Not a Subscriber?

Join 17,000+ social dancers getting practical tips and resources every week to level up outside of class.

How To Learn Salsa 10X Faster (A Proven Method)


If you want to improve, you have to practice. But how do you practice effectively?

Let’s look at how most people practice and then talk about the gold standard of practice, so you can improve 10x faster.

Everything I’m about to share can be found in a book I highly recommend: Peak: Secrets From The New Science of Expertise.

The Usual Approach: Naive Practice

Most people think repetition alone will lead to improvement, but it’s not that simple.

Let’s take learning to drive as an example. When you learn to drive, you practice until you reach a level that’s “good enough” – you can get from point A to point B safely.

Once you reach a skill level that’s “good enough,” your brain switches to autopilot and without intentional effort to improve your performance degrades slowly over time.

Every physical skill, including dance, works the same way.

The quality of practice is the key.

The Gold Standard of Practice: Modeling a Master

Modeling a master means learning from someone who already has the result you want AND a proven method to get there.

This is the practice method you want to use to improve 10x faster. Here are the principles:

  1. Identify a mid to long term goal. What do you want to get good at?
  2. Create a simple plan to get there: a coach or online course are super helpful here.
  3. Film a “before” video: Record a video of your current performance. This serves as a baseline and allows you to track your progress. Over time, seeing your progress will become addictive and help you develop and maintain your practice habit. Don’t underestimate the motivational power this has.
  4. Design Your Practice: Plan your practice sessions to focus on specific goals. Work just outside the edge of your comfort zone. If it’s too easy, you won’t improve. If it’s too challenging, you may become discouraged. Model a master to do this. Learn from someone who already has the result you want to achieve and has a proven method to get there.
  5. Get Feedback: Film yourself or consult a coach. For each attempt you do at something, you need to be able to identify what went wrong, what went right and WHY. Without understanding this you’re practicing blindly. Identify what you’ll work on for your next attempt and repeat.If you’re following an online course, compare the video of yourself dancing to the master you’re learning from and identify the differences.Take notes, record your progress and decide what you’ll work on next session.
  6. Consistency is the key. Practice regularly, and over time, you’ll see significant progress. Make it a habit by setting a schedule and sticking to it. Without a habit of practice your progress will drop off.Make today better than yesterday, just by 1%. Overtime, those 1% improvements compound:

Choose Your Resources Wisely

Now that you know HOW to practice, there are several options for where you get your information. I cover most most ways you can learn to dance in this video on Online vs. In Personal Lessons:

  • Traditional Options: Group classes and private lessons.
  • Online Options: YouTube and online courses.

Each method has its pros and cons. Find a great mentor, either offline or online, whose method you believe in.

To start, stick with one mentor until you feel like you’re not learning any more, then switch. Switching between teachers, especially in the beginning, can be detrimental to your progress as each person can say something different.

If you’re an experienced dancer you can learn from various teachers at the same time and absorb more points of view.

Practicing Without a Partner

If you don’t have a partner, you can still practice solo. All pros practice solo and it’s vital if you want to get really good.

Focus on techniques that don’t require a partner and use tools like mirrors or recording yourself to check your form.

Watch this video on How to Practice Salsa Without A Partner.


  1. Identify your goal
  2. Create a simple plan to get there
  3. Film Your “before” video, track your progress.
  4. Design Your Practices: work on something specific, at the edge of your comfort zone, and model a master who has the result you want and a proven method to get there.
  5. Get Feedback using video and coaches.
  6. Consistency: develop a habit of practice.

Remember, effective practice is about quality, not just quantity. Stay consistent, challenge yourself, and seek feedback.

Modeling a master will help you improve 10x faster than simple repetition.