Salsa Dance – The Basic Components

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 43,791
    Professional dance instructor Terry Dean demonstrates the basic components of the Salsa dance.

    Terry Dean

    Terry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.

    Terry Dean: Hi! I am Terry Dean from Terry Dean Dance Studio. Today we are going to doing to Salsa. I am going to show you some of the basic components of the Salsa right now and then we will go from there. Salsa is made up of Rocking steps, Side steps and Tapping steps. So what happens is a rocking step is where you just shift weight, it goes rock- step, rock-step, rock- step. So my weight shifts to the front foot and to the back foot, rock-step. Now we have done rocking steps before but in this round we are going to kind of almost stump our feet a little bit and go, rock, step, rock, step, rock, step. Now that would be forward rock- step. Now if I do a backward rock, it goes, rock- step, rock-step, I kind of lower down, I get rock-step. So those are your rock steps. Side steps are just simply side steps I go side to the one side or side to the other side, side-step, side-step, side-step. Now we are going to have what we call tapping steps, and in this case we are going to use our heel of foot. You can do different things. A tap step is just a tap, tap and then a step, tap and then the step. So it goes tap-step, tap-step, tap-step, tap-step, tap, so there is little heel-touch, heel-touch, heel-touch, heel-touch, heel-touch. So we are touching our heel then stepping on the foot, touching our heel and stepping on the foot, tap-step, tap-step, tap-step. These are your basic components along with basic motion that we have talked about where you have to be able to isolate your hip action so if you can bend your knees slightly. We are going to work the hips left and right, hips to the left, then to the center-right, center-left, center-right, center-left, center. Now we will do forward and back, forward-center, back-center, forward-center, back-center, do the little clock exercise, you go to 12 Oclock, 1 Oclock, 2 Oclock, 3 Oclock, 4 Oclock, 5 Oclock straight back 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12. Now these are easy exercises but you and anybody can do them but its not a matter of being able to do them but you have to do them often so that you will get really rhythmical with your hips and you can put them wherever you want to on the clock. Its really important to have that kind of feeling in the Salsa. Its also important to be able to move your core or upper part of your body in the same way, so we are going to side-center, side-center, side-center, side-center. Now we turn and we are going to do forward-center, back-center, forward-center, back-center. So you can see that I am moving rib cage forward and back. You also need to do same clock exercise with your rib cage as you did your hips, we go 12 Oclock, then you to go 1 Oclock, 2 Oclock, 3 Oclock, 4 Oclock, 5 Oclock, 6 Oclock, 8 Oclock, 9 Oclock, 10 Oclock, 11 Oclock, 12 and again you want to get very loose through your hip, rib cage just like you want to get loose through the hips, rib cage and hips and they are going to go in opposition. So what happens is my hips go one way and ribs go the other back and forth and just -- practice is almost in place, dont worry about the feet yet, get your body moving. So there is -- you can be prepared to do the basic Salsa because basic Salsa is going to have all this body shaking and body moving stuff in it. So what next we are going to do is basic pattern of the Salsa.