So you got bit by the Salsa bug. You're excited, you're gun-ho, you're ready to tackle Salsa like last year's Thanksgiving turkey; You want it done and fast. Are private lessons the way to go? Probably not.
It's natural to want things immediately, you want to know salsa now because of all the things that make it appealing; it's seductive, it's magical, and great to watch.
It's natural to believe that if you had one-on-one attention you would learn faster. Smaller schools mean better attention or smaller classrooms mean teachers give more attention. For salsa private lessons smaller, one-on-one doesn't necessarily mean you'll get better in a heartbeat.
The frequency to which you take private lessons is the primary factor in how quickly you'll get better.
Children go to school 5 days out of the week, their lessons are 5 days out of the week. If the class size was small, very likely they will get more individual attention.
Salsa private lessons are typically set up for once a week. If you were to compare the two and gave the same curriculum for both (without homework), which group would progress faster?
If private lessons was your route to success, you would have to take private lessons 5 times a week! However that rarely ever happens because we:
1. Don't have the Time.
2. Don't have the Money.
If you took private lessons before you read this article, it's very likely you stopped for any of the two reasons or:
You realized you weren't getting anywhere fast.
In order to really get what you want out of private salsa lessons you want to adopt the way to learning the piano: Practice.
A piano instructor meets with a student once a week, for one hour, going over pieces to play. When the hour is over, the student has until the next lesson to practice. They are required to practice and when they meet again the instructor goes over what improvements need to be done, and the lesson continues with the cycle-of-learning repeating itself. Learning to salsa should be the same as learning to play the piano.
If you plan to take private salsa lessons then you have to practice the rest of the time. Take just a private lesson once a week and you'll never get anywhere fast while losing a lot of money along the way.
If you have your heart set on taking private salsa lessons and you recently started salsa dancing, save your money and wait a couple of months until you have a good idea on what you're doing.
Why? Typically when you first learn to salsa dance everything becomes overwhelming. It's so much information all at the same time that you want to cry out for help! Thus you go in search of a single voice (away from the crowds, away from the noise, away from the partner) and look towards private lessons.
The thing is, it will still be overwhelming during the private lessons. In fact, salsa typically doesn't click in your head for another couple of weeks. If you're taking just an hour a week (of private lessons), that hour will fly by so quick you won't remember anything by next week.
Once you've waited a few months take private lessons in conjunction with group lessons. Use private lessons as a "check-up" on how you're doing while spending a lot of time practicing with social dancing and group lessons.
Learning to salsa is like learning anything else, it takes money and time. We can always manage our time but money sometimes is the limiting factor, but by having a better idea on what private salsa lessons are for we can save a whole lot.