On a mission to bring you the best
Salsa and Bachata Dance Programs in Los Angeles
Welcome to the Family
Come see why over 2,100 dance students in Los Angeles are Movers & Shakers.
2023: Salsa and Bachata Dance Programs
Enrollment Open Now!
(Until Programs Hit Capacity)
✅ Full-time PROFESSIONAL dance instructors (not student or hobby instructors)
✅ Free parking (unlimited)
✅ Beginners welcome!
Join these waiting lists! (For experienced dancers). We will open each of these programs as soon as enough people opt in.
More Learning Options
Salsa/Bachata Schedule Summary
Programs About to Start
SALSA 101 Wednesdays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, starting 10/18 (no class 11/22 for Thanksgiving)
SALSA 102 Thursdays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, starting 11/2 (no class 11/23 for Thanksgiving)
SALSA 103c part 2 Mondays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, starting 11/6
BACHATA 101 Mondays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, starting 10/23
BACHATA 103b part 2 Tuesdays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, starting 11/14
Programs Already Started
SALSA 101 Tuesdays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, started 9/5 (no class on 10/31 Halloween)
SALSA 102 Thursdays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, started 8/24
SALSA 103c Mondays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, started 8/28
BACHATA 101 Thursdays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, started 9/14
BACHATA 103b Tuesdays, 8:00pm-9:45pm, started 8/31 (no class on 10/31 Halloween)
Community, Friendships, FUN
You are joining more than just dance class - you are joining the Movers and Shakers family.
We take "fun" seriously!
Every month we host events to bring all the Movers and Shakers salsa and bachata students together:
Official monthly party: Hosted at either a student's home or the academy director's home, these parties typically attract over 100 students and are a huge hit!
Salsa / Bachata Dance Festivals: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and even Hawaii are a few places we've brought Movers and Shakers
Student-organized events: Movers and Shakers are eager to socialize and they often step up to host smaller impromptu events for the students. Skydiving, beach parties, and salsa / bachata dancing potlucks are just a few examples.
Practice sessions: Movers and Shakers often meet outside of class to practice together
Social dancing: Movers and Shakers love to go out dancing in packs!
Just moved to Los Angeles? You'll encounter a circle of ultra positive winners here who are ready for new friendships.
Lived in Los Angeles for a long time? Your social circle and "family" is about to expand.
You are joining a vibrant, enthusiastic, strong community of winners. Countless friendships have been made through the Movers and Shakers community.
Everyone wanting to learn salsa or bachata is welcome at Movers and Shakers. The diversity of humans is incredible in just about every room that we fill.
Beginners Welcome Here!
We know the feeling of stepping into a dance class for the first time. It can feel daunting in many ways.
For that reason, we are focused on creating an environment that is fun, warm, welcoming, and totally supportive for first time salsa and bachata dancers.
You'll feel it from the first moment you walk in the door!
Movers and Shakers' Values
Fun, fun, fun! Dancing should be the best part of the week. We strive to make dance class something that every student looks forward to every week.
EVERYONE can dance - it doesn't matter how many "left feet" you have. You will learn here.
Class atmosphere should be welcoming and comfortable - we make sure this is the case.
All Movers and Shakers are family. We always support camaraderie and getting to know each other and countless friendships have developed through Movers and Shakers Dance programs!
Why 10-Week Programs?
When dancing salsa or bachata, when the foundations are great, everything is great, and when the foundations are a mess, everything is a mess.
As a first time salsa or bachata dancer, trying to properly piece together movements from drop-in classes or short-term programs is simply impossible. That’s why we have pioneered the 10-week, structured programs and the full Movers and Shakers track that is structured, progressive, and comprehensive.
We are obsessed with details and on a mission to give you everything you need to dance well with great technique from day 1, be a delight to dance with, easily connect with any partner on the dance floor, dance with confidence, and have fun!
The academy director invested tremendous time and finances to train all around the world for 17 years - that training is what eventually led to the Movers and Shakers curriculum.
Movers and Shakers will take you from A to Z and hold your hand every step of the way.
Am I A "Leader" Or A "Follower"?
Traditionally, in salsa and bachata, men are the leaders and ladies are the followers.
The leader is the dancer who's deciding what patterns to do next and the follower's role is to go along with what's being led.
We use the terms "leaders" and "followers" instead of "ladies" and "gent's" because sometimes these days people like to choose their role.
In short, if you're not sure, you'll be a leader if you identify as male and a follower if you identify as female.
Do you balance the numbers of leads and follows in the salsa and bachata classes?
Thanks to having the same students through the programs, we tend to do a very good job of balancing leads and follows!
Although perfect balance is never a guarantee, and if students don't show up to class it can cause an imbalance, overall you can be confident that we are well aware of the importance of a close balance and we do a great job balancing the programs.
Spots are secured when payment is completed.
Sometimes students would like to come try a class first. We definitely support that! However, programs often fill, or nearly fill, with paid students before the first day. In this case, after the first class of the season, we open remaining spots to people in the order that they registered.
So, if you're not sure yet about completing the payment to secure your spot, complete the registration without the payment, contact us, and we'll take it from there.
What's The Difference Between Salsa And Bachata?
While both are latin partner dances, salsa tends to be faster, more technical and more energetic, and bachata is slower, closer contact with your partner, easier, and more sexy/sensual.
BOTH salsa and bachata are played together in night clubs, which is why Movers & Shakers Dance Academy specializes in these two dances together (and only these two dances).
Salsa has it's roots in Cuba (and arguably Africa), while bachata comes from the Dominican Republic.
Why Haven't I Heard Of Bachata?
In short, bachata has gained popularity more recently than salsa.
Until the past decade, bachata was mostly only danced in the Dominican Republic. It has now, however, exploded in popularity around the globe. The "history of salsa & bachata" section below has more information on why.
These days people often find videos on social media of modern, sensual style bachata and are hooked right away.
A few years ago when we asked people on the phone if they'd like to learn salsa or bachata, they would typically respond, "What's bachata?" These days however, many people call asking specifically for bachata.
Should I Learn Salsa Or Bachata First?
Either is fine!
While salsa is a bit more technical and bachata is a bit easier, you really can learn either first. We have students who learn salsa first and students who learn bachata first, and students who learn both at the same time. The good news is that since they are both latin partner dancers, they share many similarities and learning either one will help you with the other!
Since salsa & bachata music are played together in clubs, you'll probably eventually learn both.
Movers and Shakers operates out of four studios that are all very close to each other on the west side.
Check the location for your specific program.
ViBE Dance Studio
2939 S Sepulveda Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Soho Dance LA
D Dance Spot
1618 Cotner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
2372 Veteran Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064
1100 S Beverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90035
New To Los Angeles?
Westwood, the location of the Movers and Shakers Dance salsa dance programs and bachata dance programs, is in the heart of West Los Angeles. It's near UCLA and many areas you may have heard of: Santa Monica, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Mar Vista, Sawtelle (little Tokyo / Osaka), Culver City, Marina Del Rey and Century City.
To the east is West Hollywood, Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles and to the north is The San Fernando Valley, with Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood and more.
Although these are the nearby areas, students drive from ALL over for Movers and Shakers salsa dance classes and bachata dance classes. Every week students come from Orange County, East Los Angeles, Burbank, and they've even come from as far as Bakersfield and Santa Barbara!
Come join the over 1,000 Movers and Shakers. We are a big and welcoming family where you will find many friends and many dance partners to go out with and explore the Los Angeles salsa and bachata dance scene.
Just a few fun pics here. Find MANY more on our Yelp page.
Are These The Best Salsa And Bachata Dance Classes In Los Angeles?
Only you can be the judge of that, but we certainly strive to be the best in Los Angeles!
We feel that we've found a serious pain point in the latin dance community, which is lack of structure in learning, and created the solution. The program structure actually developed organically to meet the needs of the students. We realized that the drop in classes we were teaching at night clubs were just not able to get the students what they needed, so we built structured curriculums and launched them at the studio.
As the programs evolved, we saw that there was still a big gap between level 1 and 2, so we created level 1.5. There was still a gap, so then we added level 1.75! Later these were renamed to levels 101, 102, 103, and 104.
With tremendous attention to detail and dancing 1 on 1 with students in every class, a lot of students report to us that they've never experienced so much focus on details in a dance class. With that feedback, we stuck with it and the programs grew more and more.
We are especially excited for students who enter our level 101 salsa or bachata class for beginners with no experience because we get to give you all the info correctly from the start, with no bad habits, and watch you grow!
History of Salsa & Bachata
Salsa has deep roots in the Caribbean, influenced by traditional African dances. Salsa can be traced back to the dawn of the 20th century, where it was established in Eastern Cuba. At the time, the musical flavor of salsa along with the developing dance became an integral part of Cuban culture.
It wasn't until the early 1950’s when the dance reached Havana that it continued to develop into the kind of dance that most people are familiar with today. The tide turned for Salsa when it was integrated with American Jazz music — hence, becoming an in-demand main-stay on the dance floors of the hottest joints in Havana at the time.
After the Cuban revolution, immigrants came into the United States and brought with them the dance. In the 1960’s, Fania Records, which mostly signed Latin musicians, became the home of a great deal of salsa music and other music. This makes Fania Records almost wholly responsible for spreading Salsa in America.
While Salsa originated in Cuba, Bachata comes from the Dominican Republic. Unlike Salsa however, Bachata has some European Influences which sets it apart. In the 1950’s Bachata was considered a low form of entertainment since it was prevalent in brothels and places of entertainment frequented by lower class citizens at the time.
Bachata does not just pertain to the dance, but it also refers to a type of music — and this is considered as the Latin version of the “blues.” Though Bachata may be considered a romantic and sensual type of dance today, it used to convey a wider range of emotion — heartbreak, romance, and sadness.
The man largely credited with bringing bachata to the United States is Juan Luis Guerra. From there, the music transformed with a more urban feel as modern artists emerged such as Romeo Santos, Prince Royce, Bachata Heightz, Xtreme, Toby Love, and Aventura. This could be the second major phase in the evolution of bachata music.
The third phase in the evolution of bachata music started when DJ's began to layer bachata rhythms on top of already mega popular R&B and pop music. This sound created mass appeal and helped it to spread around the globe like wildfire. The most prolific DJ of such remixes is DJ Soltrix. The dance evolved with the music into what is now called Modern, Urban, Sensual, or Romantic Bachata, which is what is taught at Movers and Shakers Dance Academy.
Looking to learn salsa in Santa Monica or bachata in Santa Monica? Movers and Shakers are right next door and you're in good hands. Learn to dance with Movers and Shakers and it could change your life!
We're hiring! Phone rep and instructors needed! Might that be you? Email us.