Do I need to switch from 1 to 5 and back every time the music does?


I am wondering what I should do when the music suddenly changes from 1 to 5 and then back? It usually stays on 5 only for half minute or so, but every turn I lead during that minute feels extremely unnatural when we dance on 5.

Should I always strive to dance on 1? What is the normal practice in Cuban / Casino? How can I smoothly change from 5 to 1 (and back) if I want us to stay on 1 all the time (when I just stop dancing to leave out 4 beats, the girl looks surprised and sometimes annoyed, and I have to explain to her that we were on 5, and I wanted us to get back on 1 - very awkward at times, unless I am dancing with a good friend...) How do I make sure the girl follows this swap without telling her verbally?

I am a beginner lead in Cuban style (about half a year of classes, privates and social dancing).
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I had the same Problem. Most follows I danced with were not even aware that the song changed, or didnt really care. both is fine..
Some songs are a nightmare, they switch multible times. in these songs I wouldn't bother to change all the time, unless you find a really smoth way to change, but usually changing the timing will break the flow a bit.
The songs that just switch once, and than like you said half a minute later back I'd go left foot forward on1 , right foot on2 in place, left back on 3 but witout a weightchange, that again left foot forward on 5 (or now actually the new 1) , and then continue normaly, you might need to exagerate that, not the step per see, but the whole boody movement. I think that is what other call a rock step? I hope someone can give a better explanation

This usally does the trick. The good thing is, most songs change after a break so if you know that it will happen you can use the break to change..

I now still feel a little off when dancing on5 but its not as bad anymore as it was at the beginning...

any btw, I only know 1 girl that is super annoyed when dancing on5 with her i usllay switch, everyone else doesnt really care as long as the dance flows....
Tomm, Thank you.

I will try this technique, sounds smooth. However, I am afraid some part of the problem might still persists since the girl, as you said, usually does not bother about us being on 5 (it's usually me who has trouble starting the move on wrong beat). So the girl might still continue doing on 5 even after I got on 1. Body movement might help with making her switch to 5 without telling her explicitly, you are right. I will try that next time in the club.
Nope if you lead the "rock step" , the girl also switches timing.
But of course its difficult, especially if its one of the girls that is on autopilot and doest really "listen" to your lead, and just does the basic. but usually it works

heres a video, its for on2 but its the same principle for on1
but here you only see the steps, doing it just like this might not have the desired effect, he explaines that at around 3:20
Tomm, Thank you. Awesome thread, now that I'm done reading it. Lots of great stuff on musicality. Could be summed up as follows, I think:

1) If the music only changes from 1 to 5 for a short while, say 8 or 16 two-bar (8-beat) units, I could stay on 5. Then I do not have to change at all. But to make sure it is only 8 or 16 units of "wrong beats", I need to know the song - not always the case in a club where different DJs play a different mix every week.
2) If the change is permanent (this, in my experience, only happens at the end of Intro, and the Intro in salsa songs can be quite long) - then I need to change. Here I have two tasks to do: change my own steps and lead her to change hers.
2, Part A: Changing my own steps from 5 to 1: either in open position - by tapping and stepping with the same foot like in the video you posted (there is no way she's gonna follow this) or by doing some sort of one-and-a-half-DQN where she in fact might follow very well, but which might be a challenge for me.
2, Part B: Leading her to change from 5 to 1 if I did Part A in the opened position: Lead her into closed-position, then do any closed-position Cuban move leading with the frame so that she will change from 5 to 1 because this will be the only natural way for her to do the footwork for this body movement.

Will try all this soon, see what happens.

On a side note: I am amateur musician and have training in both classical and jazz/blues piano, so I might be (over-)conscious about rhythmic patterns and music structure in general (even though I am still not able to reflect this in my dancing). So this awareness might be part of my challenge - my follows do not always recognize staying on 5 as a problem while I do...

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