Basic structure of the Salsa Method
The Salsa Method makes it easy to learn and remember salsa turn patterns
in linear styles of salsa by breaking them down into 4 very simple elements.
Never again will you watch a cool routine and WISH you could remember
it!! All you need to look for are the hand holds, the direction where
the dancers are facing in relation to each other, the actions that they
perform and the postions they end up in. Sounds complicated? Read on -
it is surprisingly simple and soon becomes satisfyingly intuitive! We
also introduce a shorthand for recording the figures so you can go back
to them whenever you need to. For more about the shorthand click on The
Imagine that you
are in a salsa class and your instructor starts demonstrating the first
turn pattern of the evening. He says: "‘In normal hold the
guy leads a right turn…’ etc. This is where the turn pattern
starts and remembering the hand hold will help you to lead and remember
what comes next. For example, in a crossed hold the leader will be able
to lead a reverse but not a normal hammerlock, etc.
In salsa styles
danced on the slot, the way the dancers are orientated on the line and
the direction that they are facing is an important part of the dance.
Are the dancers facing each other along the line? Hhas the leader stopped
the follower with her back to him? Or, are the dancers facing the opposite
directions? In the ‘on line’ salsa, the dancers can be positioned
facing along the line of dance or facing perpendicular to the line of
dance. In addition, they can be facing a) each other, b) the same direction
or c) the opposite directions from each other. Here are three examples
that visually demonstrate some of these points.
|Example 1. In NY or LA salsa the dancers dance on the line. This
figure shows an example where the dancers are facing each other along
the line. From the top view you can see the line on the dance-floor..
|Example 2. The dancers here are facing the same direction along
|Example 3. In this example the dancers are perpendicular to the
line and are facing the opposite direction from each other.
All possible ‘Directions’ and their detailed descriptions
are provided in The Salsa Dictionary.
Actions and Positions
when do we get to the moves? Because this is the part that we really want
to remember! Well, we describe the moves as ‘Actions’ after
which the dancers end up in certain ‘Positions’ and The
Salsa Dictionary lists and explains many (if not all) possible actions
and positions used in salsa with the shorthand to record them for future
reference. You don't need to worry about how to get into the position,
just remember the position itself. This is because you can achieve the
same position via different actions or the same position can be the end
point of different actions. Thus, if we remember all possible actions
and all possible positions we can put them together while we are learning
salsa figures and so crate an infinite number of variations!
Information contained in The Salsa Dictionary:
- Names of basic salsa elements, which include Hand holds, Directions,
Actions and Positions;
• A written description of each element;
• A visual example, which allows you to view each element;
• A symbol (or code) for each element taken from our Salsa Language.
Knowing these symbols will allow you to write down descriptions of salsa
figures. If you would like to learn how to use symbols to write down
salsa figures, please refer to our The
Salsa Language manual.