At Salsa Heat Dance Studio in East Orlando dancers come to learn how to dance, hone their skills for competition, meet new people and get fit. Itās a place for everyone: from beginner to advanced dancer.
Students are placed in the right class for their skill level and all skill levels are welcome, says Mike Barbieri, owner of Salsa Heat.
āIf you donāt know your left foot from your right foot, donāt worry. You can still dance,ā Barbieri says. Salsa Heat Dance Studio offers Zumba, Salsa and a myriad of Latin dance classes.
The Salsa Craze
The popularity of Salsa has been on the upswing for some time now. People are finding the benefits of Latin dancing are more than just having a great time. From Zumba to Dancing with the Stars, everyone is talking about Salsa. As Karen Barbieri, Mikeās wife and business partner says, part of the attraction for Salsa is that itās a great way to stay fit.
We all know how several of the competitors on Dancing with the Stars dropped several dress sizes simply by dancing the pounds away. Mike also points out that when you are dancing you donāt even feel like you are working out. The time just flies by. The music, the fun, the people: Itās the perfect fitness routine. Researchers have found that dancing strengthens your lungs and heart, increases flexibility, strengthens the muscles and decreases bone density loss.
And physical fitness is not the only way to stay fit with Salsa. A recent study found that dancing can help with mental fitness too. Dancing increases self-esteem and confidence, enhances spatial awareness, improves your social outlook and the functionality of the mind and nervous system.
Likewise, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City found that dancing can actually help ward off Alzheimerās disease. The study found that people who read frequently had a 35 percent reduction in their risk to develop a form of dementia. People who did crossword puzzles at least four days a week had a 47 percent reduction and those who danced frequently had a whopping 76 percent reduction in their risk of developing dementia.
Mike says he had a student who was very depressed. She came to class at the advice of her therapist. She stuck with it and eventually found her depression symptoms decreasing. She said getting out and meeting new people while Salsa dancing was what helped her.
The Barbieris, who live in Avalon Park, are the picture perfect example of how Salsa can bring people together. āDancing may teach you a few moves, but it could also change your life. It sure changed mine,ā he says with a smile at his wife of five years, who he met while dancing.
Open to All
Mike first started dancing in the early ā90s. He admits he didnāt know much when he first started, but it was easy to catch on and so much fun. āIām one of those people who thought I canāt dance. But I loved the music and saw how much fun people were having. I took a few classes and found out it was not hard.ā
Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons people donāt dance is their fear of not being able to. āI want everyone to know that itās not hard to dance Salsa. I promise we can teach anyone to dance.ā
Kids like to come to Salsa Heat too. Starting as young as five-years-old, kids can learn to dance for fun or competition. Mike says some of the classes include Hip-Hop styles, which the kids really enjoy.
And for those who already know how to dance, Salsa Heat has the advanced classes for you to perfect your footwork. As a sponsor of the Orlando Salsa Congress, Salsa Heat has helped competitors fine-tune their performances to become award-winning dancers.
And speaking of footwork, Salsa Heat Dance Studio also has lots of style of ladiesā shoes. From sparkly to nude, the comfort and glamour of the shoe collection here will have you shopping for that pretty pair in between dance turns.
Another great reason to visit Salsa Heat Dance Studio is the dance instructors. They are so welcoming and open. You will get the help you need at the level you need it. āOur instructors are all very knowledgable and friendly. Iāve had students say they came back because their instructor was so helpful,ā Mike says.
āSalsa has become so popular right now, people are really excited to find us.ā Located in the Boardwalk Bowl shopping center on East Colonial Drive, Salsa Heat is expanding to include an additional 4,800 square feet. The additional space will be able to hold up to 500 people for social events and private parties such as weddings, quinceaneras, bridal showers and birthday parties.
There will be a large, elegant chandelier in the center of the new ballroom, which Mike expects to have open by the first week in September.
Great prices, a big, beautiful dance floor, accessible and knowledgeable instructors, what else do you need to get you floating across the dance floor? Donāt wait any longer, come to Salsa Heat Dance Studios and find out what a great dancer you are.
Myths About Dancing
There are plenty myths about dancing. Mike Barbieri, owner of Salsa Heat Dance Studio shares the truth about dancing and busts some myths along the way.
Myth 1: Only people with rhythm and talent can dance.
Mike: Not true. If you can walk you can dance. It really is not that hard. Each person is different, but if you take the time, like our instructors do, and you stick to it, anyone can learn to dance.
Myth 2: Just younger people who are fit and flexible, or conversely older people who grew up doing ballroom or Chacha can dance.
Mike: People of all ages from 5 years old to 70 years old can and do dance at our dance studios. There is no age limit. A lot of our students are in the 20-40 range, but we find that age is never a block to learning to dance.
Myth: Learning to dance is expensive.
Mike: Not at Salsa Heat Dance Studios. There are no contracts to sign and classes can cost as little as $5 a class. There are three levels of packages students can buy: Gold level gives you 50 credits for $249. Silver level gives you 25 credits for $159 and the Starter or Bronze level gives you 10 credits for $79. Credits can be shared with others and used over a year. If you and your husband want to come to a class you can just pay per class too. Itās only $10 for each one-hour class.
Myth: If someone does not look like a professional on the dance floor, everyone thinks they look silly.
Mike: The funny thing about dancing is that no one is looking at you really. They are too busy having fun themselves, or worry about how they look to notice how others look. At Salsa Heat we match people to the right level class so they will never be in a class with people that are beyond their own skill level.
Myth: It takes a long time to learn to dance.
Mike: We will have you dancing in your first class. We consistently have men able to lead a basic right turn and ladies able to the right turn in as little as an hour.