The Salsa VIP Day – Case Study

Last weekend I spent 5 hours with a special lady.

Jo is a really keen social dancer, does regular classes and is eager to improve.

She lives a fair distance away from me, and has lots of other things going on in her life, so coming to my studio for classes or private lessons is impossible.


This is why I created the Salsa VIP Day – so ladies and gents who wanted a massive improvement in the shortest possible time would be able to spend the day with me in the studio, working on the things that are going to have the most impact on their dancing.


This is not simply an extra-long, drawn out private lesson however…


I’ve created a very specific process which is designed to give you a dramatic improvement in a short space of time, along with a detailed but simple action plan that you can implement after the event to ensure your continued progression.


Because an hour or two of lessons every week isn’t enough to override bad habits. Especially if you’re not clear on what those bad habits actually are, or how they are affecting your dancing.


Fixing the symptoms doesn’t always solve the problem – you have to look at the root cause.


The most subtle changes can have the most impact…


In Jo’s case, her breathing patterns off the dance floor had led to massive tension in the accessory respiratory muscles around her neck and shoulders.

This was causing permanent tension in these areas, resulting in her arms stiffening up. This meant she often lost connection and missed leads.


Whenever she felt under pressure her breathing got shallower, sending her body into a physiological stress response…even more tension and stiffness.

This also meant that any upwards arm styling felt incredibly uncomfortable for her and looked awkward – the tight neck muscles made it impossible to move her arm without her head moving too.

So the first step was to restore her natural diaphragmatic breathing

Then we used myofascial release to take out the tension in her arms, shoulders and neck.

Then we worked on mobility and isolations, making massive improvements in range of motion.


Once this was done we were ready to dance!


We went through each of the Five Fundamental Techniques, working from the ground up to refine them, and applying them specifically to Jo’s dancing.


Before lunch we did a Cha Cha Cha session as this is one of Jo’s favourite dances. We worked on ingraining the Cha Cha Cha rhythm and breaking down the footwork for some new combinations and a couple of shines.


The second half of the day we focused on musicality and styling in partnerwork.


Specifically, some simple arm styling techniques, and how to integrate them into partnerwork without overdoing it, decapitating the guy or disrupting his lead.


This was so much easier after the fascial and mobility work we had done in the morning.


We then looked at how to predict the breaks and accents in the music, and practiced hitting them – not by pre-choreographing anything and trying to fit it to the music, but by feeling and responding to the music in the moment using movement and footwork that already felt good to her.


All in all it was a wonderful day and so lovely to see someone who is so passionate about her dancing make such huge leaps forward.

If you would like to know more about Salsa VIP Days, click here: