I was reading a debate on salsaforums.com called “Salsa in your blood??? Give me a break” that asks the question: are those of Latin background who have no formal dance background better then those who have learned salsa through classes and hard work?
It’s definitely a touchy topic for salsa dancers. I myself am not Latin and had absolutely no dancing skills when I started dancing. I learned how to salsa dance in the clubs with mostly Latin men. Looking back I should have definitely taken classes to begin with because I learned so many bad habits in the club and many of the dancers I often danced with were not half as good as I thought they were to begin with having no method of comparison.
Now with all that I know when I go salsa dancing those who have taken lessons and put structured work into their dancing are often smoother, more skillful dancers. It is still fun to dance with “unschooled” Latin dancers who have learned a few steps as children and just really let go and feel the music. But it definitely takes some structured learning to hone even the most naturally gifted dancer.
So no I do not think that those with “Dancing in their blood” are any better then those that have taken classes. I think what you put into your dancing shows on the dancefloor and with hard work (remember that it is fun work) anyone of any background, age, size and skill level, can because a great dancer.