Level 1 Online Course

Dance as the narration of a magical story; that recites on lips, illuminates imaginations and embraces the most sacred depths of souls.
— Shah Asad Rizvi
salsa dancing online

Welcome to Salsa Secrets Level 1 Online Course. We are honored to have you with us. Included in your class is 3  Video Lessons and 3 bonus Audio Tracks. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at: dance@salsasecrets-portsmouth.com

Introduction

Level 1 Salsa

Our philosophy as a dance company is not based upon the information, but rather, the experience. Thus, the aspect of vibrational resonance is primary within our company as it supports the idea of music and dance as modalities of healing. We are going to present to you all the tools you need to develop excellent salsa dance technique. In order for this natural development to occur, you must practice. Your muscle memory will develop more and more as you repeat the movements. That said, we don't want you to become hyper focused upon the steps as the dance offers so much more.

How to Work with the Lessons

The lessons progress from one movement to another. It is recommended that you pause the video lessons and work with each component individually for a period of time, until it feels comfortable and then move onto the next component. We've included some practice audio tracks of music at an appropriate learning tempo for you to spend time with. There is no need to rush. Practice is the key to expanding your dance repertoire and your muscle memory for the movement patterns. 

The Presence

Salsa dancing offers us a great life lesson: PRESENCE. We ask our students in the studio and online that when you show up for class, you are present in the time, space and reality of the class. The time you gift yourself in the present moment is extremely special. Being present isn't an escape from reality, but rather choosing to experience a moment just as it is. By being open and giving yourself this time, you will gain so much more from our classes that translates to the dance and beyond.


Video Lessons

Video 1 - Fundamentals of Salsa

We share fundamentals of salsa in bare feet from Habana, Cuba.

Stepping Patterns

  • Front Step

  • Back Step

  • Side Step

  • Fundamental Basic Step in Salsa

  • Expanded Basic Step

Important Components

  • Ground your energy

  • Weight Shift

  • Have Fun!

  • Leader & Follower Roles

  • Timing, Distance & Symmetry

Partnering

  • Basic Step

  • Hand Connections

    • Left to Right

    • Right to Left

    • Both Hands Connection

    • Right to Right

    • Left to Left

    • Left to Left with the Right to Right on Top

    • Right to Right with the Left to Left on Top

  • Basic Step with all various hand connections

Don't forget, if you begin to struggle with the footwork patterns, rewind the video a little bit until you find a space where you are comfortable and practice there for a bit. When you're ready, move on slowly. 

When you engage in partnering, enjoy the process of connecting with one another. Get to know the flow of each other. Followers, let the leader lead. Leaders, find a way to be confident in your movements. You want to support each other in your individual roles.  Allow the other person to develop at the pace that is comfortable for him. 

It could benefit you to start listening to the practice audio tracks and other salsa music to get a feeling of the count. The more you train your ear, the better your understanding of the timing. Remember, we dance to the count of 1,2,3 and 5,6,7. There is a pause on 4 and 8. We can think of the pattern as quick, quick, slow and quick, quick, slow. We can also use the idea of left, right, left and right, left, right for the leaders. And for the followers right, left, right and left, right, left.


Video 2 - Fundamentals of the Connection & Partnering in Salsa

We expand upon our footwork, connection and partnering.

Footwork

  • Right Turn (RT)

  • Hesitation Left (HL)

Partnering

  • Right Turn Leader, RT Follower - no connection

  • Lead for the Right Turn

  • HL Leader, HL Follower - no connection

  • Lead for Hesitation Left

  • RT/RT, HL/HL Exchange

  • RT & HL for the follower with the connection

Important Concepts

  • The floor as a clock, 12:00 in front of us

  • Spotting Exercise / Neck Isolation

  • Lightness of the Upper Body

  • Manipulation of the Connection by the Leader

  • Arm Posture and Positioning

  • Halo during pivots

  • Being present in the dance

  • Posture for presentation and safety in salsa

  • Importance of Repetition

  • Get to know yourself within the movement

We want to begin practicing spotting in a mirror while we turn in place 5x to the left and 5x to the right each day. This will help us to keep our balance during pivots. 

The right turn will begin on the count of 1 for the leaders and the count of 5 for the followers. Hesitation Left will begin on 1 for the leaders and 5 for the followers, as well. 

Good Balance comes from:

  1. Keeping our feet grounded

  2. Keeping our abdomen engaged

  3. Spotting

Being a good follower is all about receiving the messages from the leader and executing them. This means we must give up the concept of control as followers and allow the leader to lead. The dance becomes a conversation and an exchange between the leader and follower. 

Being a good leader means being confident, seeing the movement before it happens and sharing the idea for that movement with the follower. While we can offer the follower messages, we cannot dance for her, so we must be detached from the outcome. 

We are already dancing!! Continue to practice the footwork, partnering and implement the concepts from this video into your partnering practice and solo dancing practice! Be patient with yourselves and embrace the speed of your growth. 

 Salsa Secrets Diagram of Posture

Salsa Secrets Diagram of Posture


Video 3 - Salsa Footwork & Duet Patterns

Footwork Patterns

  • Basic Step

  • Side Step

  • Quarter Beat Steps

  • Triplets

  • Right Turn

  • Hesitation Left

Duet Patterns

  • Side Step & Quarter Beat Steps

  • Right Turn & Side Step

  • Hesitation Left & Quarter Beat Steps

  • Hesitation Left & Right Turn

We want to encourage you to try more duet patterns on your own:

  • Hesitation Left & Triplets

  • Triplets & Right Turn

  • Hesitation Left & Side Step

  • Right Turn & Hesitation Left

  • Quarter Beat Steps & Triplets

  • And so on...

The possibilities of combinations are endless as we add more footwork. Some movements will feel smooth and transitions will be easy, others might feel more challenging. Continuing practicing and get to know the feeling of each of the movement puzzles and how they link to others. Once we become comfortable with duets, we can combine groups of three movements together. Have fun with the footwork and don't focus on getting it perfect, that part will come in time with repetition!


Bonus Practice Tracks - 105bpm

Say Yes to the Groove

Moon Beat

Street Conversation

All Composition & Arrangement by: Piotr Kowalczyk 

Note: As a courtesy to Salsa Secrets, please use these videos tracks for personal use only. They are available exclusively to attendees of our Level 1 Part 1 Students. Thank you for your compliance.


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