How to Choose a Dance Instructor

Whether you want to dance for fun or competitively, choosing the right dance instructor can make a big difference in your enjoyment and progress as a dancer. The purpose of this article is to assist you on how to find a qualified Latin dance instructor that will safely teach, develop and mentor you on Latin dance rhythms, timing and techniques; as well as how to actively support, acknowledge and appreciate the Latin culture and history while avoiding any pitfalls of cultural appropriation. Lastly, it will spotlight some of Toronto’s best Latin Dance Studios and Dance Instructors in Ontario, Canada.


  1. Search online on Google and social media to find nearby Latin dance instructors; or Contact The Salsa Club and get you in touch with the best of the best dance instructors and studios.
  2. Collect and record Dance Studio addresses, website and applicable Dance Instructor Biographies (bios) and Qualifications. If dance instructor bios are not available online, try calling the dance studio to ask for their bios and teaching qualifications.

It is important to note that teacher certification and local licensing requirements do not exist in majority of cities or locations. Some dance studios will have more stringent Dance Instructor requirements than others. In some cases, the studio may only require its dance instructors to demonstrate their dance experience, in other cases they may offer their own school’s instructor certificate program, whereas others require specialized teaching and dance qualifications such as a Teaching Diploma or a Bachelors or Masters Degree, or PhD in dance. The Peter Principle applies… a great dancer does not equal a great teacher because different skills are required.

  1. Select the dance instructors that you are interested in and either observe the instructor’s class or take a trial class to see if that instructor is right for you. Consider the instructor’s level of professionalism, the mood and energy that the instructor brings to class and communication style.

You may want to use the following list to help in your Assessment of Dance Instructors:

  1. Relevant dance teaching skills such as rhythms, knowledge of lead and follow roles, communication, instruction skills, classroom management etc.
  2. Years of dance experience
  3. Where they trained to dance (e.g. train in country of dance origin by trained professionals or at a local dance school by qualified or non-qualified instructors)
  4. Years of teaching experience
  5. Where they trained to teach / teaching qualifications (e.g. self taught or local school teaching certificate or 8 mo. teaching program)
  6. Received industry-related awards or standout roles
  7. Student reviews out of 5
  8. Practicing cultural appreciation & avoiding cultural appropriation
  9. Ask about the applicable dance class schedule and pricing. In addition to the costs of taking the classes, ask if you are required to purchase specific attire or equipment and if you are planning to drive to class, ask about nearby parking.
  10. Sign up for the dance lesson program with the Dance Instructor of your choice. Avoid paying in cash and make sure you obtain proof of purchase. By following the above it may help avoid fraud and scams.

Spotlight of some of Toronto’s Best Latin Dance Schools in Ontario …. coming soon! Of course, there are Latin Dance Classes at the beginning of most events, or you can call us for more information.