Styles of Dancing Salsa
The widely used basic dance steps of salsa begin with a simple forward movement. This first movement involves a left tap with the initial music beat, then making one step forward with the left foot, a swing back on the right foot, then completing the sequence by moving back left to lock. After the forward movement, the next step is the basic back movement. Tap right, then step back right, swing forward left and lock right. The above steps are fully discussed below. In most cases, each step performed by the man is mirrored by the woman. For instance, when the man makes a forward basic movement, a back basic movement is done by the woman and so on.
Today, there are various popular dance steps of salsa with each style representing the dancer’s cultural preference. You will find that dance steps of salsa from previous times, neighborhoods, cities are very different. Individual salsa dancing style has its own unique features, with the dance style names being derived from the geographical area or people who made them popular. Those dancing salsa can do so while accenting to the different music beats. Below is a description of the dance that emphasizes the music beats “1”, “2” and “3”, commonly referred to as dancing “on 1”, “on 2”, and “ on 3”.
Step Timing Salsa Dance
Step timing or timing is the way the dance steps of salsa merges with the music. Cadence means keeping time or marking time. To achieve fluidity, the dancer must time the steeps to fit the music. Nowadays, there are various popular timings in Salsa. By accenting to the various music beats, salsa can be danced in different styles.
Just like in other music, the melody and the rhythm of the music used in Salsa competes for the attention of the listener. The melody and rhythm of Salsa Music are usually off beat or syncopated from each other. The music is usually written using the time signature, 4 beats per each measure. In the dance steps of salsa, for dancers to finish a single basic dance cycle they use two music measures, each for the body’s right side and left side.
Following the Leader
By tradition, in salsa dance the Leader is the Man, while the Follower is the Woman. The Follower and the Leader are referred to as Partners or Dance Partners. The Man directs the woman by giving her little pushes, checks or tugs known as “claves”. These “claves” are given at the appropriate time during the dance and enable the Follower to discern when to hesitate, turn, cross-body, dip, etc.
Partner Contact = Closed Position
One of the basic dance steps of salsa is performed in the European or closed position where the Man is faces the Woman.
In this dance four Contact points exist between the Partners and they are;
1) Using the Left Hand, the Man takes the Woman’s Right Hand.
2) The Man positions the Right Hand onto the back of the Woman.
3) The Woman rests her Left Hand onto the shoulder of the Man
4) Both the Man and the Woman fix their eyes on each other.