Salsa > "Clave change" - dancing on 5?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by don_svendo, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. don_svendo

    don_svendo New Member

    While browsing the web looking for information on salsa music structure I stumbled upon the following description of "clave change":
    What do you people do when this happens? I guess that you could continue to dance "on 5" (or "on 6"...), but I find this a bit difficult. :headwall:
    Any idea of what a "transition step" would be - a slowed down step of some sort, or just a stop? How would you lead the lady through such a transition?
  2. ketchup

    ketchup New Member

    I usually keep on dancing on the reversed timing, unless (1) the follower switches back to the original timing or (2) I notice that the follower is feeling somewhat uncomfortable with it.

    One example would be --- say, you are dancing on 1 forward, you kick on 7 (back break with your R on 5, step in place with your L on 6, then you kick front on 7 with your R) , and then your R ends up landing on 1 (back breaking on 1). There are several ways to do this kind of thing, but in my case, I just use it only to fix it when I got off the timing by accident. Or do this on purpose within a certain moves. I can never lead her to switch the timing by me doing this.

    Personally, I don't think it is necessary to reverse your timing (meaning that you don't have to switch back to your original timing) unless you or your partner feels very uncomfortable continuing. But if for whatever reason you think it is necessary to do that in a certain situation, what I would suggest is, let her go, do some shines, and start with the reversed timing.
  3. tj

    tj New Member

    If you and your partner have sufficiently good dance connection - it's easy enough to make her step back (and switch her footwork) from a closed position. With some it's as easy as a "look".
  4. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    There are quite a few ways to do it, and it really depends on who you are dancing with. :)
  5. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Hmmm... it all depends on the song and the partner... sometimes I just continue on the reversed beat... some other times I do a transitional move... not necessarily a step... just something on the 1-2-3 measure to get back on 1...
  6. Big10

    Big10 Member

    Yes, with some of my "regular" dance partners, we have a good enough connection/understanding to be able to change the footwork fairly easily.

    Like other people have said, though, the technique mainly depends on your partner. Sometimes (particularly with new partners) I might just lean over and simply say, "Hey, I'm about to change the beat." That keeps us from stumbling over a few eight counts hoping that she recognizes what I'm doing. That also alerts her to look at my feet or pay attention to the fact that even though the lead will feel awkward for a second, I really do know what I'm doing! :wink:

    I'm a bit of a fanatic about finding the "1," so I personally prefer to make the switch as soon as I recognize the clave change. However, if the particular song has a very subtle difference between the sound of the 1 and the 5, then I might just go along with the "5." Also, if we're dancing to a live band and the clave change happens more than once, I tend to "surrender" the second time and just finish the song on the 5.
  7. salsaForfun

    salsaForfun New Member

    Well Mike Bello has a good break down of the transition steps when the clave "changes". Notice that in his descriptions he makes the break down for
    - classic Mambo (Power 2), you can use it for dancing on one and
    - Modern Mambo (Tipico, ET).

    Check out : .

    For those who are interested in the musical side of it, check out :

    - (Stephanie Gurnon from Toronto)

    - (The different types of clave change)

    - The file clave info in the file section of the yahoo group salseroscorner,

    Here some the related texts. I am sorry for the long posting.

    Hope it helps

  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for supplying all that great information salsaForfun! :cheers:
  9. salsaForfun

    salsaForfun New Member

    you are welcome sdSalsaguy.
  10. don_svendo

    don_svendo New Member

    Don't be! Thanks a lot for the information! :D
    Thanks to the others who have replied as well!
  11. volleybgrl

    volleybgrl New Member

    I'm a follower, and the two easiest for me are:

    1. If the guy stops leading and makes me shine.
    2. If I'm pulled close (bodies touching), and am led in a body wave or a rocking motion. Personally, I only feel comfortable being led this way by my friends, but I suppose it depends on the connection you feel with your partner right?

    After each of these, the guy can start up whenever he hears the 1 (or 6?! I don't know about transitioning on 2)
  12. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Seriously, I've danced to "Sandunguera" for years, without ever thinking twice about the changes :? ......... those days we just danced, the debates/discussions were purely left for the musicians :twisted: !

    Thankyou for the eye (or ear :wink: ) opener, SalsaForFun! I shall share this with my locals.....

    My take to this topic is: with the right connection & good musicality, it is possible for people to enjoy these changes without worrying too much about it :? ...........
  13. salsaholic

    salsaholic New Member

    I quite often use a transition step when I'm dancing - infact I have a few:

    5 - 1, 1 - 5


    1 - 2, 2 - 3.

    There are only a few dancers that can cope with dancing on3 so i dont
    do that too often! :lol:

    If I find myself on the 5, I normally do a side step to the right (or
    kookaracha - whatever you want to call it. ) to the right, and then
    do a second one straight after so you are doing right-left-right,
    right-left-right, then step forward on my left showing lots of confidence
    on 1 so that my partner knows that I have changed the beat.

    Its harder to describe, but occassionally I will take things a step further
    and switch to 1-3-5-7 timing, using only my right foot so that the transition
    is more noticable.

    By this, I mean that (with the right foot) i step to the right on (5) like
    a normal sidestep, then take my rightfoot back to the centre on (7).
    To the right again on (1), to the centre again on (3) and forward with
    the left foot on (5).

    Except (5) isnt (5) anymore it's 1.

    If you're not confused now, I certainly am, but I hope that gets the point
    across. What my partners think of this move, I dont know, but they all
    seem to cope. I think they assume I'm doing a silly shine or something.



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