Meat and potatoes patterns for on2 beginner leader for club use?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by lebowski, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. lebowski

    lebowski Changui

    I’m taking a beginner salsa on2 class. I know I need to go social dancing to get better, but I feel like I don’t know, as in *really* know, enough moves to get through a song. I have done many different moves in class, but some just seem like they would be too hard to pull off (at my skill level) in a club environment with a follower who didn’t know that particular move was coming.

    From what I’ve read here, it seems that most followers would prefer to dance with a guy who knew a few moves really well. So what are some good basic moves that work well in a club environment with new, random partners? For example, I know the cross body lead really well. I can do that in my sleep. Other basic patterns? Obviously stuff that works well on2 is preferred, and video links are much appreciated.

    And any tips from leaders on combining patterns? In class, I’m just following the sequence laid out by the teacher, so I have no practice with putting together patterns on the fly.
  2. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Other Basic Patterns: I like to break things into their components. So let's say you have the pattern from your last class that had 4 moves in it. You could dance a whole dance with just those 4 moves. You can lead the pattern just like in class, you can add basic steps in between the individual turns, remove basic steps, change the sequence of turns within the pattern, and look for places where it might make sense to vary it in terms adding or removing traveling turns for her, or adding turns for you. If the hand positions are wrong there is nothing at all wrong with simply taking a basic step and changing your hands around so that you're in the right position for the next move. You can also find new moves by trying a different hand position to normal and asking yourself where you could get to from there.

    Basic patterns:
    Cross body lead
    Reverse cross body
    Turn for her
    Turn for you
    Trading places
    Copa, or "in-and-out"

    Baila Society talk about the "salsa 7" which are the basic turns that pretty much everything else in salsa is just a variation of. So really you can take the view that there are only 7 moves to learn.

    Putting together patterns on the fly: there's no shame at a beginner level with putting in as many basic steps as you need. You mind needs to be ahead of what your body is doing so take the basic steps while you form a clear intention of what to do next. Don't let the voice put you off that is going "she's getting bored! quick! think of something!" because it's really NOT all about the repertoire.

    A follower who didn't know that particular move was coming: as a leader it's almost as if it's your goal to make the follower feel like taking the steps that create the move. She doesn't have to know the move, she just has to do what she feels and it's your job to almost trick her into taking the move. So put yourself in her position. How does she know that she must, e.g. step forward here? The answer is somewhere in the lead. If you can answer the question yourself then there's a high chance that your follower will read the signal. Frankie Martinez put it something like: he doesn't make the lady execute a move, he just removes all the alternatives.

    So when leading at first, keep it simple, establish communication with your partner, see what you can make her do and gently push at the boundary to see what more you can achieve.

    Hope that helps!
  3. ajohnson4

    ajohnson4 Son

    Bravo Sweavo. It is one thing to show those moves on the dance floor, it is totally another thing to type it out and be descriptive so other readers understand. You have a way with words :)

    Lebowski, have you had a chance to try out any of Sweavo's meat and potato moves at a social dance just yet? ..... I know starting out can be very intimidating in an environment where others are not beginners. When I first started out, I just told every guy that asked me to dance "I am an absolute beginner" and they usually went easy on me. Some guys even told me before hand what pattern they would try with me so I know to expect it :D
  4. lebowski

    lebowski Changui

    Indeed, it does. Thanks very much, sweavo.

    Unfortunately that my instructor is teaching us less 'club-friendly' patterns. So I've been working on learning some of these on my own. I'm getting fairly comfortable with trading places.

    Next up is reverse CBL. The only decent instructional video of this I could find is the following:

    I get how he steps across her path, and then finishes with a CBL. But at the very beginning of the pattern, he seems like he's already outside of the path. That seems like it might be awkward unless there was a preceding move like the 360 he does later in the video. I'm a bit confused as to how a simple reverse CBL should look. :confused:

    Any good videos that demonstrate this pattern, especially on2?
  5. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    Yes, he precedes it with a rotating cbl or cbl 180 (or 360, depending on the terminology used in your area) in order to start the sequence already in the cbl position. Talking in on2 terms, you can lead this move any time that you find yourself in the cbl position on beat 6, by checking the lady's backward progress on her basic step.
  6. lebowski

    lebowski Changui

    Not sure I understand this. Why do I need to be in the cbl position? Even if we are doing the basic, if I do normal steps on beats 5 and 6, it seems like I could step to the side with my right foot on beat 7, then step out of the path with left on beat 1 (what he calls beat 3, presumably on1).

    Why would I need to check her backward progress on her basic? At beat 6, she's already as far back as she's going to get.
  7. nowhiteshoes

    nowhiteshoes Pattern Police

    I use this move a lot.

    I must admit i prefer to break back rather than forward on beat 6 (or on1 if on1 as in the video) then step to the other side earlier.

    Out of interest: does anyone else lead it this way, stepping forward first rather than back. I lead it from the same postion as him though.
  8. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    oh no, now I'm in that situation when I have to show what I mean. Wish I had not started this one!

    You *can* do it without being in the CBL position but it's just trickier is all.

    the "check" backwards, in the way I'm visualising the move, is to indicate that she's going to be coming forwards on the next part, as the way I'm visualising it, I only have contact with her back through my right arm.

Share This Page