Are there any tips for a beginner just learning the basic steps of on2? I have the step progression down but it still doesn’t look natural. Any advice on body movement/positioning or tips for ways to practice would be greatly appreciated!
My recommendation is to do classes in person for at least a few months before trying to learn anything from YouTube. The reason is, without feedback, it is easy to teach yourself wrong and then it’s hard to break bad habits.
You sound excited and that’s great. Like most excited beginners, you have the desire to get good fast. My recommendation for smoothing out your basic is to watch YouTube videos. There are some that devote time to body movement during a basic. Just keep watching and learning. I think it would be great to record yourself so you can compare to what you’re watching. Good luck!
Since your still quite new to the whole thing and probably don’t have some terribly bad habits committed to muscle memory, be sure to work on proper hip movement/weight transfer. I made the mistake of ignoring my instructor’s input about proper weight transfer at the beginning, but practiced pretty heavily, and thus developed some terrible body movement habits that took me a solid couple of weeks of steady practice and focus to break, all because I ignored some tips from the 3rd or 4th lesson in…
If you can’t figure out why your basic looks robotic/”blocky” or unnatural compared to the folks in the videos you’re watching, it’s probably weight transfer technique.
awesome. i hope you have tons of fun; dancing, learning, making new friends, etc.
my advice for whatever it’s worth:
break everything down to its very small pieces. really understand the basic. things like why do you go back and fourth? When do you go back and forth? What is that called? What happens if you don’t go back and forth? How many ways can you start on2? What are the effects of each start? Understand why the front side basic feels different than the back side basic. What is a turn? Can you make a turn on any count? Which count is best for turns and why? How many counts should a turn be? Is there a standard orientation? How about a non-standard orientation? How would you perform the basics in standard and non-standard orientation? How about turns in standard and non-standard orientation?
Realize that the basic is just like walking. Heck it is walking back and forth. Play around how you walk, like using your hips. Think about how your feet function during the walk. Is there an impact, stabilization, and launch? What’s going on with your weight during the steps? Bend and straighten your knees. How does that impact your walk; you hips, weight, feet, etc.?
find an instructor who “really knows” what on2 is. This is one reason I think people interested in on2 or salsa in general end up confused and searching for another “easier” dance. If your instructor doesn’t know what on2 is you won’t either. s/he will confuse the heck out of you and you won’t be able to answer the above questions. I always ask on2 dancers “how” do you dance on2. In most cases I get a response that explains why one might dance on2, which tells me the person can’t explain it. How you dance on1, on2, on3, etc. is fairly straightforward, simple, clear, and not confusing at all. It’s actually pretty elegant; well at least (eddie torres) on2 is.
Don’t beat yourself up. Have fun. Once you feel comfortable with on2 you’ll reap the rewards of all your hard work.