How to do the Cross Body Lead in Salsa

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:



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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