How To Salsa Dance

There are many different styles of Salsa depending on where you come from. However, most of the basic steps are the same. The differences come in the styling and the time of the steps.

Timing. The timing of most Salsa steps is quick (Q), quick (Q), slow (S). The quick takes one count of music and the slow takes two counts of music. This means you have to hold one beat, or count, of music when ever you have a slow count. The timing for the basic step is below after the description of each step.

Footwork: Basic step

  • Man's part
    1. Step forward with the left foot, leaving the right foot in place (count 1 or Q).
    2. Transfer weight back on to the right foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
    3. Close left foot to right foot (count 3,4 or S).
    4. Step back with the right foot, leaving the left foot in place (count 1 or Q).
    5. Transfer weight back on to the left foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
    6. Close the right foot to the left foot (count 3,4 or S).
  • Lady's part - The lady's part is the natural opposite of the man's part.
    1. Step back with the right foot, leaving the left foot in place (count 1 or Q).
    2. Transfer weight back on to the left foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
    3. Close right foot to left foot (count 3,4 or Q).
    4. Step forward with the left foot, leaving the right foot in place (count 1 or Q).
    5. Transfer weight back on to the right foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
    6. Close the left foot to the right foot (count 3,4 or Q).

Footwork: Side Basic

  • Man's part

  1. Step side with the left foot, leaving the right foot in place (count 1 or Q).
  2. Transfer weight back on to the right foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
  3. Close left foot to right foot (count 3,4 or S).
  4. Step side with the right foot, leaving the left foot in place (count 1 or Q).
  5. Transfer weight back on to the left foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
  6. Close the right foot to the left foot (count 3,4 or S).

  • Lady's part
    1. Step side with the right foot, leaving the left foot in place (count 1 or Q).
    2. Transfer weight back on to the left foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
    3. Close right foot to left foot (count 3,4 or Q).
    4. Step side with the left foot, leaving the right foot in place (count 1 or Q).
    5. Transfer weight back on to the right foot without moving it (count 2 or Q).
    6. Close the left foot to the right foot (count 3,4 or Q).
  • how to salsa danceIn the Salsa, all of your steps should be very small and never be more than shoulder-width apart. This will keep your feet under your body, improve your balance and help you move easier. Also, both the Basic Step and the Side Basic can be rotated to the left, or counter-clockwise. This is done by rotating your upper body slightly to the left while taking each step, your body will naturally follow the direction of your feet. However, make sure that the steps that you take are in relation to your body and not to the direction in the room you are moving. Therefore, your forward steps are always directly in front of your body and your side steps are directly to the side of your body.

    Partnering

    • Dance Position. Salsa is often danced in an open dance position which means that the man and woman will dance facing each other holding hands. The lady should curve her fingers so that they form the shape of a "C" The man will hold his hands out in front of his body with his palms facing towards each other and his fingers curved inwards. The woman will place her hands on top of the man's hands so that her fingers rest against the man's fingers.
    • Lead & Follow. While leading, the man only needs to indicate to the woman where he wants her to go or what he wants her to do. The woman is responsible for moving herself where she is being led. The man should not try to make the woman move where he wants her to go and the woman must not decide what she is going to do before she is led. This is called back leading and makes leading and following very difficult. There should be not squeezing, or gripping of your partner's hands and no use of the thumbs.

     

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