So You Think You Can Dance is back with its latest season⎯and with it the inner wonder of whether or not you can actually dance.
Well, there was that time you gave in to your salsa-crazed friend's suggestion and finally took a salsa dance class. Then you continued dancing the basic step the rest of the night, maybe stepped on your partner’s foot a few times, peppered with a few “sorry, it’s my first time” disclaimers, all while enviously watching the fluid, precise movements of some of the more advanced dancers. Or, perhaps you have been diligently taking lessons but still can't seem to feel the groove.
What can you do to help boost your salsa dancing skills in between lessons? Articles with images are great, but they can be tough to interpret and replicate in your own movements. Videos, however, are one of the best instructional tools out there. To spare you from choosing from the sea of 132,000-plus YouTube results that come up when searching for “salsa dance lessons,” here is a curated list of instructional videos for different levels of dancers. They'll not only help you get a better understanding of the steps and the musicality behind them, but they'll also help you develop your own style with elements you can easily embed into your dancing.
This video may be a bit older than others, but it covers the essential elements of the On2 Mambo basic step and the musicality behind it⎯brought to you by the salsa master who popularized the On2 dancing method, Eddie Torres.
Here you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of the On2 Basic step when dancing with a partner.
This video provides elegant styling tips and shines (embellishments) easy enough for beginners or for more intermediate dancers to build upon.
When learning to practice with a partner, there are a wide range of partner-work exercises to choose from. “The Whip” is a move you will often see on the dance floor, popular for its aesthetics as well as ease of learning.
This is an excellent workshop breakdown from the NYC Salsa Congress. Disclaimer: It starts off easy but it gets more complex as the video progresses.
Here you’ll find great styling elements you can incorporate into your dancing when styling apart from your partner.
Photo by Nima Salimi