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Online vs In Person Salsa Lessons: What’s Better?

What’s the best way to learn how to dance: YouTube, group classes, private lessons, or online courses?

Most think in-person is always best, but it depends. There are downsides too.

Let’s compare them and find out.

The Point System

I’ll compare each learning method across the following categories

  • Social factor
  • Quality and detail of instruction
  • Organization and progression of lessons
  • Volume of lessons
  • Feedback
  • Convenience and accessibility
  • Cost

And use the following a point system:

  • 0 points = poor
  • 1 point = good
  • 2 points = great

To finish, I’ll also provide my recommendations for both beginners and experienced dancers.

Social Factor

YouTube: Not social; you’re just watching videos. 0 points.
Group Classes: Highly social; meet new people and dance with various partners. 2 points.
Private Lessons: Some interaction with the instructor but no others. 1 point.
Online Courses: Not inherently social; similar to YouTube. 0 points.

Quality and Detail of Instruction

YouTube: Variable quality; often lacks detail. 0 points.
Group Classes: Quality varies but generally better than YouTube. 1 point.
Private Lessons: High-quality, detailed instruction tailored to you. 2 points.
Online Courses: High-quality, detailed instruction from top instructors worldwide. 2 points

Organization and Progression of Lessons

YouTube: Unorganized, no clear learning path. 0 points.
Group Classes: Usually progressive but you can’t see a map of the learning journey. 1 point.
Private Lessons: Customizable to your learning goals. 2 points.
Online Courses: Well-organized with clear progressions. 2 points.

Volume of Lessons

YouTube: Endless amount of lessons, though quality may vary. 2 points.
Group Classes: Limited to the class schedule and session length. 1 point.
Private Lessons: Limited by the duration of each session. 0 points.
Online Courses: Extensive library of lessons available anytime. 2 points.


YouTube: No feedback. 0 points.
Group Classes: Immediate feedback from instructors and peers. 2 points.
Private Lessons: Personalized immediate feedback. 2 points.
Online Courses: Variable; some offer Q&A or support groups. 1 point.

Convenience and Accessibility

YouTube: Highly accessible and searchable. 2 points.
Group Classes: Subject to scheduling and location constraints. 1 point.
Private Lessons: High cost and scheduling limitations. 0 points.
Online Courses: Accessible anytime on any device. 2 points.


YouTube: Free. 2 points.
Group Classes: Moderate cost, especially for monthly sessions. 1 point.
Private Lessons: High cost per hour. 0 points.
Online Courses: Variable cost but good value for lifetime access. 2 points.

Final Scores

YouTube: 6 points
Private Lessons: 8 points
Group Classes: 9 points
Online Courses: 11 points

Surprisingly, online courses scored the highest, followed by group classes, private lessons, and YouTube.

However, offline (group + private classes) and online options (YouTube + online courses) both totaled 17 points, highlighting their unique strengths.


For beginners, start with group classes for their social and fun environment. If you enjoy it, supplement with online courses for extra practice.

Experienced dancers should combine group classes and online courses to maximize learning. If budget is a concern, choose based on your preferences or blend both methods.

Online courses are best for those with limited access to good instructors, frequent travelers, or those with scheduling conflicts.

Use private lessons sparingly when you need personalized guidance, unless finances are not an issue for you.

Looking for awesome online programs?

Check out our salsa program here.

Check out our salsa ladies styling program here.

Check out our and bachata program here.