Learning salsa has many benefits. It’s an excellent work out that gets you sweating, but you are having too much fun to notice. It builds confidence, and it helps you develop better coordination and memory. Salsa is a partner dance, emphasizing synced rhythm, but one aspect is important above all others, and is difficult to master: Timing.
In Salsa, Timing is everything.
There are Two timings in salsa ON1 and On2. On1 timing is known as L.A style, which focuses on sharp hits in the music, accompanied with flashy moves. On2 is known as New York Style which is danced On2 beats 2-3-4, 6-7-8. The most common version of On2 is called “Modern Mambo,” danced to beats of 1-2-3, 5-6-7. Modern Mambo was popularized by Eddie Torres and is known for its more complex turn patterns.
A Partner Dance
Salsa is a partner dance, so taking cues from your partner will help. The emphasis is on the courtship between you and your partner in salsa. In salsa the man takes the lead. When the man moves forward, the woman moves back. Every move the man makes has a reply from the woman.
Music is Crucial
Learning timing has much to do with the music. Salsa music has many instruments and determining the timing for instruments you may not be familiar with can be challenging at first, but with practice you will improve. A lot of salsa music today has jazz influences. Jazz is one of the hardest forms of music to dance to and master. Remember to select music aimed for beginners when learning how to master your timing. In music a unit of time is called a bar. Each bar of music is made up of 4 beats. In salsa most sets cover blocks of 2 bars, which is 8 beats so you count the dance all the way from 8 missing the 4 and the 8.
Practice the Basic Steps
The basic step in salsa is slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick, slow rhythm on beats 1-2-3, 5-6-7, of an 8 count. The beats 4 and 8 are considered the slow counts of the salsa rhythm. The slow counts of the basic steps are what set the On1 and On2 apart.
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