Meet our Tutors: Magda and Dani

Magda (second left) and Dani (third left) performing as part of their salsa group, Otradanz

We interview award-winning salsa duo Magda Sobolewska and Dani K, who head up our salsa classes.

Magda and Dani describe the joy of discovering salsa, the passion and sense of inclusiveness shared by the salsa community, and what they love most about teaching. They also write about their pride at winning the best Salsa School in the UK for City Academy at the Lukas awards, and what makes London a special place to be involved in this highly popular Latin dance.   

Magda Sobolewska


Magda and Dani at a salsa event.

You’ve been working with Dani for a while now. What do you enjoy about working together?

We've been teaching together for 7 years. During this time we've developed a special bond, so we feel very comfortable in each other's company, we trust each other and it makes working together very easy: hopefully this makes the students feel good in our lessons! Having a couple teaching leading and following is definitively a real benefit, it also means that we have 2 pairs of eyes to help our students and correct them where needed.

You won the Lukas Award for the best Salsa School in the UK. What was it like?

The Lukas Award is an award recognizing contributions to Latin culture in Music, Sport, Dance, Art, Business and Society. We won in the Dance category for the best Salsa School. On a personal note our dance group won the Lukas award for for the best Salsa performers. The success of winning is thanks to our students who voted for us, and it means really means a lot to us knowing that students are happy with the classes and our teaching.

 What first attracted you to salsa? 

For me getting into salsa was a pure accident, but it took me by a storm! I never wanted to stop. I had danced other styles before, but what struck me about salsa is the fact that you can dance every night of the week if you want to: it's just amazing! It would be unusual to train in ballet or contemporary dance, or even hip hop, and suddenly go out and in a middle of the club and perform a routine you learnt in the class. With salsa you learn in class and can go and dance almost straight away. The social element of salsa is great too, you meet new people and you start seeing the same faces at the events you go to and eventually you make new friends!

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I love seeing students starting from nothing: learning the steps, the moves, and their first dance when they have a big smile on their face...for any teacher this is a really amazing feeling. Giving someone part of your knowledge and passion and then seeing how they take it on and enjoy it, and sometimes even pass it on themselves, is just great.

Dani K


Dani and Magda.

What first attracted you to salsa? 

It's a beautiful story. When I was 22 years old I randomly went to a salsa event, and there I saw people of all ages and backgrounds dancing with each other: young girls with older guys, older ladies with young guys, and everyone with huge smiles on their faces for the whole first dance. Once the dance finished, ladies were asking men to dance which was something I hadn't seen before. The men accepted and once again everyone shared beautiful smiles while they danced. I looked around and I realised this was the norm.

I'd always thought that salsa was for older people, but when I saw old, middle-aged and young people all dancing together I thought: "wow, I love this mentality". A week later one of my best friends told me they got voucher to try a salsa class (I'd known them for year and we'd never once talked about salsa, so I knew it was a sign!). After the first class I've never stopped.

What do you enjoy about working with Magda?

We're very close friends and that creates good vibes in our classes, and I think students feel that. It's also great that the girls have someone focused on helping them learn their moves so that I can concentrate on helping the guys, this gives the classes a good balance.

What’s special about the salsa scene in London? 

The London salsa scene is simply very friendly. As a big city, a lot of dancers from around the world travel to London, whether for a few days or weeks, and help build a strong level for the dance scene. Because I teach salsa, work as a salsa DJ and performer, I've got to know the dance scene well, and this has helped me work in London and also travel around the UK and Abroad a lot more easily than if I had just concentrated on one skill.

You travel to salsa congresses all over the world. What are they like?

In one word they are MAGICAL: a lot of dancing and very little sleep, but the joy that comes from congresses is priceless. We encounter new cultures and meet so many new people, all coming together to share a great moment within the same passion.

Congresses usually take place over three days from Friday to Sunday, with around 30 to 70 hours classes from over 40 internationals artists. During the the day there are other dance activities such as pool parties, beach parties, and social dancing. At night there are around 10 to 20 dance showcases among the best dancers in our scene.

 What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Seeing the smiles on the face of students enjoying themselves while in the beginning they though they wouldn’t be able to dance as easily as they are doing after taking few classes from us.

At City Academy, we offer salsa classes at 6 different levels, from Beginners through to our performance group the Salsa Dance Company. If you are interested in taking classes with Magda and Dani, here are the options:

  • Our Beginners courses help build your confidence as you learn basic salsa steps
  • Our Improvers and Intermediate courses help you perfect your technique in a friendly and supportive environment
  • The Salsa Dance Company allow you to dance throughout the year, with regular rehearsals and bi-annual shows