Puertorikansk salsa - nivå

A guide to our levels and classes

Our Puerto rican style classes are divided into 3 levels. Beginner (green), Intermediate (Yellow) and Advanced (red). The levels are made to reflect your dancing skills and not the number of classes you have taken or how long you have been dancing.

So how do I know what level I am at?

If you have never danced before, obviously you are a beginner - follow the beginner classes. Our main goal with our beginner classes is to get you started dancing socially. If you have completed the beginner classes and are able to use the most important things you have learned on the dance floor you should be set for progressing to the intermediate level.

But I’m shy/I don’t feel comfortable or like dancing socially..then what?

We highly encourage everyone to practice dancing socially, because it truly is the best way of learning how to dance. However it is not required and we don’t want to force anyone. You are more than welcome to our classes even if you don’t want to dance socially. If you are not sure you have mastered the beginner classes, just ask the instructors for some advice.

What if I don’t feel comfortable yet?

Then you are very welcome to keep attending the beginner classes. In fact we recommend everyone to focus on their basics and spend some extra time in the beginner level. This will give you more time to practice. You will learn new things at an appropriate pace and revise things you know with a new approach. This is also why we offer a repetition price for the beginner level classes which is a very good deal!

I have taken classes and/or done some social dancing somewhere else

If you have learned Puerto rican/Line/Crossbody style somewhere else and know you are not a beginner, just sign up for intermediate. If you are not sure, just contact the instructors. (See above *anchor-link*) If you want to sign up for advanced, keep reading.

What if I have done intermediate already?

The intermediate level classes don’t have a fixed curriculum and are different every time. We focus on body movement, turn patterns, musicality, leading and following and adapt the classes to the participants. The goal is that you will keep learning and keep progressing no matter how many intermediate classes you have attended.

Ok, I get it, but I want to attend the advanced classes.

For the advanced level the process is a bit different and sign up is by invitation only. This basically means that you will need to talk with an instructor before signing up. If you are following the intermediate classes, just grab them after class and let them know you would like to or are considering signing up for the advanced level. They will let you know, yes or no, but more importantly they will give you advice on what specific part you will need to work on or improve.

So what are the criteria for the advanced level?

We have put together a list of criteria that we will use to assess participants. The list with explanations on each topic is included at the bottom of this page. The main topics, in order of importance, are timing, balance, body coordination, leading or following, basic turn patterns and basic musical understanding. When you ask the instructors to assess you, you will be given feedback based on those criteria and how you execute/perform them in social dancing.

But how can you assess those things?

If you attend our classes, we see you and dance with you on a regular basis. Similarly if you go out dancing socially on a regular basis we usually have an impression of your level. If we are unsure or if you are not a regular we might ask you to dance with us or meet us off the dance floor for a chat to be able to give you proper feedback.

Does that mean that you are constantly evaluating me? Yikes..

While teaching, in a sense, yes. It is how we decide how to progress the classes and give individual assistance. While social dancing, no. While social dancing we are usually busy enjoying ourselves and are not so focused on what other people are doing. Which is why it is important to talk with us if you are considering joining the advanced level.

What if I don’t agree with your assessment?

Our goal with the assessment policy is to ensure a cohesive learning environment, where all the participants are at similar level and are looking for the same type of challenges. We want this to be an objective and transparent process and have therefore published the criteria by which you will be assessed and require that we give you specific feedback based on those criteria. You might of course disagree with our feedback, which in the end of the day is a judgement call by the instructors. If you do disagree or feel like you have been treated unfairly, we encourage you to let us know so we might have a discussion about it and perhaps give you a more detailed explanation. If you still feel that you have not been assessed objectively according to the stated criteria, you may send a complaint to SalsaNor at styret@salsanortrondheim.no.

This assessing thing sounds scary..

Don’t worry. Just come talk to us. Let us know you’re curious and that you find the whole thing a bit scary. We are not interested in putting you down or belittling you. Our goal is to encourage you and help you reach whatever dancing goals you have. We all have different backgrounds and learn at different speeds. Our aim is not make everyone an advanced dancer. We just want you to have fun dancing and to have the opportunity to keep learning no matter your level.

And finally. If you have any questions? Just come talk to us!

Criteria for advanced level:

    1. Timing - following music rhythm effortlessly

    2. Balance - control over the body axis and balance at any time

    3. Body coordination - proper body coordination in basic steps & turns including posture, steps, bodywork, armwork, turn preparation, spotting

    4. Leading - effective communication with your partner including bodywork, posture, accurate timing, appropriate tension application & response, control of space

    5. Following - effective response to leading including balance control, following line & rhythm, effective response to directions, appropriate tension application & response, proper body & arm work

    6. Knowledge of basic turn patterns and vocabulary like basic step, side step, back step, cross over step, right turn, left turn, cross body, cross body outside, cross body inside turn, cross body outside turn, check, hammerlock, open break, copa, spin, traveling turns, hook turn, cross body 360 etc.

    7. Basic music understanding and musicality - basic latin music types and styles (like mambo, cha cha, cuban salsa, timba, merengue, bachata, kizomba), latin big band instruments, basic latin rhythms (like 3 basic clave rhythms, conga tumbao)