Does the sex of the instructor matter?

Does anyone have a preference regarding the gender of the instructor for a female student? I've had two male instructors and have always thought I'd benefit more from a female because she could incorporate styling techniques as well.

In addition, does anyone know of a really good female instructor in NY? I have two in mind, but would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks in advance! :wink:


Well-Known Member
I've had both male and female instructors, and it's still hard to say. Of the nine (yes, nine!) instructors I've had in the past two years, there was only one who covered the whole spectrum. A female with a lot of training and twenty years experience, she could look masculine doing the male parts, and feminine doing the female parts. She was great.

Other than that, here's what I've seen. Other folks, please chime in if I'm off-base. This is all subjective and based on my experience. I use male teachers primarily, to learn connection and following. I use female teachers to learn women's styling. (I'm a woman)

Around here, quite a few of the female instructors offer a "ladies' styling" class from time to time. Maybe that would help you :?:


New Member
My advice is GET BOTH!

I'm seen a lot of instructors that pair up with their partners, and I find this to the perfect combination.

As a guy, I find that the male instructor is able to give me more advice on things like where to put my hands, leading techniques and styling. But a female instructor can be very critical on what I am doing wrong and correct me when it doesn't 'FEEL' right.

When you go to a single instructor course, you might get a person that is an amazing lead and a so-so follow, or vice-versa. Couples that teach gives you the benefit of having a person that is excellent in both. Additionally, I find that you get more 'learning time' when the male instructor can breakdown the lead while the female instructor takes the woman aside to emphasize on the follow.
at our studio female students get male instructors so that they can dance together. they may get lessons with female instructors to improve their styling. (I do a ton of arm styling/pattern work for females)


New Member
Usually the female instructors are much, much stronger wrt/ technique. Very rarely do you find women who are good leads though, even accomplished pros usually look a little off, often tentative, in the lead.

Vince A

Active Member
MissAlyssa said:
my lead is HORRIBLE hehe, but I can back lead pretty good! :D
Somehow . . . I knew you were!!!

I don't teach Salsa, but do teach many other dances . . . and the only problem I have is with new-to-dancing males students! Especially the older guys! Sometimes, when they are having a problem, I'll grab them by the hand, and say "OK, lead me through that, so I can see why she isn't getting it." Most men, for the first time, get all flustered and red in the face. Some never can handle it!

"Oh, I'm such a bruiser!!!!"

Personally, I would take privates from both! It doesn't matter to me.

Vince A

Active Member
PS. MissAlyssa . . . I was refering to your back lead!

And one thing I forgot to mention . . . I always have my wife available when I teach. This is to insure that I correctly teach the followers part!
Well, I can see Vince's point, I've had guys that just could not
get themselves to lead's a guy thing.

At first, I was uncomfortable with it too, but you know what,
we're all adults, and have to be professional about it, so I got
over it very quickly.

I also think that both men and women should have their share
of switching between leader and follower.

By doing this, each one will better understand the obstacles and
pressures that the other one feels. That will lead to a much
better understanding of each other and a smoother dance.

Try it out, you'll see.
Vince A said:
PS. MissAlyssa . . . I was refering to your back lead!

And one thing I forgot to mention . . . I always have my wife available when I teach. This is to insure that I correctly teach the followers part!

haha, I thought I was going to have to get all crazy on you Vince. :lol:

I wish my bf would learn to dance with me so I could practice on him. Instead I dance/practice with my male co workers. :p

Vince A

Active Member
I was real fortunate finding her . . . beautiful and sexy . . . a square dancer and a line dancer . . . took about a year to convert her to partner C&W and Swing . . . then she was hooked!

She now competes Intermediate level . . . kicked a** in San Jose this past weekend - 1st Overall . . . does just about every dance . . . and she will be moving up to Advanced dancer after World's Competition in a few months!

I put a cushioned dance floor in our third-car garage, and she is down there now practicing.

I'm a very lucky man! Did I mention "happy" too!


Well-Known Member
Teacher Gender and Sexual Attraction

You know what I find interesting about this thread? Nobody has mentioned sexual attraction between teacher and student. Is that a taboo subject?

If so, I'm going to break the taboo. (DanceMentor will delete my post if I'm not allowed to go there. :D )

Sometimes sexuality does become an issue. I've had nine teachers. Three straight women. No problem. Two gay men. No problem. One gay man who couldn't stand women. At all. Hated the thought of women's bodies so much that it interfered with his ability to dance. Big problem.

Three straight men who are all big fans of women.

1. An older coach who "feels up " every woman he can find. Pretty harmless, so I ignore him. Let the old guy have a thrill! :lol:

2. A coach with whom things got totally out of hand once. It was late, we were in the studio alone, we'd just finished a big project. I don't know what it was, but bam! (And let me be clear. We were both involved.)Fortunately, he was enough of a professional to put a stop to things quickly. Pretty embarrassing for us both, but we talked it out, and were able to continue our professional relationship for quite a while.

3. A coach who loves women more than anyone I know. He's a stand-up comic in his other life, so he diffuses things with humor. Pretty risque humor, sometimes, but he gets away with it. The whole sexual attraction thing is right out there, so it becomes funny, rather than tempting.

Anybody else have experiences you want to share? (Don't worry. Nobody's going to send the harassment police to your house :lol: )


Staff member
In addition to everything else that’s been said, I also think it depends on your personal style and priorities. I have always tried to develop and dance a very “smooth” style so, for me, a female instructor who could provide feedback accordingly was invaluable.
In general, I think taking lessons from the opposite gender is best because male teachers spend most of their time teaching female students and female teachers spend most of their time teaching male students. People tend to be the best at what they do the most. Also, learning your own footwork and technique is only the first stage; learning your partner's part takes your dancing to the next level, and the opposite gender is well equipped to explain their part. Plus, I find dancing with a woman more fun because I'm a man, she's a woman, and, well, ... you get the idea.

I learned the most when I took lessons from a female teacher whose husband taught at the same studio and was always available for a short demo or explanation. She was great at explaining to me what she wanted to feel, and he was great at demonstrating what he does and explaining what he thinks about when he leads.
i agree wich yall-both-male and female teachers are good and its a good idea to try them both,i was teaching salsa to some of my students and the ladies were getting pretty good at salsa-but i knew they were lacking the female touch for styling, i taught them some and they did good, but hey im a guy, anyway i asked a female friend of mine whos a hot salsa dancer in philly and has taking loads of classes in phila and new york to teach the ladies some styling, they luvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvved her , and i was so glad she gave them something i never could :D
I've been taking lessons from male teachers just because I want to learn to follow with a man when I'm dancing with him. That way, he can tell me how he feels and point out anything I'm doing wrong. These things get fixed as we go on with our lessons. He can also evaluate my posture and the way I express myself out on the dance floor. (but of course, anyone who's watching me dance can do that). :)

And like everyone implied, I think I would consult a female teacher for styling techniques when I need to. *shrugs*


Well-Known Member
My styling coach is tops! Plus, I'm working on learning the lead parts for an ISTD exam this year. and, since her students are primarily male, and she's a member of the USISTD, I can learn leading from her. Cool. 8)

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