A Guide to Learning How to Salsa

Stage 1-1: Understanding The Steps & Foot Placement

  
 
Whether it is salsa, swing, tango, or any dance style, every great dancer started by learning the basics. Although learning how to step with your feet is important, it's just one of the factors important to being a top-rate dancer. Below, you will find a diagram on how your feet should step within an eight-count step.

Using music terminology, salsa is a two measure step. In one measure, there are four counts which means there is a total of eight counts to salsa. Instead of counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 we count 1-2-3-and-5-6-7-and because we only step with our feet on every number count, while "and" is a mid-air step. This mid-air step is the transition between moving your left or right foot from one spot to another.


 
The "and" count is the only count where one foot is not touching the ground. It's important to understand that your feet do not lose contact with the ground unless it's the "and" count. Using the legend below, let's go over the basic steps.


 

Leader's Basic Steps (Jump to Follower's Basic Steps)
 
  
 

To compliment the leader's movements the follower's steps start with the right foot instead:

Follower's Basic Steps
 
  
 
Once we understand where the feet are supposed to step we can focus on understanding how the feet are supposed to step. In the next section we will discuss the techniques involved with the basic steps. 

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