General FAQs

How much are lessons?

Lessons are free with membership.

Typically, membership is free for CMU students, $20 for trainee members (postdocs, non-CMU students, etc.), and $50 for community members (everyone else). Find out more about becoming a member of Tartan Salsa here!

Can I still join if I'm a beginner?

Yes! Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience. We run different levels, so there is always room for beginners, as well as for more seasoned dancers. Tip: we recommend coming to class early so that we can get you up to speed with how our lessons work.

What if I've NEVER danced before?

That's totally fine! Many of our members have never given dance a try before they start learning salsa and bachata at Tartan Salsa, and after a couple of weeks you should see them on the dance floor busting out moves!

Do I need to have a partner?

Nope, no partner needed for our classes, ever! You can come by yourself, with friends, with enemies... We rotate in class so you will get a chance to dance with everyone and make new friends!

I have some dance experience, how do I join beginner or intermediate lessons?

Easy, just chat with the instructor of the level you want to join before the class! Everyone should be in Intro unless they have explicit permission from instructors. If you would like to progress from your current level, please talk to instructors after class for details!

What do I wear?

You can wear whatever you feel comfortable moving in. Some members like to wear everyday clothes, while others like to wear workout gear. As you progress through the levels, you may find yourself breaking a sweat in the classes and may choose to wear something you don't mind sweating a little in.

What about shoes?

Wear something that's not too grippy and that you can comfortably move in. You want to be able to turn and spin easily without straining your knees. A good option is sneakers with not too much grip. Dance shoes are a good option, more on that below.

Where do I buy dance shoes?

This one is a tough question and depends on what you are looking to buy. We do NOT recommend buying your first pair of dance shoes online. Dance shoe sizing can be different from regular shoe sizing and the fit of dance shoes is also different. If you find no other way than to buy your first pair online, make sure you can return them if they are not a good fit!

Jazz shoes or jazz sneakers are a good option for everyone. You can buy them at most dance stores. Dancer's Pointe in the Strip District has good options that you can try on and the staff will help you find the right size.

If you are interested in buying heels, we highly recommend that you try them on in a store. Currently, we are unaware of any stores in Pittsburgh that sell dance heels.

Another good place to find and try on dance shoes can be dance congresses, since vendors often have showcases and even exclusive discounts. We will announce in class whenever there are shoe sales that we know of!

Don't hesitate to ask one of the instructors any questions you have about shoes after class. We can give your more information and recommendations to suit your needs!

What do I do if I can't keep up?

Talk to an instructor! We might be able to help you and give you specific tips. Always remember that there is no shame in going to a different level to brush up on our fundamentals, and this is something even professionals do to drill their core abilities and maintain a solid base on which to build more! Learning a new skill can be difficult, so we recommend that you move to the level that is appropriate for where you are at with your dancing. And again: you can talk to the instructors anytime, we are here to help you!

COVID-related FAQs

Should I wear a mask?

At Tartan Salsa, we encourage everyone to wear a high-quality face mask at our events. Please refer to the CDC guidelines for the most up-to-date policies.

As a community, we have all worked diligently to help keep campus transmission very, very low. As the University's mitigation measures relax, we hope that we can all maintain the same sense of mutual respect, care, and consideration for the needs of others and do our best to protect some of our more vulnerable community members.

Our ability to provide dance instruction is maximized when our community feels safe and comfortable in the environment we create. We ask everyone to please continue to help all members of our community feel this way.

How do CMU's COVID protocols affect me?

All CMU faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster when eligible, and it is expected that visitors coming to the CMU campus are likewise fully vaccinated. Anyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19 must of course stay home.

For the full guidance and latest updates, please see CMU's COVID-19 Recommendation Page.