Prior to being a student of Monica Santana, never in my life would I step foot on a dance floor. Apprehensively, I scheduled my first class. With the warmest and most sincere of smiles, Monica made her introduction. I pulled out my phone, showed her a salsa video I had found on YouTube, "Monica please, that...that's what I want to do. That's what I want to be." She laughed and assured me, "we'll get you there! Let's practice!" Within moments of meeting, I was entrusting her with the momentous task of turning my clumsy, uncoordinated, anxiety-ridden self into something that might resemble a dancer. To be sure, that's exactly what she did.
From our very first lesson Monica encouraged me to get out and dance socially, but I was incredibly timid, and my long history with social anxiety had me convinced I just was not ready. She helped me to work through that anxiety; in the most sincere and painless way possible. It was detailed instruction, confidence, and immense passion for dance that she delivered with each and every lesson.
Weeks turned to months and my confidence on the dance floor grew. I approached each and every lesson with the same great enthusiasm for dance that Monica radiates with. I decided one night that I would go out and dance socially. I went to a club in Mountain View where I danced salsa and bachata all night. After the last dance of the evening, I was approached by a few of the ladies that I had danced with that evening. My dance partners that evening complimented my ability to lead and expressed their gratitude, and a few that I hadn't danced with approached to ask me how I learned to dance so well. In my following lesson with Monica, I don't know which of us was more excited for my progress.
With each lesson Monica introduced new techniques, patterns and styling movements that complimented the last. Never did I get a feeling of stagnation or that our time was without structure or purpose. We would begin each lesson reviewing to different songs before elaborating upon something or moving on to something more challenging. Monica is very talented at recognizing just when to slow things down and incredibly receptive to requests. I thank her endlessly for her patience.
I've since moved hours away and continuing my lessons with Monica is unfortunately, impractical. Yet everywhere I go dancing I've been complimented, "you lead that really smooth!", "I really enjoy dancing with you! I felt like I learned a lot!", and my favorite from another instructor, "wow, you have such a great frame!"
I realize that this has been an unapologetically glowing review, and that is because I have every confidence that Monica will deliver the learning experience you're looking for. Her knowledge is rivaled only by her passion for teaching. I can say with confidence there is not another instructor to deliver the same value in terms of professionalism and progressive development. With her encouragement, I've taken lessons with other instructors. While yes, there's something new to be learned from everyone - I never once felt like I'd ever come close to skill ceiling I might attain by continued lessons with Monica.