Switching instructors

I always worry about getting other instructors’ students and vice versa. For example, if a student took level 1 with one of my other instructors and then moves to my level 2, I worry about the switch. Mainly because your first salsa experience shapes your expectations. You develop a loyalty to your instructor, the helpers and even the environment. And it can be difficult to then have to adapt to a completely different environment. Even in the same school with the same syllabus and the same structure, we are all different.

When my students experience a new class, many times they will confide in me that it was hard to get used to. I say this now because many of you have either new instructors as you move up or take make up classes with other instructors. Try not to compare. You will always have your preferences. Instead try to see the strengths in each instructor, helper and environment. Each has unique strengths which will assist you on your salsa journey. One may be better at breaking the move down, but the other may be more musical and can open your mind to new ideas or another may be more fun and inject a differente feeling to the dance.

I always recommend experiencing multiple instructors. I myself have been lucky to experience instruction from many different types of instructors. Each is so different. I travelled to New York to do a private lesson with Frankie Martinez. We almost didn’t dance for the entire hour – we just talked. It was extremely helpful. I did a 1.5 hour Afro Cuban class with him later in which he didn’t say one word – I found it an amazing experience. I have had instructors who were opposite and spent the whole time with detailed explanations and those were great too.

Don’t get me wrong – I always have my preferences and my favourites. But I know that I can learn something from almost everyone so the next time you find yourself doing a make up class or learning from a new instructor keep an open mind!

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