Cubanasalsa Beginners Course Syllabus
Here's the list of all of the moves covered by the beginners course with translations from Spanish where possible. If you've never been to a Salsa class this isn't going to make much sense to you! It’s here as many course members ask if there is such a list.. Use it to help you remember the move names and what the move entails with footwork and hands etc. We always teach the correct Spanish names for moves as if you ever dance elsewhere (or Cuba!) it's what they'll use too.
The steps follow the musical beats of 1,2,3 and 5,6,7, in beginners no steps occur on the ‘4’ and the ‘8’ (unless they are taps), ‘Outside’ means outside of the circle ‘Inside’ means inside of the circle. This beginners course covers all the basics you need, at the end of 6 weeks your feet will be dancing the steps without you thinking about them too much, you'll also be familiar with your positioning in the Rueda (Circle) and leading or following your partner, the beauty of this way of learning Salsa is all of the moves can then be danced individually, one-to-one.
Week 1 and 2. Basic steps in Warm-up
Mambo Forwards and backwards motion, starting left foot forward on the 1,2,3 and back with the right foot on the 5,6,7 (Guys steps).
Cucaracha (‘Cockroach’) Stepping to the left on the 1,2,3 and right on 5,6,7 (Guys steps), Tip.. do small steps!
Basic back Back on both feet, left foot back on the ‘1’, right foot back on the '5'.
On the spot Steps are all stepped literally on the spot, later lessons may include a clockwise turn whilst doing this.
Opening out This is where the left foot goes behind and to the left on the ‘1’ then back to the centre on the 2,3, then right foot behind and to the right on the ‘5’, then back to centre on the 6,7..
Week 3 onwards
'Star into the corners' This is to practice doing the Mambo step whilst turning clockwise, you step forward on the ‘1’ on your left foot and then Mambo (turning clockwise on the 5, forward on the 1) into each of the 4 corners of the room in until you are back facing the front.
Right turn This is where the first three steps are just like a conventional Mambo but on the 5,6,7 you do a quick turn to the right ending up facing where you started, (there’s an easier version of this with half a turn, forward on the 1,2,3, half turn to the right and then repeat to return you facing forwards).
With a tap
Crossover Step (Back across together).
Week1 as couples
The following weeks as couples:
Cuban Basic (also called ‘Guapea’ which means 'stroll' or 'walk' in Spanish).
Transition from ‘closed hold’ to ‘open hold’
'Moving around the circle' moves
Un Tarro (‘The Bull’) guys lift up their partners arm and walk underneath moving forwards to the next partner.
Coco (‘Guys’) While doing P’Arriba above, guys lift up outside arm and turn to the outside of the circle underneath it (to the right) whilst still moving forwards.
Coquitto (‘Chicks’) While doing P’Arriba above, guys lift up the ladies inside arm and turn them outside the circle (to the right) whilst still moving forwards.
P’ Abacho (Backwards) Like a Mambo step again but the ladies keep moving forwards and the guys backwards, keep the gaps small in the circle!.
Finally these are three moves to get right as you’ll be doing them a lot..
Dile que Si
(‘Tell her yes’) While dancing Cuban Basic as above the guys push ladies
back on ‘1’ as normal but on the 2,3 they pull the lady in close to them
then both turn clockwise on the 5,6,7 so guys end
up facing anti-clockwise and women facing clockwise. You then dance Mambo
facing in this ‘opposite’ direction.
Adios (Goodbye) Like a Dile que Si to start with on the 1,2,3 but guys lift up ladies arm and move clockwise around them onto next partner on the 5,6,7, it's a bit like 'Un Tarro'.
Remember! Fingertips, Small distances, Contre movmiento (opposite movement) Swapping places, Circular movement, Ladies don't let go of the guy unless he lets go of you!
Improvers moves taught throughout the year:
Last updated 22nd June 2011 Copyright ©Cubanasalsa 2012
'Cubanasalsa' is a trading name of 'La Zouch' Limited, a UK Private Limited company number: 7471465