Total Reviews: 24
5-Star Reviews: 22
4-Star Reviews: 2
I highly recommend Tomaj's classes. I've had lessons at 4 east bay venues (allego ballroom, shboom, etc.) - all are run by wonderful people, but Tomaj is the best - hands down. You just have to try them out and it will be immediately clear. He is focused, explains things very clearly and knows how to pace the class so that everyone learns.
He's also the only one to have his classes on DVD so you can practice at home - this alone has immeasurable value as it's virtually impossible to take notes in a dance class. (Do yourself a big favor - if you're going to put the time investment into taking classes, start watching the DVDs and practice at home. They're inexpensive and you'll progress much faster.) He also has a wonderful staff that always jumps in to help balance out the gender ratio when needed - something more dance studios should do. And hey - he's a really nice fellow on top of all that!
Take his class if you really want to learn how to dance. He keeps you interested with combinations that are easily leadable in any club. You'll need to practice and he'll make you a better dancer.
San Ramon, CA
My fiance and I LOVE our Friday night salsa lessons with Tomaj. We have so much fun, and it's amazing how much you can learn in a progressive series class like his. We had occasionally dropped in at Allegro for salsa classes about two years prior to our beginner series with Tomaj, but neither of us remembered a thing by the time we started Tomaj's classes. By the end of the class, we actually knew a pattern and immediately signed up for the intermediate session. We've made a lot of new friends, and we're very excited to sign up for the next series.
We are of the opinion that Tomaj is a very good instructor. That being said, there are plenty of people who disagree--we've had quite a few dropouts in our class, and a couple of the other students sticking with it complain about him. My observations are follows: people who take his criticism personally or want only "positive reinforcement" don't do so well with his teaching style. I don't think he's particularly harsh, but it can feel like he's picking on you at times. My fiance just laughs it off every time Tomaj shakes his head and stops the music because of some mistake he made.
There is a really big difference between his beginner and intermediate classes. He's extremely patient in the beginner class, and it moves very slowly with lots and lots of repetition. Once we hit the intermediate class, we spent a good portion of the class confused and tripping over our own two feet because the degree of difficulty skyrocketed.
To be fair, he does warn you in the beginning that the intermediate class is no joke. Also, from his perspective, he really does have to ramp it up, because he has people who have taken his intermediate class several times--if he kept it at the same slow pace, he'd never have repeat students. As a result, his intermediate class is definitely not for everyone. You have to be willing to keep trying and making a fool out of yourself. You can't give up or get too frustrated. And you absolutely cannot take his criticism personally. I also think that it's ultimately you who determines what you get out of the class. As I said before, we've gotten to know a lot of our classmates, and I think that's made a really big difference with our experience. There's a real sense of camaraderie when you're able to commiserate AND get advice from classmates.
I've taken classes with Tomaj for several years in Orinda and the Hayward Location. When I first started I felt so lost. He would take time in class to give me and others individual attention with what we were struggling with. He continues to do this in his classes now. Tomaj is detailed oriented. He just does not show you the steps but gives you the little things that take a simple step to a hot looking one. Unlike other classes he just does not teach you a new step each week never revisiting previous steps. He builds a pattern around the new steps so each session you review the previously learned steps and adds to them. He keeps the class fun and his passion for salsa shows. People that have come in just to watch he encourages to get on the floor and dance with us. He encourages his intermediate and advanced students to come to the beginning classes to dance and help the new dancers. When I started out dancing and felt lost, dancing with someone that knew what was going on really helped me. I always attend the beginning class before my class to help with new dancers.
He gets good marks for fun, skill, teaching style and very reasonable cost.
I have been dancing salsa all my life (the latin way) but not my husband. I have also taken salsa lessons on and off from many different instructors in the bay area for the past 15 years. I started taking the class by myself and soon after my husband decided to join me. I can tell you that Tomaj is by far the best instructor around, he simply knows it through and through.... he brakes it down like no other... has the patience to teach you every part of each step...
When you participate in Salsa with Tomaj you will clean and sharpen your dance technique.
Both my husband and I really enjoy the dancing as well as all the wonderful people and experiences that salsa has brought into our lives. It did not happen over night but it has only taken us one year...we keep on coming back for more and each session is filled with dancing surprises.... my husband is now one of the students that will help the newcomers... I can't believe his big improvement... It has been lots of FUN!!! It's worth a drive if you are in the area where he teaches.
I have only taken TOMAJ's class once, but I have personally danced with him in club. He's a great leader, and have great choreography, style, every woman who dance with him would feel like youself are a great dancer even if you are just a beginner, he can bring a lot out of you.
He is strict, will not hesitate to point out what you need to improve, but this is what you are looking for when you go to a class, isn't it?
Tomaj is the best salsa teacher I've ever taken classes with... and believe me I've tried to learn salsa several times before. No matter how much you think you are never going to be able to danse salsa properly because you just cannot get it... Tomaj will teach you, and you will get it. Salsa cannot be better explained!
I highly recommend him, you won't be disappointed
If you really want to learn ballroom salsa in a structured environment this is the place to be. You won't feel intimidated; in fact one of the first things Tomaj will teach you is to leave all complexes and self-doubt out the door before coming here. In my experience after going to other dance schools and teachers who teach in a more informal manner, Tomaj has warm up sessions at the beginning of each class where he teaches turns and flairs step by step which will be used throughout the class. He puts together 6-8 week sessions and you learn a pattern or routine that will help you learn new steps and turns every time. He also has 30 minute blocks after each class to do some free style dancing to practice your moves. He is available for any questions to help you get the steps right so you can go home and practice some more. We typically form two circles leaders/followers we partner up and rotate - so you don't need to bring in a partner as you get to dance with the whole class. It is a fun environment, he is disciplined and likes for students to be respectful to others as we are all there to learn, but still have fun and make friends. We have parties after each session, some volunteer to perform the pattern we have been practicing for the last few weeks. We bring our friends and family to show them what it is all about!.
I have been taking classes with Tomaj for 2 years and have learned tremendously from the "front-center-back-center" to dancing at nightclubs with confidence developing my own style. I strongly recommend you to take the first step and join his class!
San Ramon, CA
This is my first time taking salsa lessons with Tomaj and I am thoroughly enjoying it! Greater than that is my passion for learning salsa. One thing that I would encourage Tomaj to do is to dance with his students when possible, because that will actually help everyone improve...just a thought! I took salsa lessons before and my previous instructor used to do that with us and it really helped us refine our moves.
My experience taking salsa lessons with Tomaj couldn't have been better. He is a great teacher and I have improved a lot in these 2 years that I have been attending. The level of the intermediate class in Orinda is really good and the students are awesome.
I have been wanted to learn salsa for many years and finally took classes with Tomaj and it has been a great experience. Tomaj is very patient and he teaches you as if you where taking a private class. He is very passionate of his teaching and of salsa. I strongly recommend him for all levels of salsa...Leo
I've taken salsa off and on over a few years and have been exposed to different instructors at all levels of skill and experience. Tomaj is right up there with one of the best. I've not taken any privates from him but I think as a leader in group classes, he's extremely competent. His style of repetition helps groove in the patterns he teaches which are useful. He's quite serious and on-purpose, keeping the class from bogging down.
Overall, he gets high marks as an excellent instructor for all levels!
I took classes with Tomaj for about a year and basically went from knowing nothing to being a competent dancer and now find myself comfortable and confident in a club or social dance setting. Tomaj's strong point in my opinion is the patterns/ choreography that he comes up with, very practical and leadable. He articulates well and will make your objective/s transparent and easy to understand. Recently he has set aside a 30 minute slot in between beginner and intermediate classes in which ppl can practice/social dance to dj music. This is a really cool feature and a comfortable/ friendly environment to learn to dance in.
My only bone to pick with some of Tomaj's classes... and this actually applies to most the places I've taken group classes. Is that instructors are reluctant to filter the students into the appropriate class because they probability don't want to offend them. A lot of ppl think they are at an intermediate level when in reality they still belong in beginning level. When ppl do this it is a bit of a disservice to the other students in the class because you are practicing with someone who can't follow or lead the material being covered in the class. Often times I find it's just the luck of the draw and I may find myself in an intermediate class with mostly beginners one time. Next time it might half beginners/ half intermediate which is not too bad because you do get to rotate and will have an opportunity to dance with the more competent dancers.
Bottom line though is that if are interested in salsa and have not taken any of his classes you really should try him out. He's got a core group of students who have been with him for years. Maybe you'll get hooked on Tomaj too!
Pleasant Hill, CA
Salsa with Tomaj is pretty much the best way to learn Salsa step by step. I have been trying to learn comfortably for years, but signing up with him, I already feel like going out to clubs and showing what I've learned.
He is clear, repeats his steps, and his character is great. I think hostile people project themselves onto others, and Tomaj is not arrogant at all. He's funny, understanding, patient and encouraging.
Take this class if you are nervous, buggy or on the fence with learning. It will make you feel awesome and it's worth every cent.
Union City, CA
This is a really fun class. Although I have tried other classes, this one is still my favorite. I had never taken salsa dancing ( or any other social dancing) before I started this class and now it seems to have become my favorite thing to do! It is a great way to meet people and make new friends.
( Also, for the higher level dancers: the choreography is really nice)
I've been trying to learn Salsa for around 5 months now. Iv'e done group lessons at the Allegro Ballroom with two different sets of instructors and I've had a few private lessons. I have to say that the class wiht Tomaj seems like the best choice out of the three. He is a very thorough instructor. And still manages to make even the beginners class fun.
Thanks Tomaj. Jessie and I will always have this memorable first dance because of you. Everyone was impressed with our dance number.
Tomaj is a terrific dance instructor. I am brand new to salsa and I'm loving it. My husband, not so much. I pick up the steps more easily than he does and, unfortunately, the class is just too big for enough one-on-one direction. Tomaj is very clear about his directions, and he and his dance partner are really good at demonstrating the steps. They do try very hard to give everyone some help. But really, for the most part, I love it. And for those who don't pick it up so quickly, I suggest you just keep showing up. Practice makes perfect! I think just "showing up" is the bottom line to success, especially with someone like Tomaj doing the leading.
This is the second time I've signed up for Salsa lessons with Tomaj. He's a seasoned professional, but he brings freshness and energy to class every time. I can't imagine a better instructor-fun, great positive vibe, never negative. I look forward to every class