Salsa Moves, Steps and Routines

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Salsa moves, steps and routines for the beginner are very easy to pick up. And once you've learnt the basics, you can combine simple steps in many different ways.

Also, the most simple, basic steps can look just as impressive as more advanced moves, if you dance them with real feeling and great attention to the music and to your partner.

So focus on the basics. Get them right and the sky's the limit.

Firstly, a lot of attention should be paid to the counting (or timing) as, once you've mastered this, the steps are very easy.

1,2,3...

Probably the most important thing you'll learn (and possibly the very first thing you'll be taught) is the counting pattern of Salsa dance.

Salsa steps are danced to Latin music that usually has a 4/4 beat. It's one of the most simple beats to hear and understand.

It's just two sets of four equal beats.

So, if you were to count it out loud, the beat would go 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and then start again from 1, with each count being the same length.

With Salsa moves, the only thing you really need to know is that you dance on three of the beats, pause on one of them and then repeat.

Different teachers use different counting patterns, but by far the most common pattern is this:-

1-2-3- 5-6-7-

See how the forth and eighth beat are not counted?

So you dance on the first three beats, pause on the forth, and then dance on the next three beats and pause on the last beat to use the full eight beats of the music.

Here it is in action being demonstrated to a class of absolute beginners who, like you, are trying a Salsa class for the very first time.

As you can see, it's pretty easy to pick up.

And once you have mastered this very simple counting pattern, you've taken a huge leap to being able to Salsa dance with confidence and feeling.

Salsa Steps...

If you can take one step forward, do the same backwards and then side to side, those are all the Salsa moves you need to know to be able to Salsa dance. It really is that simple.

Here's a tip that will really help you progress from just walking to dancing:- keep your steps very small.

Salsa routines can be practised and danced anywhere. It takes very little space and in fact, if you keep your movements small you can more easily adapt to dancing in a club, where you usually have very little space to move around.

Why not try it out now?

Stand on your bath mat. No, that's not a typo, we really do mean stand in the middle of your bath mat.

See how tiny the space around your feet is? Keep your steps within the mat when you are practising at home.

Since it needs such little space, you'll have no trouble finding places to sneak in a little practise - you can even dance a few Salsa moves in the shower.

Try another move...

Above, you've just had a go at the basic Salsa forward step.

We've provided below a short instruction clip on another of the most basic steps; the Salsa backwards step.

It is incredibly easy and hopefully, once you've had a go, you'll realize just how easy-to-follow Salsa is (if it is taught well).

Time to have a go...

Did you pick it up OK? Easy, isn't it?

Believe it or not, once you’ve learnt even these few basic steps and can do them slightly faster in time to music, you'll be dancing Salsa.

Ready for your final lesson? Try the basic Salsa sideways step...

As always, keep your Salsa moves and steps small.

And practise them as many times as you need to, and to different beats if you can, too.

Once you've mastered these three easy steps, you have enough knowledge to really start dancing. Pretty easy, isn't it?

Finally, it's time to have a quick insight into dancing with a partner...

› Salsa moves, steps and routines