"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #132, Thursday, Dec 12, 2002
Rumba to Salsa
I am personally into so called international style of dancing. However I also love to dance with different people and find it very enjoyable to dance other styles including the night club, salsa and hustle etc. I always want to apply the international style to anything that I do and that way I am able to keep my sanity and I don't get frustrated.
So, as I started a Salsa class, I had to convince myself that really it is Rumba except that the music is so fast that it requires few modifications and adaptations.
Basic: Rumba is slow, Salsa is fast. So, compared to Rumba, in Salsa it makes sense to close the step 3 and 6 of Basic and get a little loose. Put your American Technique of late straightening of legs and your salsa will be perfect. Body tone, Posture and Compactness are also important.
Cucaracha: Identical as in Rumba, just call it "side basic" in Salsa.
Fan: A little exaggeration but have the lady cross in front of you, stepping outside partner on step 4 and this becomes a "Cross Body Lead". You can end it in facing position as you can do in Rumba.
Alemana: More or less same but in Salsa, call it underarm turn R for the lady and turn her as you wish. Anything is acceptable.
Hand to Hand: Same as in Rumba. Use Alemana as a Precede.
Natural Top and Reverse Top: Use freestyle technique but feet positions and choreography just the same as in Rumba.
You can do any and everything you do in Rumba and apply it to Salsa and I bet your students will like it. Then put some unique Salsa Moves somewhere and there you have it.
The best thing is that the Timing of Rumba and Salsa is the same..2 3 41. You can change to Salsa anyway you like 1 2 34 or anything that has QQS feeling.
I think if you look at it this way, teaching Salsa should become just as much fun for the pure international style teachers.
Actually it is not a bad idea to do a little warm up with Rumba Music so that students can develop a better understanding of 2 3 41, and that way they are also getting ready for Cha Cha and Mambo. What do you say?...Best Luck, Max