Contact Info

UGSalsa / Underground Salsa

Sarnia and Brights Grove area, Ontario, CANADA.

Mark & Judy Sopel

(519) 869-2232

email: 2008Salsa@gmail.com

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The Way We Teach

We only teach beginner Salsa and Merengue.

Our style of teaching is different from other local groups. We concentrate on a lead-follow technique, which enables the couple to learn and develop new moves together. We also teach separate steps and dance form, but do not teach any routines. The problem with a routine is that once you have learned a dance routine it's very difficult to dynamically change it -- especially if the room is a different size than what you're used to, or if something, or someone gets in the path of your routine! Also many of our dance moves can also be applied to other dance styles, such as Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Polka, etc., but with different timing and usually some minor changes in footwork to accommodate the move.

We teach dance to couples - It is possible to learn as a single person, but we try to encourage couples to join together. Sometimes we can match two single people in our classroom who have never known each other to share the experience. As a man and woman are equal contributers to a couple, it is important that the man will lead and the lady will follow. The man can be described as providing the frame (for the woman,) and the woman is an elegant and beautiful flowing dress. We also try to keep it as simple as possible by giving you many tips that will help you with all kinds of dance that others may not teach, like the ladies' "push back," the importance of the hand hold during spins, and "Cuban Motion" technique, just to name a few.

When performing Salsa and Merengue it is important to take small steps -- the faster the Salsa and Merengue, the smaller the steps should be. Merengue and Salsa can at times be very fast - so practice smaller steps and you will me more likely to keep up with the song's tempo.

We attempt to teach individual couples at their own pace, therefore our class can get very dynamic at times. If you're just beginning to learn to dance, then it's nice to see more advanced couples and different moves. If you're more advanced, then the classes will provide a great practice session for you and to help you with better technique and styling. We hold an "open-style" class which is alot of fun - not a rigorous "army-style" class which could be very demanding and discouraging.

Practice, practice, and more practice...

Everyone needs to practice what they learn to retain their new dance moves and put your "muscle memory" into action! Dance is not easy - it may take considerable time, practice, and patience to master the proper techniques and also the fancy moves. Dance at times may be frustrating, as well as one of the most enjoyable pastimes you could experience, sometimes at the same time. It's important to "stick with it" as you learn - not getting discouraged, but to remember that everyone is learning -- even the professionals are always learning new steps, and better technique. As you progress you will without doubt have more confidence in your dance steps, master better technique, and perhaps even obtain your own unique style that can set you apart from the rest!

More practice time is what really sets the professionals apart from the amateurs. Just remember that the professional dancers practice alot!

Other Dances

Along with teaching Salsa and Merengue, we try to offer/provide a venue in the Sarnia area where one can practice at least once/month. This may be either listed under our [Other Events] or our [Dance Parties] pages.

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Happy dancing.

/Mark & Judy