Salsa > Describe salsa moves

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Alias, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Alias

    Alias Member

    Hello every body.
    Well this is my first topic (so I also give you some clues about me).

    Dance is a visual thing and it's far more easy to show a mouvement or a move or a pattern than to describe it with words, but I think it's interesting to try to describe such things with words (it's a good exercise), for example to write it down when taking classes, for example when communicating with others in a textual world like here in this web forum (you cannot post videos, can you?), and because you have to analyse the thing.

    Don't misunderstand me, I prefer to have the teacher showing the thing and not doing a lot of bla bla (I understand quickly and I prefer to try it right now, not being told all the things but rather thinking by myself to get it better) or looking at good dancers, and I think that dancing is a living thing where feeling and creativity is more important than theory and technique (theory just helps to understand things, and techniques are just usefuls tools to have more ways and can sometimes help doing things better).

    So here's the game (describing moves with words), will you try this right here?
    And here in the salsa forum because I'm currently mostly involved in salsa dancing (I've done Cuban style (Casino) and now I'm on the mambo thing I mean the slotted way (LA, P2, ET2)).
    For example (if you know about it) you can try to describe a "Hammerlock" (I'm curious about that).

    Note: As salsa is an umbrella term to cover différents kinds of music, what about "Salsa dances" (like "Swing dances") to speak of all the kinds of salsa dancing, when I talk about "a salsa dance" that's what I mean.

    And don't forget there are many salsa dances, so don't forget to specify the one your are telling about in your post (unless you don't know).
    And if you use counts, don't forget to recall the counting used, because the ways to count are not the same, for example the counting is different (ex: LA vs P2) or covers different steps (ex: LA vs ET2), and also depends on the foot the leader begins with (or do his first break).

    Yes I could have started many topics with this first message and maybe I will, but I have so much to tell and discuss that I couldn't stop writing (and that's the beginning (more to come if I have the time to do and find an english dictionary)).

    PS: And of course dance is about fun, so don't think I'm too serious.

    NB: I initially titled this topic as "Describe patterns in a salsa dance".
  2. Danoo

    Danoo New Member

    why do people like to write long sentences :lol: :lol:

    there are alot of nice points in there :D
  3. tj

    tj New Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    A hammerlock is something that I first heard about in wrestling back in elementary school. Basically, you have an arm behind your back with the elbow bent.

    I believe police and security forces will use the hammerlock to immobilize a suspect, since one could easily have an arm broken if sufficient force is applied upwards.

    Oh, and it's a common position/handhold in salsa, too. :wink:
  4. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    Too funny, TJ. :lol: Welcome Alias! Happy to have you on board at DF. :)
  5. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    I do this to remember, rethink, and rehearse the things I learn. Going over a move in the thoughts and trying to get words on the timing and details help me to remember the move. Even to pick up move I haven’t done for a long time. :shock:

    But the sharing part is very difficult. If you haven’t seen or done the move, creating it form words is a tough task. But it has been done here before, so sharing is possible. Even if you don’t get the original move, you might end up with another cool move that is leadable.
  6. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    As for the game / challenge. 8)

    I use this in both Cuban and Cross-body style salsa.
    In my head, hammerlock is more a position, then a move or pattern.
    There are many different ways into this position, and many ways out.

    This is cut and paste from my notes to myself: :oops:

    Hand to hand position.
    Lady right turn, lead with your left, and keep the right hand down.
    Lady ends with her left arm bent behind her back.
  7. Alias

    Alias Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    Ok, now I can see the position it refers to (I didn't knew this english word).
    And this is a position, I thought it could be a move.

    Ok, this is more a position than a move, you will not say "I'm doing an hammerlock right now" but "I'll have you hammerlocked in a second" (hammerlock seems to be a noun and not a verb, but I couldn't resist to this formulation).
    This description of the move is quite good because it is so short.

    As a joke I was going to tell here a story like:
    Stand in front of the lady eyes in eyes and hands in hands (her right in your left, her left in your right) and smile, raise her right hand (your left hand) to the sky (well just to the best level) and get her left hand (your right hand) down and then you can turn the lady to the right under your left arm (the point is the lady's left hand is down and you turn the lady to the right then she gets her left arm in her back), or raise her left hand and get her right hand down and turn the lady to the left.
    For the purpose of this joke, "lady" is more romantic than "follower" which is a technical term, and it reminds you (the man) that you're holding a girl in your arms (well not really in this move) and that partner dancing is a kind of physical contact communication and pleasure between a man and a woman (and only by holding her hand in your's and moving her you can sense like an inside touch which can be quite pleasant (you can have this more or less intimate according to your partner)) and via the eyes, otherwise I agree with the terms "leader" and "follower" and I find interesting to try with a woman as leader and a man as follower, but this is another subject.
    In cuban style salsa (casino), you can end with the lady in front of you having both her left arm and her right arm in her back ("double hammerlock"?), with her left hand in your left hand and her right hand in your right hand, this is a lock with the girl close to you, a kind of having the lady in your arms, that's funny all these positions in cuban style salsa.

    As a joke, because my own notation is more technical and also seeks shortness, I can't show you here because I use words but also little symbolic drawings.
  8. Alias

    Alias Member

    Thanks for the welcome, I'm happy too!
  9. Alias

    Alias Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    Yes it's one (good) thing to create a notation for yourself and another one to target others people.
    The challenge is to give a description with words that another person can read and understand quickly without a headache.

    You win this challenge even if not intended (it was a notation for yourself).
  10. Alias

    Alias Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    Anyway sharing one's personal notation is already interesting and can help those who are making up their own, and it can be out of the box understandable by others.
    So tell us about yours'.
  11. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Unfortunately, I cannot be of assistance, as I never write down my moves... but I am sure others can help... :)
  12. tj

    tj New Member

    I gotta say that you've done a nice job on describing these things in a clear and concise manner. Almost all of the time, I have a hard time understanding what someone is describing when using the written word.

    I'm sure diagrams (if I could draw well, lol!) would be a much better way to show what one is describing.

    I guess I'll add that the most important part of a hammerlock (which I'm sure that you already know as it sounds like you know this move/position well), is to make sure that one brings the follow's arm down as the spin is completed.
  13. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    a famous pattern all salseros like to see.. [​IMG]

  14. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    I like your detailed description too. Those descriptions tend to end up in some techno babble where the connection, the fun and the playing is not mentioned, and outside readers see this like a robot running a pattern sequence.

    I know this double hammerlock from a casino pattern called “Tres Sabores”

    So far I only got one way into this position, so I’m curious if you or other use the same way into this lock.

    So I challenge you and others, to post some how to get there notes. :tongue:
    Scanned notes and drawings are ok.
    So are video clips.
  15. tj

    tj New Member

    Re: Describe patterns in a salsa dance

    Double hammerlock, huh? I have two standard ways that I do this...

    Both ways I have a crosshandhold - meaning my right hand to her right hand and my left to her left...

    First way is from a crossbody lead (CBL), have her do a CCW turn, where you do the first hammerlock. Then you do another CBL, and do the second hammerlock.

    (This move is demonstrated on one of the clips by Pat over at Salsamafia.)

    The second way would be doing replacing the 1st CBL in the aforementioned move/pattern with a copa.

    My friend Judith jokingly refers to this as the "Bondage" move. Lol!
  16. Alias

    Alias Member

    What is a "copa"?
    I don't know which move this name refers to (it's not my fault if none of my instructors mentionned it, spreading names of moves is on the responsibility of the instructors (it's their choice), or we can do it right now on this web forum if we can describe the moves too), but I guess I know the move, so give just me a clue or try a complete description (after all this is the challenge here).
  17. tj

    tj New Member

    Lol! :doh: I am pretty bad at describing moves with words...

    (I have heard this move also referred to as an In n Out.) Let's assume the following facing for the two dancers: the Follow is facing South. the Lead is facing North. This move is On1...

    Basically, the Follow does her normal steps on 1 & 2
    On 3, she should be partially facing East. The lead needs to make sure that she knows this...
    On 5, she takes a step North.
    On 6-7, she turns CCW 180 degrees, ending by facing South

    The Lead does an open break on 1 (meaning he steps backwards)
    Steps to his left and forward on 2-3. (meaning he is West of the Follow)
    Prep both the Follow's step and turn on 4-5.
    6-7 The Follow does her turn. The Lead steps back into the slot.

    There are tons of variations of this, and YMMV. Perhaps you do it a different way, but this is how I know the copa.
  18. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    :) tj... :lol: :lol: :lol:

    I would say copa is a half turn to the leader's right on 123 and when you face the same way the leader does he puts you into CBL... :) on 567, that is... :)

    Maybe my explanation and tj's together make some sense (I really doubt it though... or at least I find it hard to visualise moves...)
  19. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    That works squirrel. As tj said, there are many variations in how far the follower and leader move on each segment of copa. For instance for 1-3 follower could make about a 1/4 left turn and leader 1/4 right turn to face the same direction...
  20. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I guess so Sagitta... :)

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