Salsa > How on earth do leaders confuse the 1 and the 5?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by nycsalsero, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. englezul

    englezul New Member

    I thought in ET2 the leader starts forward with the right foot on 5. Meh, technicallities.
  2. GTO Bruin

    GTO Bruin Member

    Yes, during the dance, the leader is stepping forward on 5 with the right, then further forward to break on 6 with the left. For the next measure, he is back on 1 with the left, then further back on 2 with the right.

    I was just trying to contast with salsamarty's post.
  3. marie

    marie New Member

    Ok, I may have a very basic question here. Why shouldn't a follower be able to follow even if the dude is dancing the 1 step on the 5 beat?

    I have mostly danced other dances, so I am by no means a salsa expert. I do know that I don't only dance with the music - I dance with my leader. That's to say, I am going to follow what my leader leads. If he starts on 1, I'll start on 1...if he starts on 2, I'll start on 2, if he starts on 5, I'll start on 5. Usually I can feel exactly where my leader wants me to be regardless of the time. You can bet that I'm still not going to let the leader make me look bad, but then again I am responsible for making myself look good. Actually, I think this is part of the art of following because while I say that I try to always follow whatever he leads, I also stay in control of myself. If I had a goal, it would be to make any dance look or feel good. That means that I hope someday I can have a dance with a struggling leader and still make the dance look beautiful. I can't imagine this is possible without being flexible enough to enjoy a dance even if it feels a little off with the time.

    In the Westie world we sometimes hear this questions: Ladies - when do you start? Most answer "one" but the actual answer is "when he leads you." I have actually had guys ask me if I dance on the 1 or the 2 and I answer with the same thing "I dance when you lead me." I don't know if this is a reasonable answer, but I don't feel like I have problems in this area.
  4. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member


    Well stated !!-- and the reality is, most cannot tell the difference , nor do they seem to care .
  5. salsaForfun

    salsaForfun New Member

    With exactly this answer i came across three kinds of ladies: they can can dance on both beats, thy don't know what it is about, or they want to give it a try on 1 or on 2. So this answer didn't help much. And further i noticed that some ladies don't like this question you know. That why i rarely ask this question any more. I would most of time start on 2 and see. You would make life easier with more precise answer with answer like "i prefer on 1 (or on 2)", "i can dance both", "i want to give it a try on 2 (or on 1)".
  6. englezul

    englezul New Member

    That's wishful thinking. Should a follower be able to follow whenever? The IDEAL follower yes. But any follower? No. In reality even a very advanced and experienced on1 follower cannot follow on2 in a competent fashion because the whole feeling of it changes and the body has to be accustomed to it. Without practice, on1 muscle memory will kick in and have its way. So will they be able to follow for a while? Maybe, but when it gets more challenging it will stop to make sense.
  7. marie

    marie New Member

    I'm sure you are right about that. I am just saying that this dance is a partnership and I think the follower will contribute to a more pleasant dance if she is able to work with the timing being off once in awhile. My philosophy is that there are no judges out their social dancing except the couple's own sense of enjoying the song. Therefore, I want to be able to make those "off" dances (we all have 'em) work as well as possible.

    To me, the most skilled leaders are the ones who know their technique, feel the music, etc. but above all the most important skill in social dancing is making the follower feel and look good so that the dance looks good as a whole. I imagine this is not an easy thing to do. shouldn't the follower return the favor? At a personal level, it helps me to enjoy those "off" dances if I am thinking to myself - How am I going to enjoy this? How am I going to make this feel beautiful? Can I make him feel like this was a fun dance even if we aren't clicking?
  8. GTO Bruin

    GTO Bruin Member

    But there's a difference dancing On2 and dancing on 2 (ie. starting on 2 but same footwork.)
  9. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Marie, your description makes sense to me. I have fun dancing with ladies when there isn't even any music and they follow great. So how would we even know if we were on the 1?

    I like learning. So I can find the 1/5 or 2/6 pretty well. I just have not figured out why my dance is any less fun breaking forward or backward yet? It will probably hit me one of these days :)
  10. I think the issue goes beyond the basic elements of leading and following. It's a matter of musicality, phrasing, and expression. I haven't been dancing long, so I'ven't acquired this pet-peeve. So, it's kinda hard to explain. I'll defer to the more experienced for that. However, dancing on the second beat, 3rd or 4th is not as easy as ... (i don't know)...switching from Sprite to Sierra mist.:confused: Because you associate certain step with certain beat. You should read the thread about dancing to the clave and dancing on2 vs. on1.
  11. Catarina

    Catarina New Member

    I think I understand what you're saying, LatinDancer. If we're not dancing either on1 or on2 (can do both), but on another beat in the lead's head that I'm confused about, I have a tendency to step out of turns or spins either on the 1 or the 6, respectively, mostly because it is automatic for me to want to "correct" myself back to where i think i should be in the music. so yeah- maybe someday i'll get to where i can dance to whichever beat, but til then, i sure hope the leads that could intentionally dance on the other beats respect that I can't without the dance deteriorating, and go back to breaking on 1 or 2...
  12. englezul

    englezul New Member

    LoL. Of course they follow great when there's no music, it's easier because you set the pace and that pace doesn't conflict with anything. When music is on, she hears the rhythm and if you're off with the rhythm she senses, she thinks "what tha hell...I don't understand what this guy is listening to". And if she doesn't understands it she falls back to her default timing, on1 or on2 hoping that you will get it.
  13. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    ... but if I set a pace different from the music, my basic would start on 1 then 3 then 2 then 4 and be the definition of being off beat. I thought the question was what if the leader is on beat but exactly 4 beats off and breaking forward on the second measure?

    Still, shouldn't the lady follow the guys center regardless? If he doesn't give her a pleasing dance, she can always say no next time.
  14. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    You'd think they would... but, many many many followers and leaders alike can not, to save their life, dance outside that which they've been taught. There isn't any difference of what so ever, yet they can't manage to dance...
  15. witchphd

    witchphd New Member

    And that is why I still don't understand what the fuss is about in this thread. You can't establish a right or wrong side until you specify what style you are dancing. Breaking forward on the second measure is wrong for someone dancing on1, but if on2, breaking forward for the second measure all of a sudden becomes OK?
  16. GTO Bruin

    GTO Bruin Member

    I agree. It's a matter of convention.
  17. salsamarty

    salsamarty New Member

    you need to have connection

    Marie's comment is usually correct if the leader and follower have a connection. The problem is that a lot dancers don't know how to maintain that pressure and frame so that the leader can transmit the dance timing and lead the patterns. Once the connection is broken then a beginning dance will probably revert to what they are familiar with.
  18. marie

    marie New Member

    I hear you on that one Marty. As much as I was saying it is good for the follower to help make it work by following, I think you are right that we would tend to return to the familiarity of the timing that we know. So ideally the guy and the girl would both be on time and lead/following at the same time.
    I actually had a hard time "getting" the pause part in the middle and I actually finally got it through the lead follow connection. Somehow my teacher made it so that I could ONLY dance on time within his lead. Since my following skills are much better than my actual salsa dancing skills, I learned the salsa rhythm through the connection. So I see how if a couple didn't have connection and the timing was wacky then we are talking about an unpleasant dance.
  19. MapleLeaf Salsero

    MapleLeaf Salsero New Member

    It really isn't important if you step on1 or on5. As long as you and your partner are dancing with each other and having fun, that the important thing.

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