Nationally, the average cost of private salsa dance lessons is between $45-$95 per hour. How much you pay for dance lessons will depend on four key factors:
- How many lessons you buy in advance
- Where you live
- Your teacher's level of experience
- The style of salsa you choose to learn
While private salsa lessons can cost 2-3x more than a similar group class, the individual attention and personalized instruction make it the quickest—and often the best—way to learn the basic steps, improve your partner connection, or master more advanced moves.
And there are a few easy ways to save money on private dance lessons no matter where you live or what kind of salsa you want to learn. Here's how to find the right salsa dance teacher and get the most bang for your buck on your dance lessons.
What's in this cost guide?
You can expect to pay between $45-$95 an hour for private salsa dance lessons in most US cities. How much you pay for dance lessons depends on dance style, number of people in the lesson, and location. Your level does not impact cost. Beginner lessons cost the same as advanced technical one-on-ones.
Dance lessons for couples or groups
Private lessons for couples (you and your partner) can cost more than private individual lessons (just you and the teacher) depending on your instructor. Some example costs:
Ka Laam Dance (Costa Mesa, CA) charges:
- $55 per hour for individual private salsa lessons
- $75 per hour for couples salsa lessons
Dance Designs by Nadiya (Southern CA) charges a flat rate of $80/hour for individuals or couples private salsa lessons.
You can also save money on salsa lessons by booking a private group session with a few friends to lower the cost per person. Sway with Mark Ballroom Entertainment in Los Angeles, offers private one-hour couples salsa lessons for $89, but groups of four can get a private lesson for just $10 more, which works out to $25 per person.
Michelle Renee Dance (Murietta, CA) charges hourly rates that scale for even larger group lessons:
- $65 for one-on-one dance lessons
- $100 for couples ($50 a person)
- $20 per person for groups under 5 people
- $18 per person for a group of 6-10 people
- $15 per person for a group of 11-20 people
Aside from the number of people taking a class, the biggest factors that can make that hourly rate go up or down include: the style of salsa you choose, how many lessons you buy in advance, your location, and the length of each session.
Most salsa teachers and dance studios charge the regular rate for beginner salsa dance lessons ($45-95 per hour), but it's common for new students to get a special intro lesson rate or package of discounted classes.
Some teachers even offer short intro trial lessons or “meet-and-greet" style lessons to make sure you're both a good fit for each other and the style of salsa they generally teach.
- The Connected Dancer (Altadena, CA) offers special introductory rates for $60
- Dance Pizazz (Saint Peters, Missouri) provides $25 new student lesson for individuals and couples
- Dance With Daniel (San Jose, CA) gives a free introductory lesson
- Lake Shore Dance Academy (Chicago) offers special 45 minute private intro lessons to new students for just $25
Some instructors offer shorter lessons for a discounted rate. My Dance of Chevy Chase, Maryland, charges $65 for a 45-minute session.
Ask about special rates and intro packages. You can save money on your first batch of private salsa lessons, but the extra intro consultation can also make sure you get the best possible start with the right teacher (and the right salsa style!).
“Salsa" dancing isn't just one style. It comes in a variety of unique forms and rhythms ranging from slow and sensual (Salsa on Two) to high-speed footwork (Cumbian Salsa). The style you choose depends a lot on where you live, and the kind of salsa dancing you're interested in learning. Some of the more popular styles of salsa include:
- Colombian salsa (Cumbia): Rapid, flashy footwork typically danced to very fast music
- Cuban salsa: Body isolation, hips and shoulder movement to funky Afro-Cuban beats
- L.A. style salsa (aka “Salsa on One"): Fast, complex turns and energetic moves on the dominant “1" beat of the music
- N.Y. style salsa (aka “Salsa on Two"): Smoother, slower, and more sensual than salsa on one
- Salsa Rueda: Salsa's answer to line dancing, with a ring of call and response moves
Each of these salsa styles originates from different music scenes, cultures, and are danced to music of varying tempos. While most dance studios and teachers offer a flat rate for private lessons regardless of style, it's important to know which style to look for, since not all styles of salsa will be taught everywhere. Certain regions and instructors specialize in a one or more style of salsa dancing.
Private Lesson Single Session Rate
Cumbia salsa (Colombian)
$55 - $80 per hour
LA (salsa on one)
$75 - $100 per hour
NY (salsa on two)
$75 - $100 per hour
$55 - $90 per hour
$65 - $90 per hour
There are several ways to save money on your salsa classes:
Buy a package of dance classes
The quickest way to save money on private salsa lessons is to pay for multiple classes at once. Once you hone in on the style of salsa you want to learn, class packages (typically sold in bundles of 5-10 weekly lessons) can save you 20% or more on private dance classes.
Example prices of private salsa dance lesson packages
Arati, a top latin dance teacher in Manhattan charges $80 per hour for private dance lessons in salsa and bachata, but offers sharp discounts when students book multiple class packages:
- 4 private lessons: $300 (savings of $20)
- 8 private lessons: $560 (savings of $40)
Sway with Mark Ballroom Entertainment, in Pasadena, CA offers a buy three, get one free deal.
Dance Amore in Denver, offers salsa lessons starting at $65 per hour, but they also offer a wide range of impressive savings on private lesson packages from 5-15 hourly classes:
- 5 private lessons: $300 (savings of $25)
- 7 private lessons: $400 (savings of $55)
- 10 private lessons: $550 (savings of $100)
- 15 private lessons: $750 (savings of $225)
Dance Amore offers new students the chance to save more money. If students buy a private lesson package by the end of their first lesson, the first lesson is free.
Book lessons in the “off season"
Dance teacher availability can vary depending on the time of year. That means you might pay more during busy times, but you can also get a discount during seasonal lulls.
- January and February are the busiest times of year for private lessons
- May and June are busy for instructors who also teach wedding couples
- September is a slightly busy time as more college students book private lessons
Ask your teacher if they offer sales or special discounted rates during the slow season.
Book off hour lessons
Instructors usually teach group classes in addition to private lessons. These classes are almost always scheduled on weeknights between 6-9pm.
If you have a flexible schedule, book private lessons outside of busy group class hours is another great way to save money, since teachers will be happy to book sessions that don't conflict with their regularly scheduled classes.
Avoid cancellation fees
Most teachers require you to cancel or reschedule classes at least 24 hours before your lesson or you will be charged a fee (or the whole class). Make sure you're clear about cancellation policies (on both sides) so you don't lose all the savings you've found.
Travel to the teacher
Dance teachers usually charge extra when they have to travel to you. Michelle Renee Dance in Temecula, California, charges an extra $10 per hour when she has to travel outside of her home area. Travel to the teacher or studio and you'll get a much better private lesson rate.
Keep it consistent
Dance teachers love regular clients and predictable class schedules. If you can guarantee a regular lesson (usually with a weekly lesson package), teachers will almost always offer you a better hourly rate on every lesson.
Once you've established this regular relationship, you may even find that teachers are more flexible on things like travel and cancellation fees.
Take a salsa workshop
Dance studios usually advertise one day "crash courses" or workshops in specific salsa dance styles. These 2-hour extended introduction classes can not only save you money on intro lessons but can also give you a great sense of the teacher running the workshop (if they're available for private lessons) and the dance style you want to learn.
Finding a salsa teacher who specializes in the style you want to learn can be tough. Finding one in your budget is even tougher. However, price range and dance skills aren't the only factors to look for in a private dance teacher.
It's important to find someone you'll feel comfortable working with in close quarters for multiple classes, maybe even years, so you can have fun, stay passionate about salsa, and grow into the best dancer you can be.
Here are some tips to help you find the right salsa teacher for any style:
Read online reviews
Reviews will tell you not only how much students like a teacher, but also which skills and styles they tend to focus on. They'll tell you if an instructor specializes in beginners or advanced dancers as well as the way they like to teach.
Comparison shop above your price range
Your budget is important, but remember why you're taking salsa lessons in the first place. You want to learn how to dance. Sometimes the fastest (and most affordable) way to get there is with a better teacher for a slightly higher hourly rate. Stretch your budget to see what you can get before you pick the cheapest option.
Pick a salsa style
You have to be specific when it comes to private salsa lessons. Most instructors can teach a range of styles to beginners, but if you want to really master the basic steps and challenge yourself, don't settle for just any salsa teacher. Find someone that specializes in the salsa style you want to learn. There's a huge difference between “Salsa on 2" and Cali style salsa.
Watch online videos
Most salsa teachers have at least a few online videos of competitions or even performances of them or even their students! If you like what you see, odds are they're the right teacher for you.
Schedule an intro lesson
Reviews and videos are great, but there's no substitute for an actual lesson with a dance teacher. Book a short intro lesson (15-30 minutes) before you commit to an expensive lesson package to make sure it's a good fit.
Finding the right dance teacher is just the first step. Now it's time to dance! Here are some easy ways to maximize your time in a private dance class:
Show up early
You're paying for the whole hour of your private lesson. Don't waste the first five minutes putting on your shoes, going to the bathroom, or showing up late. Dance teachers have tight schedules, so the clock starts at the top of the hour. Get to your lesson at least 15 minutes early.
Wear the right clothing
Save flashy sequins for the club. Wear comfortable, close-fitting clothing that moves well and also shows your hips, legs, and shoulders while you dance so your teacher can see what you're doing on each step.
Salsa is typically danced in higher heels than something like ballroom dancing, so find a pair of flexible, comfortable heels (2-3 inches) to practice the way you'll dance on the social floor. For men, salsa and latin dance shoes also feature a more pronounced heel than ballroom or other partner dances.
Learn the basic steps on your own
If you know the style of salsa dancing you want to learn try learning some basic steps on your own. Watch videos and try to learn some of the vocabulary for your dance style before your lesson to save you both time and money.
Come with a few steps or moves you'd like to learn
The best part about private salsa lessons is that you don't have to follow a set choreography. If it's your first lesson or you're a beginner, obviously defer to your expert teacher, but you can (and should!) have a few moves or styling choices you'd like to learn.
Ask for a video to help you review
Mastering a new step or skill in an hour can (and should) be difficult. Film the moves and steps you went over in class so you can review each move on your own (completely free) time.
Get homework for your next lesson
You should leave each class with drills or steps you can practice at home to get the most out of your personalized lessons. After all, this is your chance to get tips and input directly from a pro!
Embrace the music
One of the fastest ways to get better at dancing (and have more fun!) is to learn the songs you'll be dancing to. Salsa dancing isn't just about learning the steps. It's about feeling the music. Cumbia, Cuban, Cali, NY, LA, Puerto Rican, and every other variation of salsa each comes with their own specific style of music. There's no better feeling than recognizing your favorite salsa track at the club and breaking out your new moves.
Private salsa dance lessons are an incredible way to gain confidence, connect with your partner, stay in shape, learn a new style of dance, and polish your existing your dance technique.
Whether you've been dancing salsa for years or you're an enthusiastic beginner, booking a private salsa dance teacher is one of the best ways to achieve your goals and start dancing the way you've always imagined.