I loved the Argentine tango from the first time I heard the music and saw it danced. It was beautiful and alive and there seemed to be a connection not only between the dancers but with me, too. It was like watching live theatre - I felt like the dance was unfolding for the first time right before my eyes. And I couldn’t wait to see what they would do next.
Tonight was my seventh class at Baila in what I call baby tango. It’s the class with Mike in Studio B where he starts by patiently and meticulously teaching how to connect with your partner, how to hold each other and how to walk the tango walk - alone, with a partner and in time with the music. For an independent, mature, dancing neophyte like me, it’s intense. But when that connection is made and you and your partner are indeed dancing the tango, it’s exhilarating. Like flying in your dreams. At first it’s just a few steps. But that’s all it took to well and truly hook me.
So why Baila for Argentine tango? Because you will learn the dance from the inside out. You will start at the beginning with the relationships among yourself, your partner and the music. You will first build a foundation for the steps and patterns of the dance. It’s kind of like learning technique in piano. Without fingers that can effortlessly run scales and arpeggios, the genius of Mozart would be unattainable. And without the threshold understanding and skills from Mike’s baby tango classes, I think the unique thrill of the Argentine tango would be lost.
Besides all that, I’ve found the people at Baila to be warm, welcoming, kind and funny. Laughing is encouraged. A wonderful learning environment.
As an older adult never having formally danced before, aside from some square dancing many years ago, filled with apprehension and anxiety, I embarked upon my first introductory salsa lesson at the Dancey Ballroom on the first Sunday in January two years ago. Nina was teaching. The first thing I learned was ” apple pie!” I’ll never forget that!
I loved her engaging personality, and detailed, slow, and thorough instruction. I was addicted after the first lesson. Nina brought me from “crayons to perfume” from my first steps. She taught me to smile and relax.
For me it is about the journey, not the destination. I enjoy the exercise, the social interaction, the music, the fun of it, and the mental challenge of learning, like I could take Nina’s classes forever.
The feedback about how I can improve is given with grace, even when it has to be repeated over and over. The encouragement and positive reinforcement is genuine, always with a smile. It is good for my heart and soul - she has literally changed my life.
I feel that I can connect with Nina more than any other instructor that I have experienced at the Dancey Ballroom. She was my first experience with Salsa and continues to be my first choice. And I tell others that, too.
Dancing has raised my self esteem and I have become a more confident and happy person. I am proud to tell others what I do, always with a smile and fond memories.
I seldom let anything get in the way of my dancing and look forward to every class. Even when I am tired and stressed, I go anyway and forget everything else. I feel so much better afterwards. And even if something happens to me, like when I was rattled when walked into a glass wall and broke my glasses, the first thought that came to me is “can i still dance?- I have my dance class tonight!”
So let’s buckle our shoes, and start dancing! Love you, Nina, your the best!
That was my favourite class ever! I learned so much.
(Referring to Salsa Improver Class)
I have been taking the beginner salsa classes that Baila Vancouver offers through the D2 studio at 8th and Manitoba. Their classes have an unusual format (20 lesson plans, continuous enrolment, start any week).
So far, I have been enjoying these classes immensely!
I was somewhat intimidated by salsa classes, as I do not have any prior experience in social dancing with a partner. What I love about Nina and Greg’s approach is that they really focus on communication. That is, they give the leads useful, detailed, advice on how to communicate their intentions, and they give the followers equally helpful advice on how to enable and read that communication.
I love this focus because, for me, this is the most intimidating part… the idea that, as a beginner, I will have no idea what to do or how to do it. But by learning how to maintain communication with my partner, everything just flows more naturally and feels more comfortable. (Because in the end, who cares exactly what we’re doing as long as we’re doing it together, coherently?)
The other element of the format which I enjoy is that the instructors keep the class changing partners continuously. This is really instructive for learning how to read and respond to different people. Especially since the class is usually made up of students with varying experience levels (due to the “start any week” format). Leads get to learn how to deal with more and less experienced followers, and vice versa.
Overall, a great place to start out for social dancing newbies. Non-intimidating, informative, and fun.
Nina runs one of the best tango classes in town! She is meticulous about postures and techniques, and she uses the most intriguingly memorable analogues to help you learn. Mike is also of great help and is generous in sharing tips about tango. A final plus for beginners is that more advanced dancers usually come to the beginners class to practice so you get to dance with more experienced dancers!
Nina is the most graceful, knowledgeable and welcoming teacher I have ever had. Her many years of experience can be seen every time she demonstrates a move or explains a concept to the class. She dances tango (and salsa) as easily as she breathes, which makes it a pleasure to watch and learn from her. Her teaching methods are very accessible and have proven to work time and time again. I know that through her classes and by doing her recommended one minute a day practice challenge, one day I will have the impressive precision and control she demonstrates when teaching tango. She always answers any questions I have in a way that is easy to understand and that helps me improve my own dancing. I have met so many great people through her classes and have learned so much. I recommend any of her classes to anyone wishing to learn how to dance in a fun and welcoming environment!
I searched long and hard for a salsa instructor who would focus on both the lead and the follow. In Nina’s class, the leads are taught to be strong and the follows are much more than just puppets. Nina emphasizes proper following technique for a strong connection between partners, a correct frame, exercises to help execute that triple solo turn and fun styling moves that let us flip our hair around. Shehin Rah
She does all this in a fun and friendly way which makes her classes both very effective and enjoyable. I always look forward to her class. Thanks Nina!
Nina was recommended to me for salsa instructor and I’m so glad to be in her class. She’s professional, she makes the class fun and I’ve learned lots from her in a 20 week session. D2 Studio is quite central, easy for transit also.
I love Nina’s Salsa classes. I have learned a lot about the “art of dance” from her. For me, she is an inspiring, patient, and fun instructor. I find her teaching style very balanced, and flowing. In the past, with other instructors, I lacked the confidence to dance Salsa socially. Now, after having taken a few of her Salas classes, I feel much more fearless about dancing Salsa. I highly recommend Nina. Thank you Nina! - Jose
I speak for many Baila students when I say coming to class and having you make hilarious jokes and metaphors is the best part of our week! Thank you so much for brightening up our lives with you beautiful smile! Emily
Nina and Greg are wonderful instructors! They offer great little pointers that make it much easier to dance well. And they are both fun and lively! Definitely my favorite dance instructors!
May 8, 2015
I have been training with Nina and Greg now for a year and a half and I have to say I really like their friendly teaching style and how they interact with their students and each other. The way they teach the “rules” of salsa has made it easier for me, now, to pass some of that knowledge down to willing learners and this had not only made me a better dancer but also my dance partners. I can honestly say that I never thought I would fall in love with salsa but they have made it possible. Now I want to learn it all! If you want to have a confident frame and lead that anyone who has a good frame and connection can follow, this will be evident in the wows and compliments you get, then Nina and Greg are the instructors for you.
Nina does a superb job instructing the secondary students in our Physical Education program - she engages and connects at a high level! We love her passion, patience and cheerfulness! Thank you Nina! The Burnaby South Physical Education Department
Burnaby South PE department
Nina is great- I’m not only learning salsa moves but I’m learning the core techniques which translate into social dancing. She’s very student focused and makes sure to pay attention to helping everyone improve regardless of their level. Love these classes!
Nina from Baila Vancouver is the best!!! Very patient and easy to learn from!
, I’m glad I found your dancing school. I really enjoyed my first lesson in Salsa. I like your style of teaching when you’re mentioning Mambo…Curacha
Thank you and more power to your Dancing School
“Great zest for life, enjoys people and dance and makes learning fun. One of the best salsa instructors I know. Highly recommend Nina…”
— Bill Burns on Jul 19, 2011
Great acrtlie, thank you again for writing.
Posts like this brighten up my day. Thanks for tankig the time.
Nina taught a fantastic introductory salsa class at University Hill Secondary School last week. Her experience working with younger learns really showed as she successfully organized over 50 kids and had them all dancing and enjoying themselves (they all came in very shy) in no time. The dance class with Nina will definitely be a highlight of the Spanish course for my students. An excellent experience and an excellent memory for all of us!
“The wedding was awesome and Brett and Jen did their dance beautifully. The dip at end was worth every dime. Thanks again, I was so delighted with the results of just one class for Brett and Jen”
C. Helfrich ( The Mom :))
“Her passion for latin dance, music, and culture is terrific! I’m glad you’re my Salsa Dance instructor, your classes are great. Everyone should learn this ... it’s so life-affirming!”
Patrick Von Pander
I have heard from a number of CCS staff that they really enjoyed your dance lesson – I have been told that you are an amazing teacher who is not only passionate about the dance you are teaching but also engaging and incredibly fun! Everyone was really happy with how fun it was - everyone has such great things to say about you here!
Thank you again for doing this Nina
Rory, Canadian Cancer Society Staff Coordinator
I just wanted to say that you were a terrific teacher. I had taken a number of intro classes before with other instructors and never really got it. For me, the real difference was that you actually danced with the guys, rather than playing the role of a guy most of the time. This way we learned the moves and how to lead. In addition, you have a great understanding of the key body language and signals necessary to lead well. For me, these little pointers made it possible to actually dance. Also, I think that things really worked with you because you taught the women how to follow and the importance of following. Your teaching made our wedding dance so much fun & you would have been proud! Andre and Katie
Maybe the best quote goes to my dad who asked Katie right after the dance ” What did you do to him?”
Andre (& Katie)
I would definitely recommend Baila Vancouver Dance School. Salsa is such a great release from life’s daily stresses, and Nina creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere in which to learn. So whether you already love dancing or feel like you have two left feet, you’ll have a blast learning to dance with Nina!!! Honestly, just go for it - you won’t regret it!
Nina is very patient and her teaching is so much of fun! I never feel myself have talent to dance but attending Nina’s class changed my thought. Her class is fun & cheerful! I love Salsa:)
An AMAZING first experience with salsa dancing! Nina and her partner were fun, friendly and very easy to learn from. They were very encouraging and positive, and I left feeling like I wanted to dance the night away in Cuba (even though I’d never danced a step of salsa before!). I definitely recommend them for anyone, beginners included.
Nina is hands down the BEST salsa instructor in the city. I had a blast at her lessons. I’m a total beginner and I was hesitant about coming out to dance, but Nina made it easy and comfortable. By the end of the night I knew the basic steps and felt pretty confident. She obviously loves and has passion for what she does, which makes her a local favourite. Not everyone is a good teacher, but this is where Nina shines. Keep it up!
I had never learned any type of dance before and had been very shy to try any class as I had no rhythm and no partner. Nina is a great instructor. She makes lessons so fun and easy to follow. She teaches how to find rhythm and break down dance move step by step so that it is easy to follow and remember. It is great way to have exercise, have fun, and learn to dance! Now, I am completely addicted to her lesson!
Nina is wonderful teacher and lady. She really knows how to break down the steps so that it is easy to learn. She also makes the class fun and enjoyable. Attending her sessions is one of the highlights of my week. Alvin
I’ve been dancing with Nina for 4 years now, I started with Salsa and in the past year and a half have been learning Argentine Tango as well. I still remember how nervous I was before my first Salsa class and now I feel so down if I go a week without dancing. Nina’s classes are perfect for a student of any level, she really breaks down the movement for beginners, while emphasizing technique for more experienced students, all the while maintaining a fun and social environment. Both leads and follows are given equal attention, and no partner necessary she makes sure everybody gets lots of experience with frequent partner exchanges in an orderly fashion. If you’re thinking of taking up dancing or even if you are experienced but looking for a new setting I encourage you to take a class with Nina. Natalie Boyce
I have been a student of Baila Vancouver for almost two years. In that time I’ve meet some really great people and have a lot of fun learning to dance Salsa and the Argentine Tango. Nina’s teaching style makes it fun and easy to learn.
I just did 1 hr of tango lessons with Nina and it felt like i learned 12 hrs because all the stuff I learned!
We have a great time every class, Her lessons move at our pace; she able to perceive and explain both our strengths and weaknesses. Nina makes learning salsa fun. She accommodates our erratic schedule without complaint. Most importantly, Nina has taught us how to hear music and move with it.
James and Jennifer
Thanks for great lesson! Jamie Turner
great first salsa experience!
On my journey of life I sail on a vast ocean of trials, tribulations, routines & best of all victories. But in the center of the week, there is a deserted island called Baila’s Tango class that helps me forget about it all and lets me live.
I don’t know what it is about Nina’s Tango class…but when I leave, I feel alive again.
I enjoy every single time that I’m out in one of Nina’s classes. It’s not easy to find an environment where one can learn challenging things in a class that is both relaxing and fun, which Nina provides on daily basis. I also value a lot all the individual feedback that students get in her classes and that she’s constantly thinking of new ideas to make the learning experience more efficient and enjoyable… Thanks Nina!
From Tango to Salsa, it feels like any latin dance you can think of and Nina will teach you. From teens to Golden Age - she will find a way to make it useful fun. Sometimes it feels like she knows better how *your* body moves and so you are up for a discovery about your dancing abilities! Now I am sure we feel comfortable on dance floors. And refill of positive energy and inspiration comes complimentary with every lesson!
Thank you Nina!
Andrei & Yelena
I’ve already had many compliments at the clubs, girls asking me to dance three to five times on the same night and a mother offering me to become her daughter’s regular dance partner. All this on my fourth week. She has taught me well, this Nina. She has taught me very well.
Thank you so much for you class, Nina ! You really are an AMAZING teacher. I forgot how great you are ! It’s been years since i danced but just spending an hour with you and your awesome teaching techniques brought it all back. Thank you so, so much.
I’m leaving for Toronto and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to get out to salsa to say goodbye. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you are a very gifted teacher and Vancouver is blessed to have someone like you here! I loved the classes and will definitely miss attending. You have inspired me to keep up my lessons in Toronto.
Corinne T Vancouver/Toronto
Nina is an awesome instructor with a heart of gold. Her salsa classes are enjoyable and I learn something new in every session. She provides valuable insight into how to become a better lead and make dancing fun.
I’m a 15 year old Little Sister. My Big Sister asked me to participate in salsa lessons. At first I said no. She asked why. I explained that I had tried hip hop classes before and found that they moved too fast and I couldn’t follow the steps. I had pretty much written off dancing (except for high school dances, where you do not really need to know how to dance at all), but my Big Sister convinced me to give the first salsa lesson a try.
Salsa is different than I thought it would be, it is a bit slower than hip hop and graceful and there is a lot more to it then it seems. I went to the first class and picked it up really fast, I can follow the steps and salsa is FUN to dance. Nina’s instructions are clear and simple to follow. When the first class was over as soon as me and my Big Sister were outside I asked her if we could come again.
The neat thing about this class is that Nina teaches some people before the Big Sisters get there and then the people that were just taught how to dance the new steps must then teach the Big and Little Sisters those same moves. The technique that Nina uses is good: the student teachers learn how to do the thing more easily than if it was just Nina teaching and they went home and practiced. I have been to every class and I am really enjoying it. I am only having troubles with one thing and that is my spot turn. I hope that I can do this class again.
Deanna, 15 years old, Vancouver
I’m Deanna’s Big Sister (see below) - we were matched by name :)
I’ve always agreed with the phrase “The fastest way to learn something is to teach it”, so Nina’s new spin on the beginners salsa classes has been a great experience.
What was also gratifying was the change in Deanna’s attitude onre of reluctance before the first class to anitcipation for the next. Nina’s an excellent teacher who is great at encouraging and cajoling her students to success!
Are You a guy experiencing midlife crisis? Don’t blow your money on an expensive car- take some lessons with NINA and You’ll feel like a New Man!
This woman is not just an eye pleaser- she is a VERY SKILLED DANCE INSTRUCTOR.
To spice it all up, she brings all that Argentinian heat to our corner of the world and makes YOU feel it! Great attention to detail, time spent with every student & words of encouragement make it a SUPER PLEASANT LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
I took BACHATANGO lessons with Nina. It blends the passion of Bachata with the class of Tango in the seamless flow, which makes it an AMAZING dance.
Women seem to love it, so the guy can learn how to pleasure many women SAFELY!
Thank You Nina!
Nina came into our school and taught us the tango and we seemed to learn fairly fast! The steps are easy to follow when taught and we had fun also. Thanks Nina!
Nina’s tango classes were amazing! She carefully, and slowly went over each technique, making it extremely easy to follow along. Also, she spent time with each student helping to improve our dancing. The class flowed & everything was natural, rather than technical. Because it was so easy to follow along and I feel as if I actually learned something and wasn’t faking it the whole time, I would recommend Nina’s classes to anyone.
I’m a dancer. The music starts…my body moves. The only thing is I have no idea what I was doing. Nina has given me the fundamentals I needed to look more elegant, feminine and sexy in my dancing and to relax enough to actually follow. (Sorry salsa men I am still working on it.) Valerie
- I LIKE THE BACHATANGO BECAUSE IT ALLOWS ME TO IMPROVE MY LEADING SKILLS WICH ARE REALLY IMPORTANT WHEN YOU ARE DANCING ANY KIND OF BALLROOM DANCE -
Grabbing your dancing partner’s hands and looking into each other’s eyes full of passion to finally end up into a tight hug and start moving your body to the sensual rhythm of the music, it is the image that immediately comes to my mind when talking about Bachatango. By definition the Tango and the Bachata are two of the most sensual dances practiced by millions of people worldwide, but if you mix both styles what you obtain is romanticism pure. I started taking the Bachatango class at the Baila Vancouver Dance School some weeks ago and it has been a wonderful experience, but I was really suprised when Nina told us that she is the first dancing instructor ever, introducing the Bachatango in Vancouver. I definitely recommend all the people out there that are willing to try some new and exciting ways of dance to come and join us, what you are going to find here is a friendly atmosphere to learn created by one of the best dancing instructors in Vancouver, what else can you ask?
I started taking lessons with Nina less than 6 months ago and now I am hooked. Nina’s classes are fun and very effective. She makes time for every single student and pays great attenton to details. I recommend repeating each level a few times and taking private lessons with Nina to improve upon what you learn in the group classes. It is really worth it.”
Kaveh K, Vancouver
thank you for your awesome dance instruction!
Julie M, Vancouver
I know that I’ve only gone to a couple of classes so far, but I really enjoy your teaching style.
You are such a sweet chica bonita, and you really have a gift for making people feel comfortable about their dancing.
I love Nina’s’ Tango Classes because she incorporates the nuances of authentic Argentine Tango in her lessons, by teaching dance partners to be aware of the kinetic synergy between them. Nina’s personal attention to each student has helped me improve my technique, refine my style and increase my confidence as a tanguera!
Nina’s passion for Salsa is infectious! Her classes are fun and the dance combinations easy to learn and remember. Because Nina begins with a strong foundation of steps, the gradual progression to more complex choreography comes quickly. I like that she teaches many levels of Salsa, this way it’s easy to be part of a community of dancers.
I have been to a number of different salsa studio’s in Vancouver and Nina’s is by far my favourite. Both the class atmosphere and the level of personal attention are fantastic. Nina fosters a friendly and fun enviroment in class and really focuses on each student to ensure that he/she develops proper dancing form. I have recomended her to many of my close friends and would reccomend her to anyone interested in salsa dancing.
Andrew A, Vancouver
Ladies Styling Classes
Nina created a really fun, safe and friendly environment. She is very warm and open and friendly. Nina is awesome at explaining things breaking them down into small pieces/moves and explaining how to do it. Also, she is really respectful of where people are at/their process—She never seemed annoyed or frustrated when it took a long time for us to learn things. Thanks a million Nina! you’re class was a really great experience. I learned a lot, had fun and felt very encouraged about continuing to dance salsa. See you on the dance floor!”
Lisa B, Vancouver
Nina is able to improve your dancing technique while making you feel good about yourself at the same time.….it is obvious she loves to teach and it is obvious she loves to dance…”
Glenn E, Vancouver
We started taking beginner Salsa classes from Nina in March just to try something new and we had a blast! Right from the start we felt comfortable in the group classes and met a lot of great people. Nina is a great teacher, offering different perspectives and ways of learning and remembering the steps so that when you leave her classes you can practice on your own. You can always ask her questions and she is always willing to help; whether you are a lead or a follow. We also took a private lesson with her and she did a great job answering our questions and helping us reach our goals for each session. We’d recommend Nina in a heartbeat! - Camilo & Julie (Vancouver)
Julie and Camilo
Nina could teach a robot to dance. She’s a pleasure to watch and learn from, and it makes all the difference in the world because class becomes fun and something you look forward to each week. She lays the groundwork for future steps and combinations instead of making you learn set routines that would seem dull and limited. Nina shows you how the steps flow into newer steps, on which you will soon build, and it all begins to make sense. You quickly lose your fear and shyness of dancing as she helps you discover the dancer within.
The Open Hold Bachata course allowed me to do more than the basic steps on the dance floor in only three classes. Thank you Nina!
today was my first class with NINA, and WOW… i love the learning style, intuitive and natural. I have done other courses before where its very technical, with lots of things to remember. With NINA its all from the foundation of balance and weight transfer, from that foundation, the techniques and movements flow naturally. i am no longer asking “which foot is next” I am very happy to be doing the private and group with NINA.
“I can’t tonight, I have to go to tango,” seems to come out of my mouth a lot in the past few months. And this “having” to go does not come from obligation but from a real desire and excitement to be in class- to learn, to progress and have fun.
That’s what Nina’s tango classes are for me- a place to grow but also to enjoy myself. No matter what kind of day I’m having, I always look forward to the class. It takes me away from any stresses in life and gets me to focus on the moment.
Nina teaches strong fundamentals (technique, posture, connection and attention to details) while still emphasizing and bringing out the passion and emotion behind the dance within her students.
I was out tango dancing one night in the U.S and an instructor complimented me on my ability to follow the tricks that he threw at me. He asked me where I learned to dance. I told him about Nina, and his response was, “She’s done a great job.”
I couldn’t agree more. Thank you Nina for allowing me to feel that connection. I have had the pleasure of enjoying dances with people I have never danced with before because you have taught me to really feel the lead and the music, rather than just to memorize steps.
I have been realizing more and more that tango is not just about a connection to your partner, but also a connection with yourself. That is not something that is easy to teach. But Nina is constantly taking workshops (various dance types, business and personal growth), reading books, and learning from the people around her to increase her knowledge and growth as a teacher, but also to better connect with herself. And by sharing these findings and inspiration with her students, she reminds us to continue to connect to our own selves to develop as dancers and individuals. Now that’s the sign of a great teacher!
There are just not enough ‘thanks’ available, so, for my salsa teacher:
I’m a busy professional with a background in athletics and a dominant left brain (analytical versus creative). Nina is able to flexibly accommodate my schedule and in class give me analogies that make sense to me; provide me cues and associations in the form of sounds, words, feeling and rhythm that allow me to both learn easily and retain what I’ve learned resulting in progress that’s been extremely satisfying and fun. Nina is the Yoda of salsa!