We get asked if we offer free salsa lessons in Madrid a lot. Maybe even more often than that, people ask us if they can try a class before enrolling in our academy. In this article, we are going to explain why we don’t do either.
The first, and most important, reason we don’t give free lessons at Dame2Salsa, is that we maintain balanced groups. In the class that you are looking to sign up for, there aren’t 10 spots available. In actuality, there are 5 spots for leaders and 5 spots for followers. This way you will always have someone to dance with when you come to class!
Another important reason is that we always organize “closed” groups. In other words, once the new course begins; new students aren’t admitted until the next session. If we offered free salsa lessons, or if the first class was a trial, we couldn’t maintain this policy. Between all of the people who just come to try a class or drop out immediately, we’d have to constantly keep the groups open. Having a closed group is a commitment we make to our students. No more repeating lessons on dile que no, enchufla, and setenta every month just because new people keep trickling in. Instead, we can keep advancing and improving together, at a good pace!
The third reason is that our groups are small. If we had groups of 25 or 50 people, as you may have seen in some places, we wouldn’t mind people stopping by to try a class. But, at Dame2Salsa, our classes are made up of only 6 to 14 students. This way, we know who you are, we call you by your name, and we care about your (specific) learning and improvement. We also take notes on which steps each student struggles with and have them in mind when teaching. Basically, we are tracking your salsistic career! We care about you!
Why some and not others?
Here are some equally important reasons, not related to the group organization. For example, the fourth and final reason is that it just seems plain unfair. It’s unfair to the rest of the students who are paying for a class that another person is taking for free. It’s also unfair because we do not like to work for free. Dame2Salsa is our company and passion. Even though, at some point at an event or something, we may give some basic explanation to get people dancing, it’s not the same as an organized class. Classes take place at the dance studio and cost us a lot of time, money, and effort.
Some may criticize us by saying that if our classes are so great and fun, we shouldn’t fear offering free salsa lessons, since everyone who tries them out would sign up. Unfortunately, the reasoning is not so simple; there are many reasons why someone who tries a class doesn’t end up staying. Starting with the most obvious one, they come and go because trying is free and we tend not to value what is given to us for free. Also, especially in the lower levels, students can get the feeling that it the class is moving too fast, without taking into account the scheduled review classes coming up. For us, the indicator that our classes are good is that students meet the objectives we set for them and whole groups usually come back year after year.
We hope this has clarified why we do not offer free salsa classes, that you can understand our point of view, and as always … long live RUEDA!