Salsa > Minimum adequate syllabus for social salsa dancing

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ticolora, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I'm trying to come up with a very specific list of moves that would seem adequate for a social salsa dance.

    I understand that "it's not the number of patterns, but how well you lead them", but I suspect that even the champion of social dancing will be boring if all you do is a forward-and-back basic for a whole song.

    Also, I am opposite of champion of social dancing. So I can't rely on delivering an exceptional experience with only 3 moves.

    I shall use this syllabus to focus my practice on. But I don't want it to be so small, that a lady I dance with gets bored.

    Please spell out each variation that you think should be included in "minimum syllabus".

    So far my best finding is Bronze DVIDA Salsa. Is that a good place to begin? Or perhaps somebody can suggest a better lineup?
  2. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Salsa lessons with a teacher who is a salsa specialist.
  3. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I tried that. That didn't work.
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    Why not?? Did they not use a syllabus?
  5. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    No, they did not. For the sake of the original question. Let's assume I can't afford salsa lessons with a teacher who is a salsa specialist. And all I have to rely on is youtube and good folks of this forum. I need help coming up with a list of moves to learn to be adequate in a social setting.
  6. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    First.. what style are you interested in developing ?..this might be based, upon what is most common your area .
  7. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    The point was not to take a lesson with a salsa specialist, but to take a lesson with a good/qualified salsa specialist. Now, I do understand the woes of a beginner knowing how to do this.
    Secondly, however, you cannot learn from watching YouTube.
    Lastly, IMHO, in one of my studios we teach a class that we call The Basic Latin Dance Survival Kit. Though they are all separate dances, these 4 basic steps; La Media, Cumbia [Tropicale], Mambo, and [Cuban] Salsa, makeup the foundation of all that one needs to know to dance and enjoy a basic salsa.

    And, a belated Welcome to the DF.
  8. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I am very interested in a style that is first in alphabetical order.
  9. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Then that, would be Cuban ?
  10. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Sure! Cuban sounds "Salsy" enough. Or, to make it very specific, I'd like to learn a style danced in Golden Triangle area of Denver.
  11. vit

    vit Active Member

    I suggest checking first what is being danced in your area. DVIDA deals with "linear salsa", where follower moves along the slot. "Cuban salsa" is actually called Casino in Cuba and around. It looks considerably different, follower moves around the leader in circles, along sides of triangle etc. It is also danced in couples, but is frequently danced in a circle called rueda, like on this clip (not saying this is the best possible example, but it has listed names of most used figures)

    As about DVIDA syllabus, it looks like partially successful attempt to standardize most used salsa moves in a ballroom way, so some of those moves are used among salsa dancers, some not really and/or have different names etc. Various areas and teachers have a bit different set of most used moves and how they are executed, so discovering some "syllabus set" is close to impossible task. But generally, most common moves are here

    0:15 - basic step
    0:18 - cross body lead
    0:21 - underarm turn
    0:37 - back break
    0:39 - backspot turn
    0:48 - cross body lead 360
    0:51 - reverse cross body or whatever the name
    0:58 - cross body lead with follower's inside turn
    1:50 - change of the hands behind the back
    2:22 - change of hands behind follower's back

    These are usual names as of today (prone to change depending the area, teacher, year ...). As you can see, these moves have various versions with different handholds. In addition, there are some solo turns, double turns and some moves I didn't name etc ... but you can live with this set of moves. There a only a few frequently used moves not present here, like copa etc ...

    And another thing, linear salsa can be danced breaking on 1 and 5 ("on 1") like here and breaking on 2 and 6 ("on 2")

    ticolora likes this.
  12. IsaacAltman

    IsaacAltman Member

    Try the syllabus for the World Salsa Federation
    ticolora and Angel HI like this.
  13. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    YES! Finally, thank you @IsaacAltman, that's exactly what I was looking for.
  14. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Thank you, @vit. Although I surely hope the list you gave is not a "minimum adequate syllabus", at least in my area.

    I think I've heard that one referenced to as "Pizza Spin", no way that's a Bronze level move

    As well as
    I surely hope I can start dancing without mastering those two moves first.
  15. vit

    vit Active Member

    Pizza hand is an usual name for type of hand hold where leader's palm is facing up like holding a pizza, for instance at position 0:23, when the guy makes a right turn under his right hand

    Some moves in that video are done in more complex version, so for instance at position 0:51 guy is leading her to the other side giving her outside (clockwise) turn, ending with sliding her arm along his back. You can use more simple version, turning to the right - towards her earlier, while she is passing to the other side and retaining the handhold, it's way easier. Or you can lead her to make inside (counterclockwise) turn - in that case it's Enchufla from casino or from Isaac's bronze video

    As about cross body 360, it's the cross body lead with additional change of place (turning 1/2 turn more in total). It is definitively harder to do, requiring some common balance with your partner, but quite popular among salsa dancers. Surely you can skip it at the beginning. The same for backspot turn (or natural top as called in Isaac's DVD - the name from ballroom, or prima as usually called in casino) - not that easy to do properly either. Change of the hand behind follower's back is also demanding. Other moves are similar to those on Isaac's bronze syllabus DVD

    Overall, there are various communities of salsa people, so first check local situation. Sometimes they mix, sometimes they don't, depending on the area. Cuban salsa and slotted salsa dancers are usually quite separate, they are using also different names for some similar moves used in both styles which are danced stylistically quite different. Not much people actually dance both styles. And they usually don't have bronze, silver and gold levels, but levels 1, 2, 3, 4 .... or beginner, intermediate, improver, advanced ... Bronze-gold are probably used in ballroom studios teaching salsa as well, which usually don't mix much with non-ballroom salsa dancers ... and Isaac's DVDs are some kind of mix of all three, looking like slotted casino with ballroom flavor, using mix of the names from casino and ballroom ....

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