After researching Salsa classes in NYC, I came across Joel Salsa Company. They were offering a cool bootcamp package for beginners and I didn’t need to take a partner with me! Yes, this can be a setback when signing up for Salsa classes.
🎵 Ay, no hay que llorar
Que la vida es un carnaval
Que es más bello vivir cantando…” 🎵
…sings Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, in one of my favorite songs.
Dancing, as we already know, is great for our physical and mental health. I grew up taking dancing classes, but Salsa is definitely taking it to another level and I always wanted to learn it. Ahhh, my Latin blood…
Some people say original Salsa was created in NYC instead of a Hispanic country, after the influx of Latin and Caribbean immigrants in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The immigrants mixed bits of other ballroom and club dances into a new style. So yes, there are different styles of Salsa. Since I was in NYC, I chose this new style over Cuban or others out there.
After researching a little bit, I came across Joel Salsa Company. They were offering a cool bootcamp package for beginners and I didn’t need to take a partner with me! Yes, this can be a setback when signing up for Salsa classes.
I was not sure if I would have the “hips” that it takes to dance, so I signed up for just one class to try it out. After the 1st class I loved it so much that I registered for the full package: 8 classes, once a week.
I confess I wore sneakers in my first class! As soon as the instructors saw them, they asked me to come with a flat, ballerina or ballroom shoes for the next classes. So, now you know that sneakers are not good for dancing Salsa! Hahaha!
About the instructors:
My instructors were actually the founders of the company: Joel Dominguez and the co-owner, Maria Palmieri. But, they do have a great team that really knows their moves, so don’t worry!
Joel has been part of the dance world for more than twenty years, competing, teaching and performing throughout various parts of the US and Mexico.
Maria, on the other hand, is certified as a professional dance teacher by DVIDA® – Dance Vision International Dancers Association. She’s won dance competitions like the Manhattan Latin Championships, where she actually got 1st place as a newcomer.
Both instructors taught class together. Maria taught the steps to us girls, while Joel taught the guys.
First we practiced the steps alone. By the end of each class we put all the steps and movements together and danced with a partner. A rotation system was used so everyone had the chance to dance with a someone.
Every week we could see visible improvements in our “Salsa skills”, but new and more difficult steps were being taught too. The speed we danced got faster each week, and do prepare yourself to spin a lot during this Salsa bootcamp.
The company has plenty of events happening in other venues around town, where students are welcome to join. Most of them are at different Salsa clubs throughout Manhattan. It’s extremely restorative, funny and fun.
I just felt that Salsa was my thing, from day 1!
I “graduated” from my beginner salsa classes in NYC and I couldn’t wait to start the advanced classes. At that time they didn’t offer online classes, but now they do. Hooray! So, if you can’t attend it in person, you can still register for the online classes.
Are you excited? I want to do it all over again!
Joel Salsa also offers Bachata and Cha Cha Cha. For more info about dates, prices and other information, check their website.
Get inspired by the Latin rhythms and dance your hips off. It’s truly contagious, so just have fun!
Don’t forget to share your first steps with us! And if you enjoyed these salsa classes in NYC, you might want to test your limits at a fitness dance by Body Conceptions or just try the hottest fitness classes you need you know in NYC!
Location: 519 8th Avenue – 12th floor
Text by our Contributor: Rafaela Azevedo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pablo Tapia Photography and Joel Salsa