Salsa > Do you break on 2 or on 6, when dancing NY ?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by smooth_criminal, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. smooth_criminal

    smooth_criminal New Member

    Does it really matter if you break (step forward with your left foot for the man, and backward with the right foot for the lady) on the 2nd or on the 6th count of the music when dancing On2?

    I think not, because unlike LA (or cuban for that matter) where you want to hit an accent which is usually on the 1st count, in NY (mambo) style you don't have anything special going on on the 2nd or the 6th count (except for the clave which is on the 2nd but not on the 6th), so it should be all the same...
  2. jenibelle

    jenibelle New Member

    There is in a lot of music at least some emphasis on the 2 by the conga, but anyway... my question is does it matter either way whether the guy steps forward or backward on which count? They are just arbitrary conventions. So why is the guy stepping forward on the 1 more emphatic than him stepping back on the one?
  3. smooth_criminal

    smooth_criminal New Member

    The guy steps backward (with left foot) on the 1 when he does an open break for example...
  4. jenibelle

    jenibelle New Member

    Ok, so then if the guy steps either forward or back on the 1 and the emphasis is the same, by that logic it should be the same for on 2 - it doesn't matter. I really think it's just convention. For both on 1 and on 2.
  5. smooth_criminal

    smooth_criminal New Member

    When dancing LA style or Cuban the guy wants to step forward/backward with his left foot on the 1, but not on the 5 because the accent is on the 1, that's the convention. Of course you can do an open break on the 5, but when the accent comes on the 1, you will be already in the figure/combination/spin and you can't emphasize it :cool:

    In NY, there shouldn't be such convention (at least that's what I am asking) because you can't emphasize the accents (you are pausing on the 1)...

    I hope I didn't complicate my question too much already with these explanations :)
  6. Lockstep

    Lockstep New Member

    Both in on1 and on2, what you will still notice is that most salsa music has phrases of which the first part (1,2,3,4) is somewhat like a question, or invitation, and the second part (5,6,7,8) more like the answer.

    Similarly, in the on2, stepping backwards is somewhat an invitation to the lady, and forward replying to it, fairly curteous, matching the music

    On1, more about power dancing, the man takes the lead, and the issue doesnt really come up

    Perhaps Im making this too abstract, but its good to have a general feeling like this when you're dancing, in which case the distinction is not arbitrary
  7. africana

    africana New Member

    beautiful :D

    I agree i found the partnering mentality between the two style cultures to be different (for example the woman's role...but that's another -good- topic)

    SC - it's convention, so what? if you want to dance with the world's best NY style on2 dancers follow convention, unless you can sucessfully start a revolution :p
    for shines it doesn't really matter, leads do use the follow's count for footwork
  8. genEus

    genEus New Member

    Whereas On1, the followers use the leads' footwork.

    I just found that an interesting tidbit. :)
  9. Lockstep

    Lockstep New Member

    Only some do...I personally convert shines into lead's timing, whereas in on1 I see many ladies convert it to their timing as well...quite optional really. Oh. I guess that's your point. :)
  10. BugBear

    BugBear New Member

    let me see if I got this right.
    "to break" means "to start"
    I'm new in this whole english-dance-talk thingie :D
  11. jenibelle

    jenibelle New Member

    Hmm...maybe I'm not getting your question...

    Ok...but what about the lady? If the guy is stepping with whatever foot to emphasize the 1, then the lady is doing the opposite. So if the guy is emphasizing the 1 then the lady is emphasizing the 5.

    Yes but there are ways to emphasize the accents without 'breaking'. What if the on2 convention is there so that the spins start on the 1 (preps on the 5-7) and the cross-body lead starts on the 1 (tail end of the CBL on the 5-6-7). It's a little more subtle than the LA style, but it still follows the music.

    I'm not sure I understand the "invitation to the lady" idea. In NY on 2, the man is leading everything just as much as he is in LA style. And in LA style, the man could just as easily step back on the 1 (inviting the lady) but he doesn't simply because it's convention.

    Really good topic!

  12. Lockstep

    Lockstep New Member

    hmm, no, not really

    For instance, when dancing ET on2, you may 'start' dancing on the 1 (with left foot in place/slightly backward), but you 'break' on the 2 (right foot back), which simply means that this is the count which receives the most accent.
  13. Lockstep

    Lockstep New Member

    its not an issue of whose leading, but the message/character you are trying to express with the dance, and the moves may convey this invitation/answer model more, although, of course, they are led. see it more as kind of a show, where the man is directing it, but the lady may still be 'led' into taking the initiative
  14. alemana

    alemana New Member

    No. "To break" means "to change direction."
  15. Lockstep

    Lockstep New Member

    hmm yeah that may a clearer way of putting it, though we mean the same thing :)
  16. africana

    africana New Member

    it's simply an idea, a philosophy, a way to remember convention...not a rule

  17. africana

    africana New Member

    ditto "to break"= "to change direction"

    explains why many on2 dancers start dancing with the break on the 2 instead of stepping on the spot in the first beat, because you're pushing off, stepping out, breaking out into the 2. So the "1" ends up feeling like a prep (or transition) step for the 2
  18. genEus

    genEus New Member

    I totally understand the question because I never understood why cha-cha on2 starts with the leader stepping back if there's no phrasing that requires it.

    Like, in On1, even though it may be a convention for the leader to step forward on one, I don't think it was randomly devised. The 1 is a stronger beat than the 5 within the 8-count phrase and when you step forward, it feels stronger, both physically and mentally, it's like you're putting your chest out and stepping forward for the world to see. I really feel the difference between 1 and 5 and while I don't count the beats but listen to the music, it just feels wrong to start leading a cross body lead on 5. If I hear that the music had an incomplete measure and I'm suddenly dancing on 5, I feel extremely awkward dancing on the weaker beat until the music either switches back or I fudge it up somehow and put the follower back on 1.

    However, as the OP said, whereas the 1st beat of the measure sounds stronger than the 5th, there is no such distinction between the 2nd and the 6th beat. So, while I can somehow in my mind make up a reason for stepping forward on 1 because it just "feels" stronger, I also have to wonder how the convention came about in On2 footwork.
  19. alemana

    alemana New Member

    here's the thing.

    all these conventions of who steps first and on what beat are, you realize, standardization gestures meant to codify a street dance.

    it's super-important to buy into and understand and execute the standards, because that's how most other people learn. if you don't dance like they dance, you can't dance with 'em.

    but i draw the line when folks start arguing that one or the other is 'more natural.' let's face it - it's not natural. moving to the music and having expectations of your partner's role, both are natural. the rest of it is unnatural - it's done to make it easier to teach in a rational and reliable (and lucrative) way.
  20. africana

    africana New Member

    let's tie Eddie Torres to a chair and ask him :lol: :car:

    by the way if the man is putting his chest out "for the world to see" on1 (big lol) how come the woman can't do the same on2?? she has a chest too :p it sounds you guys are complaining about having to step backwards first hahha
    i think that's why I like on2 basic :)

    but I'll ask around about this...

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