Salsa Dancing in the Bay Area

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4 / 5 stars out of 1 review
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Salsa lessons taught by John & Liz of Salsamania Dance Company at the Just Dance Ballroom in Oakland every Monday. There are classes of two difficulty levels, beginner and intermediate, followed by open floor practice so you can practice your new moves.


Event: Beginner & Intermediate Salsa Lessons Salsa Dancing Gifts
Date: Every Monday
Time: 7pm Beginner-level lesson (Salsa I), 8pm Intermediate-level lesson (Salsa II), 9pm - 11pm Open Practice
Cost: $15 per class or $25 for both
Instructors: John Narvaez & Liz Rojas
Address: Just Dance Ballroom
2500 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94606
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Contact: (510) 697-1892
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Important: Event times are subject to change. Always double check with the event organizer before making plans.

Our Review:

John & Liz are world class dancers and two of the best salsa instructors in the Bay Area. They are not just good dancers, but know how to break down moves so that they are easy to understand.

You won't just learn patterns in this class, you will learn salsa technique and musicality, which will help you become a better dancer. I've learned a lot personally from John & Liz, and this class is a great introduction to their teaching style.

User Reviews:

Jul 25, 2012 at 12:41 am

7 people found this review helpful

I attended the two lessons which were really fabulous. However the social dancing afterwards was pretty much non existent.

So if it’s some excellent basic level instruction you are looking for this is fantastic. For social dancing on a Monday better to try another venue.

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Jan 29, 2018 at 9:18 pm

3 people found this review helpful

I’ve only been dancing salsa for a few weeks and have recently started going to a few intermediate classes. Both beginner and intermediate were much more advanced than at other studios, which wasn’t why I gave 1-star – I was actually glad that the classes were a bit faster paced.

The reason I gave 1 star was because John (I believe – the shorter man with smaller stature) was incredibly self righteous and cold in his class. He seemed frustrated that people weren’t at the level he expected and explained things in a “I can’t believe you don’t already get this” way. At one point he explained a simple cross body lead, but in a different way than I had learned (so essentially I was relearning), and literally said “if you are not doing it this way, then you do not how to do this move. If you don’t do it this way, you are not doing this move at all.”

Either way, I found the attitude extremely diminishing and left halfway through class. If you’re trying to learn salsa to have fun, and to enjoy the dancing then I would *not* recommend John and Liz. It doesn’t matter if they’re better dancers, they aren’t very good teachers and the atmosphere is not welcoming or even fun. I’ve tried both salsa dreamz and salsa with Juan in Oakland and can full heartedly recommend those instructors, studios, and communities. The only reason I came was because I’ve been going to salsa classes 3x a week and was itching to find a Monday class to practice even more, but I should’ve stayed to some of the more popular and well rated classes.

Also, there were about twice as many leads as followers in both beginner and intermediate class which was strange, and John at one point commented that the men should bring partners. Maybe if the atmosphere in these classes was even an ounce above freezing I’d consider bringing my partner, but feels like others already caught wind.

Oh and the just dance ballroom doesn’t have a free class trial so I ended up wasting $15 to be looked down upon by some elitist dude, so there that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Sep 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm

2 people found this review helpful

If you are serious about becoming a better dancer you need to come to John and Liz. we are so fortunate to have these amazing mentors in the area.

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Sep 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm

1 person found this review helpful

John and Liz are fantastic. In my opinion they are amonst the best intructors in the area, if not the best If you are interested in becoming a better dancer they will teach you technique, style and musicality that you can apply to your social dancing.

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Nov 1, 2018 at 4:44 pm

John is one of the most skilled salsa dancers in the Bay, with a thorough knowledge of Latin dance technique and incredible body control. He is thorough, encouraging, and funny. He’s one of the most modest dancers I’ve ever met at his level. Not only is he a fantastic dancer, he is able to convey concepts very clearly and he is extremely patient with his students. You NEED to be taking lessons with John if you ever want to improve your salsa dancing.

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