How To Prepare For Salsa Dance Lessons

Posted on: 12 February 2015

If you and your partner have decided to embark on the journey of taking dance lessons together, there are several ways to prepare ahead of time. Salsa dancing is a form of dancing that has strong roots in Puerto Rico and Cuba. This type of Latin American dance demands a lot of physical strength and widespread movement. In order to prepare, there are a few things you can do get ready for your first lesson.

Daily Cardio Activities

If you don't already, you may want to consider building up your cardiovascular system prior to starting salsa dance lessons. Salsa dance involves using almost every muscle in the body, so it's imperative that you build up your heart and lungs to be able to easily keep up with fast-pace dance moves. Here are some ways to be in tip-top shape prior to starting:

  • Eat a healthy diet consisting of meals made from each major food group
  • Eliminate excess sugar and starchy carbohydrates from your diet
  • Indulge in lean, healthy snacks and replace a high fat dessert with the sweetness from fruits
  • Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and 30 minutes of intense cardio daily
  • Visit your doctor for a complete physical and checkup prior to exercising and starting class

Taking care of yourself and treating your body right reduces the risk of experiencing strain or injury when you start dance classes.

Stretching Techniques

Making sure to stretch muscles before and after cardio is important. You should also warm up before starting any dance session or technique. A good stretch helps to increase overall flexibility and aid in your overall range of motion. Common stretches to engage in include focusing on the following areas and muscle groups:

  • Calves
  • Neck
  • Shoulder
  • Knee-to-chest
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Hip flexors

You can choose to focus on each muscle group or alternate with each activity.

Listening To Salsa Music

In order to really understand the theory and rhythm of salsa music, you should take the time out to listen to the sounds and beat of the music. Salsa has a lot of instruments and drums throughout the song or segment. Listening to a variety of artists will give you a diverse idea of what to expect from your class and your instructor.

Watching And Observing Other Dancers

Sitting in on a class before you attend may be helpful. What the students wear and how they respond to the music can help give you a general idea on what the class will involve. Finding and following the right rhythm is one of the key points in being successful and in unison with your partner. Once you have the technique mastered, you can begin to put everything together to form the right dance moves. 

Whether you're an experienced dancer or this is your first time, being prepared is essential in making sure you have a safe and engaging experience.

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