Salsa leaders - your golden rules

I dance only once a month on a party (due to knee injury)
Sorry to hear that. :(

This is actually more interesting. I think many of us have or will have knee problems because of too many twists and spins on wrong surfaces with wrong shoes. Sometimes my knees hurt after dancing.

Care to share how you cope with that? Do you do something to improve their health? How has your dancing changed since injury?
 
Sorry to hear that. :(

This is actually more interesting. I think many of us have or will have knee problems because of too many twists and spins on wrong surfaces with wrong shoes. Sometimes my knees hurt after dancing.

Care to share how you cope with that? Do you do something to improve their health? How has your dancing changed since injury?
Well I learned to turn on my heels. That made a big difference. Also I use my hips more. More rotation using the hips, so you need less turning on the knees. That works fine too. And I must admit, due to the knee injury I turn less then I make my partner turn. But luckily there is a lot of stuff you can do as a leader without needing to turn. Yes, I know a lot of people with knee issues of dancing. Certainly the followers. That is the downside of it all. But since I dance less, I enjoy it more because the dances become something special again ( because they are rare). So it is not that bad.
 
A new version without stuff about EXPERT as it seems to be misleading. One can only learn from feedback
-I can turn (or lead a girl to turn) on each beat, both CW and CCW, regardless of the foot she's stepping on. Does that make my lead hard to follow, or your theory limited in options?

*Also, it looks like when you (yourself) turn CW, you prefer doing it with your balance on your left foot. (And it makes perfect sense to me).
The thing is, your theory makes the girl turn CW on her right leg. (I:E 0:53).
-If both options are fine: Why limit the options?
-If only one option is applicable (or efficient) - then how would you explain the difference?
 
-I can turn (or lead a girl to turn) on each beat, both CW and CCW, regardless of the foot she's stepping on. Does that make my lead hard to follow, or your theory limited in options?

*Also, it looks like when you (yourself) turn CW, you prefer doing it with your balance on your left foot. (And it makes perfect sense to me).
The thing is, your theory makes the girl turn CW on her right leg. (I:E 0:53).
-If both options are fine: Why limit the options?
-If only one option is applicable (or efficie
nt) - then how would you explain the difference?
Hey, well that is a good question. To turn left, the turn starts over the left foot (which is placed forward on 2, 5 and even 7), To turn right, the turn starts over the right foot (on 3,6 and even 1). 90% of the turns comply to this. 10% of the turns are forced on the opposit foot in particular situations. It is less done because (how I perceive it):

- she starts her turn in a backward direction (compared to the direction to which she steps forward). This asks more effort for her ( and feels less good) and as a leader, you will need to add energy to the turn to help her.
- during the turn, she will come very close (or too far) to you with her body
- after the turn, she has not moved very far (or too far) and she will be too close/far to you again.

So it is possible and used but it is less used for these reasons ( and probably other reasons too). I like the next video because you get a good view on the perfect footwork of the follower. On 3:36, she makes a backwards turn over the opposite foot. This only a partial turn to avoid the problems I described. One remark, this leading stuff has nothing to do with my freestyle program. It just shows the generalisation which exists in current LA and Cuban salsa leading
If you have other views or examples, I am keen to see them. It would great that I can adjust my view on salsa. That is what this channel is all about. As a remark, you once have send a youtube clip ( is it a clip of yourself ?) . The footwork also follows the general rules as I explain in my video. Do you have a clip of yourself when turning on the opposite foot. Regards, Lawrence
 
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90% of the turns comply to this
Are you sure? Because your dancing shows otherwise.

she starts her turn in a backward direction (compared to the direction to which she steps forward).
a. Not necessarily.
b. Assuming she does - then what?

This asks more effort for her
Nope. Your suggestion requires much more skill to keep yourself balanced. (And takes significantly harder techniques to control how quick, and for how long you are going to be turning).

and as a leader, you will need to add energy to the turn to help her
That sentence fits your suggested method much more.

during the turn, she will come very close (or too far) to you with her body
Huh?

- after the turn, she has not moved very far (or too far) and she will be too close/far to you again.
Again: huh?

One remark, this leading stuff has nothing to do with my freestyle program
The one that is so free - that it limits options for turning?

Do you have a clip of yourself when turning on the opposite foot. Regards, Lawrence
*I'm the guy behind. (not the clown in front).
(But thanks for reminding me of that video - it's cool to see how much I have progressed).

*I may upload a video to demonstrate my point about turns and control.
 
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vit

Son Montuno
Are you sure? Because your dancing shows otherwise.
Well, I actually wouldn't say their dancing is showing otherwise, problem is that it's quite deformed version of cuban salsa / casino stated in the title overall ...

Of course, turns can be initiated "forward" or "backward" and in casino I think that they are mostly initiated "forward", so he is a kind of right in that sense. Turns initiated "backward" are used mostly by leaders (like backspot turn aka hook turn). In other genres like BR we have various turn types and some of them are initiated "backwards" like spiral turns, (back) pivots, heel turns etc(terence could correct me here about the right terminology, but it's not that important here)

Problem is that in cuban salsa turns are "stepped", so the amount of turn you do when initiating the turn forward and amount of turn on other foot and length of the step in between etc are considerably different than in his demo, where the follower's turns look more like underturned spins (in addition to various back steps, considerably different walking lacking "groundness" etc more typical to low level linear salsa although moves used resemble moves from casino)

So before making any theories and selling them to others (even if they are free) I would suggest him studying the dance (considerably) more in depth ...
 
So before making any theories and selling them to others (even if they are free) I would suggest him studying the dance (considerably) more in depth ...

Exactly...

He, is one in a long line of people who have attempted to theorise practical application. It takes more than knowing HOW to dance .
 
Hi Vit, thanks for the feedback. What is underturned exactly? Yes, I do not dance/lead 100% Cuban salsa, its a mixture but the main leading principles stay the same.The step forward is on the same timings for LA and cuban for most moves. One can play with the size of the steps, the length of the turn, turning a bit later or earlier, more linear or more curved, ... . It results in many possible styles and that is great and offers variation in your dancing.

I do not sell a specific style, just want to explain these concepts as I use them, that is all. I do not dance perfect as most people don't but these easy concepts help me too lead anyone (so far ... ) in the style I like. My aim is to be able to move anyone and make fun. Not to display a perfect style or so. The idea of these videos is that you can use these concepts in the style one is dancing and understand better what you are doing. One does not learn from a video, but a video can assist a bit. If one disagrees with this videos means the video made him thinking about what he thinks is right which is a good thing too :)

My partner rarely dances and she just assists me in making a video sometimes because it is fun to do together. If I would dance with a girl with a lot of cuban experience, it would look completely different of course :)
 
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where the follower's turns look more like underturned spins
I was afraid to use the word - `spin', but that's what I meant.

When standing on the left foot: One can easily control how much he's turning, where he's going to end...by externally rotating the hip.

But spinning CW, is harder to balance, and the means to control your spin (after you had started) - require more skill.
 
I was afraid to use the word - `spin', but that's what I meant.

When standing on the left foot: One can easily control how much he's turning, where he's going to end...by externally rotating the hip.

But spinning CW, is harder to balance, and the means to control your spin (after you had started) - require more skill.
That is very much true. The right turn (CW) is a turn which one can do in maybe 8 different ways. That is the beauty of it. Here I explain one way which suits in the generalised way of leading (topic of this video). I will make a seperate video on CW turn between count 1 and 4 in which I show the 8 ways (probably I do not know them all yet :) ).

My video on 2:12, in real cuban salsa one would lead his partner to make a step forward on 1 (or only a little little backwards, not as much you see on the video). Then indeed, the CW could be leaded much more controlled by using the hip. I do not do lead this in my video in order to generalise the leading. the CW turn can be done without this forward step on 1 though. Video 3 will cover this interesting topic and is a must for cuban dancers.

That is always the problem when launching a video. It is always incomplete as there is too much to explain and people don't like too much talking. Therefore, I try to follow a step by step approach.

Thanks for the interesting input!
 
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Well, I actually wouldn't say their dancing is showing otherwise, problem is that it's quite deformed version of cuban salsa / casino stated in the title overall ...
Hey, well I never mentionned casino as it is not so clear what it means these days. Some casino dancers even say casino is not salsa, they do not like to be in the same group. When looking at the footwork, it is indeed different. The follower even moves her right foot forward on 1 for an enchufla (they say it is more logic because of the circle in casino), which is rather different from what I see in most salsa videos on youtube. Do you guys dance casino or have experience with it? Is son equal to casino, and if yes, why using 2 different names :)
 
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Well I learned to turn on my heels.

That made a big difference. Also I use my hips more. More rotation using the hips, so you need less turning on the knees.

.
Turning on your heels ??.. a big NO NO .( Unless it is a heel turn in B/Room and that uses the ball to initiate ) . Just watch Ballet dancers doing spins.. nuff said..

The point of good rotation is largely due to 2 aspects. Weight distribution over Ball of foot ,and using centrifugal force generated by the BODY . .
 
"It's always the leader's fault" is to my mind a quick, and somewhat inadequate way of saying

1) sometimes it's the leader's fault, sometimes it's the follower's
2) telling a follow she screwed up is rude and will only ruin her following
3) there are plenty of things a leader can do to work around nearly all followers' faults.
4) by saying "it's always the leader's fault" we can neatly avoid the whole issue of blame, and get on with dancing!
I love this guy. The better question is "Are we doing a disservice to follows by using what's become a catch term?" Is our sensitivity to the follow made us focus too much on ourselves without asking more from our follows?


My gold rule: Try to make her smile at least once in a dance.

The rest I leave to my signature.
 
Hey, well I never mentionned casino as it is not so clear what it means these days. Some casino dancers even say casino is not salsa, they do not like to be in the same group. When looking at the footwork, it is indeed different. The follower even moves her right foot forward on 1 for an enchufla (they say it is more logic because of the circle in casino), which is rather different from what I see in most salsa videos on youtube. Do you guys dance casino or have experience with it? Is son equal to casino, and if yes, why using 2 different names :)
Hi :). I dance casino and my partner is Cuban. Casino is not salsa. Salsa (on1, on 2) is a fusion of American West Coast Swing danced to Cuban music (originally called Son, but has been re-branded outside of Cuba as “salsa.”) Son is not equal to casino. Son is an older dance which inspired casino. Casino is an evolution of son. Son developed from Danzón, which has its roots in French court dances. Danzon is not danced very much anymore. Son is danced more, but Casino has taken over in popularity worldwide. Differences between son and casino can be hard to perceive to an untrained eye. I’ve attached two here for reference.

The easiest difference to spot is that the cadence is different in each dance. Furthermore, in son you will see more back breaking or back stepping. In casino it is not as efficient to step back so that back stepping action largely evolved out of the dance. You will occasionally see people doing it, but that is often a habit of people who also dance son or were just poorly trained in casino.

(yours truly with my casino/son teacher dancing casino)
(also yours truly with my casino/son teacher dancing son) please keep in mind i am still a relative beginner in son but not in casino

Hopefully these videos show some of the differences between the two dances. Happy to answer any questions, too :).
 
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vit

Son Montuno
Furthermore, in son you will see more back breaking or back stepping. In casino it is not as efficient to step back so that back stepping action largely evolved out of the dance. You will occasionally see people doing it, but that is often a habit of people who also dance son or were just poorly trained in casino.
(yours truly with my casino/son teacher dancing casino)
Well, he is doing a lot of back steps in above casino clip ;)
 

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