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Salsa

See also: Salsa Technique  Ballroom Salsa, Club Salsa, Salsa shines and styling, Salsa routines, Rueda de Casino.

Salsa Music

A lot of information can be found at http://www.salsabeatmachine.org/ . Practice and listen for different instruments. Change tempo and different combination of instruments.

Salsa Solo Practice

Use this was warmup routine:

  • Basic in place
  • Salsa basic
  • Side basic (side-together-side)
  • Forward  Walks (S S QQ QQ)
  • Backward  Walks (S S QQ QQ)
  • Side Cross Basic - crossing in the back
  • Forward Cross - crossing in front
  • In-Out-Cross in front.
    • Q: Start with weight on RF: LF "in" - (tap on side of RF)
    • Q: LF "out" - point LF to the side
    • S: LF "cross" in front of RF with weight.
    • Then repeat with RF.
  • In-Out-Cross in back
  • Spot turn to R (5: LF fwd, 1/2 turn to R, 6: step on RF, 1/2 turn to R; 7: LF back or together. If LF is back, point RF.)
  • Spot turn to L (5: LF fwd; 6: RF fwd, 1/2 turn to L; 7: LF back)
  • Spins to the right:
    • &1: RF small step fwd on "&". "1": LF strongly cross in front of RF, body wound up.
    • hold 2
    • 34: spin to the right, 1 full turn, the legs will still be twisted, but ending with RF cross in front of LF. Weight is on RF.
    • 567: continue with basic, LF fwd, RF replace, LF back.
  • Jazz box:
    • Q: LF cross in front of RF
    • Q: RF to side
    • S: LF back. Styling option: "&S": point RF to side
    • Q: RF cross in back of LF
    • Q: LF to side
    • S: RF cross in front of LF. Styling option: "&S" point LF to side
  • Body Shakes: legs, hips, rib cage, shoulders
  • Isolation exercises: hip circle, rib cage circle

Salsa basic

Man:
  1. Q. LF forward
  2. Q. Replace weight on RF
  3. S. LF back (feet together with RF)
  4. Q. RF back
  5. Q. Replace weight on LF
  6. S. RF fwd (feet together with LF)
Lady:
  1. Q. RF back
  2. Q. Replace weight on LF
  3. S. RF fwd (feet together with LF or pass RF)  (Variation: add body wave forward)
  4. Q. LF forward
  5. Q. Replace weight on RF
  6. S. LF back (feet together with RF) (Variation: add body wave back)

Turning Basic

Adding a quarter (90) turn to left when Lady is stepping forward.

Man:
  1. Q. LF forward
  2. Q. Replace weight on RF, leading Lady to turn left.
  3. S. LF back (feet together with RF)
  4. Q. RF back
  5. Q. Replace weight on LF
  6. S. RF fwd (feet together with LF)
Lady:
  1. Q. RF back
  2. Q. Replace weight on LF, turning left
  3. S. RF fwd (feet together with LF) 
  4. Q. LF forward, turning left
  5. Q. Replace weight on RF
  6. S. LF back (feet together with RF)

Side Basic

Variation of Salsa Basic, stepping to the side (instead of forward or back.)

Man and Lady's steps are the same, except they start at different halves.
  1. Q. RF side 
  2. Q. LF closes to RF
  3. S. RF side (LF could tap without weight on &)
  4. Q. LF replace (or to side)
  5. Q. RF closes to LF
  6. S. LF to side

Side Cross Basic

(Man and Lady's steps are the same, except they start at different halves.)
  1. Q. LF 5th position behind RF
  2. Q. RF cross LF to left
  3. S. LF feet together (or LF to side)
  4. Q. RF 5th position behind LF
  5. Q. LF cross RF to right
  6. S. RF feet together (or to the side)
Variation: Crossing in front instead of in the back.

Cross Body Lead

Man:
  1. Q: LF fwd
  2. Q: RF replace, start turning left, curving the step
  3. S: Clear the track for lady (Lady is going straight), turn 90 to left, LF to side (with weight). Use body/spine movement to lead.
  4. Q: RF back (small step)
  5. Q: LF replace, on "&", turning 90 to left to face Lady again
  6. S: RF fwd (or feet together)
Lady:
  1. Q: RF back
  2. Q: LF replace
  3. S: Feeling strong forward lead, LF fwd. Use "&" count for variation: raise left leg across in front (avoid hitting the Man), point LF, hip tilt back.
  4. Q: LF step fwd (straight, Man should have cleared the track.), start turning left
  5. Q: RF fwd and complete 1/2 turn to face Man. (If most turn is already done over the previous "Q", this would be a backward step.)
  6. S: LF back (or feet together).

Reverse (Left) Turn (Variation: "He goes, She goes")

"Reverse Turn" means turning to the left. It is also sometimes referred to as "Inside Turn".

Basic Lady's Reverse Turn:

Start with Man's LH to Lady's RH, in open position.

Man:
  1. Q: LF cross behind RF
  2. Q: RF replace
  3. S: LF fwd and turning to right, raise left arm across the body to right to signal lady to go to Man's right side and turn under the arm.
  4. Q: finish the 1/2 turn to face Lady, followed by a Side Cross Basic: RF back
  5. Q: LF replace
  6. S: RF closes to LF

Lady:
  1. Q: RF cross behind LF
  2. Q: LF replace
  3. S: RF fwd to Man's right side, starting turning to left. Man should be raising his left arm across himself to his right to signal lady to do inside (left) turn. Lady make a window with R arm in front of the face. Lady turns under the arm.
  4. Q: finish turning 1/2 turn, followed by Side Cross Basic: LF back, arms are down.
  5. Q: RF replace
  6. S: LF closes to RF
[This can repeat.]

Variation "He goes, she goes". Remove the half side cross basic portion and do continuous turn. Lady and Man does same footwork but at different halves of the measure.

Man:
  1. Q: LF cross back
  2. Q: RF replace
  3. S: LF strongly fwd and turning to right, raise left arm across the body to right to signal lady to go to Man's right side and turn under the arm. See arm variations below.
  4. Q: RF cross behind LF
  5. Q: LF replace
  6. S: RF fwd to Lady's right side, 1/2 to left.
    1. Arm variation: Place R arm on top of left arm while turning. Left hand initially connects with Lady's right hand, while turning, it will release, and then connect back to Lady's RH again.
[Repeat from step 1 again, or continue with a Side Cross Basic.]

Lady:
  1. Q: RF cross behind LF
  2. Q: LF replace
  3. S: RF fwd to Man's right side, starting turning to left. Man should be raising his left arm across himself to his right to signal lady to do inside (left) turn. Lady make a window with R arm in front of the face. Lady turns under the arm.
  4. Q: finish turning 1/2 turn, arms are down. LF cross behind RF.
  5. Q: RF replace
  6. S: LF strongly fwd and do 1/2 turn to right. Right hand will wrap/follow Man's waist level while he turns and then connects back to Man's LH.
[Repeat from step 1 again, or continue with a Side Cross Basic.]

Arm variations:
  • Arm variation 1: Drop arm down at waist level at the end of first "S".
  • Arm variation 2: Man uses the 2nd QQS to loop Lady's right hand behind his head by making window: left forearm in front, LH near right ear, left palm facing up with Lady's RH on top (don't grab), then let LH slide down right ear and let Lady's hand go . Lady: follow Man, let  R hand go behind Man's head and let R hand and arm slide down Man's left arm.

Lady's Right Underarm Turn w/ Double Hand Hold

Start with cross hand hold: Man's RH connects to Lady's RH; Man's LH connects to Lady's LH under his RH.

This pattern can take as many measure as you want. One timing option is shown below.
  1. QQS: Normal basic, Man getting ready to turn lady.
  2. Q: Man raises the arms to signal the turn. Salsa basic footwork.
  3. Q: Lady LF fwd, then do 1/2 turn to right, then another 1/2 turn to face Man. Man: basic footwork.
  4. S: Lady faces Man again. Lady: RF together with LF or slightly back.
  5. QQS, QQS: basic in place, playful, do arm work:
    • Man: loop his arm over Lady's head. Connect to Lady's hands at waist level again.
    • Lady: hands behind head/neck, elbow folded in/fwd, then down along side of body, connect back with Man's hands at the end.