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Salsa!


Salsa Instruction in Oaxaca, Mexico


Take advantage of the exclusive opportunity to take private lessons with a professional dance instructor and performer from one of the the top Salsa schools in one of the Salsa capitals of the world: Oaxaca, Mexico!

To get a better idea of the level and styles of Salsa that are danced in Oaxaca, take a look at salsaretreat's YouTube playlist Salsa Oaxaca.

Our most popular dance package includes two hours of intensive Salsa dancing daily from Monday to Friday. You can choose between partnering and styling lessons for Salsa On 1 or On 2, and add some Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, Cumbia or Merengue for variety. Mexican folkloric dances and some non-Latin dances, such as Hip Hop are also available for those who want to try something new.

During the warm-up part of class you will work on body movement isolation techniques for the shoulders and hips. These body movements of Afro-Cuban origin are an essential part of Salsa dancing. After the warm up you will practice shines, steps and movements performed without a physical connection to the partner. Latin styling is an important part of the shines, and practicing a short choreography every day will help you become a better dancer and improve your vocabulary. These are the skills that you can definitely take home with you, and we recommend recording the sequences for future reference with a camera.

The second half of class is dedicated to partner dancing. You will learn a new pattern with your instructor and work together to expand the sequence and add the shines you learned earlier to create a short choreography in the course of the week. A short performance of what you have learned at the end of the week is optional!

Oaxaca native Beatriz Melina is the director of the Salsa Retreat dance program. One of the first Salsa dancers and performers in Oaxaca, in 2003 she founded her own dance school and dance company. In addition to managing two dance schools in Oaxaca, Beatriz teaches Latin Dance at the University of Oaxaca, the university from which she obtained a degree in Spanish as a Second Language. Her dance education started with classic ballet as a child and later included Jazz, Argentine Tango, Flamenco, Polynesian dances and last but not least Salsa with all the other Latin dance flavors. Beatriz has performed and competed in Salsa congresses nationally and internationally for many years. As part of her performance tours she has taught Salsa workshops in the U.K., Germany and Italy and continues to participate in international Salsa competitions in Mexico.

Members of Beatriz' dance company are performing and competing in most of the major Salsa events in Mexico every year. Here is a youtube video of a group performance at the Salsa Congress in Acapulco in 2010:



Oaxaca resident Alosja Van Leeuwen is offering restorative yoga lessons during our retreats. A certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of teaching experience in Holland and Mexico, Alosja has been practicing and studying yoga for over 14 years all over the world: She has studied Asthanga Vinyasa and Iyengar yoga during a visit to India, she has studied with Brigitte Longueville of Solstice Yoga in Zipolite, Mexico and with Oscar Velazques of Mukta Yoga and Jñandadakini of Yoga Espacio in Mexico City. In Holland she has studied with Gert van Leeuwen at the Bharata Yoga Institute in Amsterdam since 1997, where she completed teacher training in 2003. And most recently she studied Anusara Yoga in Seattle, WA.

Alosja's restorative yoga class designed especially for dancers! Restorative yoga helps to improve the posture, relaxes the shoulders, increases overall flexibility, and promotes better balance. Additional exercises will improve core strength, a requirement for a solid turning technique.

Yoga and dance complement each other. On the physical level, yoga practice helps a dancer through greater strength, flexibility and balance, improved posture, more stamina, and increased energy. On the spiritual level, yoga practice allows the mind to become still, non-judgmental, and centered on the body. Working with the body and breath will allow blocked areas to open and energy to flow freely. This creates a perfect base to start connecting with another person through dance and to start receiving joy through the experience of Salsa and the captivating rhythms of the music. Dance is a moving meditation.

Our tour guide is Nicholas Garcia, also a Oaxaca native. Nicholas has been guiding the Salsa Retreat tours for 2 years, and during our retreat he also takes care of all our transportation needs. When he is not guiding Salsa dancers he is leading adventure travel tours including hiking and bird watching expeditions. Hi extraordinary knowledge of the area enables us to visit places off the beaten track.



There are no mistakes in dance, only unexpected movements...


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