Salsera: Lead, Body, Music

(Richard Still and Morgan Hemphill, who teach my wife and I Salsa at Dance Concepts)

This weekend Strictly Come Dancing sashays into its decennial season full Quicksteps, Tangos, Rumbas and of course Salsas. As the celebrities learn this new dance, Chilly’s Blog offers some 70-20-10 advice on perfecting the Cuban rug-cutting in the post ‘The 70-20-10 Rule to being a 100% Awesome Salsera’

· 70%: His lead tells most of the story. 70% of being a good Salsera boils down to simply following. No predictions or assumptions or completing the move before the time. Even if you are 100% certain as to what is coming next, you need to follow the man’s lead and do what his lead asks you to do and only when he asks you to do it. You can never go wrong on this rule, it simply can’t fail!

· 20%: Pay attention to his body positioning and body language. In certain circumstances (usually where the lead is ambiguous), you have to look at his body positioning to help you complete the picture. E.g. Is he standing right in front of you or has he stepped out of the slot? Is his hand over your head or over his? Does his body language indicate to you that he wants you to move? These and other subtle cues will help fill in the picture that will make any dance look flawless.

· 10%: Have fun playing with the music. This last little bit takes a really cool dance and makes it Phenomenal! Ladies – The man listens to the music and the woman listens to the man. That being said, you still need to be totally aware of the music and what’s going on & have fun with it, but this should not affect your ability to follow. (Watch any Magna Gopal video and you will see what I mean).

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