Yoga in the Morning in the guest house Garden Salsa Workshop Betty and David Salsa Dancing Yoga on the lawn Salsa Dancing to Live Music

Questions and Answers - Oaxaca


Q.

Is it currently safe to travel to Mexico and Oaxaca?

A.

The state of Oaxaca is in the south of Mexico and thus very far away from the troubled border region in the north and there is currently no travel warning in place for Oaxaca. The historical center of the city of Oaxaca is in our experience very safe, even when walking at night. Taxi cabs are safe and cheap as well. Please read the full report issued by the US Dept of State on 02/08/2012.

Q.

Why book a Salsa vacation with a specialized operator? Can't I organize a trip like this myself?

A.

Read our full-length blog article Dance Vacation Organizers are Unnecessary

Q.

What style of Salsa will be taught?

A.

In Mexico and particularly in Oaxaca the preferred salsa style is slotted with the basic element being the cross-body-lead, sometimes referred to as Puerto-Rican style Salsa (as opposed to Cuban or Colombian style). We usually teach our workshops on1, although all instructors are skilled on2 dancers and private lessons are available either on1 or on2. Take a look at salsaretreat's YouTube playlist Salsa Oaxaca

Q.

Why is the retreat in the city, and not on the beach?

A.

Because that's where the good dancers are. Oaxaca features more than 20 Salsa schools and at least 3 of them are lead by dancers who compete and perform in the US. We have tried, but we couldn't find any world-class Salsa on the beach...

Q.

How far in advance should I book my retreat?

A.

Retreat dates can become sold out between 4 - 3 months in advance, and up to 6 months in advance for popular dates. As dates often fill up fast it is always best to reserve your place as soon you are sure you would like to attend that retreat.

Q.

When and where should I book my flight?

A.

Oaxaca is not a major tourist destination unlike for example Cancun. This is what we want, until it comes to airfare and good connections. The few direct flights from the US to Oaxaca fill up early! Therefore, waiting for prices to drop is not recommended. Online booking sites show itineraries with at least two or three connections, and you won't be able to see better options. We strongly recommend that you book your flights with an experienced travel agent who knows the best connections available, has access to the airline's booking systems and can check availability of direct flights. We have partnered with Elizabeth Holmes Travel to assist you with this. Please give Elizabeth and her experienced team a call at 800-588-8361 and tell them that you are going on the Salsa Retreat, and they will help you to check airfares as well as flight availabilities and can book you the best ticket available along with travel insurance for the flight and the Salsa Retreat vacation. They will also assist you throughout your trip should there be any flight changes, such as cancelled or delayed flights that cause missed connections.

Q.

Do I need travel insurance and where can I get it?

A.

Salsa Retreat requires that you purchase third party travel insurance in order to receive a refund if you have to cancel your vacation. First you could check if your credit card includes travel insurance, and if yes see if the coverage fits your needs. Alternatively we recommend that you book your airline ticktes with Elizabeth Holmes Travel where you will be able to purchase travel insurance for both the Salsa Retreat vacation and your flights. As a third option we also recommend World Nomads - Affordable travel insurance for the smart adventurer!

Q.

What type of dancing or Salsa experience is required?

A.

All levels are welcome, including absolute beginners. Participants will be matched with dance partners to accomodate an optimal learning experience for all levels. We will talk to you about your dancing background to find the best dance partner for you.

Q.

Is Salsa difficult to learn for someone with no dance experience?

A.

Salsa is fairly easy to pick up and make good progress on for absolute beginners, although reaching expert levels takes serious work. The one-week intensive format will be very effective and you will be able to dance in a social setting by the end of the week. Beginner follows will advance a lot faster than leads, which has caused some frustration in leads in the past. But regardless of how much you learn during dance class, you will have lots of fun!

Q.

I am an advanced dancer, what can I expect to learn?

A.

For follows: Afro-Cuban body movements and posture, your basic step will look different! This sounds very simple but is the most drastic improvement to expect. In addition, you will learn arm and hand styling, footwork, dips and improve your spinning technique. For leads: You will learn to lead new moves and patterns solidly, and you will learn new footwork.

Q.

Do I need to bring a partner?

A.

No, all dance partners will be provided by the dance school. But if you want to bring your dance partner, that works as well.

Q.

What type of yoga experience is required?

A.

All levels are welcome, including absolute beginners. Classes are structured to accommodate various levels of experience at all times.

Q.

What style of yoga do you offer?

A.

Our yoga practice will be customized for this retreat, we will practice a series of postures and exercises that are most beneficial for dancers. They involve excercises for good posture, shoulder joint flexibility, strong ankles, core strenght, spinal flexibility, and strong kneck muscles (really helps with dips!)

Q.

Do I need to bring a yoga mat and/or other props?

A.

Our eco-friendly yoga mats are made from natural materials, completely non-toxic, biodegradable, and recyclable, and contain no latex, PVC, or rubber. We will also provide props and straps. You are also welcome to bring your own mat if you prefer.

Q.

Is it okay to come alone?

A.

Yes! Your Salsa Retreat experience is group-oriented, so there will be plenty of time to meet people and make new friends. Oaxaca is a safe and friendly town in which to enjoy your alone-time, too.

Q.

Can I travel with a group?

A.

Certainly! A Salsa Retreat is a great way to enjoy a vacation with friends and family members.

Q.

Will I have time to explore Oaxaca on my own?

A.

Absolutely! Though we include a wonderful cultural adventure in your retreat package, you will have ample time to stroll about town, hang out with new friends, lay in the garden, visit museums, and frequent local restaurants. You’ll have the nights free to try out the numerous bars, to go listen to live music, or to dance the night away. We are always available to advise you regarding your free time. We will happily tell you about our favorite sights, restaurants, and nightspots.

Q.

What should I pack?

A.

Temperatures in Oaxaca average in the 70’s with pleanty of sunshine during the day, so bring sun protection ie. sun block, sun glasses and a hat. Nights will be cool (as low as 46), so bring warm clothes as well. The dance classes are a two-hour aerobic workout, you will need comfortable shoes such as tennis shoes or dance sneakers. Do not plan to wear heals for the classes! For dancing out dance shoes will be useful, but any shoes with leather soles that stay on your feet will do. It is pretty easy to convert any good fitting shoe into a dance shoe by adding a strip of moleskin under the sole (We will have moleskin available). Because the Salsa classes will make you sweat, please bring enough comfortable, form fitting and not too baggy workout gear that can handle getting sweaty and bring a sweat towel. Similar type clothes can be used for yoga, but make sure they keep you warm. The air will be cool in the morning, so make sure to bring enough layers of fleece. Bring your own water bottle to fill with filtered drinking water in the hotel. Bring comfortable walking shoes for the tours and city excursions.

Q.

Where do I fly to?

A.

You should plan to fly into the Oaxaca International Airport (OAX), on the Saturday of the vacation. A Salsa Retreat representative will be there to meet you and accompany you to the hotel. Please schedule your flight accordingly and let us know flight number and time of arrival.

Q.

What official documentation is needed to get into Mexico?

A.

As of January 1, 2007 all U.S. citizens need a valid U.S. passport to travel in and out of the U.S. Your passport MUST have at least 6 months remaining before expiration to be considered valid. Please check with your airline or travel agent if you have additional questions regarding necessary documentation both for you and for minors. These requirements can change without notice. For the most up to date information please visit http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english.html

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