We took a salsa dance class at A Step Ahead Dance Studio. Here’s how it went

During the pandemic, we started looking Dancing with the stars, since we were looking for more things to watch while staying at home. We fell in love with the talent and styles of dances they performed. It made me think we should take a dance class. I fell on One Step Ahead Dance Studio which is a local dance studio specializing in the teaching, performance and choreography of Swing, Latin, Ballroom and Country Western. I said why not.

One of the classes they offered was a group salsa class available every Thursday. Keep in mind this is something completely out of my element. I had no formal dance lessons, and my exposure to salsa dancing was drinking heavily in my twenties and going to a downtown bar that had salsa parties.

While A Step Ahead Dance Studio offers many classes covering different styles, we ended up attending their salsa band class. This particular class did not require any reservations. We just arrived in the evening, paid our $12 per person course fee and joined in the party. There they covered the basic steps and broke down the dance. It was great for those with no dance experience or anyone who has attended a class before. The class was suitable for people of all experience levels.

Some questions you may have include what type of attire and shoes to wear. Most people wore what they felt comfortable in. I saw people in jeans, leggings, dresses, etc. I stayed with my favorite of joggers and tennis shoes. Some people even wore dancing shoes.

While Megan and I went to class together, you don’t need a dance partner to join. As this is a group lesson, we danced with different partners throughout the evening. I admit that at first it was a little weird for me. I haven’t danced with a stranger since my days at The Cowboy, Graham Central Station, The Incahoots, etc. After a while, however, it started to get more comfortable. Some partners had a lot more experience and were able to guide us better than if it was just the two of us dancing together all evening.

Our group salsa lesson was taught by Dan the Salsa Man who did a fantastic job guiding us through the evening. He explained everything in a step by step process that was basic enough for us newbies to understand. Did we have any problems later? Sure, but he answered all of our questions and brought good energy to the class that kept people engaged and focused.

We started our class by learning a few steps and repeating this over and over. Then Dan added a few more steps, which we repeated with several partners. After that, we combined everything we learned and danced with a partner. He then made us switch partners and start over. This process was repeated several times before Dan included any more steps.

This was the process for almost the entire class hour. There were times when he was teaching something and my jaw dropped to the floor as all the steps started to get confusing for me. Fortunately, the repetition was much needed to descend the steps. I fumbled my steps so many times, but so did other people. It was fun to make mistakes and learn everything as a group. Sometimes I nailed every step and felt like I had just conquered the world. Other times I would miss a few steps and laugh about it.

We came away having more fun than we thought. It was something we had never done and very different from our usual dating routines. It was out of our elements, but one we enjoyed. We then went home and practiced a few times, and also looked at other classes they offered.

A Dance Ahead dance studio is located at 501 S. St. Francis. To learn more about the courses offered, visit their Facebook page, where they have their upcoming classes listed in their events section. You can also find out more about them on their website.

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