Salsa Dance Classes

dance

By:Patricia Prata

Salsa and Bachata Dance Classes in Burbank

Interview with Christina Haggerty Dance Instructor at Olivia’s in Burbank.
Christina : 
My career has been an unbelievable journey containing my Best and Worst memories! Dance brought me to Los Angeles, (from Seattle), and has guided my life for over 20 years.  Now, I am so happy to be teaching dance and spreading the joy it brings into so many lives.  The best part is seeing folks transform and live healthier and happier lives – mine included!
My career has enabled me to travel all over the USA and abroad to places like Sweden, Spain, Australia, and even Asia.  Salsa is huge in Asia. We’ve been to Japan, Philippine Islands, Taiwan, and Thailand! I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced so much from Dance!
Patricia Prata:
Where do you teach salsa ?
Christina:
Our local classes here in Los Angeles are in Burbank (Thursdays @ Olivia’s – 245 E Olive) and Woodland Hills in the SF Valley (SalSaturdays @ Celebration Ballroom – 6275 Variel). However we do get invited to teach around Los Angeles to for special events like Catalina Island once a year. We also travel to Palm Dessert, Palm Springs, Vegas and other places for Special weekend Dance Events!
Patricia Prata:
Why Salsa in Burbank ?
Christina:
Olivia’s actually started in 2006  from a group of friends wanting a local spot in the valley for a social dance night with a safe and friendly environment.  Burbank is a wonderful neighborhood, and a new restaurant was looking for a salsa night to bring folks in.  We met up with the owner and from there, it grew to a happening Salsa dance spot with great music, atmosphere, people and occasional guest DJ’s, Live Salsa Music &  Dance Performances. Still today, Olivia’s is known for the community feeling for dancers of all levels to enjoy with Latin Dance classes, instruction every Thursday – Salsa – Chachacha- Mambo  – Bachata – and even Merengue. Just last November, Olivia’s Won “Favorite Salsa / Bachata Club” for 2012 Golden Salsa Awards!
Patricia Prata:
What’s your advice for new students ?
Christina :
I have a ton of advice for new students but to keep it simple; I would first suggest that they arrive 8 p.m. or a few minutes early as not to miss the start of the class where I always go over the basic footwork.  I also advise for new students to come at the beginning of the month because every month we work on a new routine and our classes progress as the month go on.  For example, if they show up for the 1st time during the 4th week of the month, they may feel discouraged next to the folks who have been there all month working on the steps.  However if they are fast to learn, they can drop in any time and should be fine.
Lastly, I would tell the new folks to enjoy and embrace the challenge of this new skill, work from the feet up, and it is OK to make mistakes – it is all a part of the learning process! : –  )
Patricia Prata:
What should they wear ?
Christina:
Students can wear what ever they are comfortable in.  The most important is to have shoes that can slide easily on a flat surface floor. For the ladies to start in any comfortable heel is encouraged. Olivia’s definitely has an elegant feel to it so some people do dress up especially on our live band night (the 3rd Thursday of every month), however jeans are fine as well.  I would suggest at some point for the ladies to try a flowing skirt or dress just for the added fun, movement, and flow it creates – adding a twirl to even the most basic turn step.
Patricia Prata:
What should new students expect when beginning a class ?
Christina:
Best thing about Olivia’s is that you do not need a partner to join in.  You can drop in any Thursday, beginning of the month is encouraged for the newest student. They should arrive a few minutes early to park and sign in. 8 p.m. is always a basic Salsa lesson covering footwork separate from a partner and then lead and follow technique partnered up with other drop in students.   We always rotate the partners so the leaders and followers can test their skills with a number of other students.  This creates a win-win situation in that when the class is over, all the students have met so that they are comfortable to stay and practice with each other at 9:30pm when the DJ kicks in.
Patricia Prata:
So you teach Latin dance at Olivia’s , not just Salsa dance , right ?
Christina:
Yes, the 8 p.m. class is Always a basic Salsa lesson but the second class at 8:50 p.m. is an International themed lesson. This lesson changes monthly from Bachata, to Cha cha cha, and can include International elements of Salsa like Styling, footwork, turns, etc. Schedule for this is on our Olivia’s page for our website and on our Olivia’s FB page. Side note for New Students – Since Salsa is danced with a partner and can easily break into a sweat during the night with continued close proximity with others we suggest that dancers pay attention to personal hygiene. Some examples can include using proper deodorant. Mints are preferred to gum, and for guys if you tend to sweat a lot, you can bring multiple shirts for the night. : –  )
Patricia Prata:
How long will it take  to learn Salsa ?
Christina:
Everyone is different depending not only on their co-ordination but also their dedication in the beginning. Salsa, just like any new skill does take time, especially for the first 3-6 months or longer.  Just like any exercise, if you are not dedicating at least 2-3 times a week to practice and/or lessons and such, you will definitely learn at a much slower rate than those who put in more time.

For classes:

www.mcSalsaDanceInstruction.com

For Olivia’s Restaurant and Banquet, Burbank

http://www.oliviarestaurant.net/

 

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