Abanico Salsa class levels

We teach all levels of Salsa at Abanico Salsa classes, courses and workshops. Below you will find what you need to know about all of our levels.

If you would like more information about our Beginners Courses click here, or if you would like to see some photos of our classes and events click here.

If you would like any more information or advice on which level class you would like to take please don't hesitate to get in touch.

N.B. Please note that not all levels are taught at every venue - for more venue info & class times please check our class pages

Which class for me?

For example: 1. Beginners Course... (Repeat)... Move to Improvers... Improvers... Intermediates... Advanced...
or 2. Beginners 'Drop in'... Technique... Improvers... Intermediate... Advanced...

Whichever route you decide we will help you to progress as far as you want to go - making sure that you have a lot of fun along the way...!

Below is a description of what is taught at each level, and what you need to know to be comfortable to dance at each level, as well as advice on what to do after you have completed a course or are ready to move up a level.

Check out some testimonials from some of our students here...

Beginner courses

BEGINNERS COURSES

*Please check Classes page to find your nearest venue and check whether we run 'drop-in' classes or 8 week courses there.

Our Beginners courses* will take you right 'from scratch' - you do not need to have had any dance experience at all.

If you sign up for one of our 8 week Beginners' courses you will be taught all of the basics of Salsa, as well as all of the 'Technique' level moves that you will need in order to progress to Improver level.

Our 8 week courses are designed to prepare you for dancing at Improver level - but we thoroughly recommend that if you are not completely comfortable with what you have learnt during the course that you repeat it before moving on. In our experience we have found that everybody picks different things up at different speeds and we know that it is vital that you can dance what you have been taught without thinking too much as things get a little more tricky at Improver level.

What is required?

Nothing - except a willingness to learn and a desire to have fun!

All those with two left feet are also welcome... we often hear the words "Oh no, I couldn't come to a Salsa class as I don't know how to dance"... don't worry... that is what our classes are for - to teach you to Salsa! We have new students starting all of the time, most of whom have never danced before either - if you want to see what some of them learnt in only 8 weeks check out the video below!

Where to next?

We thoroughly recommend that you repeat the Beginners' course at least once - all of our students who have done so have reported benefiting massively from the additional practice, as well as the fact that they are able to pick up even more second time round as they are getting more comfortable with the basics. You will progress much quicker in the long run if your basics are sound.

Once you are happy and comfortable with everything that you have learnt during the Beginners' course you are ready to move to IMPROVER level.

Beginner 'drop-in' classes

BEGINNERS 'DROP-IN' CLASSES

*Please check Classes page to find your nearest venue and check whether we run 'drop-in' classes or 8 week courses there.

Our drop-in Beginners' classes run in a cycle of 4 weeks - but can be joined any week of the year and are designed to take you from scratch each week. Over the 4 weeks you will learn the basic steps, timing and connections - as well as some basic leading & following skills.

Our 'Drop-in' classes are designed to prepare you for Technique level and we recommend that you stick with this level until you have perfected your basics - in our experience you will be able to progress much quicker once you have mastered them.

What is required?

Nothing - except a willingness to learn and a desire to have fun!

All those with two left feet are also welcome... we often hear the words "Oh no, I couldn't come to a Salsa class as I don't know how to dance"... don't worry... that is what our classes are for - to teach you to Salsa! We have new students starting all of the time, most of whom have never danced before either.

Where to next?

We recommend that you remain in the Beginners' classes until you are really comfortable with the basics as these will not be re-taught at the higher levels.

Once you are comfortable with your basic steps, timing and leading/following you are ready to move up to TECHNIQUE level.

Technique level classes

TECHNIQUE LEVEL CLASSES

Technique level focuses on developing the technique which will be required for Improver and Intermediate Level dancing. It follows a 6 week rotation (that can be joined any week) and covers moves including Cross Body Lead, Open Break, Right Turn, Left Turn, Changing Places, Travelling Turns and Shines/Footwork, as well as more detailed Leading & Following technique.

It is important that you are comfortable with everything covered before moving up a level as we do not 're-teach' these moves and techniques at Improver level - you will be expected to know and be comfortable with them so that we can focus on putting moves and turn patterns together once you get to Improver level.

It is worth noting that many of our dancers who have moved up to Improver (& Intermediate) Level still regularly attend our Technique classes in order to make sure that they are not picking up bad habits - those that do tend to improve much quicker than those that don't!

What is required?

In order to do Technique level you need to be happy with all of the basic steps, timing and connections taught at Beginner level.

You should be able to comfortably dance your basic steps, leading/following simple changes, connecting nicely on time with your partner and the music.

N.B. If you have attended one of our Beginners' courses you will have been taught everything we cover at Technique level - but that is not to say that you will not still find it useful as practice for perfecting your techniques...)

Where to next?

We recommend that you remain at technique level long enough to cover everything taught at least twice so that you are comfortable with the moves and techniques before moving on - this is important as they will not be re-taught at the higher levels.

Once you are happy leading/following everything taught at Technique level you are ready to move up to IMPROVER level.

"Move-to-Improver" level classes

"MOVE-TO-IMPROVER" LEVEL CLASSES

*Please check Classes page to find your nearest venue and check whether we run 'drop-in' classes or 8 week courses there.

The "Move to Improvers" sessions are based around an 8 week block of classes that will take what you have learnt in your Beginners' course and show you how you can adapt the moves and techniques that you have learnt to create different and new variations and moves.

We also introduce some new moves that are otherwise introduced in Improver level - the benefit of doing them as part of the "Move to Improvers" course is that they are introduced at a slightly slower pace - allowing you to focus more on your technique and perfecting each new move before adding it into a longer routine. 

What is required?

In order to take the "Move to Improver" classes you need to be competent with all of the moves and techniques covered in our Beginners' course, or our Beginners & Technique 'drop-in' sessions. You need to feel ready to add onto, and adapt, what you know - and be prepared to learn slightly longer moves/routines in each session.

It can take 2 - 4 months before you feel ready to attend a "Move to Improvers" class. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are ready don't hesitate to ask any of the Abanico Team as we are well aware that some people are able to progress more quickly, and some like to take longer in order to perfect their basics.

Where to next?

Most people to like to complete the 8 week rotation twice before moving up to Improver - once you are happy leading/following everything taught in the "Move to Improver" classes you are ready to move up to IMPROVER level.

Improver level classes

IMPROVER LEVEL CLASSES

At Improver level we build upon the moves and techniques that are learnt in either Technique level or our Beginners' courses.

We use and adapt the moves you know, whilst adding in new ones as well, to build interesting moves and turn patterns that can used whilst dancing. Our emphasis is strongly on teaching moves that are leadable and followable so that you are able to get out onto the dance floor and dance them with fellow Salseros & Salseras.

What is required?

In order to take our Improver level classes you need to be comfortable and confident with all of the moves and techniques taught at Beginner and Technique level, or in our Beginners' course. You need to feel ready to tackle putting slightly more complex moves together - without having to think too much about your feet and the basic leading/following techniques.

Typically it takes between 2 - 4 months to get to a stage where you are ready to attend an Improver class. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are ready don't hesitate to ask any of the Abanico Team as we are well aware that some people are able to progress more quickly, and some like to take longer in order to perfect their basics.

Where to next?

Most people remain at Improver level for at least 18 months to 2 years as it usually takes this long to cover everything needed and to get enough practice (vital...!) - there is a huge amount that can be taught/learnt at this level.

Once you are comfortable leading/following the moves taught at Improver level, with good technique, and you are happy dancing socially at parties etc. with people you have never previously danced with you are ready to move up to INTERMEDIATE level. (N.B. Intermediate level is not just 'another class' where you learn 'something different' - you will be expected to have a higher level of understanding and skill. You will not benefit from joining an Intermediate class if you are not ready - if in doubt please feel free to ask an Abanico teacher).

Intermediate level classes

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL CLASSES

At Intermediate level we start to incorporate more complex moves into our turn patterns - including double spins and "copas". You will also find that within the turn patterns and moves that you are learning there is less 'recovery' time - i.e. you will be moving more quickly from one move to another without, for example, basic steps in between to give you time to 'get ready'. The focus is still on moves that are leadable and followable, and you will find that the leading/following is more challenging due to the nature of what is being taught.

It is therefore vital that you are comfortable with everything that you have learnt up to and including Improver level as you will be being challenged more technically and mentally, as well as physically.

What is required?

In order to take Intermediate level classes you will need to be comfortable and confident with all of the moves and techniques taught up to and including Improver level.

As well as this you should be able to remain on time and balanced through more complex moves such as spins.

You should also be able to apply your leading/following techniques comfortably so that you are able to dance moves that have not been 'taught' - i.e. you are happy 'freestyling' on the dance floor adapting your dancing to your partner and the music.

Typically it takes around 2 years to get to a stage where you feel comfortable enough to attend Intermediate classes - they are not just an 'alternative' to Improver level where different moves are taught, they are more mentally and physically challenging and an increased level of skill is required.

Once again, if you are in any doubt as to whether you are ready don't hesitate to ask any of the Abanico Team as we are well aware that some people are able to progress more quickly, and some like to take longer in order to perfect their dancing.

Where to next?

Most Salsa dancers remain at Intermediate level indefinitely, and for good reason. There is virtually no limit as to what can be taught at this level - it can take years to cover everything and get enough practice to feel happy to move up from here. Intermediate level classes can remain challenging even for very competent dancers due to the fluid nature of the dance - even more than at Improver level new ideas are evolving and being introduced all of the time.

However, once you are happy with everything taught at Intermediate level, have the ability to learn difficult techniques and moves quickly, and have a good understanding of timing, balance and movement, you are ready to move up to ADVANCED level.

Advanced level classes

ADVANCED LEVEL CLASSES

At Advanced level the moves taught require a very high level of leading & following skill - including the ability to lead/follow quick direction changes, multiple spins, subtle direction changes, and the ability to continue moving/dancing complex movements whilst leading/following additional complex movements.

Interesting and new ideas are added all of the time and you need to have a very good technical understanding of the dance as well as a high level of practical ability. You are also expected to have a good understanding of both leading & following, and some musical knowledge is essential as you will be taught to express yourself even more 'to the music'.

What is required?

Before attempting Advanced level you need to be very comfortable applying everything you have learnt up to and including Intermediate level in Social dancing situations. You should be comfortable and confident leading/following relatively complex moves with other dancers in a freestyle situation. It goes without saying that your timing and movement should be second nature and a good understanding of Salsa dance and music is required.

You should be dancing smoothly and freely between moves and adapting your dancing to the music you are listening to.

With hard work, and continual practice and learning, it takes around 4 years to get to Advanced level - most Salsa dancers are happy remaining at Intermediate level as there is so much at that level, and you can have great fun with the skills & moves that you learn there... it is great fun dancing at Advanced level but much harder work is required to get there.

Where to next?

Before attempting Advanced level you need to be very comfortable applying everything you have learnt up to and including Intermediate level in Social dancing situations. You should be comfortable and confident leading/following relatively complex moves with other dancers in a freestyle situation. It goes without saying that your timing and movement should be second nature and a good understanding of Salsa dance and music is required.

You should be dancing smoothly and freely between moves and adapting your dancing to the music you are listening to.

With hard work, and continual practice and learning, it takes around 4 years to get to Advanced level - most Salsa dancers are happy remaining at Intermediate level as there is so much at that level, and you can have great fun with the skills & moves that you learn there... it is great fun dancing at Advanced level but much harder work is required to get there.