From our BellSquad team members directed by Kristen Grace:
“Bellsquad above all else has given me more confidence. I’ve seen myself grow and improve as a dancer with this team, but more importantly, I have seen myself struggle and break down when things got tough. Being able to bounce back and learn through the setbacks is really what separates Bellsquad from just any other dance class. We support each other as a team and it’s awesome to see everyone’s growth, not just your own!!”
- Carleen Altinok
“Bellsquad is commitment, friendship and compromise. It makes us better in different ways as dancers and that helps not just class but also our lives. It has given me more confidence to just go for what I want, to commit and try to encourage people to do the same. Nothing happens if you fail, you just keep getting better. It also has helped me find my style and try to be myself and enjoy myself while dancing; searching within instead of outside and try new movement patterns. The trust we’ve build on the team makes us just rely on one another and try new things as a team/pair/trio (whatever you want that day :P)”
– Diana Dueñas
“Bellsquad is a supportive community of great and diverse people that love dance as much as you do. We cheer each other on in dance and in life, and in my experience being part of it has been a regular source of relief. Also the training is really beneficial for growing as a dancer and you learn things you wouldn’t in normal classes.”
– Michelle Capriles-Escobedo
“Joining bellsquad means joining a family. We all support each other in and outside of dance and this makes us have a better connection while performing or doing group work:)”
– Rowan Langaynor
“Bellsquad is a lifestyle. I realize that, being able to learn the techniques and concepts of dancing and the ability to constantly grow as a dancer and as a person, loads and loads of fun and most importantly meeting amazing human beings that makes me look forward to Sundays every week are what I signed up for when I joined Bellsquad. I didn’t realize it at that time. I just auditioned. But now I do and I value being part of the squad more than anything.”
– Ramya Anbu
Two words - GO HERE!! I enrolled in the salsa on one intro series a few weeks ago, and attended my first open dance night this evening. Jim (the owner) runs a spectacular studio!! This place has such a great atmosphere! You always feel safe and the other dancers are so nice, particularly to the newbies like me who need some extra help. The intro salsa course is fantastic and I am so happy I signed up! Jim pays attention to the technique, but not to the point where it becomes un-fun, he strikes a great balance. I highly recommend coming to the studio whether for a class or the open dance events. So much fun!!!!!
Very reasonably priced, I go for salsa but this studio has a lot of other programs going on with a great instructors. I have done a lot of private lessons with many different instructors and Jim is really good at breaking things down to the fundamentals for salsa, just overall a really good teacher that I would recommend for anyone wanting to switch from on 1 to on 2 salsa and not knowing where to start. The studio also has socials for Latin dancing that have a very low key hang out and practice vibe, you can ask anyone there for help and even Jim will break it down for you. Also, Harley is the most well behaved awesome studio pet I’ve ever met!
Salsa world was opened for me by Jim, instructor and owner Belltown Dance Studio. It was 1,5 year ego. Since that time I have been dancing almost nonstop ;-) I took classes at BDS and love all social events. Social dancing at BDS always in friendly environment, cozy, nice (the same time you have always an opportunity to ask Jim some tips ;-))
I always tell people.. when it comes to dancing I have no rhythm. I just started my first salsa lesson here and I thought I would really struggle to keep up. Surprisingly to me I don't feel like I'm doing terrible! The class moves at a pace that makes it possible to follow the basics. It's very fun and I love the added humor
I love dancing here! Best studio for Salsa and warm atmosphere.
Jim choreographed our first dance. He did a great job! He was easy to work with, very helpful and patient and carefully explained every step. My husband went from no dance experience other than flailing his arms to being able to do a number of Waltz steps after only two lessons. After lessons we decided to start taking dancing classes on a regular base! As for the result , we did great in the wedding! All our guests were in shock when they saw us dance and it was so much fun! Definitely recommend Jim as a great dance teacher and choreographer!
This is Cascadia International Programs iConnectors.
We want to thank you for the wonderful instruction, and thank you for providing the two amazing instructors, Bianca and Brandon. They made our event successful.
We look forward to cooperating again!
My dance partner and I took a private lesson from Jim during the Seattle Salsa Congress. For me, it is important that the instructor is able to deliver the material in a fun yet structured and disciplined manner. Jim did just that and he left me wanting to practice more and hit the dance floor stat. Jim keeps the passion of dance alive and you will take away many upon many tips and tricks to make you a kick ass dancer.
People always ask me where I learned to dance & that's a long winded answer, but as for where I took Salsa lessons...I've only taken 2. Salsa 1&2 at Jim Chow's studio in Greenlake when I 1st moved to Seattle. I can whole heartedly say I don't personally know a dancer more dedicated to growth than him. He has worked so hard to better Seattle's Salsa community & his growth as a person in the 10yrs that I've known him is something I admire more than he knows! <3
If you ever get the chance, thank those people or instructors who taught and encouraged you in your foundational years! The people who introduced you to this wonderful dance that has undoubtedly brought you happiness, health, & friendship!
Janine Roffle (Ballroom Dance Competitor & Instructor)
I danced at Belltown Dance Studio (BDS) from 2014-2016 while I lived in Seattle, and I highly recommend the salsa classes! The owner and main instructor Jim Chow has a unique street salsa style, and he shows his passion for salsa and his students day in and day out, including by recommending social dance opportunities in addition to class time in order to improve quickly. He places a large emphasis on knowing how to truly lead and follow, encouraging students to learn skills in class, but ensure those skills translate to the social dance floor. It wasn't until taking lessons with Jim (both group and privates) that I truly learned how to follow in street salsa (a different skill than my background in ballroom). I have been able to take the skills I learned from Jim to follow many different types of leads - whether dancing on 1 or on 2 - not only in Seattle but also in New York (on 2), LA, and in many other cities where styles differ. Jim also teaches the importance of musicality and brings in highly talented guest teachers, namely world champions John Narvaez and Liz Rojas of Salsamania, to teach 5-6-week intensive workshops on a regular basis. If you want to take your salsa skills to the next level, I recommend BDS and also the Salsamania workshops held there.
I just finished my first bachata monthly workshop and let me say that my feet tender, body is burning something good and there is a smile from ear to ear of the experience I just had! This studio is conveniently located in the safer end of Belltown with a beautiful double mirrored hardwood floor clean layout.
I absolutely love Jim Chow (owner and head salsa and bachata teacher) and his teaching style is fun upbeat and very easy to follow. With a wonderful sense of patience and understand also wants nothing but for you to shine in your own way. Being funny and patient he is dole finitely I can see getting along with well and learning from quickly. Plus it's just hard finding good male dance teachers now a days.
Plus let's not forget the amazing package deals. The lowest and most competitive I have seen in a while. Most classes are 5-6 weeks for 85 that's a deal and even more if you sign up early you get 10 off!
I was so impressed by the presentation, the learning structure and the amount of fun I had that I signed up for all his other classes ( a total of 5 classes just under 400) STEAL!
I highly recommend this place of you are desiring Latin Dance styles and Latin speciality dances.
Only downfall I really wish he has some teachers that taught classical ballroom but I'm more then happy then I anticipated! I can't wait to bring my best friend and my mom
Personal goal achieved! Salsa dancing in a foreign country,on the other side of the world. The common language of social dancing enabled me to walk into a nightclub and dance the night away with the Manila Salsa scene! Thanks Jim Chow and Camille Primous the moves you taught me served me well tonight!
Came by Belltown Dance Studio as I was exploring Seattle from San Jose. Jim and Breanne invited me in and Jim even gave me a private salsa dance class since it was so early in the evening. I had a great time, the music was very nice and I thought the crowd was so friendly and what wonderful dancers! I really like the lace and leather theme and then Jim proposed a Valentine theme. That is so fun. Wish we had a dance studio like this in the Bay Area. Definitely will be coming back if I come back to Seattle.
Weekly Sunday Salsa & Bachata Dance social:
Of course i am going! It never ceases to amaze me, the variety and excellent character of folks who i consistently discover at the studio. from beginning Salsa dancers (including suprise drop-ins, who are absolutely delightful) to advanced dancers, there are always smiles and laughter. it's relaxing and fun! That's why i go. It's my belief that the tone of a studio, is set by the tone of those in charge. So nice work, Jim. There is always an atmosphere of welcome and inclusiveness.( Love your spontaneous break-out lessons, on the spot, especially when you see / perceive someone needs some guidance). . There is always something there to make me laugh. (Including...Harley!)
Thank you for a really fun and challenging first Salsa lesson. You made it approachable and less intimidating than I thought it would be.
Looking forward to the next lesson in your new space.
My wife and I came to Belltown Dance Studio at the recommendation of our instructor, who encouraged us to learn under Jim to enrich our experience. My wife and I are Salsa novices.
This has been one of the best investments as far as our learning experience. Jim is passionate about dancing and his energy is contagious. We found Jim's style of teaching direct to the point and thorough. He wants you to learn well and shine, even if all you do is the basics.
My wife and I are happy with Jim and enjoy his instruction and the socials on Sunday nights. I'm still trying to understand how some could confuse Jim's directness with harshness or rudeness. He's one of the nicest guys in the world when you meet him in person. I guess it's all a matter of perception. The closest I can relate is competing in sports, when you have that coach not afraid to tell you not only what you need to correct, but also how to correct it. All he demands is your attention and the desire to learn. But rude? I don't see how. There are two sides to every story and unfortunately the owners don't get much of a chance to state their position.
If you are looking for instruction peppered with fuzzy pink kittens and purple flowers, you won't find it here. Jim knows that while he's teaching you, his role is to make the best dancer that you can be, and that may involve telling you that the skill you thought you mastered still needs a lot of work. But when you see him on the dance floor, having a great time and interacting with all the dancers, making sure you're comfortable and having a good time, and giving you tips and hints, that's when you see the nice guy many seem to omit.
So, yeah. If you want instruction under a teacher who demands the best of you but it's a heck of nice guy after, this is definitely the place for you. We'll be returning.
I'm taking the beginning salsa series here and have been having a really good time. The studio space is very nice and I got a discount for being new to the dance studio.
I suppose I can see where some of the negative reviewers are coming from, because they take things far too personally. They are expecting a babysitter. The owner, Jim Chow, is from the east coast. He doesn't mince words, if you're doing something incorrectly, he corrects you. He's an instructor, not a therapist. His teaching style can seem blunt but he is not mean and he certainly doesn't discriminate (everyone gets corrected). I am very grateful for this aspect of his teaching because he actually watches his students as they learn and catches our mistakes before they become habits. I have taken intro classes at century ballroom and was never once corrected there. The feedback is what we are paying for, if you don't want it, save yourself some money and just watch youtube instructional videos. I have found his teaching effective and he has been very kind in offering to help me find salsa shoes outside of normal class hours.
So, in summary, if you want to learn to dance salsa correctly, by all means check out this studio. If you are of an exceedingly sensitive disposition and need someone to validate your feelings.... go pay for a therapist.
Thank you Jim for free Zumba class (June) on 6/29. My First time to BDS with Paula as sub. There are a bunch of us 'paula followers' so it was nice to see your studio, like wise Zumba at Alki was fantastic, tks for doing that! I think it was Anna and Dee who taught with Paula? They were GREAT, and I REALLY enjoyed them!!! Plz tell them they did awesome job. If I can I will make the drive to take classes with you guys in the future. -Curt (CJ)
The dance lessons were well instructed for the dance level of students. Can't wait to learn more!
Jim is a great teacher, very amiable and keeps things fun! Will enjoy the next 6 weeks learning to Salsa!
Awesome instructor/owner. Very thorough. Great class!
Jan 14th 2013
I had an awesome time at your studio last night! Good vibes, dancers, and music!
We had a great evening at your Salsa Social last night. It is a perfect ending to a weekend. Thanks for providing them, I look forward to it when I visit & thanks for the dance.
Oct. 20th, 2012
I called up Belltown Dance Studio a couple weeks ago after checking out their website. When I called I spoke to Jim, and told him I wanted to join their level 2 salsa series, but wasn't sure if I was ready in terms of dance abilities. After I explained that I'd taken level 1 salsa at another dance studio, Jim asked me a few questions about my my comfort level with various turns etc, then told me that I would probably be ok, and that I could show up 15 minutes ahead of that nights class so he could check out my skillzzzz....So that's what I did! That evening I showed up at the designated time, and Jim quickly had me dance with him for a bit and then I got the all clear to join the class. Since I'd missed the first class in the series, Jim gave me a pro-rated price to reflect that.
ABOUT THE CLASSES: Follows a standard dance class layout, where you rotate partners. Classes are medium sized, and one thing I liked that I did not notice at other dance studios, is that Jim regularly had the front/back rows of the class swap places so that we can all see properly etc, and so that we don't get away with anything (more on that later) Another thing is the classes so far seem to focus on technical skills plus proper execution. At my other dance studio, I sometimes felt that we were just memorizing steps like robots-not the case here at all. In addition to the proper footwork, the classes also include some basic ladies styling mixed in plus guidance on proper hand positions. At the end of the class, students are encouraged to use their camera phones to video the steps learned that day in class, to review at home and practice.
At the end of my class, Jim pulled me aside to go over some technical issues I was having with my basic footwork. Nothing major, but just some subtle mistakes I need to clean up.(this is what I meant with not getting away with anything lol)
I think this is what I've been looking for, a studio where I can grow, and where the instructors will encourage/push me to make progress :)
Instructor cared a lot about form and that we all got it. Looking forward to next lesson!
Aug. 27th, 2012
Aug. 8th, 2012
I took Salsa I & II with Jim here earlier this year, and Tango with Jennifer/Martin, and again with Vivian/Koa here. From my judgment, this place is run like a real dance school compared to other places.Their teaching style gets into the details like emotion, philosophy, movement quality... as well as honest criticism, so you may correct your ways. So if you are someone who has been handed participation trophies all your life and thin-skinned it might not be right for you.
Trying to learn any artful skill is like forging a sword, it's a harsh, sometimes a violent process as you are trying to reshape yourself into a fine piece of instrument from raw material. Jim's in-your-face approach is a sincere effort to try to smooth you out. For some, it's hurt feelings - but FOR ME, it's point-taken. It all depends on what you're made of.
Tom Lee ________
Hi Jim, I wanted to let you know I'm staying at home because it turns out I started coming down with a sore throat last night. You Should be incredibly proud of what you have made over these past years. You followed your passion or dream (or both) and my wish for you is that it has brought you happiness and will continue to do so in the years to come. Much love.
Dec. 7th, 2011
I love Belltown Dance Studio. It's a great space, the music is always good, parking is easy, and the people who dance there are very welcoming. I've taken a lot of classes at century, china harbor, the wilsonian, and at Belltown Dance Studio. I really like the classes here. They are fairly small so you get a lot of personal attention, they focus on styling and technique, and they don't let you (or your dance partners) keep doing things wrong. I feel like I get better faster when I take classes here, because it is challenging, and you learn fun and interesting moves from the very beginning. An added bonus is that the teachers make an effort to dance with you at the practices and the parties. I highly recommend checking it out.
Nov. 18th, 2011
I really did not want to go to Belltown Dance Studio, I thought my fiance was nuts for even wanting to go. However, I wanted a happy future bride so I went with her to Belltown and I have to admit it was a fantastic experience. The instructors were incredible and I actually learned a few things which I never dreamed I could do since I have two left feet! I really encourage everyone to give Belltown a chance!
nedsanders003 at Citysearch
Nov. 16th, 2011
Going to Belltown Dance was such a fun experience and I plan to return to become a better dancer! I loved the instructor and everyone in the class was very friendly. I am so excited that I found this studio and I cannot wait for my next class!
hillarybonham at Citysearch
Nov. 6th, 2011
I have loved dancing my entire life, I grew up in a family where I took dance lessons and did recitals which I loved. As I got older I stopped dancing as much but recently I went to Belltown Dance with a friend and what a fun time! It made me remember about my youth and really brought back my love of dancing. I plan to return as often as I can because it is a fantastic studio!
Oct. 25th, 2011
I started coming to Belltown Dance for Salsa lessons and it has been so much fun! I love the instructors, the atmosphere and the other people in the class! I recommend Belltown Dance to everyone!
Oct. 17th, 2011
AWESOME! I love it here! Always makes my day coming here and interacting with all the friendly people and teachers. Thank you for always making my day!
Oct. 14th, 2011
I love it here!! I use to have a regular gym membership and take the zumba and kickboxing classes there but it just wasn't the same. First of all, it's not nearly as personalized. Those instructors do numerous classes a day, so I understand their reasoning for not knowing exactly who they are teaching and how to make them better, but it just wasn't for me. I love the individualized attention here, no matter who's instructing. I'm not a treadmill kind of girl so consider me a student for life!
Aug, 14th, 2011
I showed up at Belltown Dance Studio last January with zero experience in any kind of dancing and not knowing a soul on the salsa dance scene. To be honest, I do not have any musical talents, however I just really like to dance. Over half a year later I have a blast and met lots of interesting people. Salsa is a difficult, but a very fascinating dance, I would even say, it's a way of living! Jim is an excellent instructor, very attending to the needs of his students even those, like me, not as talented. He urges us to practice and to come to as many practicas in all the various clubs in Seattle as we can. In short, salsa at Belltown Dance Studio is lots of fun and good exercise. I highly recommend it!
July, 18th, 2011
Good Morning Jim,
Nicholas and Victoria were AMAZING and all the guests loved them! I have never seen salsa like the routine they had before, maybe on a movie. Maybe. They were great to work with and I appreciate you facilitating everything and letting us be a part of the Belltown Dance Studio experience for an evening. I have pictures coming and will be sure to send them to you. Does BDS have a facebook so I can tag any posts about the show? Pictures will be coming soon. We had some video dificulties, but I am trying to hunt down some footage. I saw lots of little screens glowing in the air during the show and they were a crowd favorite so I know it exists somewhere. Again thank you.
City Escape Performance
June 9th, 2011
This is a review only on the Zumba class, this was my first Zumba class--I freakin loved it and it rocked my world...SO SWEATY by the time class was finished. I will definitely come back here.
The studio is on the smaller side but the class only had about 25 people so it was fine. Plenty of street parking near by and easy to find.
April, 28th, 2011
It feels weird being so involved in salsa. It really becomes a way of life. It just amazes me how long you've been involved and stay sane. I've only been in NYC for about 6 months and it's already taking a toll on me. Props to you.
Andrew Yu - BAILA Society
April, 24th, 2011
When Alien Ramirez recently was asked about how she feel about Jim Chow as a salsa lead:
"Jim reminds me of my past dance partner Alex Dasilver, very smooth, he knows how to take care of the lady on the dance floor. He is not all about waiting for that right follow to perform with on the social dance floor, with his style & great body movement, technique and as a softer lead, it allows him to be able to dance all level of follows on the social dance floor".
- 9x World Champion
-4x World Salsa Champion
-2x World Bachata Champion (Mayan & World Latin Dance Cup)
-1x World Salsa Cabaret Champion (World Latin Dance Cup)
-2010 Stevens Solo Champion
-1x 2010 Stevens Female World Salsa Competition Champion
-1x 2010 WSF World Salsa Shines Champion
April, 23rd, 2011
Thank you everyone for your incredible support last night! The turn out was amazing and we hope you all had a ton of fun!!!! A big thank you to all of the performers, all of my salsa friends and good friends who come to every single one of our events, Jim Chow for being such an incredible host, all of the newcomers just learning about our organization, Anna Peskin for always being a big supporter and to every person he made a single donation...Every pemny counts!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!
Salsa Fundraiser for Adelante
April, 13th, 2011
Everyone had a great time and had great things to say about the event. Thank you fro being part of it! :)
The Latin American Culture Club, Bellevue College.
Class yesterday was really great. Your trick of feeling the hand on the back before lifting it really clicked for me. I had tried to learn that before and couldn't get the timing right. Thank you!
April, 11th, 2011
Jim chow made my Sunday night at his place another great little celebration. Thanks Jim for all the fun
March, 27th, 2011
Jim Chow is a very good DJ! BDS is a fly venue for a pvt party!
I agree! Thanks for making this a birthday to remember!
March, 30th, 2011
Hi Jim! I'm loving the class! Looking forward to the first Alki Dance!
Weekly Sunday Salsa Practicas:
Sept. 5th-29th, 2010
RhoNicole Montoya -you have the best music...like stuff that's totally original!
Sharon Ruth -you play the best music Jim. had an awesome time at your social!
Victoria A Hardwick -Thank you for dancing with me! ♥ I LOVE IT!!! ♥
Tereza Simonyan -Thanks for the awesome dance yesterday, Jim :)
Vatsan Madhavan -The Sunday practica is getting better by the week!
Alex Braden Waugh -This was a durn fine practica Jim. It's good to be back!
RhoNicole Montoya -Dancing with you is so much fun!
Melonie Rainey -Had a GREAT time tonight. I am so glad I attended and am looking forward to my salsa classes!
Hey Jim, thanks for being our DJ for the upcoming Reveal Party on Wednesday. Your music is awesome!
Sept. 4th. 2010
BDS-1st Salsa Dance @ Westlake Park!
Great event last night, Jim. Your constant innovation is a gift to the community.
Sept. 4th. 2010
BDS-1st Salsa Dance @ Westlake Park!
JIM!!! Thanks so much for making this event happen!!!! It was a TON of fun!!! Also, thanks to everyone who helped out with it. You all ROCK!! :)
Aug. 31st. 2010
Loved the Salsa on the beach. Both of them! sun, surf and fresh air...dancing outside was wonderful. I like that all levels of dancers are welcome and ages as well. Good mix all around. (Also loved dancing in the rain--last dance! )Thanks for all you do Jim! July, 16th, 2010 http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=65532&id=1040309212&comments&ref=notif¬if_t=photo_album_comment
Aug. 29th, 2010
Thank you Jim for the class today... I loved it. So much fun.
Wendy Messarina Volosin
Last night a woman asked me if I'm taking lessons from Jim Chow. I replied "yes" and followed up with the question "How did you know?". She replied "I recognize the smooth and sexy style.". I asked "That's a good thing? Yes?". She replied "It most definitely is.". :) Ha! I love it!
Greg M. Thompson
July 7, 2010
This is it!
I took a few Salsa classes around town and stated to think I just did not have what it takes. Not so, I just needed a good teacher and a comfortable place! Jim Chow is a true teacher, not just a good dancer (two different skills). The prices are very reasonable, the studio is great, and Jim is a very tallented instructor. Check out the Sunday night practica...a very cool way to practice and have fun all for 5 bucks! Enjoy!
June, 28th, 2010
I would have to say about 5 years ago you started my love of salsa @ salsa club. I had danced professionally in hiphop, tap, jazz and ballet, but never had the oppurtunity to explore salsa. You showed me some basic steps and we were off and running. I just wanted to say thank you. When I move back to Seattle your class will be the first thing I sign up for.
Found it! Mar. 19, 2010
I have been searching for just the right place to learn salsa and practice. Wow! I really love this dance studio. It has all the things I was looking for : Professional instruction with attention to styling detail ( and friendly down-to earth help) Great selection of music,( requests accepted...) and laid back but upbeat atmosphere. With comfy black couches, candles, friendly people of all ages...( and including a trendy Asian Bistro conveniently located just next door--think drinks, dinner or snack) ...entering Belltown Dance studio feels like a cross between visiting the home of a good friend --relaxing--and safe...and a professional full-service dance instruction studio--with just the right amount of creative edginess. Think Adventure. For anyone with a passion for dance or those that just want to try it out. Lots of room ( including the restrooms which is convenient for those who like to change clothes, shoes, or touch up makeup......) and good ventilation keeps things comfortable while colorful /artful lighting and a variety of salsa/bachata music keeps things lively and fun. ( wow again-) Other styles of music such as merenge, cha-cha.Well-- but mostly Salsa. Which is why I am there every Sunday...and now taking classes. Perfect for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers. Studio owner and professional dance instructor, Jim Chow, shows his style, his passion for helping others. He has a keen sense of what people are looking for and what they need as far as a place to go to have fun and learn to dance. ( He has a good sense of humor too..and is quick to provide for the needs of his clientel. For example: I Was needing to eat after class and I went next door to get dinner. The waitress actually carried my plate to the studio, placed it on a table that Jim had set up for myself and others. complete with candle. Wow. again. With choice of instruction, open dance, special dance clinics, salsa styling classes...including special Jack and Jill dances not to mention dancing on the beach in summer... this place is a real gem.....Chow!
Wonderful Experience at Belltown Dance Studio
Feb 12, 2010
|I have had a wonderful experience at Belltown Dance Studio. I have always been a bit intimidated by Salsa but the owner and teacher of BDS, Jim Chow has made me feel more enjoyment and excitement to learn this dance! His methodical teaching style really has produced in me greater understanding and is helping to refine my technique in a way that has helped me gain more confidence and enjoy Salsa. Jim Chow is hard-working, encouraging and is an amazing teacher and extremely creative and skilled dancer. He teaches patiently and quietly. His skill is outstanding and he never makes me feel dumb even when I cannot quite grasp the steps. The classes are great and a wonderful crowd comes to them. I appreciate the Wednesday night practices not only because they are extrememly inexpensive, but because there are really great dancers, including Jim, that are kind and patient and help me practice and learn more. It is also a great place to meet new friends who enjoy dancing as well. ... More »
|I have had a wonderful experience at Belltown Dance Studio. I have always been a bit intimidated by Salsa but the owner and teacher of BDS, Jim Chow has made me feel more enjoyment and excitement to learn this dance! His methodical teaching style really has produced in me greater understanding and is helping to refine my technique in a way that has helped me gain more confidence and enjoy Salsa. Jim Chow is hard-working, encouraging and is an amazing teacher and extremely creative and skilled dancer. He teaches patiently and quietly. His skill is outstanding and he never makes me feel dumb even when I cannot quite grasp the steps. The classes are great and a wonderful crowd comes to them. I appreciate the Wednesday night practices not only because they are extremly inexpensive, but because there are really great dancers, including Jim, that are kind and patient and help me practice and learn more. It is also a great place to meet new friends who enjoy dancing as well. Everyone I have met there has been really great!
Feb 5, 2010
|I have taken several classes from different salsa instructors in Seattle, and must say that Jim Chow is by far the best. He is more like a coach than just a teacher. He not only delivers the instruction but watches intently, coaching you on what you need to do (place your feet, hands, inner focus, etc.). His assistant is wonderfully gracious and inspiring. I have taken only 5 beginner classes and can already have a blast at various salsa events without disgracing myself. I also like the space a lot, it's bright, well lit, and the temperature is perfect. I appreciate most of all that Jim provides opportunities for his students to practice, practice, practice, by hosting extremely inexpensive socials on Wednesday and Sunday nights; he also encourages all of his students to get out there and dance as much as possible.
The best of Belltown and Downtown 2009
Best Place to Meet Singles: Belltown Dance Studio. Fellas let me tell you, there are nothing but single girls in this place taking salsa lessons. I walk past this place some nights and the place is filled with ladies. The best part about the lessons is that you rotate dance partners and the girls you dance with know you don't know how to dance, so there's no use in trying to dance cool. Trust me, you'll meet more single girls in a 6-week dance lesson here than you will at any bar. Ladies, you'll meet a guy who will never outshine you on the dance floor, and is also financially stable enough to possibly buy you a drink afterwards or pay for parking.
DECEMBER 29, 2009
Don't Hesitate to checkout this Great Studio
When I moved to Seattle 2 years ago, I was walking through Belltown and saw a sign for salsa classes with Jim Chow. I registered for class and its been a blast - I haven't stopped dancing since! :) Jim gave me a solid foundation in the dance and taught me a lot. He loves the dance, the community and his students: he cares a lot about the quality of learning and dancing that he helps to teach and promote. Not only does he teach; he also pulls his students into the dance community to help them expand their dancing by going outside the classroom to dance. He can be an exacting teacher because he cares about all the little details. The events at his studio are a blast! If you're just contemplating learning to dance salsa - stop and just come to his studio on Sunday's for practica to check things out. Its a friendly atmosphere with a great floor and space where everyone is dancing with everyone (Jim included) regardless of level.
Dec 28, 2009
To be completely honest, I was a bit intimidated by Jim Chow at first... I have heard some not so nice things, but was determined to not believe everything I hear, and to personally find out for myself if there was any truth to the rumors. And so I started talking to him as a person, took a private lesson from him, and observed parts of his group classes to see how he was as a teacher. The result - not only do I consider this man one of the best Salsa teachers in Seattle, but I'm also proud to call him my friend. He's incredibly professional, curtious, humorous, and truly cares about his students and their progress. He is the kind of teacher who will work with you until you get it and is always there to help. Above all, he truly loves not only dancing, but teaching Salsa. His studio is downright beautiful and his practicas are fun and welcoming for all levels.
Dec 28, 2009
The Product Sells Itself....
Six months ago, I didn't know dancing from a hole in the ground. I'd never danced a day in my life. Unless you count the Budweiser boogie back in my college days. I walked past Jim's superb studio and said to myself "Let's give it a go.". Now, six months later and having taken five of Jim's dance courses, I'm busting moves on the Salsa dance floor like I'd never imagined I could. Why? One word. Jim! The man's product is top notch. OK. Some people have used some words to describe his human interaction abilities. Jim can be a bit on the direct side but the other words used are total BS. Jim is direct because he is passionate and sincere in what he does. Which is to teach people how to dance Salsa! If you are doing the move wrong, he will call you on it until you get it right. You will appreciate that about him once you are on the real Salsa dance floor. The difference between a mediocre Salsa dancer and the really good ones is all in the details. Jim hammers home the details until you get it right. If you want to dance Salsa really well, you learn from Jim. If you want ultra sensitivity and hugs and kisses, well ... go see a priest or therapist. Now, thanks to Jim, the women are starting to ask me to dance. The product speaks for itself.
Greg M. Thompson
Dec 28, 2009
Jim Chow has done so many great things for the Seattle Salsa Community! He continuously organizes numerous events and brings together dancers of all levels, as well as most local instructors. Thanks to Jim, students have many chances to compete (in various styles) and win great prizes. People come from Vancouver B.C., Portland and other places to attend his events. He organized summer beach parties (the attendance was incredible), salsa and bachata competitions, belly-dancing and zumba instruction etc. I have been involved in the Seattle salsa scene for a few years, I have taken classes from numerous instructors, I have performed and during these few years, and I have watched Jim bring everyone together instead of trying to prove his style is what you should learn and he is the only good instructor (like some try to do). Everyone I know feels the same way, whether they dance on1, on2, cumbia, on5... As far as taking classes from other instructors, most salsa dancers will take lessons from more than one instructor and there is nothing wrong with that. They will learn something from everyone.
Keep up the great work Jim!
December 24, 2009
"Jim - Thanks again for hosting a great event for the Seattle salsa community. Looking forward to the next one.
Ladies destroyed the men in the battle. I was so captivated (putting it lightly) by the ladies routine that I completely forgot what I just learned."
November 7, 2009
"I had so much fun at cellars tonight! I think the extra lesson really helped me out ;) see you next week!"
October 13, 2009
To me, a sexy person is all about the way a person carries them self. A cool person to talk to. Someone you can sit next to on a long flight and have the time fly by due to the interaction. Someone that wants to call you on their way home from work every day. Sexy is all about the way a person acts when nobody is looking. A good-spirited individual that you can laugh with, cry with, and is just a super cool person.
I've managed to put together a list of people I recommend you say hi to in Belltown should you see them. These aren't celebrities, athletes, or supermodels; they're regular people just like you and I. These people have great personalities, are super friendly and just a cool person in our community.
Jim Chow is a dance instructor at Belltown Dance Studio. His studio instructs people with two left feet, and experienced people as well. His studio benefits single people and couples alike.
David Nelson - blog.seattlepi.com
“ It's another source of information on Salsa happenings. Jim works hard to put together good programs and deserves more support from the Salsa community. ”
Chris on Oct 25, 2009.
A few words about Jim Chow's Belltown Dance Studio:
If you're looking for a cool, fun and laid back place to practice your hot and spicy Latin moves, you've found it! From location and decor to floor and music, their Sunday practica is early enough for you to grab some happy hour and some friends and come hang out and dance at Seattle's newest and hottest up and coming studio before venturing out to other late night spots near by.
Belltown Dance Studio's atmosphere is truly unique with its catchy beats, flashy mirrors, comfy couches and leads that will literally sweep you off your feet with style, passion, technique and skill that rivals the follows' in leaving you breathless. After all, could you expect anything less from a venue owned by one of the city's best? In his words, "Salsa is more than simple dance moves. It is playful, dramatic, sensual and flirtatious."
So next Sunday night, come out and play under the shadow of the Space Needle at Belltown Dance Studio.
"Another successful event! :) You're getting pretty good at these, Teacher!"
"Hey Jim - last night was really fun! Thanks for putting it together - I've never competed in anything before so it's exciting and a little scary :-)
"I second the last two posts. Very well put together. Liked dancing in the circle and switching. Lot of fun :)"
I got to know more about my fellow salsa students at the event. Great experience over all!
I had a great time!!! It exceeded my expectations, wonderful food and dancing, well organized agenda, and especially a great group of friendly people.
Everything was well organized and fun. The competition was great for the students to show off there skills in the limelight and gives them the extra confidence needed to take their dancing to the next level
A blast as always - there is a great supportive atmosphere and its nice to be able to socialize and dance in the studio. It was a TON of fun! Thanks Jim
Everyone did a superb job with their performances! I love seeing the beginning students get up there and bust a move just for the heck of it. What a great way to accelerate the learning process!
Always a fun time at Jim's Salsa events - great performances by everyone, and a fun time dancing with the ladies afterwards ;-)
The space we used at Shallots had an inviting atmosphere, and the food was really good. It was nice that everyone got to tell something about themselves. It made the event more interesting. I enjoyed having the chance to meet new people and get to know those I previously met a little better.
I had a great time!!! Well.. we didn't win the competition ...but regardless dancing is very rewarding emotionally :-)
Fun class last night. You are a really excellent teacher and give really good corrections and adjustments and have such a fun and passionate style. As a former dancer and having taught one form of movement practice or another for 20-plus years, when I say you're an excellent teacher, I actually have a wide and deep repertoire of experience to base that on. I'm really enjoying your teaching!
Enjoy this beautiful day!
Dr. Mikhaila Von Osborne, OMD, LAc, DiplAc