We will need a lot of practice in order to master our 8 basics. You’ve learned your first combo already, let’s learn another!
Think of each move in your 8 basics like a Lego piece that can be combined with any other Lego piece. There’s a lot that you can do with just these 8 moves. Mathematically, the number of possible permutations for just 8 items would be 40,320. That’s a lot of different arrangements! For followers, this means it’s important to learn to understand the signals and improve reaction time rather than learning the routines. Following is not the same as memorizing choreography. On the dance floor, these moves could come in any order.
This is the last part of our beginner combo. We will now apply everything that we’ve learned before from lessons 1 through 11 and put it all together. This combination now includes all eight of the basic steps from Beginner level 1:
1. Basic Step
2. Cross body Lead
3. Traveling Left Turn
4. Stationary Single Right Turn
5. Catwalk & Left Turn
6. Open Break
7. Broken Left Turn
8. Traveling Right Turn
There are many different ways we can combine the 8 basic steps above. To master our 8 basics, we’ll need to learn how to combine the moves in different ways which we will demonstrate in the next few lessons.
You have now learned all the moves from the beginner level. Lets take a moment to review the footwork. Make sure to regularly practice and review these steps with music to the point where you no longer think about them. Most of us take for granted how we walk. It’s something that we can do automatically but remember it wasn’t always this way. When we were still on all fours, we had to put forth tremendous effort to learn how to walk. Now we do it without giving it a second thought. Learning to do these basic salsa steps is really no different. It starts a bit difficult but gets easier with every time you do it. You are programming your body with every repetition and soon enough it becomes just like walking.
In this lesson we break down how to perform the Traveling Right Turn; more commonly known as a outside turn. We call this a outside turn because the followers are turning out and away from their partners.
By now you’ve been introduced to a few different turns. It’s important to understand that there are only two types of turns in salsa. This first kind is a turns where you stay in the same place. We call this a stationary turn. The second type of turn is a turn where you move across your partner. We call this second type of turn a traveling turn. An example of stationary turn would be your basic right turn and broken left turn. Inside and outside turns are considered traveling turns. A inside turn is a Traveling turn to your left and a outside turn is a Traveling turn to your right.
TIP: Whenever you perform a traveling turn, make sure to step in a straight line.
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.
NOTE: This is the last and final move for Level 1 but we still have more to learn about how to combine all these turns together.
Salsa has always been a blend of different dance styles. Inside and outside turns were incorporated into Salsa by ballroom and ballet dancers at the beginning of the Palladium mambo era of the 50s. It is a known as a Chaine Turn in ballet. Below is a great tutorial on how ballet dancers train for this move. Incorporate this into your practice regime for better technique
Note to The Followers. You do not need a partner to practice the Broken Left turn. 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 footwork.
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 while turning and keep your heels off the floor.
SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 8 – Open Break
Now we will begin to add open breaks into our repertoire. This step indicates to the follower that you are about to initiate a turn. A simple analogy comes from driving. It is proper etiquette to first flip on your turn signals to let other drivers on the road know that you wish to make a turn. When it comes to dancing, your open break is the initial signal from the leader to the follower that a turn is coming. From this point forward, we will be frequently using open breaks with each turn.