Social Ballroom Dancing/Salsa



Like many other musical styles, salsa has many of the well-known music (beat) measures. If you are a musician, or you are able to tell rhythm, then you can perform your basic step. It is important to note however, that we have 8 "tics" when dancing. This means that you are going to do your steps twice as quickly as the "1-2-3-4" count. It is also important to mention that the foot movements are done in every tick but 4 and 8. So, for the basic salsa step there would be a total of six movements (1-2-3, 4 5-6-7, 8) So, in the eight measures. Movements to make the basic step:

  • left foot forward (tick 1)
  • right foot stepping in place (tick 2)
  • left foot comes back next to the right foot (tick 3)
  • (tick 4 is left alone)
  • Right foot moves back (tick 5)
  • Left foot steps into place (tick 6)
  • Right foot goes back next to * left foot (tick 7)
  • (tick eight is left alone)

There are quite a few steps for the salsa dance, but this is the one that seems to be the most commonly used for the leader (being the male).

Variations and turns


Once the basic step is performed, it can be done in some different ways. For example, one can step to the sides instead of stepping to the front and back. So the left foot would move left, then step back next to the right foot; thus, the right foot is moved right and stepped back to the left foot. When turning, the leader raises his right hand and motions it to the desired turning side. Raising the hand is important since there has to be constant contact with the fingers as the person rotates. So if the person is turning, their hand is too, always touching the fingers, so that at the end of the turn the hands can be back together again.

Points of connection

  • Preferably, leader's right hand grabs onto follower's shoulder, follower grabs leaders shoulder.
  • right elbow has to be under the follower's arm
  • left leader's hand is held with right follower's hand.

Note: These three points of connection are the ones commonly used; although there can be variations of such points, depending on the type of turn and type of steps which are implemented.

See also