I've been told to not center my weight and when I step onto a foot to roll from the big toe all the way to the pinkie toe to get the motion down. I've also been told not to move my hips purposly. Are there any other Salsa technique tips that I should try? Thanks!!! :D

Vince A

Active Member

I've been told the same thing about my center . . . and have been struggling with it! It is to the point where it's making my other dances feel altogether off.

For instance, in WCS, I do just the opposite (roll inside) for "getting down and funky" with an 8 count footwork pattern. I am well into my knees, in first position, and do kind of a "toe check," rolling off the big toe (really the first three toes), down the inside of my foot until my inside heel contacts the floor - count "5"-R foot, then the same for count "&"-Lfoot, then the same for count "6"-R foot with the heel touching down as "&"(R heel) before stepping back on "1."

I rarely count in WCS except when the music is funky and I do this footwork - and it looks good!

This is totally opposite of the new stuff I'm getting. And believe me, I get the two of them mixed up on the floor . . . learning to Salsa is a humbling experience!
Hi MissAlyssa,

Exactly what are you trying to do in salsa dancing?

I ask so that I can have a better idea of your goals
and give you better advice...

In the meantime, you can see some articles already
posted here...

The Formula for success...which is in the Library.

And also the 3 Part 7 Tips To Salsa Dancing series...

But other than that, if you have some specifics I can
help you out.


New Member
FWIW, Salomon and Sandra basically teach the action as classic rumba motion, I'm fairly certain they don't take the weight all the way to the heel though, the music is just a little too quick, and that's sort of hard to do in jazz shoes anyway, which is the footwear of choice for many salsa dancers.



I agree. I think it would be odd to ever place your weight on the heel in a Latin dance, because you should always be poised forward on the ball of the foot.

I might add that when you work on body action, you should think of moving the body first. Put your finger on your solar plexus. Now move your center to the left and the right by shifting through your ribs but keeping your shoulders level. To move forward on your left foot, settle back into the right hip and let the left side of your chest move forward with your left knee. To move back, imagine someone is poking a finger into your solar plexus (like you are inhaling). As you start mastering body action you'll see that you are faster on your feet!


New Member
Nice description of the rib cage movement. Advanced dancers should remember to keep their centers very, very toned while doing these movements, though that may be beyond folks just starting to increase their ribcage flexibility.

I think it would be odd to ever place your weight on the heel in a Latin dance
Well, putting aside Paso, which is almost a Standard dance, at least in terms of technique, it depends on the dance. The deeper you settle the hip, the more the pressure point will travel towards the back of the foot. Of course you generally don't step on the Heel (save for a few Samba moves.)

As to MissAlyssa's original question ... in general, don't let your weight cross over the midline of the foot. Here's a little test to show the value of staying on the inside edges of your feet: Stand flat-footed, and have a friend push you from any direction. Now squeeze your inner thighs so that your weight is distributed over the inside edges of both feet. Have your friend push you again. Now take the weight to the outside edge of either foot, and repeat. Basically, you have much, much more stability and "grounding" if you stay over the inside edge.
thanks guys. I had a training class today and the owner of my studio was teaching me the "proper" basic cha cha, as in the whole motion technique. I'm getting the hang of it but I'm thinking I should work on my salsa or rumba motions and the cha cha will come easier. I feel like a washing machine that's off balance during the rinse cycle lol. :?
just a quick update. I have been working on my rumba and cha cha motions and I'm happy to say that I'm getting really good [not to toot my own horn too much], then again I have been practicing for endless hours to get it just right. Now that I know the proper way to practice I am more confident knowing I'm not practicing the "wrong" way. Thanks for all that helped out :]


New Member
It's not easy. Unfortunately, a great deal of the problem is building up the ab and back strength (and later, leg and foot strength,) to perform the motion. Although in my experience, women usually pick it up about fairly quickly, especially young women.
Try not to get too frustrated if your male coworkers are a little behind on the learning curve ... it's usually a much longer road for us guys, unfortunately.
well what's really cool is that all four men at our studio are the ones teaching all of us women [with the exception of one]. but then again...they have been doing it for quite a while and we haven't. :lol:

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