Salsa 101 with E-Town Salsa

Having never been the most coordinated person to begin with, I’ve tended to avoid formal dance instruction. However, when our agency announced that they would subsidize half of the cost of a four-week salsa dancing class, I convinced Mack to join me to overcome my misgivings.

Held in the dim and grungy basement of the Chinese Multicultural Centre, the venue wasn’t meant to hold a dance class, but our upbeat and energetic instructor made the most of it. Alex, originally from Chile, has been teaching salsa full-time for several years through his company E-Town Salsa, and is aiming to buy his own studio. In addition to salsa as dance, he also teaches a cardio salsa class.

Alex was the ideal instructor for a haphazard group of employees, many tired from a long day at work. Acknowledging that most of us (if not all of us) didn’t practice what he taught us from the week prior, he was patient in reviewing the steps in a warm-up format at the beginning of each class. Moreover, he encouraged us to let go of our inhibitions, and did his best to try to get us to “shake it up” (though for the life of me I couldn’t move both my upper and lower body at the same time).


Because the majority of participants registered as individuals and not as pairs, we had to continuously rotate partners. While it was both a challenge and a learning exercise having to adapt every few minutes to a new partner, I would have preferred to have had more time to get used to dancing with Mack. I also think the group would have benefited from seeing an entire dance put together – his fiance (and performing partner) was present only for the first class, and after learning a series of steps in isolation (with the exception of one “sexy combo”), it would have been a nice treat to see professionals string them together.


So while I’m not quite confident enough to dance in public, this was a fun introduction to salsa where I did “shake it up”, heh. If you’re thinking about enrolling, Alex will be providing a taste of his instruction this weekend at La Kantina (10805-105 Ave). Details here.

6 thoughts on “Salsa 101 with E-Town Salsa

  1. It’s better to dance with multiple partners so you learn how to read/feel male leads. Although some partners are more gross/smelly/sweaty than others…

    Also, you should always dance in public. You know more than the average person so they think you’re awesome. Gord and I took level 1, went to 2 weddings and cleared the dance floor. Now we’re going to take level 4 and make everyone feel even worse.

  2. Rob and I took the same dance classes, too, but we dropped out because we unfortunately got too busy. But I guess now we know some basics!

    I, too, didn’t really enjoy the switching of the partners, but it was also good in a way because if you were always with your partner, both of you forgive each other’s mistakes and may not learn as much, while when you’re with a stranger, you’re focused on trying to get something right b/c you don’t want to mess the other up.

  3. Thanks Chris!

    Yeah, it probably does make you a better dancer (particularly when you have to learn how to respond to a male lead), and in our case it was probably good because we got to know others from offices I probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet otherwise.

  4. MUCHAS GRACIAS Sharon for your kind comments! You and Mack were a pleasure to have. And believe it or not Sharon, your not at all uncoordinated. In fact you were even more relaxed than most and you had fun!

    Its always interesting to see how new people respond to the upper body shimmy shaking. Definitely makes you smile. You all seem to enjoy yourselves throughout the class so I was very happy too.

    Oh and the switching of partners also helps save marriages. Haha! Serious though! I have had couples ready to just leave the class cause they are about to get into some heated argument about …DANCING! Obviously other underlying issues…. hah!

    Anyways, thanks for the blog. Just checked my stats and saw this new site linking mine so I had to check it out!

    Gracias amiga! y hasta luego!!

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