Switching Dance Styles Mid Song

Question by User  californiastateuni

Can you dance on 1 and then on 2 and then cuban, or mambo in 1 whole song?

Most song can last 3-5 minutes, longer 5 minutes. In a bachata, people like to add in zouk like moves. Is this possible? Sometimes my followers tend to get confused but I get the sudden urge to step with the cowbell (more cuba/on 2) and transition from 1 when the music gets good. I notice the followers who don’t really mind the step but decide to also groove with it will generally flow well with this style, because then I can mix in a few things here and there open or closed, or no connection at all.

What are some generally acceptable or easier transition or inserts in salsa, generally coming from on 1?

Answers

User NewSalsa

No, don’t do this. I would say the only way you could get away with this is if you know the person and they’re comfortable with it. Switching from 1 to 2 may not be that bad but adding Cuban to it could start disrespecting other people’s space if the club isn’t normal for that.

Best advice is to ask them what they want to dance when picking them up and stick to that.

User binarysolo 

Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. 🙂

Remember partner dance is communication expressed physically, so as long as the expectations of both parties is met then knock yourselves out with a salsa-polka-swing or whatever. I just can’t think of too many contexts where it’d make sense though…

There’s lots of ways to be playful within a dance, so a combination of intentionality and musicality works great.

There’s a few songs I know that start off as one dance and switch into another (chacha -> salsa, bachata -> salsa), so it could work for those songs, with those dances.

Also: shines. If you really feel compelled to do something unconventional, do them in shines first instead of subjecting your partner to it.

User snaps09 

You can, but you might confuse the heck out of your partner. Follows need to be able to understand what you are doing. If you switch it up too much, they may miss leads, back-lead more, or even get frustrated. Think of partner dancing as a conversation and style is the language — not everyone can switch back and forth easily between languages and they may judge you negatively if it results in a conversation where you can’t effectively get your point across.

User Vv_PR_Lbr   

It depends on the song, if you ask me.

In the states people want consistency throughout the whole song, if you start on 1 then your ( the leads) left foot forward always will be one.

Contrast that to PR: if the song changes the strongest instrument such as the montuno gets run over the by the timbalero then it’s mambo time! But I’ve gotten some confused looks doing this with some people. Oh well.

The song is meant to be felt: and sometimes the beat breaks down for a section and it’s acceptable to change timing in response only if it compliments the music. It’s not ok to change it when you feel like it or every other 8 count or something like that.


As far as timing transitions if I know it’s coming, I like a cross body lead right before the break down with a turn for both of us that leaves us apart. And on that one extra beat before the beat drops in I do a hesitation with a shoulder pop or a head turn and pick up where we left off or dance apart while the timbales go off on 2

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