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What is 'Cuban Salsa'..?

'Casino' Salsa
Cuban Salsa is also known as 'Casino Salsa', it is danced in a large circle of couples, (called 'Rueda' which is the word 'Wheel' in Spanish), this is characterised by couples all dancing the same move together in this large circle with a 'caller' telling everyone what's next, guys face clockwise, Ladies face anti-clockwise and the guys move on to the next partner as a part of the dance. Once you learn the moves this way it's then possible to dance them one-to-one. The music developed in Cuba from Latin and African influences and the dance style itself takes elements from various sources such as Rumba and 'Son'. Cuban Salsa was the first and original form of Salsa dancing.

Some tips
Casino Salsa is actually not a difficult dance to master. In fact, if you have the right technique, it is easier to learn than many other forms of dance. To start with, your basic footwork is a fairly simple walking motion (pausing every fourth beat). What's more, getting the right technique does not automatically mean an expensive trip to Cuba! You can learn authentic Cuban salsa right here.

The following is a list of helpful hints aimed to help you learn this exciting dance. They are a distillation of much experience studying and teaching Casino Salsa. They are general principles rather than specific breakdowns of moves. Read on and try them out on the dance floor!

Be Cool.
To dance Casino Salsa well you must not rush your steps. You need to be relaxed and smooth in the way that you move. Make your movements precise and deliberate.

Be Confident In Your Lead. Guys should have constant slight tension in the arms. The hands should guide the partner around on the dance floor. This does not mean that you should clamp you partners hands, rather you should use the right amount of tension in your arms and palms to provide an adequate leading signal for her.

Be Smart When following. Ladies should match the tension of their partner to follow well. Don't let go of the guy unless he lets go of you..! There are times however when arms need to be relaxed and flexible to complete some of the more complex moves, the courses will show you how.

Walk With Attitude. Continual movement around in a circular motion is the key. Cuban Salsa is very 'rounded', Couples need to 'WALK' around each other, with an imaginary axis between them to make turns look smooth and effortless. To complete many arm-twisting moves this is essential because walking gives you time to untangle your arms from some seemingly impossible turns! 

Spin With Flair. The key to all those spectacular spins in Casino Salsa is not to lose your balance or get dizzy! One way to do it is by 'spotting' while you spin, an age-old well-proven dance technique, again the lessons will show you how.

Stylise your movement. One of the secrets of making your moves look spectacular is good armwork for the guys. When doing turns such as 'Sombrero' (hat), your arms should smoothly spread out as they arc over your partner, the Cuban way is to do one arm then the other instead of both together. In doing so, you individually 'fan out' your arms to create a visual illusion of movement of the upper body, this combined with rotation and slick footwork IS Cuban Salsa..

Move With Grace. The Ladies are well exhibited in Casino Salsa. Here you have plenty of room for self-styling. Make use of your body. Be sensual, playful and creative. Move your body as you please, play with your armwork and show them what you've got!
 

So here you have some of the secrets! The rest is practice, practice and more practice. Really, there is no greater secret other than hard work, dedication and a pure passion for dancing. Good luck and happy dancing!

 

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Last updated 17th December 2010   Copyright ©Cubanasalsa 2011

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