SALSA FROM SCRATCH - updated Jan. 2009

DANCE STYLE: European-hispanic & African mix
lead-follow, free body motion
basic footwork, variations
partnering, breakaway

sociology - PR, Cuba cubanacán (Taino)
ethnology - Afro, Hispanic, Native
history - African bell patterns, 19th c.
instruments - claves, guiro, cabaca (shaker), conga, bongo, tambora, timbales, cowbell, tres
1/8 note division - 8 count phrase
Tumbao - "rhythmic figure" - clap
Clave - "key," history, music examples - clap

BASIC STEPS - divide Ls & Fs
rhythm pattern simplified
QQS QQS - side breaks, back breaks, salsa breaks
next level of rhythm: hips exercise
say: 123+ 567+ , clap: + ...+
stomp step step + stomp step step +
ladies clap clave while men dance and vs. vca.

side breaks
2H, CP
salsa breaks
in circle: hands, shoulders, hips
partnered: 2H, CP

TURNING CP - solo, partnered

Bean Bag (from CP, end 2H)

CROSS BODY LEAD - L step wide on 3
2H cross body lead
1H cross body lead: L's L, R
CP cross body lead

heel-toe, toe, NOT flat foot
8ct Right turn: unpartnered L:123567, F 567123
Partnered: F under hand OT, L behind back
4 ct Right turn - L:123, F 567
L's free hand behind his back (edie)
LEFT TURN: L pivot on 2, 5 is front step to pivot
Sequence: F's OT, CBL …

edie 8
free arm
head loop

* 2H cuddle
* SH: open, hand on shoulder
* 2H cuddle (connected L's LH on top F's shoulder)
* 1/2 cuddle (L's LH on F's shoulderblade)
* Varsouvienne: from SH
* 1/2 Varsouvienne (L's LH on F's shoulderblade)
Open turns: L's hands on F's arms
L's cuddle
Hammerlock back breaks: she, he

SHINES: T-STANCE - QQSQQS, CLAVE, or rhythms in the music
(not just feet: rhythms in hips, chest, arms, head, hands, etc)
* side breaks
* apple jacks
* point-cross
* creative motion - ask for volunteer
* hip rolls - circle, figure 8, continuous rolls
* shimmy
4, 8 ct turns walk QQS or clave
Hook - cross - hop - slide - hop hook - suzi Q

* She He She turn to cross body lead
* CUBAN WALKS cuddle - L fwd, F bkwd, switch
* 123 to 2SH to OT to veil/sombrero to Xbody lead
* 123 to SH to OT to veil/sombrero to Xbody lead
* F's IT place change from 2H or 1H
* Rope Turns (L's OT or Behind Back change)
CUBAN WALKS varsouvienne - L fwd, F bkwd
LEFT TURN - F 5, windup 3 - L 1, windup 7
1/2 WHIP: 1H or CP to CP - back bk, Lead 2
PRETZEL: 4 variations from 2H
123 to 2SH 567 OT to varsouvienne, back breaks
Cuban walk around back-back - from 2H barrel roll
Cross body lead with 1-1/2 turn
2H: She He She He She Turn Seq
HAMMERLOCK OT / texas tommy
VARSOUVIENNE - tandem F's footwork VAR. tandem jazz square in QQS or clave
2SH Pretzel (tabletop)

F's OT
1/2 time
Apple Jacks
Side Breaks
Hip Rolls
Hip Shakes
Hips: Tic Toc
Spin and Pose
Arm styling

F's Stance and hip rolls


L's OT
F's hand on L shoulder and duck
Multiple ducks with rhythm
F's hand on midriff
hip rolls and stomps in clave or QQS

STANCES (ladie's frolic - hips, chest, feet head)
Cross Body Lead to T STANCE

Pre- Cross Body Lead STANCE



acknowledgement, reference

The challenge - "you got served" style
a. stand and watch
b. in your face
c. I mess with you - hands on back, leg wraps, hair mess, gonchos, foot taps

Imitation Variations
exact or with modification
modify height: higher, lower
face to face, tandem, turning
same movement in different part of body
rhythm taps - claps, stomps
timing: unison, canon, faster, slower, same pattern with different rhythm

The direct challenge: la lucha con cuchillos fingados
Call & Response
Follow Me (led by him, then her)
Follow Me initiated by her during an OT
Guaranco/Rumba G-rated - The Chase
Clapping - rhythm games
You Are My Rhythm Instrument - whomping on each others back or shoulder rhythm games
Switch Lead-Follow (after a cross body lead, or turn)
Cross Body Lead to far break away, then boogie back together
Flirtation Competition - I can be nastier than you - one-upsmanship
The Spin Challenge: 1,2,3,4,…
Bondage: hands up, hand behind back
Clave games: call & response
King of the Hill: I take over your spot on the floor.
Space Invasion: I get in your face - what are you gonna do about it?
Split Leg Challenge.

RUEDA DE CASINO - learned from Brian Bromka, La Familia, Syracuse Salsa
Contra step/Guapeando - F & L back 1, F & L fwd 5
Break step - reverse contra step
Al Centro - guys in, with salsa breaks and 2 claps, then ladies in with contra step
Flor - as above with hand gestures and bowing
Dame - hand on shoulder, F moves across to new L (dile que no)
Dame con las Manos - using hand connection (not shoulder) dame 3x (3 new partners)
Dame dos - instead of break step, L moves 2 F's down the line, then dile que no
Suena la - stomp on 5
Una Bulla (?) - hey! on 5
Slow Buia - slow rise of voice to hey! 5 to 1
Silencio - shh! on 5
Fly - clap high towards new partner on 1, weight on 5 foot, 567 push break towards current partner
Fly Dos - two claps
NI Pa Ti, Ni Pa Mi - clap center:7, 1:2H clap to new partner, 3:center, 5:2h clap current partner
Chevaria - knee swivel 123
Ping Pong - butt bumps (?)
Enchufela - IT to L's R side, L three steps to new partner, dile que no -"connect to her"
Enchufela Doble - Enchufela 2H to cuddle, out, in, finish as above
Enchufela No Te Llega - enchufela without changing partners (IT with place change)
Para Abajo - alternate with bringing her in front. (L: L1 front break & R5 back breaks, F: contra basic)
Enchufela Complicado - Enchufela, then he goes, then she goes, J lead, dile que no same partner
Excibela -
El Uno - change hands on 1 to h'lock Turkish towel, 4x, enchufela, L's turn & hook, SH dile que no
Yogurt - jump towards partner L legs wide :3, body wave up from ground 567
Adios Con La Hemana - ½ back spot turn, then Enchuflea Complicado
Adios - ½ back spot turn, then walk to new partner and dile que no
Para Medio - jockey step: touch, step (in, out)
Tiempo de Espana - Cuban walk in CP, L fwd LOD (Arriba), VAR: Abajo (bkwd)
Tarro - L walks LOD to new partner under 1st partners hand
Tarro Mentira - L's OT to same partner
Dos Tarros - L skips a partner
Tarro con Mano - L keeps LH connected, point middle circle and walk to new partner LOD
Roberto Complicado - 567:SH F's OT to veil, 123: LH-LH & L's RH on F's shoulder,
CBL F's 1.5 turns to L's veil, CBL.
Dos Pelotas - Enchufla, walk under L's LH to next partner, 2 walks, 2 claps
Pelota Quatro - Enchufla, walk under L's LH to next partner - 4 walks and shimmy, 4 claps: hi:R, lo:L
Principe Bueno - Enchufla, walk under L's LH to next partner, pretend to kiss hand in passing
Principe Malo - Enchufla, walk under L's LH to next partner, pretend to smack hand or ass
Siete - 5: L's RH outside, 7:L's LH inside, 123 F's CW to cuddle (L's RH on shoulder) 567 out
Siete Con Vuelta - out with F's underhand turn
Foto - freeze on 1 in any pose until called to resume
Dame Dos - called after "Dame", walk two past NEW partner, then dile que no
Adios Con La Familia - Adios, then hook R arms and circumnambulate

Ithaca Dance