Salsa > "break back" or "break forward" ?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Josh, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    So the salsanewyork page says this:

    '... New York mambo style of (men) starting with our 1st step back on the 1st beat of the measure, and then "breaking forward on 2" '

    So, is this the concensus among you on2 dancers? That since the direction changes from back to forward, then breaking on 2 means breaking forward on 2?

    How about you L.A.'ers? Do the men break forward or back on the 1? Is the direction changed enough on the 1 to call it "breaking back" on the 1?
  2. alemana

    alemana New Member

    "break" just means change direction. for leaders, you break forward on 2 in NY et2. that means you change direction on 2 from moving backwards to moving forwards.

    for followers, you break back on 2 - you change direction from moving forwards to moving backwards.
  3. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Right, that's what I'm saying in my post--I'm asking if this terminology is consistent amongst all salsa dancers? In other words, is the change of direction pronounced enough in on1 that leaders can be said to break back on the 1? Because many people will say that on1 leaders break forward on 1 (what they mean is "step forward on 1" I think). Is this ignorance about what it means to "break" or is it because the break is not as pronounced in on1 as in on2?
  4. alemana

    alemana New Member

  5. DeeplyDippy

    DeeplyDippy New Member

    No, this isn't my understanding of ET2. I dance it 1. to the side 2. Break BACK
  6. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    speaking as an LA style dancer - i generally step forward on '1' but to prep for particular moves i might elect to break backwards on '1' to create the appropriate tension in the arms to facilitate certain moves like stop & go's, etc.
  7. smooth_criminal

    smooth_criminal New Member

    Josh, are you asking if "break forward" means "step forward and change direction" or "step backward and change direction" ? Is that your question, I am a bit confused :neutral:
  8. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Sorry for the confusion... so here's the gist.

    In L.A. style salsa, men doing a normal basic always step forward on the 1. Right? Ok. So, my question is about terminology. Do we call this a "back break" or a "forward break"? Yes it's definitely a forward step, but is it breaking forward or breaking back?

    The reason for the question? A break means a change of direction. So on the 1, while the man does step forward, he begins to push off his left foot and begins going backward, thus breaking back. This is my understanding, and wanted to see if this is terminology is universal. Something tells me that most people would say that the man breaks forward on the 1, simply because he is stepping forward on the 1; my understanding is different, as described above, and wanted to get thoughts on this.
  9. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Not what I'm talking about--see my post directly before this one.
  10. alemana

    alemana New Member

    so you're asking, do folks really say the word "breaking"?
  11. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    oye just forget it.

  12. smooth_criminal

    smooth_criminal New Member

    That's what I thought you were asking :D

    I would call "stepping forward on the 1 to break the movement" - "break forward" rather than "break backward"... but I can see your logic too :cool:
  13. fun

    fun New Member

    interesting question - it realy is a matter of definition. however, most Salsa dancers i know, have spoken to and read about, including myself in the last 10 years :) understand breaking forward as a step FORWARD (followed by a weight transfer "back").

    on 2 dancers often start with the two backsteps (men on the left) and break on beat (and step) 2 in their backsteps (="back break" on2).

    in fact this problem does probaly not matter much in many salsa scenes since you would have to explain the term "breaking" and breaking on2 - anyway :)
    unless you live in LA or NewYork. the other problem is FINDING the first and/or the second beat which is often more problematic it seems...
  14. itorres

    itorres New Member

    Oye, cojelo suave! :lol:

    By what we've seen here, it seems the answer is the terminology is not universal.
    If you look at a dance dictionary definition it may say:
    1. BREAK = A change or reverse of direction, or
    2. break step= a two step sequence in which the second step is in the opposite direction as the first.

    In this last case, if one step is in one direction and one is in the other how can a break step (the unit described above) be forward or backwards? In Salsa it's in place, also.

    Many of the general public seem to think "breaking" means stepping out of the closed position. So, if they step forward on 1 they say breaking forward On 1.

    Others, thinking of a break step as a two step sequence, regard the break as forward or backward depending of the direction of the second step - opposite of what general public thinks. eg. description of ET 2 style on the site.

    I guess it depends who you talk to, and whether you want to be correct or understood. :)

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