drinks and food available from the bar as opposed to bringing their own drinks. We request all to buy FEW DRINKS EACH  as we want the event to work for all of us, that is, the host, venue, students and other attendees.

Some venues may have dress codes so it’s best to dress smart but casual for the guys. However’s sky’s the limit for a gal so she can wear whatever she likes. Flipflops are a total No! No!

We do not allow promotion of other events and classes at our events and classes unless they have prior permission from us. Those indulging in such activity will be promptly asked to leave and will be banned from our venue(s) and classes.

WHAT ARE THE DANCE ETIQUETTES?

Dance with all sorts of partners irrespective of their level of dance experience, colour, creed, origin, religion or sex.  It’ll make you a better dancer, not to mention, it’ll make you seem like a nice guy or gal!

If you are a beginner dancer, remember that everyone out there has probably experienced that same sweaty palm, stiff-as-a-board, jittery feeling.  It will pass. Just get on the dance floor!

If you’re a woman who’s not being asked to dance, try standing near the edge of the dance floor; smile, tap your foot, and look like you really NEED to dance to this song.  Make eye contact.   Dance with the first person who asks.  Once you get out there a couple of times with different dance partners, other potential dance partners will know you won’t turn them down.  ALSO, don’t BE AFRAID to ask guys to dance.  It’s COOL! The same rule applies to the shy guys but try to go one step further and ask a girl to dance with you. If you are a beginner, tell your potential dance partner that you are a beginner.

Hygiene: wear a deodorant, perfume or aftershave as dancing will lead to perspiration!! Maybe even try a breath mint before event/class. It is a good idea to bring a clean hand towel to use between dances.

Please don’t teach on the social dance floor. Teaching is for classes and social nights are for having fun and trying out your moves unless specifically asked for by your dancing partner. A student should not teach a fellow student in a classroom or at an event when there is an instructor teaching. That’s downright disrespectful to the instructor!

When the floor is really, really crowded please remember to alter your dancing. Make your moves smaller, no big dips & tricks and watch spinning your partner out. Men: it is your job to stay in your area and protect your partner, nobody likes a heel on their foot or an elbow in the wrong place. Women: it is your job to follow your lead.

If you are a stronger dancer than your partner, then out dancing them is frowned upon and does not look good. This applies to both genders. There is no need to demonstrate to people that you are better than your partner. Anybody watching will know the real situation. Even worse is pulling faces of disgust to people watching. Just be patient and finish the dance. Remember that there are always better dancers than you out there,  so would you like to be treated like that?

Avoid dancing roughly – like pulling your partner’s arm out of its socket.  It’s bad form.   Remember, you want to look good, and you can look really good only if you make your partner look good.  Make eye contact – dancing is about communication.

It’s not cool to stand right ON the dance floor to socialize, drink or smoke. Do what you like, but do it AWAY from the dance floor! A dance floor should be treated with care.  Drinks and cigarettes on the dance floor are a NO! NO!

If you or your partner screw up a step, get past the urge to argue about who’s screwing up.   Remember – there are no mistakes!  It’s ONLY dancing, and everyone’s there to have fun. DON’T dance in a way that’s going to invite a problem or result in collisions with nearby couples.

Don’t act bored and disinterested. Crushing your lead/Follower’s ego is a good way to guarantee you’ll never be asked to dance again. Even if your partner is just starting out and only knows a couple of moves, acting visibly bored and checking out other dancers is just plain rude. Don’t expect him/her to want to dance with you then.

Don’t forget to listen to the music while dancing. Salsa is danced with a specific count, and you need to respect this and your partner’s interpretations of it. So always keep one ear to the music when dancing.

Don’t chastise your partner. Leads/followers do not want to hear you complain about their leading or following – and you could very well be the one making the mistakes. If you feel that you really need to let a lead/follower know about something (for example, if he is physically hurting you), then be sensitive to his/her feelings, and be polite and respectful about how you bring up the issue — preferably after the dance has finished. Try to remember the specific move the lead or follower did that hurt you so that you can explain it. Telling a lead or follower that he is “too rough” is not going to help him change.

Don’t forget to watch your lead’s back. Your lead can’t see everything, so if you can tell that you’re a step away from crashing into another couple, you should warn him and stop him from moving in that direction. Leads have a lot to think about and are making a lot more decisions than a follower, so as a follower you have to do your part to ensure your safety too!

Don’t forget your frame and tension. Maintaining a good frame and the right amount of tension in your arms (not too spaghetti-like or too rigid) makes it enormously easier for your partner to lead or follow you. Good frame of a follower also helps keep you balanced and keeps your hands where your lead can find them. If your lead can’t get a good connection with his follower and has to struggle to execute every other move because the followers hands are all over the place, chances are, he will pick other followers to dance with over you.

Don’t lead or follow too aggressively. Followers should not be going faster or harder than what the lead requests you to do. If your lead gives you enough force for a double spin, the follower shouldn’t try to muscle in or push herself off for a triple spin. Don’t force fast, sharp movements just to look good for onlookers. In the social dance scene, your primary audience and concern should always be your partner.

Don’t lead or follow too heavily or rigidly. Heaviness” has nothing to do with how much you weigh – it’s about how lightly you step. Dancing on the balls of your feet makes you easier and more enjoyable to lead or follow. It shouldn’t feel like your fighting rather than dancing

Don’t apologize after every mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, and you don’t have to draw attention to each one you make. Remember you are here to have fun and not facing an angry boss! Unless your mistake involves an accident, such as hitting your partner in the face, one should stick with a sheepish smile acknowledging but not making a bigger deal of your mistake than it really is.

Lastly guys don’t dance too close. It’s entirely the prerogative of your female partner to decide how close she wants to be with you while dancing. The level of closeness people are willing to take their dancing to depends on the level of trust and connection they have with their partner. You cannot expect to grind up against a stranger the very first time you dance with them. Aside from being potentially unwelcome, it can also throw off your partner’s balance. A good rule of thumb is to always respect whatever distance your partner chooses to keep but the distance should not be so far that the connection is lost and it is difficult to lead or follow!

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