This post defines our Cuban salsa/Casino teaching programme at intermediate level, which is also a way to structure the teaching and understanding of Cuban casino dancing.

At beginners level, we usually teach four basic steps (forward/back, side-to-side, open lfet/right and guapea), three basic turns (enchufl, dile que no, vuelta and two “fun steps” (mambo and basic rumba guaguanco), with lots of emphasis on making people feel comfortable, welcome, confident and entertained, and only limited emphasis on technicality: this is your A-B-C.

Then, at intermediate level, we teach 12 simple moves which cover 99% of the “situations” met in longer routines. Learning them gives Cuban salsa some structure: while beginner’s moves are like a basic alphabet, the 12 moves are like the words which will be used to compose longer sequences at higher levels. For the learner, knowing these moves helps to execute but also to “decode” longer routines more efficiently by training the perception of elementary moves in longer routines. For the teacher, each of the 12 moves is an occasion to focus on one particular technical skill such as space awareness, leading/following, particular turn techniques etc.

A PDF handout listing the 12 moves can be downloaded from this link: The 12 basic moves of Cuban Salsa .

Yielding to popular demand, here are some youtube links below which illustrate the 12 moves. BUT PLEASE NOTE: these videos are only here to give a rough visual impression of the move, which is more effective than a textual description. We do not guarantee that the execution depicted in these videos is standard or even “correct”: that is whatever we could find on Youtube. Please always consult with a qualified teacher to verify and polish your moves.

1) Enchufla and 2) Dile que No

3) Vuelta a.k.a. Hecho a.k.a. Pimienta

I usually teach these moves as “4 moves for the price of 1”: vuelta led with left hand, or led with right hand, or vacilala (no hands) or sombrero (two hands) are essentially the same move with hand variations.

Vuelta a.k.a Pimienta:


Vuelta Vacilala:

4) Enchufla Ronde (Enchufla y Escondete)

6) Paseala al Frente

6) Sacala / Exhibela

7) Paseala por Abajo y por Atras

8) Adios con la Prima

9) Cubanito, Cubanita, El Uno, El Dos

Cubanito/Cubanita are pre-requisites to El Uno/El Dos:

El Uno:

El Dos: essentially Cubanito followed by a full Sombrero:

10) Enrocate

I usually teach Enrocate as a pre-requisite to a “safe” Coca-Cola, and to help people to get the directions right:

11) Coca Cola

12) Siete a.k.a. Panque

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