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Carol Rivera -
Dance Instructor/Event Hostess

 My love for Salsa began in the streets of New York and New Jersey where my dance partner and I alternated between Salsa and hustle. We were good at both and won one contest after another at the clubs we frequented. We added so much to our style we got to the point where people would ask us to teach them the steps and combinations they saw us do which wasn’t as easy as we made it look. Street dancing is a lot different than formally taught dances. Our teaching skills where very raw, to say the least, but our students learned. We danced, you mimicked. If you got it, good, if not, try again. All of us learned by mimicking what we saw, which took a lot longer to learn and teach than today.

Since then, I met Greg my first dance partner here in Florida. He taught me the formal essentials to correctly and stylishly teach Salsa. With this new found knowledge I can make sure that my students learn the mechanics of dancing by breaking down steps, turns and combinations to lead as well as follow. I have used these techniques while working with Greg (Salsa en St Pete) for the past four years and teaching hundreds at the free group classes at the Pier, Baywalk and the Intermediate Class at the Gulfport Casino. I have also learned paying attention to the little things and breaking everything down for the individual student makes the success rate for getting someone to dance, awesome.

After dancing and teaching Salsa for the past 35 years I am still learning just like the students I teach. I love what I do and I love the expressions on my students’ faces when they get a move right and it just flows like it is something natural to them. This inspires them to really want to dance and when that feeling is there the skies the limit.

My students enjoy learning and I enjoy teaching. Practice makes for a better dancer – you just have to want it bad enough!

Carol Rivera
"Smooth & Sassy"

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