Cuban salsa

How to master these essential Cuban Salsa Moves

Cuban salsa moves are some of the most dazzling and free-spirited moves of salsa dances. But in order to master them you need to undergo a few stages. Ready?
If you want to learn Cuban salsa moves you must first know what music to listen to and how to listen to them. Did you know that Rumba was one of the dances that make up Cuban salsa?
I speak about rumba because the very first tip to master the dance is to listen to the right type of music according to your level.

Rumba is the god of Cuban salsa moves

This dance style originated in the mid 18th century and was mainly confined to dark skin Cubans. It took the revolution of the sixties to see it become one of the flagship of Cuban culture. The key about rumba is its use of the clave. The instruments, is, in turn, related to your feet and their steps, and therefore that’s why your dance teachers will tell you to listen to the clave in salsa songs. That’s all great but how can you identify it in salsa, when; this music style comprises so many different instruments.
The remedy for this is rumba, because it exclusively uses clave and just a few other instruments. Then, once you have train your ears to listen the clave in rumba, it becomes easier to switch to pure salsa music. Furthermore, another advantage of rumba is that you can already learn salsa moves with this dance.

Rumba steps for Cuban salsa moves (nbr 1)

Move number 1

How to

Simultaneously you need to use your hips to:
–       shift your weight on one leg
–       bend
–       use your opposite arm and shoulder blade to create a perfect balance
Then come back to centre. On the second measure of the basic step you do the same motion with the opposite leg.

2nd Cuban salsa style step (nbr 2):

This step adopts a rumba moves on the 5 to 7 beats, where the dancers jump backward with one leg behind the other multiple of time.

Move number 2

basic Cuban Salsa moves

From Rumba, we move to what is considered the father of Cuban salsa, namely Son. 
Unlike the former, which is more a chase between a man and a woman, where the man does everything to “get” the lady; Son is more a ballroom type of dance. Couples dance close to each other’s in steps that are coordinated, circular or lateral and with sudden stops. We can therefore consider Son as the basis of Cuban salsa moves.

1st Cuban salsa move that borrows from Son (nbr 3):

I mentioned that the clave is an essential instrument for the dancer of Cuban salsa. This is also one of the main instrument in SonCheck-out my post and training on the clave for more. Some son moves mimic the clave very closely and is therefore a very essential training tool for dancers. 
As the man moves forward, the woman goes back. At the end of the steps she can move forward as the man steps back.  

Move number 3

2nd Cuban salsa step from Son (nbr 4):

Another of the Cuban salsa moves that borrow from Son is this lateral step. It’s identical to the previous one, only that it’s done laterally with a stop on the 8 count and a reverse of direction to the other side. Both partners move in the same direction the male using is left foot on the count of 1 if they move to the left (lady uses her opposite foot) and the right foot if he goes to the right. Partners should dance closely together and use both their hips and shoulders.

Move number 4

Cuban Salsa moves that borrow from Son

3rd Cuban salsa step from Son (nbr 5):

I mentioned that Son is danced laterally but also in a circular way. That motion is one of the key characteristics of Cuban salsa; unlike other types of salsa such as New York or Los Angeles which tend to be more linear.

Move number 5

Cuban Salsa moves that borrow from Son

This move implies that men and women move together. As the man crosses his right leg with the left one, he goes backward in order to come back forward, after he executed what looked like a circle. The lady moves in synchronisation with him.

From Rumba and Son we can get to more Cuban salsa moves. 

4th Cuban salsa step from Son (nbr 6):

Partners dance in a static way on this move. Most of the work is done with the hips and and shoulders. This step is usually done when the dancers really want to appreciate the time they have together. It’s pretty simple though the trick is to do it on beat. 

Move number 6

standing Cuban Salsa moves that borrow from Son dance

A classic of salsa Cuban style (nbr 7):

On the first beat both partners move backward and then to the centre on (3). They do the same motion on the other leg on the 5th beat while using the palm of their hands to gently push their partner away from each other. This move is generally use to initiate turn patterns. 

Move number 7

casino move cuban style salsa
casino move cuban style salsa

Putting all these Cuban salsa moves together

With these 7 simple Cuban salsa moves we can start to play. For example, we could do the following patterns of steps:
Moves: nbr 6, 3, 5, 4, 1 and 7
Basically, if you can remember these basic steps, and dance them on beat; you would have just created a dance pattern that will impress your partners. Later on, you can add-up more moves, but the principle will remain the same.

I have more to offer

Don’t forget to check-out all the info I put out on Salsa, Zumba, Bachata and other afro-Cuban dances. I have many programs that will make your journey to the gym seems useless. My great VIP programs can take you from novice to expert in less than 3 months. They will definitely introduce new muscles to your body.

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