Level 1 Footwork Review


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.

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Learn to Do the Outside Turn in Salsa On2

SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 10 – Traveling Right Turn

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

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Broken Left Turn Steps for Salsa On2

SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 9 – Broken Left Turn

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.

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Open Break Steps Salsa On2

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.

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Putting the Basics Together – Beginner Combo Continued

SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 7 – Beginner Combo PT2

Now apply everything that you’ve learned before from lessons 1 through 6 and put it all together! This combination now includes the following steps: Basic Step – Cross Body Lead – Right Turn – Catwalk – Left Turn.

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Catwalk & Guys Left – Basic Salsa On 2 Steps

SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 6 – Catwalk & Left Turn

Ladies will walk forward for 3 counts and do a 180 turn on the 5th count. We call this move a catwalk because girls are suppose to strut their stuff like the are a runaway model.

Guys footwork for the Catwalk will be same as their Cross Body Lead. By clearing the slot, you give the girl a signal to continue walking forward. The next part of it is to bring your arm over her head on the count of 5 which signals to the girl you want her to perform a 180 turn.

The left turn footwork for the leader is similar to the their right turn footwork except your turning left instead of right this time

TIP: Stay on the balls of your feet when turning and keep your heels off the floor.

In the next video we will demonstrate how to incorporate these moves into the beginner combo.

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Putting the Basics Together – Beginner Combo 1

SALSA ON2 – Partnerwork Basics Lesson 5 – Beginner Combo PT1 

In this lesson we show you how to put together the steps you’ve already learned from Lessons 1 through 4 into a simple turn combination. This combination includes the following steps: Basic Step – Cross Body Lead – Right Turn

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Basic Right Turns for Beginners – Salsa On2

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.

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How to Do the Basic Steps for Salsa : NY Style On2

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.

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Introduction

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.

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