Salsa Intoxica Dance Studio

Learn the Art of Social Salsa Dancing - Connect, Create & Express Yourself

Hi I’m Shulagh

I teach normal people to dance Salsa…really well! 

Here at Salsa Intoxica, we know that feeling of moving to Salsa music is not only highly addictive, it really does make you happier.

It’s why I decided to name my dance school after that feeling we get through dancing when all the endorphins kick in and we find our happy place – it is like being intoxicated by rhythm.

If you are ready to discover this amazing natural high for yourself, read on to learn about Salsa Dance Lessons in my private Brentwood Studio.

 

Dance Your Way Into Summer

Learning to dance Salsa can enrich your life in so many different ways. It can transform your confidence, your social life, and help you to rediscover parts of yourself which have lain dormant – including the rhythm many beginners think they don’t have.

I wholeheartedly believe that ANYONE can find their rhythm, as it’s always been there.

And when you find your rhythm, you find YOURSELF!

You will start to feel more comfortable within your own body, and you will also find a supportive community of like-minded people all at different stages of their Salsa journey who will cheer you on and become your dance buddies.

    Next Beginner Course Starts Wednesday 11th September

    Beginners Start Here >>>>>

    If you are looking for somewhere to learn Salsa in Brentwood, you’ll be happy to know that there is an amazing place where you can take lessons with an expert teacher right on your doorstep.

    Whether you are starting from scratch or picking up your beginner Salsa classes after a break, I’m sure you agree that the magical connection of partner dancing is the real goal.

    But many new dancers are nervous about taking those crucial first steps, and a large percentage of those don’t make it beyond the first few weeks of lessons.

    This usually happens because they suddenly realise how much there is to learn and get discouraged and overwhelmed. They don’t believe they have the time and energy it takes to get past the initial learning curve.

    Some don’t even find the courage to start at all.

    So if this is you – if you feel that starting Salsa is at all intimidating or scary,  this course will make it simple for you.

    Next Beginner Course Starts Wednesday 11th September 7pm

    Salsa Lessons For More Advanced Dancers

    More Advanced Dancer But Feeling Stuck?

    Do you feel that you aren’t learning anything new or valuable in your current club based classes?

    Are you frustrated because the so-called intermediate or advanced class is full of people who do not have the skills to be there and can’t cope with the content?

    Are you learning endless routines but nothing in your social dance experience seems to be improving?

    When you have been doing the top level class in your local club for a while, you may not know that further improvement is possible beyond this.

    And you may not have any idea how to go about it.

    You KNOW you don’t look as good as the teachers, even if you can do the moves in class and make them work in freestyle.

    You can’t put your finger on what it is that makes the difference.

    It’s important to realise that levels are specific to the environment and an “advanced class” in one area or club is not necessarily the same standard as it is elsewhere.

    If you really do want to get better at Salsa dancing, there are some universal problems which you’ll need to overcome:

     

    Problems For Leads

    Many guys struggle to remember moves and integrate them into their social dance repertoire.

    They can’t make what they learn in class actually work on the dance floor.

    One reason is because the music and counts in class are typically much slower than the music played by the DJs for social dancing so classes often give a false sense of accomplishment.

    The other reason is that in class everyone knows what’s coming next – and this isn’t how it works on the dance floor.

    Consequently the followers don’t always let the guys lead, and give them a hard time if they don’t do it perfectly first time.

    Leads are often wrestling with combinations above their current level of technique and this results in rough, snatchy, panicky leading.

     

    Problems For Followers

    Ladies often find that as much of the teacher’s time is devoted to helping the leads, they don’t get enough help with their own footwork, technique and styling.

    They can follow basic moves and combos reasonably well, and can add some simple styling, but don’t have the technique to follow more complex turn patterns.

    And they sometimes get caught out if the lead gives them a new or creative twist on an old move, or goes “off-piste” in response to the music.

    What they learn in class doesn’t seem to reflect or be relevant to what really happens in dance floor reality.

    They end up learning organically on the dance floor, picking things up as they go, but then hit a wall as they realise they don’t have the structure or technique they need to improve further.

     

    Are You Getting The Experience You Paid For?

    Maybe you don’t get enough dances during the social to practice what you learn, and feel you get overlooked because of your age, size or lack of experience.

    Maybe there are too many weeks where 22 women and 5 men turn up and you are waiting too long in between dances, both in lessons and social.

    Or maybe the female demonstration partner isn’t actually a teacher, so you can’t assume that what she’s doing is actually correct.

    Or even if she is, maybe she isn’t getting much opportunity to contribute and explain the ladies technique, footwork, body movement and styling.

    All this can lead to boredom and frustration.

    It creates an artificial “ceiling” on your true Salsa potential.

    All because of one key fact – pre-choreographed routines do not teach the improvisation and musicality skills recreational social dancers need to get the most enjoyment from social dancing.

     

    What The Teachers Don’t Tell You

    If you watch the teachers and pros dance, you’ll realise that they link moves and create their own combinations in real time on the dance floor.

    What they DON’T do is memorise a routine.

    This doesn’t mean they don’t have structure – just that they know how all the main Salsa moves work together around the core framework of the Cross Body Lead.

    They make up the dance as they go using these moves and variations of them.

    They add their own style and personality into the mix.

    This allows them to dance with more connection, musicality and freedom of expression.

    If they mess up, they don’t beat themselves up. They just style it out and laugh it off.

     

    Why Make Things More Difficult?

    By forcing you to remember ever longer, chronological sequences in a precise order, the pressure on you to execute perfectly in a very limited time frame can create huge amounts of stress.

    It can also disconnect you from your partner.

    Leads aren’t really leading, and followers are anticipating or making assumptions about what’s going to happen next – which means they are not following in the true sense of the word.

    And everyone wonders why it doesn’t work for real on the dance floor.

    Why they stay stuck in the same level class for months or even years yet never feel like they are really improving.

    Why they struggle in their social dances and nothing really flows.

    We blame ourselves or our partner or feel bad that we can’t meet their expectations.

    This is a shame, because for leads it’s actually MUCH EASIER and MUCH MORE FUN to dance spontaneously, creating variations around moves you already know, than remembering and perfecting a long sequence of new material in chronological order.

    It also makes it much easier for you to feel that magical connection you crave.

    With this approach you need a lot less moves as you learn to get more mileage from what you know and create new twists on old combos.

    And followers will have even more enjoyable dances when they have good technique as this gives them freedom to style and play with the music – without disrupting connection and disrespecting the lead.

     

    Become a Member

    For dancers above beginner level, there is a monthly membership subscription.

    You can attend more than one class a week – this is actively encouraged – so those who attend most frequently will be rewarded with better value and faster progress.

    It is important to note that access to the more advanced classes is at my discretion.

    Click below to find out more about membership:

     

    What Makes Salsa Intoxica Different?

    Salsa Lessons In Brentwood For Those Who Don’t Follow The Crowd

    Salsa Intoxica Dance School is a small, private dance school where those who are serious about their Salsa dancing come to hone their skills and learn the stuff that doesn’t routinely get taught in the clubs.

    I created my studio – and developed my own teaching methods – because I realised that there were big disadvantages to the standard big group, drop-in Salsa class format.

    These can sometimes be like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks.

    And whilst the club environment is great if your primary focus is the social side, it may not deliver for those with different aspirations.

    These people often find themselves bored and frustrated as they realise that there is an artificial ceiling which prevents them from progressing.

    So I decided not to follow everyone else and create yet another Salsa club night, even though it was likely to be less financially lucrative. 

    Instead I created Salsa Intoxica Dance School to provide a different experience for those who wanted to learn the techniques, musicality, style and culture of the dance in order to fully express themselves on the dance floor.

    My logical, coaching led approach is paying off for every dancer who sets foot in the studio, and I’m working with more dancers than ever before.

     

    Dancing To A Different Tune

    I’ve never been the most well known teacher, or the one with the biggest classes.

    That’s not the thing that’s really mattered to me.

    What matters more is building a personal relationship with my students where they feel they can be themselves and feel ok about making mistakes in their quest to improve.

    My mission has always been to provide an alternative experience so beginners can build their repertoire and confidence much quicker, and seasoned dancers can get the tools to develop their technique, musicality and style, breaking out of the auto-pilot , repetitive combinations which were embedded – along with many compensatory bad habits – in the early stages of their journey.

    It’s no secret that I chose to do things differently from the start – I wanted to deliver my lessons with the depth and detail that I found were lacking when I was learning.

    I wanted to teach in a way that allowed me to meet the student exactly where they were and help them build their own personal journey, respecting their freedom of choice and expression.

    Sometimes you have to go off the beaten track, travel further and get out of your comfort zone a little to get the results you really want.

    Salsa Intoxica Dance School will support and guide you along that path.

     

    Every Class is a Master Class

    The lead/follow relationship between Salsa partners is extraordinarily complex.

    It relies on synergy, split second timing, spatial awareness and highly refined non verbal communication skills.

    There is a whole language and code which enables dancers to read each others bodies, minds and musicality in real time on the dance floor.

    We call this language “connection”.

    The more fluent a dancer is in this language, the more nuanced, complex and technically challenging the content can be.

    But this requires more than a moves repertoire.

    It’s more than the physical joining of hands or the Salsa-by-numbers count by count combination breakdown.

    That’s why I believe in making every lesson a leading and following masterclass , so you can master the skills for yourself, and use them to have fun.

     

    “I was approaching 60 and wanted to salsa dance at my party. I had very low self-esteem and lacked confidence.

    Shulagh was the first salsa teacher on Google. I liked what she wrote, that nobody has two left feet and no rhythm, as I identified myself exactly as that.

    I was only going to do a 1 hour private lesson, but got hooked straight away. I signed up to Shulagh’s ladies’ styling course as she made me feel more confident.

    Shulagh is so passionate and knowledgeable about salsa that it’s infectious, you can’t help but feel enthused. She is patient and tolerant, constantly reassuring you.

    Besides what I’ve already said, I would describe Shulagh as an inspirational teacher. She makes you feel that you want to be the best you can.

    Shulagh recognises that people respond to learning in a variety of ways, and she adapts her teaching style to suit. This ensures nobody gets left behind, all feeling part of the group – enabled.

    If I had to criticise, I’d say that Shulagh needs to sell herself and her classes more, promote the very positive things that can come from salsa dancing, not just being able to dance. I entered her world a timid, disempowered woman with low self-esteem, and left there feeling confident enough to attend clubs, on my own, not knowing any of the other attendees.

    I’m not the best dancer, but I love salsa and will dance anywhere. Thank you, Shulagh x”

    Deanna

    Quality Private Salsa Lessons For Individuals and Couples

    My studio is a an amazing space for private lessons as I believe this is the fastest and most effective way to learn.

    If you are an absolute beginner, or have taken a break and need a refresher course, my private lesson syllabus will get you up and running quickly.

    Unlike a group course these lessons are bespoke, giving much more room to cater for your specific needs and take into account not only your prior experience, but also your learning speed/style and future goals.

    Private lessons are appropriate for all levels – including complete beginners.

    Intermediate and advanced dancers will gain from targeted technique training as well as more specialist input into their musicality, style and repertoire.

     

    New Year, New App

    One of my big missions over the last few years has been to create a resource for students which would give them everyting they needed to practice at home with ease:

    • Video tutorials
    • Full breakdown of moves/combos
    • Follow along classes
    • Easy access to suitable music
    • Online support

    I also wanted to make this a community where students could chat to each other, book classes, and generally hang out without using their data to feed big tech algorithms, bombarded with ads, spammed with irrelevant content or having their profile cloned or hacked.

    Finally, after two years of planning, building and testing, the Salsa Intoxica app is now available to students.

    It will be launched to the wider Salsa community later in the year.