Updated: Jun 18, 2019
With Valentine's day approaching February is the month we take the time to appreciate those we love. Love for your romantic partner, love for your friends and family, and hopefully a month filled with self love as well. Our caring team at Salsa N' Seattle is here to encourage and support you through your journey of self love. Dancing not only helps burn calories, it also improves memory, muscle stregnth, lung health, reduces stress and much more!
In our February issue you'll meet a fellow Salsa N' Seattle student - Pamela Akada, you'll learn important tips for improving your dance technique, you'll read about one of our instructors - Alexis Ramirez, as well as find out about new services and upcoming events. We wish you the very best on your wellness journey, and remember we're here to help!
Student of the Month:
How long have you been dancing?
I have been dancing almost three years now and I love it!
Why did you decide to start taking dance classes?
I had been wanting to learn for years and then a girl friend happened to plan a salsa lesson for a girls' night. They didn't continue, but I did! The next time I went dancing I was really lost and one of the leads I danced with looked so disappointed in my lack of skill, so I started taking salsa classes the next week. I danced with that guy a few years later and told him and he said, "You're welcome! Because...now you're a good dancer!"
What one or two classes would you recommend to others?
I would recommend taking Salsa On 2 classes. Also it can be very helpful for follows to learn how to lead as well.
What has kept you coming back?
Salsa N' Seattle Dance Studio has been my salsa home-base for a few years now, I love being a part of the performance teams. I have enjoyed knowing people on the teams and the challenge of difficult patterns and drills like spinning. Performance teams are a great way to improve your dancing and dancing skills. I joined the Bachata team and Ladies Cha Cha team the year I started salsa in 2013, then the Alma Latina semi-pro salsa team the following year 2014, and the Santo Rico semi-pro salsa team this last year 2015.
When you are not dancing, what do you enjoy doing?
Crafty things like sewing, hiking, knitting. Spending time outdoors, cooking, bike riding, riding horses, paddle boarding and hanging with my little girls.
"It's been such a pleasure seeing Pam grow as a dancer. Since she joined our performance team we've seen amazing growth in her technique, spinning, and on2 social dancing. We are so proud of everything she has accomplished!"
~ Julia Krasnov
Read tips and tricks from our experienced instructors
Rueda/Cuban Salsa tips from Betsy:
Rueda is like a game, it's kind of like Simon Says but all grown up, and in Spanish.
Rueda de casino is both a lead-follow dance and a group dance. This makes it doubly fun.
The caller is in charge. Watch the caller to make sure you keep in time with the rest of the circle, and be sure you are leading or following your partner too. If you get mixed up, don't worry. Look at the caller again and try to get back on track. If you don't know a call, try to notice whether there is a change of partners, and at least do that. And finally, always be kind to your fellow ruederos. They just might become your favorite dance buddies.
Helen shares some Zumba tricks:
Don't get discouraged if you don't get the steps the first time around.
Always keep moving during a song even if you miss a step.
Maintain good form while doing moves to reduce risk of injury.
Listen to your body. If something hurts while doing a certain move, modify it!
Salsa tips from Victor & Julia:
Salsa is all about connection, fun and music. So here's a challenge: start shifting your focus from the technicality of the move, to focusing more on your partner and the music. You'll start having a lot more fun! Here are 5 basic rules for dancing that will help you achieve balance and control so you can focus more on the fun of dancing:
1. Always dance with your head up (do not look at your feet)
2. Always dance with your arms up and moving to the beat of the music
3. Always dance with your knees bent
4. Always dance on the ball of your feet
5. Always keep breathing and smile
Amanda talks about Kid's Ballet:
Your child's first ballet classes will introduce them to the basic positions and techniques of ballet. Your child will learn how to hold their body correctly, including hands and pointing of the toes.
Ballet dancers should always turn out their knees and feet. Another crucial part of ballet is making sure to stretch before class to avoid becoming injured and improve flexibility.
Lastly, practice at home! Practice is essential to becoming a better dancer. Practice the moves with the bodyand the mind! If your child practices regularly, they will dance better sooner, with less wear and tear on their body.
Meet an Instructor:
What types of dance do you currently do, or have you studied in the past?
I am a die hard Hip Hop lover but I have studied every kind of dance you can imagine! I minored in dance at Macalester College.
What do you consider to be your greatest dance accomplishment?
Last year, I won a grant to run Majestic Movers, a program I created that uses Hip Hop dance to teach middle school girls in under-resourced Seattle communities about leadership and social justice. It’s really important to me that young girls have a space to learn about their worth and potential. Hip Hop dance is a relevant way to do that. It’s been really successful so far!
What classes do you teach at SNS?
Hip Hop 1 and Hip Hop 2 on Thursdays. I also lead Drop Squad, the Hip Hop performance club here at Salsa N Seattle.
What is unique about your classes and the way you teach?
I don't have a particular style. I try to teach a range of styles so that students feel excited to learn something new and fresh every week. In terms of how I teach, my goal is to make every student feel successful and comfortable. Everyone should leave my class feeling the joy of dance because dance is happiness and community. Dance has a way of making you feel good and connecting you with other people. That’s what my classes are about.
What is your favorite part about teaching at SNS?
My favorite part about teaching at SNS is Drop Squad, our SNS hip hop club. It's inspiring to see enthusiastic, committed individuals come together for the love of dance. It doesn't matter where you are from, how old you are, or what your experience level is. If you enjoy dancing, you can be in the club. We all perform at community events, do our own choreo, take workshops and more. It's crazy because most of us started as beginners at SNS! We're constantly growing and inspiring each other.
Do you have any tips you'd like to share for new Hip Hop students?
Come into class knowing that you are joining a supportive community that wants you to succeed. Also, think of class as a conversation. Ask questions and respond to instructor questions. It’s so awkward when instructors ask you questions and no one responds. It’s like when a comedian tells a joke and the audience has no reaction, so you think, “Is anyone having a good time?”
When you’re not teaching classes, what else do you enjoy doing?
Eating all of the things, visiting family in California, making art, chillin with the homies, being a mom to my Russian Tortoise, Cha Cha Voldetort.
"Alexis is a true leader and a visionary. We are so grateful to have her as part of the Salsa N' Seattle team. Her students adore her, and her hip hop crew - drop squad, absolutely love her. She is a talented dancer and instructor and overall a beautiful person inside and out!"
~ Julia Krasnov
Join us in Studio B to practice dancing Salsa on 2! Practica is open to everybody and is a great way to perfect your skills and practice what you learned in class. We'll be there to help if you have any questions or just want to dance! ''
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!
February 6th from 3:30pm-5pm
Come learn advanced salsa partner combinations! Prerequisit: Salsa III or instructor permission.
Cost $22 (or two class punches).
February 12th from 10pm-2am Celebrate Valentines with a fun, romantic, and all red Salsa & Bachata party! Free 45 minute beginner Salsa class at 9:15pm for couples and singles (partner not required). DJ playing the best of Salsa, Bachata & more. Valentines Drink Specials available at the bar (21+) Cover $10
February 26th from 9:30pm-2am Come try a variety of tequilas and dance the night away! DJ Dario from Los Angeles will be playing the best of Salsa and Bachata vinyl music! Tequila tasting and bar availabe for 21+ Cover $15
3rd Annual Seattle Bachata Kizomba Festival 2016 May 13th-16th Incredible Bachata & Kizomba workshops and dance performances by amazing national and international talent! Two nights of Sexy Bachata and Kizomba 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...