Salsa > Salsa on 1 or 2?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by salilsurendran, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Not much, and to me its sort of like asking whether Argentine Tango or Ballroom Tango is a better interpretation of the music. I know which one I like, but I know others will not agree with me, and that's okay! :cool:
  2. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    What a PITA!
  3. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Chiming in late - sorry!
    Actually there are LOTS of on2 dancers in Seoul. I was there at the end of November and had a chance to go out one night, and at the club I visited (Gachi in Abgujeon) most of the guys danced on2 (Eddie Torres style). I think it's just a matter of finding on2 classes and socials. I've been told that there seem to be more on2 nights on the Guangnam side of the town.
  4. EvaDarling

    EvaDarling New Member

    Oh, thanks for the tip! I tend to go where all the foreigners go because that's what I am and when I asked a few guys if they dance on2 because I wanted to practice, they looked confused. So I just assumed that most don't dance on2. Apgujeong/Gangnam I believe has a mostly Korean crowd so I don't go there but if Gachi has on2 dancers, maybe I'll head out there some time soon. Thanks again!
  5. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    I just don't get it... so on1, you feet come together... back rock, together, forward rock, together... but on2, your feet pass in front and behind instead of coming together in the middle?
  6. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    You got it right.

    It's actually possible to dance on1 that way too, but on2 (ET style) is always danced that way. There's another style of on2, called Power 2, where you step exactly as you would on1, except that everything happens a beat later.
  7. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    I've had several teachers explain mambo as salsa on the 2. But no... that's just salsa on 2, yeah? Mambo is.... something else?

    Obviously I'm bored enough to be trying to figure this out online.
  8. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    No, not at all. Your feet should pass either way.
  9. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Salsa on2 is also known as NY mambo. In the salsa world, these terms are interchangeable.

    I think the ballroom-style mambo is quite different from the mambo of the salsa world though.

    Are you confused yet? :lol:
  10. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    I was taught feet come together from teacher #1. I am still being taught that with #2. I will be trying a salsa/mambo lesson with a teacher specific to that soon and see what he does.
  11. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    ww, it's not wrong to bring your feet together. "Wrong" doesn't really exist in the world of dancing, because there are many different schools of thought. However, there does exist "more functional." Bringing your feet together in salsa (or NY mambo) stops your movement and forces you to regenerate it. This type of stopping of movement is desired to some extent in ballroom mambo, but that's not what we're talking about here. Allowing your feet to pass keeps smooth movement from one end of the basic to the other, and is consistent with the character of salsa. Bringing your feet together without having the knowledge or ability to control that action, which I assume that you don't yet at this stage in your learning, causes a dancer to look choppy and stiff, and to feel like the music is too fast for the body. So it's not "wrong", but it is in the context of salsa is "less functional."

    And here's a bit of disappointing news to you perhaps ww: whatever the next teacher says will just be what works for that teacher. There are things I teach that work for me and that I think will work for someone, but may be ultimately incorrect for that student. You must gather information from your sources (different teachers, this forum, etc), and then use what works for YOU. There is no ultimate answer in dancing, which is what makes it beautiful!
  12. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Well-Known Member

    That makes so much more sense. It does feel awkward to pause on 4 and 8 like I've been taught. It feels mechanical. When I think of good dancers I think of fluidity of motion. Your body shouldn't stop moving, or pause, where there is no pause in the music, right.
  13. bas

    bas New Member

    I agree. But then, just because you stop your feet from moving doesn't mean you also stop the rest of your body. Fluidity of motion can still be maintained even if you're not moving your feet for a beat.
  14. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Choppy/mechanical is one way of looking at it... another (and my preferred) way of looking at it is that the pauses on 4 and 8 are there for you to store up energy and build a momentum before you go into your forward break. The explosiveness of the 1/5 is (to me) a signature characteristic and the attraction of the LA on1 style of salsa, as opposed to the fluidity of NY (ET) on2.
  15. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Good point MM... I think though that even in LA on1, the less smooth movement that good dancers exhibit, the more explosive movement, (which is not what I was referring to) is quite different from the choppy movement exhibited by not-yet-good dancers (what I was referring to) caused by incorrect use of the feet which leaves them with no choice but to stop completely and bring their feet together.
  16. taylor1990

    taylor1990 New Member

    Salsa probably has the hardest timing to understand and really get a grip on because there are so many instruments and it is quick. Dancing on both the 1 and the 2 is possible to master, and it is good to master it because you'll use both in different settings. Socially most people dance on the 1, ballroom, people will dance on the 2 so you kind of have to be able to do both if you want to dance in both settings. It isn't a bad thing that you know how to dance on the 1, at least you know how to find the 1. Remember that you can't find the 2 if you can't find the 1. Keep practicing and you'll get a better understanding of dancing on the 2. It might be hard but you're on the right track. And don't associate the beat with any instruments. The way you're counting it and dividing the music in counts of 8 is just fine. Good luck!!
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    B/Room people dance on "2" ???......... so do all who dance on clave, ya know , like PRs, Cubans etc..
  18. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    All music has a natural breathe, even salsa. Salsa also is a hybrid, or salsa, of 4 other main movements/dances, one being La Media. Dancing this side-to-side 'slow dance' often helps in finding the natural breathe, and subsequently, the 1.
  19. azzey

    azzey Member

    Pausing on 4 and 8 with the feet does not have to be awkward. It's also a different issue to step size. Both stepping past and stepping together are valid in the right context. You didn't say which basic step you were executing like that. I'm assuming you mean the forward-back basic ; Much depends on the basic step you are executing at the time. Like anything it's a matter of learning the correct technique, timing, balance and poise.

    Also be aware some teachers may teach stepping together in a particular context (e.g. in the first class) but actually dance passing their feet past each other. Imagine learning like layers on an onion. There are many layers and you can't teach or indeed learn them all at once.

    Like others said, beginners tend to have problems with stepping together because they also stop their body moving.

    If doing a forward-back basic I recommend learning different step sizes as different leaders will not all be the same. The most important thing is to maintain your balance and body position while stepping. Also you can step almost together or half-a-foot length past, thereby circumventing the issue of either one or the other.

    Generally speaking salsa is danced with sharp feet (i.e. hitting specific beats) and with a smooth body movement, regardless of style. There are always times for exceptions though, whether of differences of the music or style or personal preferences.

    Good dancers learn a range of techniques and apply them at the right time. Try not to get into the idea of "there's only one way to do it".

    Here's some examples for different styles:

    Son Cubano (from the 1900's) is a dance that pre-dates Salsa but is still danced today in Cuba and if learning Cuban salsa, is fundamental to the dance. See how they pause their feet on 4 and 8 yet also dance smoothly:

    These NY style Salsa teachers have excellent basic steps:
  20. azzey

    azzey Member

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