Level 1 Part 3 Online Course

Dance for yourself. If someone understands, good. If not, no matter. Go right on doing what interests you, and do it until it stops interesting you.
— Louis Horst
salsa online dance dance dance

Welcome to Salsa Secrets Level 1 Part 3 Online Course. We are honored to have you with us for another round! 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


Level 1 Part 3 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 Vulnerability

Dance makes us feel vulnerable! This is a really, really good thing. Sure, it can be frightening at first, but if we allow ourselves to fully experience the vulnerability and lean into it, not only will we become more in tune with the dance, but with our selves and in life. Vulnerability shines light upon the parts of us that we perceive as missing or lacking or not enough. It is a normal mechanism for us to protect ourselves and build up strength within to “overcome” such circumstances. And this serves us, it keeps us safe.

What if, rather than hardening, we softened?
What if rather than walking away, we approached?
What if, rather than holding our breath, we inhaled?
What if, rather than fighting against, we welcomed inward?

Level 1 Part 3 is a crucial moment for us to explore vulnerability for both the leader and the follower. The leader must step into the role of the Confident Creator. The follower must find inner strength and step into Femininity. That means, we must both set aside expectations for ourselves and each other and experience the now, openly and vulnerably.

Video Lessons

Video 1 - Movement Patterns Become Dance

We expand upon partnering combinations to include duos and trios. We develop the preparatory work for the inside turn for leaders and followers and we share the inside turn.

Partnering Duets

  • Right Turn, CBL

  • Hesitation Left, CBL

  • CBL, Right Turn

  • CBL, Hesitation Left

Partnering Trios

  • Right Turn, CBL, Hesitation Left

  • Hesitation Left, CBL, Right Turn

Inside Turn

  • Leader CBL Footwork & Lead

  • Follower Inside Turn Footwork

  • Sharing Inside Turn Together

Important Concepts

  • Developing plasticity within the brain

  • Various ways to combine movements/puzzles

  • Knowing the movements rather than memorizing patterns

  • Choosing movement sequences

  • Visualize the movement before applying the movement

  • Cross Body Lead Exercise

  • Project Runway Exercise

“Enjoy the ride, just do your thing!” We are beginning with some familiar movements such as cross body lead, right turn and hesitation left. We want you to tune into the details that we’ve covered in the previous chapters such as grounding your energy with your feet on the floor, maintaining posture, being aware of alignment - the concept of the box, spotting, and respecting the connection. We will combine the movements into duos and trios. We encourage you to spend some time practicing the duos and trios in anyway you can come up with.

The cross body lead exercise is beneficial for leaders and followers. The more that we practice a particular pattern, the more our body gets to know that pattern. When we use the idea of the cross body lead as an exercise, we can begin to let our brain to drift toward something else for example a conversation. As our body continues to practice the footwork even with our attention upon something else, we test our muscle memory and develop stronger and stronger motor pathways in our brain. This gives us a great advantage when we are dancing, especially as a leader, we can think less about what to do with our feet and more about the lead we want to offer and how we will be creating the dance.

Our Project Runway exercise is extremely useful for developing balance, foot placement on the floor, spotting and strengthening all of our rotations. We want to be certain that we are creating half turn pivots, advancing forward in order to mimic the turns of salsa dancing. We also want to be aware of our alignment. Our pivots should occur in a straight line. Feel free to practice 1 pivot, 2 pivots and 3 pivots until each feels comfortable to you.

As we introduce the new movement topic for this series, the inside turn, take your time to get to know the inside turn. Try not to let it overwhelm you. Break it down piece by piece and let your body slowly interpret the movement, over time. The inside turn is where we can feel that vulnerability and fear on both ends. Try your best to turn into it and allow your most vulnerable parts to experience this part of the dance.

Leaders, take note of the similarities and differences between Cross Body Lead and Inside Turn Lead:

Cross Body Lead

  • Cross Body Lead Footwork

  • Right to Left Invitation between 3 and 5

  • Left to Right at waist height

Inside Turn

  • Cross Body Lead Footwork

  • Right to Left Invitation between 3 and 5

  • Left to Right halo above her head


  • Leaders, we cannot turn for the follower, no matter how much we want to! We can only guide!

  • Be aware of where the follower’s footwork is aligned. The lead must be congruent with her footwork.

  • Dance within the cup (hook) of her hand with your hand.

  • Halo is there to support her.

  • Advance your footwork with her throughout the turn.

Followers, take note of the similarities and differences between Cross Body Lead and Inside Turn:

Cross Body Lead

  • Half of the Basic Step (1,2,3)

  • Shift weight onto the Left foot on 5

  • Just after 5 half a turn pivot on the left

  • On 6, step back

  • On 7, step back

  • Into 1 (step back) with the right

Inside Turn

  • Half of the Basic Step (1,2,3)

  • Shift weight onto the Left foot on 5

  • Just after 5 half a turn pivot on the left

  • On 6, half turn on the right

  • On 7 half turn on the left

  • Into 1 (step back) with the right


  • Inside Turn occurs within the box , stay in a straight line as you pivot.

  • Do not rush through the pivots.

  • Keep the hook on your fingertips in order to maintain the connection throughout the dance.

  • Keep the elbow at 90* during the pivots.

  • Spotting your partner throughout your pivots helps you to relate, maintain balance, and focus on the current task.

As we put together the movement for the leaders and the followers, make sure to each focus upon your responsibility. The movement is just a movement. The way you experience the movement is what is the most important. Have fun, play with the movements. Go after the experience, the technique will develop!

Video 2 - Inside Turn Partnering

We expand upon the Inside Turn.

Partnering Duets

  • Inside Turn, Hesitation Left

  • Right Turn, Inside Turn

  • Inside Turn, Right Right

Partnering Trios

  • Right Turn, Inside Turn, CBL

  • Inside Turn, Hesitation Left, CBL

  • Inside Turn, Right Right, CBL

Important Concepts

  • Synchronize responsibilities

  • Respect the timing

  • Leaders, fix the connection

  • Leaders, know where you are going

  • Each movement is its own puzzle

  • There’s another wave every time we find the 1 in the music

“Find a way to celebrate your accomplishments!” We start off by playing with some duets with our new toy, the Inside Turn. We shared with you three duet patterns, but we encourage you to try them in different patterns as well. Perhaps, you can try:

  • Inside Turn, Right Turn

  • Hesitation Left, Inside Turn

  • Right Right, Inside Turn

Followers, continue to work on grounding your feet, engaging the abdomen and spotting. This will all help your Inside Turn alignment, balance and the outcome.

Let’s take a moment to talk about the tempo of the music. We love sharing the dance through music at a slower tempo. Students have said to us many times over the years, “It’s so hard to dance to slow music!” They are one hundred percent correct. We love teaching at a slower tempo because it encourages you to learn and develop true technique, understanding and a foundation for dance to build upon. Our own students and students who danced with other companies for many years and then began with us always express how much they appreciate from the learning process at this tempo. If you’re craving faster tempo and momentum, trust the process, have a look inside your dance and inside yourself. There is always something to work on and something to develop, especially at the fundamental level! Give yourself time to enjoy the dance!

As we progress into trios, we should feel comfortable with the majority of the movements such as hesitation left, right turn and cross body lead. We will use the comfort of these movements to support the development of the inside turn into combinations of movements. Think of the inside turn as the centerpiece for a dance sequence. It is extremely important for the leaders to know where they plan to take the dance ahead of time. In other words, to develop an internal GPS for the dance.

In addition to the trios we shared, we can also play with:

  • Right Right, Inside Turn, Hesitation Left

  • Hesitation Left, Cross Body Lead, Inside Turn

  • Right Turn, Inside Turn, Hesitation Left

  • Inside Turn, Cross Body Lead, Inside Turn

  • And any others you can come up with!!

Again, we encourage you to find your own patterns, mix them up and play with all that is possible. This will help you to gain greater insight into each element which gives you access to the full spectrum of the dance.

Video 3 - Salsa Footwork & Duet Patterns

Footwork Patterns

  • Basic Step

  • Side Step

  • Quarter Beat Steps

  • Triplets

  • Right Turn

  • Hesitation Left

  • Crossed Side Step

  • Double Cross

New Footwork

  • Grapevine

  • Half of the Grapevine

Duet Patterns

  • Right Turn & Grapevine

  • Half of the Grapevine 2x

  • Right Turn & Triplets

  • Quarter Beat Steps & Double Cross

  • Grapevine & Half of the Grapevine

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

  • Quarter Beat Steps & Grapevine

  • Triplets & Half of the Grapevine

  • Grapevine & Hesitation Left

  • Half of the Grapevine & Right Turn

The possibilities of combinations continue to become greater and greater! Have fun creating your own combinations of movements. Don’t forget to think about the entrance and conclusion of each movement and what those feel like within your body.

Good Habits to Emphasize for Level 1 Part 3:


  • Wait for the guidance of the leader

  • Respect the box

  • Spotting

  • Pivots = half, half and half

  • Support and accept your leaders


  • You are responsible for only half of the dance

  • You offer gentle guidance

  • Be mindful of knowing what you want and carry it out when you’re ready

Bonus Practice Tracks - 105bpm

Sunday On Island

Let’s Dance

A Little This, A Little That

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 3 Students. Thank you for your compliance.

Outside Turn, More Combos, More Footwork, More Tips!!

More Salsa Just for YOU from Salsa Secrets!

Online Level 1 Part 4 Salsa - Coming in September!

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