Thursday, December 6, 2007

Introducing New York Style Salsa ON 2

The ON 2 Basic Step

In basic step, the man's left foot goes back and the woman's right foot goes forward on the 1st beat of this so-called 8 beat measure or bar.
We step with our feet on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, 6th, and 7th beats of the measure .We do not step on the 4th and 8th beats.
We actually "break" our movement, in other words we change body direction, on the 2nd and 6th beats of the measure.We call it "breaking on 2", or "dancing on 2", or "bailando en dos".
This is mambo, danced forward and back, in a line or slot, not side to side or in a circle or square.

The basic step is as follows:

1st beat of the measure - The man steps back with his left foot.
The woman steps forward with her right foot.

2nd beat of the measure - The man steps farther back with his right foot, then changes direction, starting to lean forward with his body = "breaks forward on 2". The woman steps farther forward with her left foot, then changes direction, starting to lean back with her body = "breaking back on 2".

3rd beat of the measure - The man steps in place with his left foot, while his body is moving forward.
The woman steps in place with her right foot, while her body is moving backward.

4th beat of the measure - No steps.

5th beat of the measure - The man steps forward with his right foot, in front of his left foot.
The woman steps backward with her left foot, behind her right foot.

6th beat of the measure - The man steps farther forward with his left foot, then changes direction, starting to lean backward with his body = "breaks back on 6". The woman steps farther back with her right foot, then changes direction, starting to lean forward = "breaks forward on 6".

7th beat of the measure - The man steps in place with his right foot, while his body is moving backward.
The woman steps in place with her left foot, while her body is moving forward.
8th beat of the measure - No steps.

Technically, it is proper to start the dance in the following way:
You walk onto the dance floor with your partner, set up the standard partner position frame, and then begin on the 6th beat of the measure, with the man stepping forward with his left foot and the woman stepping back with her right.
On the 7th beat, the couple changes direction, with the man rocking back onto his right foot and the woman rocking forward onto her left foot.
They then go right into the basic step pattern which is maintained through the rest of the song: the man's left foot goes back and the woman's right foot goes forward on the 1st beat of the measure, and the pattern continues as described above in detail.
Although this is technically the proper way to start, most New York dancers simply begin on the 1st beat of the measure as described above, sometimes not even setting up the partner position first.

For more infomation, visit

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Updates on Latin Nights in Jamaica

Hi Everyone

We’re just reminding you to check out the LATIN NIGHTS, happening all over Jamaica for this and upcoming weeks.

Special Reminder to everyone from Portmore, Spanish Town & the surrounding areas, to check out Latin Night on Tuesdays at the Paradise Night Club, Portmore. Our Own Jamaican DJ Leo will be bringing The Latin Heat to Portmore with mixes of Salsa, Meringue, Cha Cha, Raggaeton and more.

And, of course, you can’t miss our usual Thursday night at the Jonkanoo Lounge, Hilton Hotel. The same as every week, Salsa classes will be from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and then for the rest of the night, it’s your chance to show off your dancing skills or just enjoy the romance, the heat, and the vibe of Salsa music. Keith (SalsaJamaica) has been a pioneer in bringing International Style of Salsa dancing to Jamaica, and his 10 years of tremendous efforts can been seen on the dance floor at Jonkanoo Lounge on Thursdays.

Also on Thursdays, another Latin night is heating up on the other side of the island. DJ Alexis (Irie Latino) (formerly of Devon House, Evitas (Ocho Rios) & Mingles (Courtleigh Hotel)) has recently started a Latin Night at Pier One, Montego Bay. For all you Latin lovers and dancers from the Western side of the island, DJ Alexis with an exceptional collection of music from all over Latin & South America, we assure that you will not be disappointed when you check out Latin night at Pier One.

Saturdays are always full of activities in Jamaica for all party people, and the same goes for the the latin lovers. DJ Tony of Cuba is the man hosting the Latin nights at Pepper’s Lounge, Upper Waterloo Road & Medusa Bar, Hope Road. As he alternate the Saturdays, DJ Tony always bring good vibe and crowd to which ever club he is, and make sure to use his DJ skills to entertain as according to the unique differences of the venue.

Mingles Night Club, at the Courtleigh Hotel has always been known for Latin Nights on Saturdays, since it started about 10 years ago. Still going strong today, with the many variety of Latin music, mix by DJ Simon (Salsainjamaica), is still one of the favorite places in the New Kingston area for many people to go especially, the Salsa dancers and lovers of Jamaica.

The Newest addition to the Jamaica Latin Night Life is at the Popular’s Lounge in Dunrobin Plaza, where, started on the 1st of December, and on every Saturday, DJ Ivan of Cuba is bringing you the best collection of Salsa, Meringue, Bachata and Raggaeton.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A look at the origin of salsa

A look at the origin of SalsaBy: Jaime Andrés Pretell

It is not only Cuban; nevertheless we must give credit to Cuba for the origin and ancestry of creation. It is here where Contra-Danze (Country Dance) of England/France, later called Danzón, which was brought by the French who fled from Haiti, begins to mix itself with Rhumbas of African origin (Guaguanco, Colombia, Yambú).

Add Són of the Cuban people, which was a mixture of the Spanish troubadour (sonero) and the African drumbeats and flavora and a partner dance flowered to the beat of the clave. This syncretism also occurred in smaller degrees and with variations in other countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Puerto Rico, among others.
Bands of these countries took their music to Mexico City in the era of the famous films of that country (Perez Prado, most famous ...). Shortly after, a similar movement to New York occurred.
In these two cities, more promotion and syncretism occurred and more commercial music was generated because there was more investment. New York created the term "Salsa", but it did not create the dance.
The term became popular as nickname to refer to a variety of different music, from several countries of Hispanic influence: Rhumba, Són Montuno, Guaracha, Mambo, Cha cha cha, Danzón, Són, Guguanco, Cubop, Guajira, Charanga, Cumbia, Plena, Bomba, Festejo, Merengue, among others.
Many of these have maintained their individuality and many were mixed creating "Salsa".If you are listening to today's Salsa, you are going to find the base of són, and you are going to hear Cumbia, and you are going to hear Guaracha. You will also hear some old Merengue, built-in the rhythm of different songs. You will hear many of the old styles somewhere within the modern beats.
Salsa varies from site to site. In New York, for example, new instrumentalization and extra percussion were added to some Colombian songs so that New Yorkers - that dance mambo "on the two" - can feel comfortable dancing to the rhythm and beat of the song, because the original arrangement is not one they easily recognize. This is called "finishing," to enter the local market. This "finish" does not occur because the Colombian does not play Salsa, but it does not play to the rhythm of the Puerto Rican/Post-Cuban Salsa. I say Post-Cuban, because the music of Cuba has evolved towards another new and equally flavorful sound.
Then, as a tree, Salsa has many roots and many branches, but one trunk that unites us all.
The important thing is that Salsa is played throughout the Hispanic world and has received influences of many places within it. It is of all of us and it is a sample of our flexibility and evolution.
If you think that a single place can take the credit for the existence of Salsa, you are wrong. And if you think that one style of dance is better, imagine that the best dancer of a style, without his partner, goes to dance with whomever he can find, in a club where a different style predominates. He wouldn't look as good as the locals. Each dancer is accustomed to dance his/her own style.
None is better, only different. ¡¡¡Viva la variedad, ¡¡¡Viva la Salsa!!!

Salsa at the Junkanoo Lounge in Jamaica