Salsa

NEW: Videos of salsa variations can be found at: libraryofdance.org/dances/salsa

A collection of contemporary salsa figures.

Basic

  • Basic (Closed Position)
  • Basic (Two Hands)
  • Basic (One Hand)
  • Basic (No Hands, See “Shine Steps” Below)

Basic Turns

  • Spot Turn
  • Outside Turn Past Lead’s Left
  • Inside Turn Past Lead’s Right
  • He Goes She Goes (Full Turn CW, with Left to Right Hands)
  • He Goes She Goes (with Behind the Back Hand Change)
  • Behind the Back Hand Change

Breaks

  • Fall Away Breaks (Simple Exit)
  • Fall Away Breaks (Underarm Turn Exit)
  • Cross Over Breaks (Rollaway Exit)
  • Cross Over Breaks (Underarm Turn Exit)
  • Parallel Breaks (Follow Backing)
  • Parallel Breaks (Lead Backing, with Spot Turn Exit)
  • Hand to Hand Parallel Breaks with Spot Turn Exit
  • Hand to Hand Parallel Breaks into Sombrero

Shine Steps

  • Chase (Half Turns CW)
  • Chase (Full Turn CW)
  • Chase (Full Turn CCW – Trick: Delay!)
  • Easy Salsa Half “Turns” (Cross Left Foot Over Right on Walk Back)
  • Cross Left Over Right, Spin 4-5-6
  • Cross Right Behind Left, Spin 1-2-3

Cross Body Lead

  • Cross Body Lead (Two Hand Position)
  • Cross Body Lead (Closed Position)
  • Repeated Cross Body Leads
  • Cross Body Lead with Inside Turn
  • Cross Body Lead into Cross Over Breaks (or Break and Spot Turn)
  • Cross Body Lead with CCW Dishrag, to Two Handed He Goes, to Two Handed Cross Body Lead with Inside Turn
  • Repeated Cross Body Lead with CCW Dishrag to He Goes to Cross Body Lead with CCW Dishrag, etc*
  • Sombrero Cross Body Lead
    • Sombrero (Right Over Left Turn on 5 to Lateral Face Loop on 1 to Cross Body Lead on 5)
    • Sombrero (After Lead’s Behind the Back Hand Change)
    • Sombrero (With Shoulder Turn Cross Body Lead)
  • Matador Cross Body Lead (Right Over Left to Matador on 5 to Follow’s Face Loop to Cross Body Unwrap on 5)
  • Left Over Right Cross Body Lead with CCW Turn

Spins Down the Slot

  • Right to Right Free Spin Past Lead’s Right
  • Right to Right Outside Turn Past Lead’s Right
  • Lead’s Two Handed Arch Turn to Sling Shot Free Spin
  • Right Over Left Arch Turn to Sling Shot Free Spin

Cradle

  • Walk Around Wrap Entrance
  • Cross Body Lead Entrance
  • Unwind Exit
  • Unwrap Exit
  • Inside Turn Exit
  • Double Outside Turn Exit
  • Unwind and Unwrap Exit

Shadow (Sweetheart)

  • Straight Shot Entrance
  • Straight Shot Exit
  • Shadow to Windows
  • Windows
  • Mixmaster

Matador

  • Two Handed Spot Turn to Matador*
  • Outside Turn Past Lead’s Left to Matador*
  • Parallel Matador Salsa*
  • Spot Turn Out of Matador*
  • Pretzel Out of Matador*

Traveling

  • Reverse Turning Salsa*

Sunburst

  • Sunburst (Out of Crossed Hands)
  • Sunburst (Just for Fun)

Timings

  • Break on 1
  • Break on 2
  • Start Somewhere Else

Optional Styling

  • Latin Hips (Yes, These Are Optional)

Music

For salsa music, see Dancing Tunes – Salsa.

Credit

Most variations learned from Richard Powers and Joan Walton. Others made up by Nick and Danielle.

Contribute

Know another good salsa variation? Share it below!

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