Although the question is generic and applies to most dances, I would like you to assume Salsa social couple dance as the context, if it becomes important. My goal is to identify all the aspects that are important to the dance, or to put it differently contribute to the skill. I would like to eventually come up with a map that I can use to identify areas that need improvement. I also want to use it to compare my skill to that of the others (because I am shallow and insecure). The end goal is to come up with a curriculum to follow for my private lessons. Somehow I feel that every teacher I was with doesn't really have a plan. We start with "what do you want to work on?" and then we work on that, but I don't think I am competent to make that call. You would think that such a list would be self-evident, but as I learn more about the dance, I discover more areas I am ignorant about (ignorantly incompetent). Here is what I am aware of so far, I want to keep this in a brainstorm format, to make sure we don't overlook something. I will then ask questions for specific items: Musicality stay on beat stay on phrase anticipate hits and breaks express mood of the music in the dance Self balance strength flexibility Structure patterns mistakes recovery floorcraft Leading connection communication clarity prep judge and adjust for follows level spin balance Etiquette asking for a dance handling rejection small talk keep follow comfortable Inb4: if I could get a better teacher - I would, so far I wasn't able to. Which is why I want to take this in my own hands.