SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 4 – Single Right Turn
Note: You do not need a partner to learn this step. Salsa is a dance that involves a lot of turns. Practice this move on your own until you no longer need to think about the steps.
TIP: It will be difficult to do this move with shoes that grip the floor. Try to find a pair of shoes that have a flat sole that you can easily turn in. You can also practice this at home with a pair socks.
TIP: Keeps your steps in a straight line even when doing the turn
TIP: Stay on the balls of your feet when turning and keep your heels off the floor.
SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 3 – Traveling Left
In this lesson we break down how to perform the Traveling Left Turn; more commonly known as a inside turn. We call this a inside turn because the followers are turning in towards their partners. This turn is absolutely essential to the dance of salsa.
Leaders should be very familiar with their cross body lead steps before moving onto the traveling left/inside turn. The footwork for the inside turn is the same as the cross body lead but now requires the gentleman to lift their hands and draw a counterclockwise circle in order to turn their partners
Followers should be very familiar with their cross body lead footwork before moving onto the inside turn. The first three steps are the exact same steps as the cross body lead.
TIP: Followers, make sure to spin on the balls of your feet when performing the inside turn.
TIP: Followers, notice that the inside turn always finishes on the 7 with the left foot stepping in front of the right foot.
TIP: Leaders, notice that the followers start to spin to their left on 3 which means you need to lift up your arm on the 3 in order to allow her to turn.
PRACTICE: Followers do not need a partner to learn this step. This move will require a good deal of practice. It does take some time to gain your balance when spinning.
SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 2 – Cross Body Lead
The next fundamental step is the Cross Body lead. Think of this as a continuation of your basic step. Leaders are essentially moving out of the way in order to allow the follower to cross to the other side.
PRACTICE: You do not need a partner to practice the cross body lead footwork. Make sure you master these steps and combine it with your basic step. Try repeating the following sequence over and over again:
NEW YORK SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 1 – Basic Step
The Basic Step is going to be the first move you learn. You do not need a partner for this step. Imagine your in a tiny nightclub packed with a lot of people. You only have enough room to take a couple small steps back and a couple of small steps forward. This is essentially what the basic step is. You take three steps back and three steps forward.
You can think of the pattern for the women’s basic like this: Forward, forward, in place – Back, back, in place.
You will always start by stepping forward with the right foot and just like walking, you never step with the same foot twice. Essentially it goes right, left, right, – left, right, left
You can think of the pattern for the men’s basic like this: Back, back, in place – Forward, forward, in place.
You will always start by stepping back with the left foot and just like walking, you never step with the same foot twice. Essentially it goes Left, right, left, – right, left, right
TIP: Stay on the balls of your feet and keep your heels off the floor.
You’ll notice in the video that we do not count the 4 and the 8. Basically we treat the 4 and the 8 as a silent pause. We do not skip them. We just don’t do anything during the 4 and the 8. The reason for this is to give the basic step a slight syncopation. The salsa basic isn’t just a step, step, step. Rather it’s a slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick
PRACTICE: Take at few minutes to just repeat this move. Learning a new step is like programming your body and repetition is the key to internalizing the movements. Once you’ve done it enough times your body will just start to do it automatically. Do you have to think about your steps when you walk? Nope, your body just does it.
The below video will give you a brief overview of what you will learn in Level 1 beginner.
The essence of social dancing is a conversation between two people. Approach learning it the same way as you would learning how to speak a new language. The steps/moves that the dance is comprised of are it’s vocabulary. Once you’ve learned enough of the vocabulary, you begin to understand how to put things together to create sentences. From there, you discover how to have a conversation with your partner through movement on the dance floor. Perhaps this is why dance is referred intuitively by many artists as poetry in motion.
Dance is a discipline. To become a good dancer you need to have a schedule and having a schedule is about making practice into a habit. As the saying goes: First we make our habits, then our habits make us. I recommend spending about 5 hours per week which would be equivalent to attending classes about 3 times a week. Anything less than that and you won’t be making much progress. It’s no different than staying fit. People who stay in shape go to the gym at least 3 times a week. Dancing will require the same amount of commitment as any other kind of athletic activity.
Here is a recommend training regimen based on 5 hours of weekly practice.
– Do two video lessons a week.
– Have one day where you spend an hour or two reviewing everything you’ve learned so far
– Attend a class once to twice a week.
If you want to get good at something, it’s best to immerse yourself in it!
No partner? No problem. There is still a lot you can learn even if you are flying solo. All the individual steps can be learned on your own. The only parts that you may not be able to practice are the partnerwork combos but that’s what group classes are very good at; teaching combos and routines. The best strategy in my opinion is to learn the individual steps at home and then go to class to learn combos and get practice with a partner.
I imagine that most individuals who stumble on this site will be using it as a reference in conjunction with classes that they may already be attending. Many classes teach a different routine every class, whereas my curriculum introduces new skills that build upon the previous lessons in a serial manner. These tutorials can provide the structure that many group classes do not. Think of it as another set of you the tools that you can use to enhance your learning.