Salsa > Grip and Frame in Salsa

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by danceguy, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    A question for the Salsa folks...what is the typical hand grip and frame that you use while dancing with a partner? I realize this may be a personal choice, but does it differ between cities and/or specific regions (ie NY vs LA)?

    I had always used a standard frame, with the man holding his left hand up in a full handgrasp with the lady. What I learned today though, was something entirely different. It was a two finger grip, using only the middle and ring fingers and the hand was held quite differently. Once I was shown why this is done it made a lot of sense...but I'm wondering now, is this a standard for Salsa...or just something people do here where I live (California)?

    Thanks in advance! :p


  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    The two finger grip of the left hand in standard closed position allows for a leader to easily do quite a few moves without worrying about how leader/follow palms move. If you use the standard grip that you describe your palms rotate depending on what move you are doing. I have discovered that there are a lot more difficulties with tight hand grips etc which are easier to avoid with the two finger grip. There is a lot more pros and cons for each position, and there are others as well. For instance in salsa rudea the follower offers their hand palm down and the leader puts his palm over the follower!! This is a grip that I have used when I am am suffering from the "follower grip of steel" curse. This way the follower cannot grip me!! :twisted: :)

    In Ithaca, NY, I have observed people use both grips -- two finger and full palm -- for their left hand.

    Having said all this I usually use and prefer the full palm grip. I like the liitle extra connectio it gives between partners and it is a 50/50 partnership connection, which real partner dancing should always be about. This I do for all partner dancing, though I will switch to other variations on occassion. :)
  3. Vin

    Vin New Member

    In general I am a full hand gripper but when doing complicated turns and such I switch to the two finger grip at times.
  4. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    From my recent experience with a great instructor I hosted, I was told to cup my right hand, then the leader also cups his left hand. So there's more connection this way, without too much restrictions.

    The thing I found hard though, is the fact that my fingers in the cupped hand hve to be STRONG, but my arms have to RELAX!

    Hard to do both :oops: !
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    The arms are the conduit of communication between the fingers and the body. Thus, they must be RELAXED to serve their role well. The fingers are STRONG in open position as that is where the partners get to feel what each other is doing. RELAXED fingers prevent that clear connection being felt. Tried to see that in my dancing tonight and it makes sense. Now only got to do it 100% of the time!! :)
  6. Janitor Simmons

    Janitor Simmons New Member

    I'm with Vin on this one; I like the connection of the full hand grip, especially with a follow who is a bit wild / doesn't have the best body control. With a more experienced dancer I generally tend more toward the two-finger hold.
  7. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    I use the cupped hands only when I'm facing lady. Once we start to do other moves, I switch to the two finger (index and middle fingers) hold.

    One upside to this for me is that when you're leading fairly to very complex patterns, it allows you to communicate to the lady without sending the tension up her arms. This is very important especially if you're dancing with a not-so-good follower who might freak out when somehow both your arms are wrapped around her neck in opposite directions. It's easy for her to take her hands out of yours.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    WHY, would you be leading complex patterns, with a not so good follower ? .

    And, dance is primarily lead thru the body , as well as "visually " .

    For the newbies who read these types of posts, make sure you find a teacher who understands the latin concepts in dance i.e. .. Frame/Poise and Hold, they are NOT the same as B/room .
  9. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    Ahhh...and there's the question.

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