Updated: Jun 18, 2019
May is a very busy month with Mother's Day, Memorial Day and Salsa N' Seattle's third annual Seattle Bachata, Kizomba and Salsa Festival. We are so very excited for all that the month of May brings! In our May issue you'll read tips and tricks from the Salsa N' Seattle team to support you during your dance and fitness journey. You'll also meet a fellow Salsa N' Seattle student - Keiko Yamaguchi, as well as find out about new services, upcoming events and studio holiday closures. We wish you the very best on your wellness journey, and remember we're happy to help!
Student of the Month:
How long have you been dancing?
I've been dancing L.A. style Salsa for four years. Bachata for three years. Casino and Rueda for two years and I've also taken some Cha Cha classes. I've been taking classes at Salsa N Seattle since 2013.
Why did you decide to start taking dance classes?
Four years ago I learned some Salsa steps in Zumba classes I was going to and wanted to learn it more seriously, but I strongly believed I had two left feet and felt kind of intimidated. When I was looking for a place to learn it on-line, I came across SNS site and saw it say ‘Come with your two left feet (we’ll help you sort them out!). What they said was true. I did have two left feet (I still do, I believe) but they patiently helped me sort them out! They should never remove that line. When I started taking level 1 class I struggled with cross body inside turn and it took me a long time to figure that out. I can happily say with a smile that it’s a long distant memory now.
What one or two instructors or classes would you recommend to others?
As a teacher myself, I know how important it is to have a friendly and supportive learning environment. Victor and Julia are always patient and encouraging. They are very good at showing not only how to do it right but also how not to do it wrong in a very positive and non-intimidating way, which I appreciate a lot. I also enjoy classes taught by Eddie and Cam Tu. They are all very helpful. I feel fortunate to be a part of their dance community. I love Cuban music. My love for Cuban music and dance took me to Cuba last month. I now have even more respect and appreciation for Latin culture. Naturally I enjoy musicality series in level 2 and level 3 Salsa at SNS a lot.
What has kept you coming back?
Dancing is addictive. It didn’t take me too long to switch from buying a series pass to a monthly pass and take full advantage of it. I started taking as many classes as I could and learned a lot in every single class I took. I really appreciate all the instructors and stuff and enjoy the way they teach at Salsa N' Seattle. I enjoy meeting new people regardless of their age, sex and sexual orientation. Dancing is all about communication. It’s a universal language!It brings so much joy into life and makes you feel happy and alive. That’s why I keep dancing today, tomorrow and everyday.
When you are not dancing, what do you enjoy doing?
When I’m not dancing or working, I’m thinking of dancing. I practice footwork whenever I have a chance at work just like the people in the movie Shall We Dance, but not in the shower like Victor once recommended to us jokingly.
“Keiko has a beautiful spirit and is a beautiful dancer. It has been such a joy to have her as a member and part of our dance community. Keiko is committed to following her passion of dance. She takes a variety of dance classes at the studio and dances outside the studio as well. Watching Keiko over the years and seeing her improve her technique and become a graceful follow has been a pleasure.”
~ Julia Krasnov (Studio Director)
Read tips and tricks from our experienced instructors
Salsa tips from Cam Tu:
Have FUN with Salsa! Dancers, beginners and experienced alike, can get lost in the mindset of perfection or fancy moves that the enjoyment of it is not apparent in their dancing. My favorite to social dance with are students who can balance between practicing and just having a good time.
For students who want to grow quickly in their dancing skills, commitment and consistency are key. Set specific goals for yourself (e.g., I want to master Level 1 in 3 months and go social dancing at least twice a week). Ask for feedback from your instructors and don't be afraid to dance with advance dancers. Salsa N Seattle has a less intimidating practica every Tuesdaynight and showcasing opportunities- take advantage of it! Every opportunity to dance is an opportunity to grow!
Chad shares some Hip Hop tricks:
No one realizes that dancing is less about technique and more about attitude. EVERYONE can dance! Period.
Here are some more tips for Hip Hop:
Be in the music, it should inspire and lead you.
Dance for yourself, not anyone else.
Smile, it's fun!
Zumba tips from Cecilia:
Zumba is a dance fitness class that is all about having fun and leaving class with a smile!You get a workout out of it too... Here's what you need to prepare for asuccessful class:Bring active wearWear comfortable shoes Bring your energyHope to see you come join the Zumba party soon!
Instructor of the Month: Hakon Verespej
What types of dance do you currently do, or have you studied in the past? My favorite dance is bachata, but I also love salsa. Like most folks who do these, I dance a little cha cha and merengue and have dabbled in various other types of dance like tango, various ballroom dances, etc. I enjoy fusion dance too since you can just bring whatever you want to it.
What do you consider to be your greatest dance-related accomplishment? This is going to sound like a loaded response, but honestly, it's seeing students I've had the opportunity to interact with out social dancing. Social dancing is so wonderful that when students reach the level of feeling comfortable (or bold) enough to do that, it's a very special moment for me.
What classes do you teach at SNS? I teach bachata 1 and 2 on Tuesdays with Frances Tee.
What is unique about your dancing and/or the way you teach? I've felt confused and frustrated in the past when taking lessons where the teacher(s) didn't break things down. Because of this, I try to explain everything as clearly as possible and create an environment where students feel safe and comfortable asking questions and giving feedback.
What is your favorite part about teaching at SNS? No question - the students. The students who come to SNS are fun to work with and be around. We have an amazing community at SNS and the studio is very well run and is operated very professionally, which allows students to focus on learning and teachers to focus on giving students the best experience possible.
Do you have any tips you'd like to share for new students? Be bold and go for it! Dancing, especially social dancing, can be intimidating, but what you gain from the experience is worth getting outside your comfort zone. If you want any tips, support, etc. talk to me or another SNS teacher at our Tuesday night practica - we're here for you!
When you’re not teaching, what else do you enjoy doing? I enjoy social dancing (teaching is about sharing that experience with others). I'm also heavily involved with startups and technology and spend a lot of time with friends.
“We are grateful to have Hakon as part of our team at SNS. Hakon is a dedicated and passionate instructor with a true love for Bachata. He is very thorough and it is apparent that loves teaching his students are cares greatly about their success. When you see Hakon on the social dance floor make sure to ask him to dance, you won't regret it!”
~ Julia Krasnov (Studio Director)
Salsa N' Seattle Now Offers Kid's Dance Birthday Parties!
Want a fun and engaging party for your little one's birthday? We offer a two hour package that includes an hour dance lesson to make any little one's birthday party extra special! Email us for more information.
Earn points for doing what you love!
Did you know that Salsa N' Seattle has teamed up with Perkville to offer our students rewards? It's simple, sign up with the same email we have on file and earn points for attending classes, referring friends, and much more! Use your points towards free dance shoes, free private lessons and so much more! Click here to learn more and sign up!
3rd Annual Seattle Bachata Kizomba Festival 2016 - No Regular Classes
May 13th-16th Incredible Bachata, Kizomba and Salsa workshops as well as dance performances by amazing national and international talent! Two nights of Sexy Bachata, Kizomba and Salsa dancing till 4 in the morning! Beginner Bootcamps for those who need to catch up a bit! Get your tickets as soon as possible as prices will go up. We have full passes as well as workshop and night passes. Purchase your's in advance and save today! More info...
May 21st from 3:00pm-5:00pm
Don't have time to take a 4 week series? Want to learn how to dance Salsa the fast and easy way? Join our Salsa bootcamp and start dancing right away! No partner required! You'll learn the fundamentals of dancing salsa, including the basic steps, basic right and left turns, footwork, lead and follow technique, cross body lead, timing and musicality, as well as body and arm movement. Pretty much everything you need to know to get you out there on the dance floor!
Studio Closed for Memorial Day Weekend (Friday 5/27-Monday 5/30)