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Frequently Asked Questions

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All Rights Reserved.

The Art of learning, memorising, composing
& improvising Salsa Turn Patterns

The main purpose of this Salsa Method is to help you learning, developing and memorising salsa turn patterns.

We break down salsa figures and routines into short 'easy to remember' elements organised into 4 categories: Hand holds, Directions, Actions and Positions. The Salsa Dictionary provides a description and a visual example of all these elements. To learn how to execute these elements in Salsa and Mambo, On1 & On2 and in Cha Cha Cha, see our DVD From Salsa to Mambo (via Cha Cha Cha).

For the technically oriented, we also describe a way to write down salsa figures: the Salsa Language. This can be used to write down with pen & paper code each salsa turn pattern in a compressed form, just like a musician writes down a music score.

Just like musicians read and write music...

Learning how to dance salsa, like most other learning processes, requires memorizing a considerable amount of information. Salsa is a very sophisticated dance and involves learning not only proper technique and styling but also turn patterns for partner dancing.

Technique and styling comes with the practice and eventually becomes habitual. Also, they evolve slowly and may take years to get in and out of fashion. Turn patterns however are invented daily and many dancers want to expand their repertoire as soon as a new move becomes fashionable. In these cases turn patterns need to be memorised.

More experienced and creative dancers like to make up their own turn patterns or improve them on the dance floor. Occasionally they also may wish to memorise their creation before it gets forgotten. Because of this, many dancers have at some point faced the problem of writing down or memorising salsa figures.

Here is where the elements mentioned above become handy: we use them to break salsa patterns down into smaller chunks and all we need to memorize is the sequence of these elements for each salsa figure. .

Who should use the Salsa Method?

In our original intent, the Salsa Method aims at:

  • Beginner dancers who are not yet familiar with the names of basic salsa elements (Hand holds, Directions, Actions and Positions). For example, you might be hearing terms like ‘hammerlock’ or ‘cross body lead’ but not know what they are.
  • Dancers who wish to read the SalsaIsGood DVD scripts which contain a written description of all the moves and figures that we designed. Once you are familiar with the basic elements and their names, you will find it very easy to understand and memories the figures.
  • All dancers who like salsa moves: understanding the basic elements will help you visualize how they connect and how they can be merged into the endlessly and smoothly flowing complex patterns.
  • All dancers who want to experiment with our Salsa Language and learn how to write down their favorite figures. The purpose of the Salsa Language is to give you a tool to quickly write down a description of a salsa figure. Once you become familiar with the Language, you will be able to just watch a figure in a class or a club and write it down on the spot, like a musician writes down a music score.
  • Salsa instructors, who may want to use the concept of breaking down salsa figures to Hand holds, Directions, Actions and Positions as a teaching tool.

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