Salsa > Is 5 patterns really enough?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by ticolora, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    I attended a Salsa bootcamp recently. There, in 4 hours we have learned 5 patterns:

    follow's underarm right turn
    cross body lead
    right side pass with travelling turns
    shoulder check (aka shoulder catch, aka stop-n-go)

    Instructor made a claim that these 5 moves are enough to dance socially, and demonstrated 30 seconds of dance using those patterns; except they added a lot of styling to those moves, so that evyr cross body lead appeared very different (e.g. throwing a lead's turn in there).

    Here is my question for y'all. Can you really provide adequate amount of entertainment to a beginner-level lady by using these 5 moves, in there basic form with no extra styling that I don't know? Or should I learn 5 variations of each move before I invite women I don't know to avoid getting on a do-not-dance-with list?
  2. Newdancer81

    Newdancer81 Active Member

    It probably is enough, but you need to be proficient in leading them and have the right timing. Learning patterns isn't enough, but proper execution and how to lead it properly.
    MaggieMoves likes this.
  3. ticolora

    ticolora Member

    Would somebody be up for a challenge to make a video of 1 salsa song limited to those 5 moves? Let's through Suzie-Q and Mambo shines in there too. However, no fancy styling. I really hope it is true, but it doesn't feel real until I see it. Please.
  4. Jag75

    Jag75 Member

    Why do you think women want fancy styling?
  5. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    When I am dancing with a beginner lady, I often limit the steps to Basic, Underarm Turn right, shoulder check (checked left turn), crossbody lead, and then maybe a 1.5 turn to the right in a right side pass. It really is enough. And just a further comment...

    Not to brag or anything, but I am pretty popular when I show up to a dance, but the point I want to make is I dance a lot of basic level steps. But after 24 years of dancing, the execution of those steps is very, very good. Even when dancing with a higher level partner, there is no great need to ramp up the difficulty level of the steps. That usually comes as a result of dancing together many times, and we both get a good feel for each other.

    But those basics steps are the building blocks. There is so much to the usage of body weight, connections, amounts of turn, expression, truly feeling your partner's every move (not just your own), etc. Immerse yourself in these steps and over time they will give back so much!
    raindance, atk and Steve Pastor like this.
  6. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    There's this one lady locally, a perpetual beginner because she won't take lessons, who prefers the salsa clubs after they get super crowded because there's no room to do anything elaborate. My salsa is relatively simple, I'm not a "salsero" whatever that is exactly and I don't go to the salsa clubs myself. It's pretty much the basic and crossbody lead with some patterns I've adapted from rumba that work well with most ladies, even the inexperienced ones. Not much more than what DanceMentor does. For me, that's good enough given that the studios at which I social dance play one or two salsas in an evening. I have no urge to lead the lady in continuous spins just to show off.
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    There is even a teacher I see sometimes that does one advanced pattern after the next. He is really talented, but there is no "light and shade" to his dancing.

    I can certainly do some advanced patterns, but I also try to follow the music so there is a flow to the steps so they fit the music playing. This is another characteristic to a good dancer... musicality. I think it one of the last things people get.

    There is also what I call "presence". Even when someone is doing very little, you can't keep your eyes of them. There is that certain Je Ne Sais Quoi! :) It takes time to develop that too. Hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.

Share This Page