So yesterday I discussed the pros and cons of private lessons. Here is the same for group salsa classes:
Group classes – The main benefits to group classes is that they are a more realistic environment. You are dancing with those at approximately the same skill level so that there are no surprises when you get to the clubs. Also the pace is usually slow enough that there is a lot of time for practice and muscle memory. Repeating each new move or exercise throughly really is the key to progression. The class environment allows you to meet other students which is especially useful if you don’t have a dance partner. You can meet a potential future dance partners or even new friends to go salsa dancing with together. Group classes are also really fun. The energy of the group can really inspire you to improve and continue and it is really a fun, relaxing environment.
Now there are cons to group classes when compared to privates. You can develop bad habits with regards to leading/following. The pace is not catered to you personally so you have to go to the group pace. Lastly the schedule is not flexible as private lessons – you will usually have to attend classes at the same time weekly.
So which is better? Well it depends on your budget, schedule and personality. My best suggestion in general is to do the group classes and after every semester take a private lesson to clean up your bad habits, firm up your skills and be prepared fully for the next semester. It is a great strategy that several of my students use and it really assists them in their progression.