Are you looking for Toronto salsa lessons/salsa classes because...
We invite you to come and learn to salsa dance in one of the most respected and longest
standing studios in town, Dance to Live Studio. Run by Paula and Jose - entertainers, teachers and choreographers - Dance to Live teaches salsa in Toronto since 1996.
Paula and Jose are Directors and Founders of Dance to Live Studio, now Dance to Live INC., one of Toronto’s longest standing training grounds for Latin Dancing and Performing. They have been able to maintain their longevity in the Salsa community by continuously striving for precision and excellence (and a little fun as well!) in everything that they endeavor regarding Latin dance, performance and instruction. They are well known for their charisma, professionalism, infectious performance energy on stage, and strong adherence to dance technique in their instruction.
Their story started in March of 1996 when Paula started “Dance to Live Studio” determined to share her love for dance, especially Salsa. Sharing Paula’s passion for dance (and for Paula), Jose joined her in late 1997. This Latin American husband and wife team have been choreographing and dancing professionally, Paula since 1990 and Jose since 1995. They have attended, instructed, performed, and brought dance teams to various International Salsa Congresses, including the Montreal Salsa Convention, the Washington, L.A., Puerto Rico, New York, and Canada Salsa Congress. They currently judge Salsa Competitions but humbly hold a 2nd place title under their belt in the Professional category at the prestigious Berlin’s 2001 Salsa Competition.
And to continue this bit of history, Dance to Live are pioneers in creating Toronto’s 1st Student Salsa performance team in 1998 followed by Salsa Socials every year at Violetta’s Dance Place until 2002 when they inaugurated their own studio location on Bathurst and St.Clair. Paula and Jose are original members of Toronto’s 1st Pro Salsa Dance Team, Los Salsomanos, led by Giovanni Torres and Jennifer Aucoin, and Paula is also an original member of Toronto’s 1st Pro Ladies Salsa Dance Troupe: On Beat, directed by Ivy Cuervo.
Their teaching experience which spans over 2 decades includes a wide variety of schools and venues including: University of Toronto, Humber College, North Toronto Collegiate, Rick Hansen Secondary, Vaughn Road Collegiate, Loretto College, Royal St.George’s College, Upper Canada College, the Ontario Secondary Schools Spanish Competition, Violetta’s Dance Place, Soul2sole Latin Dance Co., Lula Lounge, The Spanish Centre, and more too numerous to name!
To maintain their calibre of dance/performance and instruction, Paula and Jose continually train. Paula has trained in Ballet with Debbie Wilson, Lorne Matthews and Tatiana Tchernova and continues her Ballet training with Martha Hicks. Their training also encompassed International Latin Ballroom with the talented Leah Oprecio, Violetta Majewski, Nancy Lefas, and Adam Czub. And Flamenco; Flamenco being one of Paula's passions which she danced professionally, first with Esmeralda Enrique’s Spanish Dance Company and then with Ritmo Flamenco Dance Company. She has trained in Spain at the infamous Centro de Arte Flamenco y Danza Española “Amor de Dios” with La Truco, Belen Maya, Carmela Greco, La Tati, Paco Romero...to name a few. Paula's dance background also includes gymnastics, Musical Theatre, and Latin American folklore with over 25 years experience in the Performing Arts. Jose’s natural talent for Latin dance has also translated into a passion for fitness (completing 3 Marathons and a 1/2 IronMan) where he is able to incorporate a high level of athleticism in his dancing and performance. Both have trained with local Cabaret superstars Carlos & Dora and they have also trained with some of the best instructors/performers in the Salsa world! This couple has also had many TV, music video and concert appearances including: Breakfast Television, X-weighted, Soraya, Loveson, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Son de Cali, and have had the pleasure to work with and coach one of the “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” finalists, Miles Faber.
Paula and Jose have had the honour of teaching and inspiring 1000s of students since 1996, not only to dance but to reach beyond their comfort zone either with a technique class, a new Latin rhythm, or the ultimate challenge , to PERFORM, both on local and international stages. They now represent one of the BEST Salsa Cabaret dance couples in the World, Karen y Ricardo. They are happy to be Canada’s sole representatives of this powerhouse duo! Paula and Jose love to train and dance hard and are always looking for like minded dancers that want the same, hence why they have now taken up the project of WORLD DANCE CREW on a yearly basis. Click here for a sneak peak behind the scenes work with Karen and Ricardo. 2017 was the inception of their collaboration with the infamous Karen y Ricardo and they have not looked back! Every year they take on a new set of dancers ready for a hard, vigorous and rewarding challenge of performing and dancing at a high level with a choreography built by champions! We hope you liked their story and will join them on their journey through dance.
Due to Covid, Dance to Live studio has pivoted and is offering online latin dance workshops and classes to highschools and corporate wellness, fitness programs alike. Please contact us for more info or to book your session!
Free Online Training Video
Our progressive system teaches you the foundations of salsa with greater
retention because every lesson builds upon the previous one at a comfortable
speed. In-between your salsa courses, your your watch-at-home video helps you refresh your memory before club-hopping. Here is an example of a move that you will be able to do after our first level salsa classes:
Alemana & Half Turn
Science has proven again and again that for your brain, watching the move is
about as effective as doing it.
For example, beginner men often find it difficult to remember combinations of salsa moves to lead. They forget proper hand positions of moves as their brain doesn't want to retain so much new information at once.
Watching the video where Paula and Jose dance the moves that you have learned in your Toronto salsa class helps you to remember them so that you can practice them over and over again, correctly.
Research on dance skill acquisition, in this case your salsa dance skills, indicates
that continuing practice improves motor skills. At Dance to Live, we understand and
stress the importance of repetition as our Toronto salsa class program is also set up to
always repeat what was learned in the class before. Once the appropriate neurological
pattern is set up (i.e., the movement is being executed correctly and efficiently),
repetition will ingrain the skill into the body.
Similarly, ladies can always check their salsa steps, and practice their styling. It is not easy
to start doing sexy body and shoulder rolls. Practice at home not only facilitates the acquisition of this
skill at a quicker pace, but it also allows you to go from feeling awkward to looking and feeling more fluid on the dance floor. Just several minutes a day of watching and doing
the moves with proper technique goes a long way. When we
get to repeat previously learned information we are allowing our brain to recall and access this
information, creating stronger connections in the brain. The stronger and more accessible the
information becomes, the less time it takes us to express it.
Learning salsa language and dancing with any partner in our Toronto dance studio
After passing through our specialized course for beginners, you'll receive the
technical "know how" to excel in your dancing no matter where you go....nightclubs,
salsa practice sessions, weddings, corporate engagements, etc. Additionally you'll learn
the etiquette and language of salsa, which transfers easily to the Toronto salsa
scene. The Toronto dancing scene is very active and inclusive, welcoming people of
every age and level.
Unlike ballroom dancing, salsa is much more inclusive and relaxed.
Check out this video where Paula casually dances with the SalsaCEO, Juan Calderon of Cultural Explosion from NJ, USA. This is the club-style salsa that you will be learning:
After learning specific techniques on how to lead, or how to follow salsa moves, these moves will
become a second language. The beauty of Salsa is in being able to dance with
anyone, from any level, simply by knowing and understanding the signals to give (as
a leader) and by understanding how to read/interpret the signals (as a follower). In a
fun, encouraging environment, Dance to Live ensures that each time you take a Toronto salsa
class, you leave with that extra little bit of knowledge that you can apply successfully
within the Toronto salsa scene or simply with your partner at home.
Each person in salsa brings in a new dynamic. At Dance to Live, we make sure to
change partners in our classes so you can experience the nuances and patterns that you
can take out on the town. Salsa is the most popular dance style in the
Toronto clubs, so you will expand your circle of like-minded people faster with salsa
than with any other dance.
If you already took some salsa lessons, call us to schedule a free 10 minute
assessment. No need for you to start from scratch. We will place you in the class that
you will benefit from the most.
Intermediate and Performance Salsa Classes in Toronto
If you're an intermediate or advanced dancer, you will find 6- 9 levels of salsa classes
that you can choose from. We also offer an intimate performance salsa class in Toronto for refining
those skills and taking them to a whole new level. Our salsa dance classes for amateur
adults teach complex choreography and help you refine your dancing and polish your
moves so that you look like a pro!
Check out our student performance video here:
And the result....
Cha-cha, hip hop, bachata and hustle classes
For those who want to shake, rattle, and roll to other beats, we also teach how to dance the hustle, how
to hip hop, and how to do the cha-cha slide just to name a few.
Benefits of dancing salsa
Dancing is a wonderful exercise. If you want to keep your mind and body in the best
possible shape - replace that gym workout with salsa classes in our Toronto studio.
You'll find that class time breezes by while you dance out your stress, burn calories,
and just have a great time. In our comfortable atmosphere you can meet new people or
put a whole new spark into your current relationship. Dancing together is a great way to
rekindle and fan the flames of romance - it never goes out of style!
Whether you want to
dance for exercise, enjoyment or even for competition, our instructors facilitate your success. Here you'll
be learning with other people passionate about dance, and enjoying their company - it's a great social
outlet that inspires creativity and supports your overall well-being.
We offer classes for adults, teenagers and children in downtown Toronto just two
blocks south of St. Clair on Bathurst St. Salsa dancing in Toronto has never been easier or more accessible!
At DTL, we offer a wide variety of group
Drop in classes
Registered group classes, private instruction (group/individual) and special workshops
Event Entertainment (Performances or Instruction)
We also offer
private instruction in Salsa, Merengue, Cha Cha, Cumbia, Bachata,
Flamenco & Hip Hop.
Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or just
starting out, Dance To Live guarantees to have a class that will
have you dancing new moves in no time!