Do you want to learn salsa super fast? Are you struggling to understand salsa moves when looking at a teacher? Then this post is for you!
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. (For information on how to join our classes, please have a look at: https://CambridgeSalsa.co.uk.)
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
Variations on Enchufla:
3) Vuelta a.k.a. Hecho a.k.a. Pimienta
I usually teach these as “four moves for the price of one”: 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:
4) Enchufla Ronde (a.k.a. Enchufla y Escondete, Enchufla con Vuelta)
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 Dos: essentially Cubanito followed by a full Sombrero:
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
Example of “decomposition” of two moves:
Setenta is a combination of vuelta (with two hands holding in parallel) + enchufla complicado + enchufla/dile-que-no. Can you see these components in the Setenta?
Kentucky is enchufla doble + enchufla ronde, with two hands holding in parallel during the whole move, and some “knots” around the ladie’s shoulders. Can you see the two components in the Kentucky?
I hope that you enjoyed this page and that it will help you to progress fast! If you practice these 12 moves until you feel comfortable with them and until you can do them in time with the music without thinking too much, or even better, if you can recognise these components in the middle of other moves, then you are on the right track to become the star of the salsa dancefloor in no time! This is truly the fastest way to learn salsa.
For information on how to join our classes, please have a look at: https://CambridgeSalsa.co.uk.