Welcome To The New York On 2 Mambo Scene
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By Steve Shaw                   Email -  Salsa@nyc.rr.com


Click your mouse on a topic in blue to go to that section.

Definition of "Dancing Salsa ON 2" - An explanation of the structure of our Afro-Caribbean-New York based salsa music, and how we dance to it, including our Basic Step pattern and timing..

How To Go About Learning Our Dance -  Some words of advice to students and "Jacks of all Dances".  How we learn  to dance ON 2, our timing, what we listen to in the music.

Our Music - Its roots are Afro-Cuban, but its present form is New York/Puerto Rican, evolved and distinct from those roots.

The Clave - A description of this fascinating instrument, how it structures the music, how we dance to it.

The Downbeats -  The two major emphases in salsa, and how we use them to dance.

The Tumbao - The rhythms of the conga drum and their affect on our dancing.

We Start On The Major Downbeat, And We Break On The Clave And The Tumbao -  An explanation of Eddie Torres' statement that dancing mambo breaking ON 2 fits the rhythmic structure of our Afro-Caribbean-New York based salsa music.  How dancing ON 2 differs from other salsa dance styles.

Dance Floor Psycholgy & Strategy, Getting More Partners, and Proper Etiquette -   How to be less afraid, get more partners, have more fun dancing, lead and follow.  Also, how we dance so as to respect our partners and and fellow dancers on the floor, so as not to be crashing into each other.

The Roots And Evolution Of New York Salsa Music And ON 2 Mambo -  On the blending of African, Spanish, Caribbean and New York influences. 

Salsa Dance Timing And Style - New York ON 2 And The Others -  Some articles on the timing and style of New York ON 2 mambo, and how it is different from others.

Learning To Dance Salsa ON 2 - Teachers, Studios, Videos, Online Classes, Self Study -  Information on teachers, classes, videos and more.


Copyright © 2006 Steve Shaw.  All rights reserved.

Definition of Dancing New York Style Salsa   "Breaking On 2" -  This web site is written for and about mambo dancers who dance standard New York club style salsa "breaking on 2", sometimes called "Eddie Torres Style".  While a few other dancers may step differently, while still calling it "dancing on 2", the definition used by this web site follows what is taught exclusively by the majority of the New York City area independent salsa dance studios and instructors, such as  Jimmy Anton , Antonio Barreno, Joyce Blint, Joe BurgosAmarillis CintronIris CruzClaudine Curry,   Addie DiazMario DiazOscar Diaz, Kimberly FloresNelson FloresAlma Gonzalez, Mario "B" GonzalezGlenda Heffer, Liz HernandezNoriko Imai, Sammy IrizarryJai & Candy Dance StudioKarisma Dance StudioCarlos KonigLa Salsa De Hoy StudiosWinsome Lee, Rodney LopezLaura LorenzoMambo Unico Studios,  the Mambo MamasBernard MartinezFrankie Martinez, Juan MatosBrett McNichols, Jocelyn MendezDavid Negley, Jesus NievesNydia OcasioAngel OrtizNancy OrtizIsmael OteroViticco Pacheco, Yesenia PeraltaOsmar Perrones, Brenda RamosEvelyn RamosPriscilla RentaJorday Rivera,  Salsa Groove Dance StudioLillian Santiago,   Santo Rico Dance Studio, Steve Seda, Sofia SeebauerSide Street Kids AcademySouth Bronx KidsStarlite Dance StudiosSteve Seda,  Cesar TaverasGreg TaylorDelille ThomasLouis TiradoEddie Torres, Maria Torres, Duplessey Monic Walker,  CC WilliamsLuiz Zegarra, and many others.   It is clearly spelled out in the highly recommended Eddie Torres Salsa Teaching Videos listed below.  This way of dancing salsa is often referred to as "New York', "club", "street", "Latino" or "Eddie Torres" style.   This method is different from "ballroom" , "international" and Cuban son montuno styles, and also different than some of what is taught at other New York area studios such as  DanceSportStepping OutRazz M' TazzCultural Explosion and others.   It is different from those whose which step on 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and those which break on 1, 3 or 4, and those who do not dance in a line or "slot".  It is different from others which also may "break on 2", such as  Razz M' Tazz, Cuban son montuno, and those who step on 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8.

The Salsa Music -  Salsa music is played in 4/4 time, and has 4 beats to the measure or bar, and we dance within 2 measures, so we count 8 beats; and loosely say that we "dance to an 8 beat measure or bar", although technically it is two 4 beat measures.   Many dances, not just salsa, are done within 2 measures, and therefore some people use the terms "musician's measure" and "dancer's measure".  The "musician's measure" has 4 beats, while the "dancer's measure" has 8 beats and consists of 2 "musician's measures".  For more on our music and how it should be played for mambo dancers, see our section Guidelines for DJs & Recommended Songs .

The ON 2 Basic Step -  In our basic step, the man's left foot goes back and the woman's right foot goes forward on the 1st beat of this so-called 8 beat measure or bar.  We step with our feet on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, 6th, and 7th beats of the measure .  We do not step on the 4th and 8th beats.  We actually "break" our movement, in other words we change body direction, on the 2nd and 6th beats of the measure.  We call it "breaking on 2",  or "dancing on 2", or "bailando en dos".  This is mambo, danced forward and back, in a line or slot, not side to side or in a circle or square.  You can see this step precisely demonstrated and broken down into its separate elements in the Eddie Torres Teaches Salsa videos.

For how to understand the timing in the music, and how to find the 1st beat of the measure, click on Eddie Torres' "It's All In The Timing" .  At that same link are other videos for finding the timing in the music.

Our basic step is as follows:

1st beat of the measure -  The man steps back with his left foot.    The woman steps forward with her right foot.

2nd beat of the measure -  The man steps farther back with his right foot, then changes direction, starting to lean forward with his body = "breaks forward on 2".   The woman steps farther forward with her left foot, then changes direction, starting to lean back with her body = "breaking back on 2".

3rd beat of the measure -  The man steps in place with his left foot, while his body is moving forward.  The woman steps in place with her right foot, while her body is moving backward.

4th beat of the measure -  No steps.

5th beat of the measure -  The man   steps forward with his right foot, in front of his left foot.  The woman steps backward with her left foot, behind her right foot.

6th beat of the measure -  The man steps farther forward with his left foot, then changes direction, starting to lean backward with his body = "breaks back on 6".   The woman steps farther back with her right foot, then changes direction, starting to lean forward = "breaks forward on 6". 

7th beat of the measure -  The man steps in place with his right foot, while his body is moving backward.  The woman steps in place with her left foot, while her body is moving forward. 

8th beat of the measure -  No steps.


Here is a video clip showing the basic step of NY style On 2 mambo dancing
as shown by instructors Cesar & Sheena of www.StepIntoSalsa.com here in New York



Technically, it is proper to start the dance in the following way:  You walk onto the dance floor with your partner, set up the standard partner position frame, and then begin on the 6th beat of the measure, with the man stepping forward with his left foot and the woman stepping back with her right.  On the 7th beat, the couple changes direction, with the man rocking back onto his right foot and the woman rocking forward onto her left foot.  They then go right into the basic step pattern which is maintained through the rest of the song:  the man's left foot goes back and the woman's right foot goes forward on the 1st beat of the measure, and the pattern continues as described above in detail.  Although this is technically the proper way to start, most New York dancers simply begin on the 1st beat of the measure as described above, sometimes not even setting up the partner position first.

On 2 mambo instructor, and former member of the Eddie Torres Dancers, Marcus Nieves has a section on his web site about the technique of dancing On 2, including a video of Eddie Torres demonstrating the timing - See http://www.marcusnieves.com/what-s-on2 .

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How To Go About Learning Our Dance - Some Words Of Advice To Students & "Jacks Of All Dances" -  There is a lot of discussion about how New Yorkers dance On 2, and how that relates to the clave, the cowbells, the congas, etc., and how one must be attending to those instruments in order to learn how to dance On 2.  This is not true.  These discussions are usually by those who are not primarily and dominantly On 2 dancers.   Here in the New York metropolitan area, when we learn to dance On 2 from friends or in classes, whether it is with Eddie Torres, the "Mambo King", or any of the many other excellent instructors noted above , we are not paying much, if any, attention to the clave or these other instruments.  That is a much later focus in our learning. 

In fact, when we initially learn any part of this dance, whether it is the basic step or shines, or more advanced turn patterns, we do not even play the music at all.  Instead, we count out loud "1, 2, 3,  5, 6, 7" while learning to place our feet or hands in the proper positions.  In order to really understand the feeling of the clave and conga rhythms when dancing On 2, one usually must FIRST be an intermediate or advanced On 2 dancer.  And that means that one must have mastered the footwork, timing, partnerwork and open shines to the extent that they are automatic, and that they feel like the only natural way to move to this music.  I am not saying that this is the only way to learn our step, but rather that it is the most common method of instruction currently.  As with music, while some may learn to play by ear, the majority learn by using a the standardized systematic notation;  some may learn mambo in other ways, but the majority here learn by breaking down the dance into the count and the various turn and open shine patterns, many of which have names.  By the way, if you do not have access to New York area mambo classes, or would like to supplement your class learning, I highly recommend the Eddie Torres Training Videos in order to learn the correct fundamental and intermediate skills.  You will find the other On 2 Training Videos listed below to be very helpful too.  Also, there are now a lot of videos on www.YouTube.com that show New York style On 2 mambo dancing.

Counting out the 1, 2, 3, and 5, 6, 7 is only used for learning and communicating to others when we "break down" the dance into it's components.  We use it when we learn as beginners, and then later as intermediate or advanced dancers when we learn new turn patterns or open shines.  And we use the counting to explain to others as we "break down" our moves.  The count is the schematic diagram of the dance, in the same way musical notation is the schematic diagram of a piece of music.  But when we are just dancing for fun, or when performing, we do not count.  We just dance to the music. 

Skip the academic discussions, just learn to dance On 2 -   Here's how we learn:   First of all, find the beginning of the measure, the 1st beat.  Almost all music has measures (salsa, cha cha, disco, R & B, soul, rock, hip hop, reggae, classical, jazz, etc.), and one must learn to find the 1st beat of the measure.  For how to understand the timing in the music, and how to find the 1st beat of the measure, click on Eddie Torres' "It's All In The Timing" .  For some more help with this, see Manny Siverio's Article article on how to find the beginning of the salsa measure, his review of Mike Bello's Practice & Counting CD , and the Jai & Candy Timing CD,  which include learning to count the beats in the salsa music.  It is difficult to explain in writing how to find the 1st beat, since songs start their measures differently, sometimes even changing from verse to verse.  Sometimes it's signaled by the singer, but other times it's the chorus, the clave, the congas or the bass, and it may keep changing.  My other advice is to find someone who knows how to find the 1 in the music, whether it's a teacher, friend, relative, fellow dancer or musician;  some people just know the 1 and can show it to you.  Put on some salsa music and have them show you the 1, and explain how they found it.  Then have them help you learn to feel it, count it and tap your feet all the way through entire songs.  A good exercise is to stop and then restart the song to see how quickly you can find the 1 and get on the beat again.

Second of all, when you have learned to find, feel and tap your foot to the 1st and the 7 other beats in the salsa measure, then begin your count and step as spelled out above:  1,2,3 and 5,6,7.  Ladies always step on the 1st beat with their right foot, and on the 5th beat with their left foot.  Men always step on the 1st beat with their left foot, and on the 5th beat with their right foot  (the only exception to this is during  more advanced syncopated open shines).  Now drill this for hours, weeks and months:  in classes, clubs, at home, even the restroom at work, anywhere.   Whether you are doing the basic forward and back step, a side basic, back charges, partner turns or open shines, you must get to the point where the sound of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th, 6th,and 7th beats in the salsa music makes the proper foot go down in the right place, and this must all happen entirely automatically, instinctively, naturally from your heart.  No thinking is involved.  The man's left foot, and the woman's right foot, must feel the 1st beat, and hit the floor with it.  And that goes for all the other beats in the count.   You should be able to maintain that timing when listening to the music and dancing with your partner, brushing your teeth, beating an egg, carrying on a conversation, or clapping out a 2/3 or 3/2 clave.  In other words, you shouldn't have to think about your feet at all.  Again, for how to understand the timing in the music, and how to find the 1st beat of the measure, click on Eddie Torres' "It's All In The Timing" .

Why is this important?  Because when you are dancing to a great song with your partner, doing cross body leads, complicated turns, shines, and interacting with your partner and moving to the phrasing of the music, there is no time to be thinking about what beat and what foot you should be on.  The count and the feet must be so much a natural part of your relationship to the music, that it just feels right.  For example, if you are a man leading a double touch-and-go turn, followed by your own single left turn, it must be automatic to start your partner's turn on the 1, while stepping with your left foot, and your own turn on the 5, while stepping on your right foot.  And for the woman, it must be automatic to be stepping on your right foot on the 1 at the beginning of that double turn, after setting up with your left foot on 7, and be stepping back on 6 with your right foot when you come out of it.  There is no time to be thinking, or to be confused, about what timing one is on.  You must have drilled it until it has become automatic and natural.

When you have achieved this level of mastery of dancing On 2, it now begins to be possible to feel and understand the complex relationship of the dance to the rhythms in the music.  Notice that one can become an intermediate or advanced On 2 dancer without any specific discussion or focus on the clave, cowbells, congas/tumbao, etc.  That is how we are taught here in New York, including our finest performers who tour internationally representing the New York ON 2 timing and style.   The reason this is possible is that the 1, 2, 3,  5, 6, 7 timing, and breaks on 2 and 6, are designed around the clave and conga-tumbao sounds and rhythms, so without mentioning them, you are already dancing to them.  And that is why I say above:   "Skip the academic discussions, just learn to dance On 2" first, then let's discuss the rhythms and instruments we dance with.  Which is what we'll do now.

The following discussion of the relationship between the music and our way of dancing refers ONLY to the classic mainstream Caribbean-influenced salsa music that contemporary New York On 2 mambo dancers generally prefer for their style of dancing.   It is the music we most frequently hear in our local clubs and studios, and have in our own collections, usually played by the New York, Puerto Rican and Dominican bands.   It does not refer to other forms and styles of "salsa" music, such as  "old school Cuban music", "pop salsa", nor much of the so-called "salsa" that is frequently played elsewhere in the U.S., South America and overseas, cumbias, some charangas, son montunos, and other related types.  This mainstream New York-Afro-Caribbean style of music is distinguished by it's much stronger and intense rhythm sounds, played especially by the clave, conga and bongo drums, timbales/cowbells, bass, and also  represented in the repetitive beats incorporated into the melody lines. 


Our Music -    According to Washburne (1995), our contemporary New York salsa music and the clave beats originated in African bell and drum rhythms, journeyed to Cuba via slave ships in the 1700's, became blended in the Caribbean, especially in Puerto Rico, with Spanish music, jazz and island dances, and then traveled to New York to become further evolved as it was played in the New York City, especially NewYorican, urban atmosphere of the 1950's and 1960's and adapted to the local dance styles, especially at clubs such as the Palladium.  In the 1960's & 1970's, the word "salsa" (which  literally means "sauce") was being used by New York's Fania Record Company (associated with the Fania All Stars) as a marketing term to promote the newest version of this music, as was Latin New York Magazine in its articles - see Origins of the Word "Salsa".  And with Cuba's turn to communism under Fidel Castro, and the severing of diplomatic and trade relations between Cuba and the U.S., the ongoing flow and interaction of Cuban and New York musicians and dancers became increasingly limited.  As a result, Puerto Rico and New York have emerged since the 1960's as the primary sources and representatives of the contemporary salsa music that we dance to nowadays here in New York City.  In spite of the recent fascination about "Cuban music & culture", and the statements by many that New York salsa is Cuban, it should be made clear that we do not dance to "Cuban music" nor do we dance in a Cuban style.  We dance a New York style, and we have been doing so for decades.  As Johnny Pacheco says:  "Salsa is a New York sound".

Another description of salsa music:  "Born in New York City in the 1960s and 70s, salsa is a hybrid of traditional rhythms from Cuba (son ) and Puerto Rico (bomba y plena ), with influences from jazz and R&B.  Primarily a dance genre, it is characterized by syncopated arrangements in clave rhythm, Spanish lyrics, and a strong rhythmic pulse punctuated by the trumpet or trombone.  The word "salsa" was used as an umbrella term for a variety of different existing rhythms and song styles (guaracha, son, mambo, to name a few), to help market the genre as a uniquely Latino music.  Fania Records was the biggest salsa record label, and its artists were truly all-stars.  By the late 1970's, salsa had grown far beyond New York, becoming the emblematic music for much of Latin America.  Salsa also grew in political and social consciousness but, in the 1980's, sub-genres such as the smooth Salsa Romántica brought the genre great success in Latin America, but didn't appeal as much to young Latinos in New York.  The Pop Salsa sound, developed in the early 1990's by producer Sergio George with singers such as Marc Anthony and La India, brought new salsa fans onto the dance floors of New York."  From "Latin Music USA" @ www.PBS.org

On 2 mambo dancers usually prefer classic salsa music with a strong danceable rhythm.   The word "classic" does not mean "old";  it refers to a certain classic style of salsa music.  The rhythm structure is based on either the 2/3 or 3/2 son clave, and the sound is one very much associated with Puerto Rican or NewYorican bands, such as El Gran Combo & Tito Puente.  This is not to say that bands with other backgrounds or from other locations do not play songs that fit our way of dancing.  Some of our favorite dance songs come from bands whose roots are far from New York, but it is only when those songs have this "classic New York sound & rhythm" that they are compatible with our On 2 dance timing and style.  See History & Evolution of our Music

For more on the music we dance to, please see:

1)  Sydney Hutchinson's excellent thorough study of the evolution of our New York salsa music and On 2 dance from the 1920's into the 2000's.  If you really want a detailed musical and dance history of the people and stages in our development, you should read this scholarly research study - "Mambo On 2:  The Birth Of A New Form Of Dance In New York City" - 

Another possible location of this article:  http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/redalyc/pdf/377/37716209.pdf

Sydney Hutchinson's web site - http://www.sydneyhutchinson.com/content/publications
Please note:  This article gets moved to other locations periodically, so you may need to search by article title.

2)   Washburne's very good discussion of the evolution of New York salsa music, and the role of the clave, at  www.jazzcorner.com/washburne/articles.html .

3)  Izzy Sanabria's web site about the central role of the Fania All Stars & the Fania Record Company in the evolution of New York salsa - www.SalsaMagazine.com .  Especially, see The Rise of Salsa  and  What Is Salsa? Where & How Did It Start?

4)  Paul Clifford's article on Puerto Rico's influence on today's salsa at  http://www.geocities.com/sd_au/articles/sdhsalsapr.htm .

5)  Other Articles on the same subject listed below. 

6)  For more on our music and how it should be played for mambo dancers, see our section Guidelines for DJs & List of Recommended Songs .


The Clave - What is "Dancing On Clave"? -  The clave is traditionally a wooden instrument consisting of 2 sticks which are struck together to make a clicking or tapping sound.  Nowadays, sometimes it is a plastic hollow rectangular "box" which may be hand-held or mounted on the drum set - the timbales, cowbell, cymbal, woodblock, etc.   And sometimes the clave rhythm sounds come from other sources, such as the drummer tapping the side of a drum, the conga or bongo player's beat, a clave rhythm from the singer, piano or other instrument, etc.  In Spanish, the word "clave" means a "key", like a "key word" or the "key to a code".  In salsa music, the clave rhythm establishes the key or structure of the song.  Directly or indirectly, all the other instruments and the singers in the band are guided and structured by the clave rhythms.  While it cannot always be heard in some salsa music, the clave's beat always underlies the rhythmic structure of good salsa.  While there are various clave rhythm patterns, the "Son Clave" is the one used in the classic, mainstream New York Caribbean-style salsa music preferred by New Yorkers for On 2 dancing.  This clave is played within 2 measures of 4 beats each, a total of 8 beats.  But it is only tapped on certain of those 8 beats in the 2 measures.   There are two son clave rhythm patterns:   the 3/2 clave and the 2/3 clave.  The 3/2 clave is struck on the following beats:  1, 2 1/2,  4, 6, 7.  The 2/3 clave is struck on the following beats:  2, 3,  5, 6 1/2, 8.    The clave creates a complex, syncopated, unevenness in the rhythmic structure that builds a tension in the group of 3 taps, and then releases or resolves that tension in the group of 2 taps, once in each of the 2 measures.  It does this by going against, and then rejoining, the regular 8 beats, a little like one instrument playing in 4/4 time, and another playing in 3/4 time simultaneously.  This syncopation fascinates and inspires those more experienced On 2 dancers who are particularly in tune to the music, and affects the way they feel and move when they have reached the level of the dance where they are truly "dancing in the music".  

You may have heard the expression "Dancing on Clave" to describe New York On 2 mambo.  This needs some clarification.  Actually, this is a loose expression to mean that the clave contributes to the 8 beat rhythmic structure of salsa, and also affects how we feel and move to the music.  But we do not literally step to ALL the beats that the clave instrument taps out.  For example, the 2/3 clave instrument taps out 2, 3, 5, 6 1/2, 8, while we step on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7.  So we are only stepping on the 2, 3 and 5 taps of the 2/3 clave.  And the 3/2 clave taps out 1, 2 1/2, 4, 6, 7, while we step on 1, 2, 3,  5, 6, 7.  So we only step on the 1, 6, and 7 of the 3/2 clave.  As an example of how the clave makes us feel and move, we break on 2 and 6, but the 6 break feels much more emphatic and part of the body than does the 2 break when we are dancing to a song with a 3/2 clave, because the 6 break is "On Clave", at least when it's audible in the music.  In contrast, when the song we are dancing to has a clear 2/3 clave structure, the 2 break feels stronger than the 6 break.  Many intermediate and advanced On 2 dancers feel this difference, particularly those who are closely attuned to the music. 

The clave always has one measure with 2 beats, and one measure with 3 beats.  The 2/3 clave has 2 beats in the first measure, and 3 beats in the second measure.  The 3/2 clave has 3 beats in the first measure, and 2 beats in the second measure.  It is in the nature of the clave rhythmic structure that the 2 beats always stand out more emphatically than the 3 beats.  That is, they feel stronger in the rhythm.  Partly this is because the 2 beats resolve the syncopated unevenness or tension of the 3 beats.  When we are breaking on 2 and 6, we are actually changing our body direction in conjunction with the strongest rhythmic emphasis in the clave's beat.  So although we don't literally step on every clave beat, we do make a major body movement (a change of direction) on the major beat of the clave, the 2 beat which resolves the tension.  It is in this sense that we "dance on clave".  This style of dancing accents the clave's emphasis on the 2  in the way we move our bodies in the dance.  Other timings, such as breaking on 1 or 3, do not accent the clave's emphasis on the 2 in this way.

There are other uses of the word "clave" you may hear.  (1)  "Finding the clave" - referring to when we take our first step, on the 1:  "finding the clave" in this usage means finding the first beat of the 8 beat measure.   (2)  Also, you may hear someone describe a DJ as "mixing the songs on the clave" - This usage means going from one salsa song to the next keeping the tempo/timing of the 8 beats.  Both of these uses of the "the clave" have to do with the regular 8 beats, and do not literally refer to the rhythms created by the tapping of the clave instrument.  (3)  Finally, you may hear the expression "changing the clave", referring to when a song restarts the count after only 4 beats instead of 8 beats.  When this happens, the dancer is now off-timing since we dance to an 8 beat count.  More advanced dancers who feel this "clave change" will do a "transition step" which adjusts their timing to the new count in the music.

I would like to express my thanks to Jimmy Anton, Addie Diaz, Carlos Koenig, Frankie Martinez and Eddie Torres, for their help in clarifying and putting into words the role of this fascinating and complex rhythm instrument, the clave, and how it forms a foundation unique to salsa and On 2 mambo dancing.  And also my thanks to Manny Siverio, for launching us into trying to explain the timing and the clave in a way that would be helpful to the viewers of our web site. 


The Downbeats -   An important feature of New York "On 2" mambo is that we begin most of our moves, turns and shines on the 1st and 5th beats of the measure, the downbeats.  For some help with finding the 1st & other beats, see Manny Siverio's Article article on how to find the beginning of the salsa measure, and also his review of Mike Bello's Practice & Counting CD  which includes learning to count the beats in the salsa music).  See also Jai & Candy's Timing & Speed Instructional CD.  For example, the cross body lead begins on 1 when the lady is already stepping forward with her right foot. The ladies' turns are usually begun on 1, and the man's turns are often begun on 5. Shines also usually begin on 1. 

The 1 is the beginning of the 8 beats of the salsa measure (as noted above, it's actually 2 measures of 4 beats each). There is a strong "downbeat" or "emphasis" in most kinds of music on the 1, including salsa.  It is the strongest feeling beat of the measure. That is when a dancer feels the "thrust" or "power" of the rhythm. There is another downbeat, somewhat less strong, on the 5th beat of the measure (the beginning of the 2nd 4 beat measure), when the man often begins his turns. The 1 and the 5 are the strongest rhythmic points in the salsa music, and that is where we begin most of our moves when we dance On 2.


The Tumbao -   The tumbao refers to the rhythms accented by the conga drum player in mainstream classic salsa music.   Specifically, the conga is struck with 2 quick beats and then a 3rd "slap", usually on the outer edge or rim of the drum, in the pattern of quick-quick-slow.  Sometimes this is audible in both 4 beat measures, and sometimes only in the first measure.  The 2 quick beats are on "8 and..."  (actually, 8 and 8 1/2), and on "4 and ..."  (actually, 4 and 4 1/2).  These 2 quick beats serve as a lead-in to the 1st and 5th beats of the measure, the 2 heavy downbeats that we step on when dancing On 2.  In fact, when the 2 quick beats of the tumbao are very clear, they have the effect of "rushing us" into the 1 and 5 steps, making us hit them more emphatically and, sometimes, slightly early, which gives our style of dancing a snap and quickness in the look and feel.  

Sometimes the "slap", or the "slow" hit of the tumbao is not audible.  But when it can be heard, it is often the heavier and more emphatic sound coming from the conga drum.  That sound comes on the 2nd beat of the measure.  This means that if the tumbao sound can be heard during both 4 beat measures making up the 8 beats we dance to, then the strongest points of emphasis are on the 2nd and 6th beats, which is where we "break", or change our body movement direction, when we dance On 2. 

We Start On The Major Downbeat, And We Break On The Clave And The Tumbao -   When Eddie Torres says that this On 2 timing and style of mambo dancing "logically fits the rhythm of salsa music", he is referring to the fact that the strongest beats in the rhythm, the 1st and 5th beats, are where we begin our moves:   we begin our basic step, our cross-body-lead, our turn patterns, our shines.    In other words, the beats with the greatest rhythmic thrust (1 and 5) are what power the "On 2" dancer's moves. The greatest "push" or "action" in the music's rhythm (the 1 and 5 downbeats) empower the greatest "action" in the dancer's body (the initiation of a move). 

In addition, as noted above, we do our 2 strong body motions, the 2 and 6 breaks (change of body direction),  on the major rhythmic beats of the clave, and the strongest sounds of the conga drum, the 2 and 6.   So in all three ways (the strongest downbeats, the clave and the tumbao),  this particular mambo dance style and timing expresses in its strongest body movements what the structure of salsa music expresses in its strongest rhythms

We start on 1, we break on 2:  This distinguishes standard New York On 2 timing from those which break on 1, 3, etc., and those which don't begin their moves on the 1st beat, such as timings where the dancers step on 2, 3, 4, and 6, 7, 8, for example Razz M' Tazz and some Palladium, ballroom and international styles.  Cuban Pete's Personal Opinion -  Quoting Fernando Lamadrid,  "Cuban Pete, one of the greatest dancers of the Palladium era once explained it  like this:  "Dancing "On 1" is dancing "TO" the music.   Dancing "On 2" is dancing "IN" the music.  And at a panel discussion at the World Salsa Congress, he said  "....Dancing "On 1" is like dancing to the melody of the music, while dancing "On 2" is like dancing in the rhythm of the music."    It might actually be more precise to say   ".......dancing "On 2" is like dancing in the rhythm of the clave's tension-resolving and dominant 2 beat".  While these statements are only an opinion, they are not uncommon.  They do reflect many On 2 dancers' belief and feeling, especially those who danced on another timing previously, that this particular method connects them more to the rhythmic percussive elements in the salsa music.  And, by the way, most of us also love the melody and the words in the songs, not just the rhythm.  The major point here is that the New York On 2 timing connects very well to the rhythmic structure of classic salsa music.

Please note, however, as mentioned in our Welcome & Introduction to this web site, that nothing here is meant to suggest that different ways of dancing to salsa music are any less legitimate or less enjoyable. No offense is meant, and none should be taken.  There is no right or wrong way to dance.  One can dance in many ways, and in connection with many different aspects of the music:  rhythm, melody, mood, meaning of the words, tempo, harmony, intensity, etc.  What matters most is what each dancer prefers.....and that they don't smash into their neighbors on the dance floor.

Copyright © 2006 Steve Shaw.  All rights reserved.

Other Articles By Steve Shaw "Doc Salsa":

How To Get More Partners - Overcoming Fear Of Dancing - Tough Talk

Guidelines For Mambo DJs - List Of Good Mambo & Cha Cha Songs

How To Put On A Successful Salsa Dance Event

Cyber Interview Of Doc Salsa

The Story Of SalsaNewYork.com - How It Came About

Fellas, You Are Supposed To Make The Lady Look Good

DJ Steve Shaw "Doc Salsa" - DJ Resume & Contact Information For Booking

How To Make & Care For A CD For Performing

Dance Floor Psychology & Strategy, Getting More Partners, and Proper Etiquette -   The dance floor can be a great opportunity to dance with many people, those you know as well as new acquaintances.  But sometimes, and for some people, there is a lot of stress and anxiety, and there are those times when you have a hard time getting people to dance with you.  Here are a few articles to help you change all that, to help you get more partners and have more fun dancing.

1)  Overcoming Some Fears Of Social Dancing - How To Get More Partners - Tough Talk For A Tough World -  by Steve Shaw, founder & co-host of SalsaNewYork.com .

2)  Salsa Partnering and Etiquette -  by New York salsero Joe Wieder.

3)  Tell Me Why You’re Just Sitting Here And Not On The Floor Dancing? - by Sam Boone (Washington DC), published on the Toronto, Canada,  web site www.TOSalsa.com .

4)  The Lead -  Fellas, read this article on how to lead the ladies!  By Sam Boone (Washington DC), published on the Toronto, Canada, web site www.TOSalsa.com .

5)  Focus on the Music First, the Beat (Timing) Second -   This article by Edie "The Salsa Freak" helps dancers pay attention to the most important thing, the music, instead of being obsessed with your latest 100 turn patterns.

6)  How To Dance On A Crowded Dance Floor -  Jeff Camilo discusses the problem of navigating in crowded dancing situations.

Etiquette  -  There are proper manners on the dance floor:  how we use the space, how we respect our partners and other dancers nearby, how we dance more compactly and do less complex turns when the dance floor is crowded, etc.  You and your partner should not be crashing into other dancers.  Please read these excellent articles on Proper Dance Floor Etiquette:

1)  Fellas, You Are Supposed To Make The Lady Look Good - by Steve Shaw, founder & co-host of SalsaNewYork.com.  Discussing the "group" or "birthday" dance:  how to lead, how to cut in, pay attention to the lady, taking turns.  Applies to partner dancing also.

2)  Salsa Partnering and Etiquette - by New Yorker Joe Wieder. 

3)  Dance Floor Etiquette - from SalsaChicago.com.  

4)  Dancer's Pet Peeves -   from Toronto's salsa web site  www.tosalsa.com

See directly below for more information on learning to dance salsa, and articles about the clave, timing, steps, and finding the first beat of the measure to begin the basic step.

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Here are some very interesting articles on how our contemporary New York salsa music, and our On 2 mambo dance, began and evolved as it blended elements from Africa, Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and the gutsy street and club culture of New York City's intense urban atmosphere, making it distinct from what is found in other places in the U.S. and around the world.

For a listing of many of our typical salsa songs played at On 2 mambo parties here in the New York metropolitan area, as well as guidelines for mambo DJ's, see our Salsa Song List & Guidelines for DJ's .

Sydney Hutchinson's excellent thorough study of the evolution of our New York salsa music and On 2 dance from the 1920's into the 2000's.  If you really want a detailed musical and dance history of the people and stages in our development here in New York, you should read this scholarly research study - It is titled "Mambo On 2:  The Birth Of A New Form Of Dance In New York City." (2004).  Here is the current link - http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/pdf/377/37716209.pdf .  If it doesn't work in the future, do a Google search with the author & title of the article.

"A South Bronx Latin Music Tale" - by Roberta Singer & Elena Martinez.  A very detailed article about the very active Latin music scene in the South Bronx from the 1940's to the 1970's, including the bands and the dance clubs.  This helps fill out the picture of the very unique role the New York Puerto Rican music culture had in forming the music that we now call "New York salsa".  Here's the link:  http://www.herencialatina.com/South_Bronx_Latin/Latin_Music_Bronx.htm .    If it doesn't work in the future, do a Google search with the author & title of the article.

Glossary of Salsa Music & Instrument Terms - A dictionary of words used in salsa, from Abakwa to Yoruba (no Z yet), at the University of Salsa at www.PlanetSalsa.com .

Origins of the Word "Salsa" - by renowned Latin music historian Max Salazar.

"Clave:  The African Roots of Salsa" - The developmental journey of our contemporary salsa music from Africa,  through Cuba and the Caribbean to the urban New York City streets - by Chris Washburne.

"Background, Evolution, Timing, Technique, etc. of Mambo" - Excellent discussion of various aspects of our music and the dances:   mambo, salsa, cha cha - by Paul Clifford, host of StreetDance Australia. 

    1.  Background and Evolution .

    2.  Origins of Salsa - The Puerto Rican Influence.

    3.  The Clave -  Introduction & Finding The Clave ,   Understanding the Music ,   The Clave Rhythm ,
            Dancing With The Clave ,   Evolution of the Clave Based Dances .


"Mambo Mania" -  An article on the music and dance that traveled from Africa to Cuba and Caribbean and eventually thrived in NYC, with specific reference to the Pallidium in the 1950's.  By Isabelle Leymarie.

The Contribution of Cuban Son to New York Salsa  -  Jean White of  www.MamboCity.co.uk  has posted 2 interesting articles covering historical Cuban elements in NY salsa.  Two articles are on "The Cuban Son and New York Salsa", one by Dr. Morton Marks and the other by Dr. Roberta Singer.

Mambo:   Cuba Created It, New York Perfect It  -  by Mike Bello. 

Who Owns Salsa:   Nationality, Ethnicity & Clave -  By Norman Urquía. 

 "Dancing Is An Expression of Body Movement To Music"  An interesting rambling essay by Arthur Greenburg on the various ways of latin dancing, with a particular focus on New York styles in the 1950's which are the basis of how we dance here now.  Has funny commentary such as:  "No self respecting Palladium dancer would be caught dead dancing on anything but the 2 beat.  If you took up too much space (more than you were entitled to) in the Palladium, you frequently encountered very angry couples who resented your overlapping their dance territory.  Fierce looks often preceded a physical encounter for infringement on someone else's dance turf.  Altercations were not infrequent."  We should try some of that medicine now! 

"A Brief History of Mambo/Salsa" - Musician, DJ and Bistro Latino Host Ron McGugins discusses how our music began and evolved. 

"SalsaRoots"  -   As host Rita states:  "www.salsaroots.com is a website dedicated to acknowledgment and appreciation of the Afro-Latin music forms that preceded current day Salsa. It is a unique source for dance history, videos, books, article and internet sites brought together in one place".  There are detailed descriptions and history on various dances such as son, danzon, guaguanco, cha cha, mambo and rueda.

"Salsa:   Made in New York - A blending of Latin sounds".   An article from the New York Times on the history of local latin music, including related references to other articles, audio and internet materials.  See also the Salsa Audio-Visual Time Line .  

Salsa: de las Raíces hasta el 1975 by  Prof. Nicolás Ramos Gandía - An excellent historical article about salsa music, written in Spanish, on the Puerto Rican web site  www.noti-salsa.com .  

"Salsa or Mambo?" -  Some comments on the history and controversy surrounding the music we dance to, originally posted on the web site of  2 Groove Dance Studio (formerly Salsa Groove Dance Studio) in Brooklyn, NY.

Chronological Guide of the Development of the Popular Music of the Caribbean -  by Antonio Mora Ayora.  An excellent and very complete history of the various types of Latin music including salsa, from 1492 to the 20th century, from Europe through the Caribbean to the United States.  It is very comprehensive, covering the places, the artists, the music industry, and some of the social and political influences on the development of our music and dance.  In Spanish.

A History Of Salsa -  From Africa to the Americas to Europe.

Book:  "Salsa - The Rhythm of Latin Music".  By Charley Gerard & Marty Sheller -  In English.  Excellent book on salsa including a cultural history tracing the music from its African roots, discussion of the clave and instruments in the salsa band, related genres of latin music, and an accompanying CD of the clave and drum rhythms.  Available through the publisher at www.WhiteCliffsMedia.com , 800-359-3210, or through www.Descarga.com , 718-693-2966.  May also be available locally at Casa Latina, 151 East 116th Street (Lexington Avenue), NYC. 212-427-6062.  Email - casalatina@aol.com   . See their web site at www.casalatinamusic.com  .

Book:  "El Libro De La Salsa:  Cronica De La Musica Del Caribe Urbano"   -  By Cesar Miguel Rondon.  In Spanish.  This is a comprehensive book on salsa music, published in Venezuela.  This in-depth 340 page book chronicles the evolution and rise of salsa, from its early Afro-Cuban roots to its gritty urban Nuyorican manifestations.  Hundreds of bands and individual artists are explored, with emphasis on the Fania recording artists as well as Ismael Rivera, Cortijo and other important Puerto Rican figures.  Additionally, entire sections of songs and their multi-layered meanings are disected and interpreted.  Many rare photographs in black and white as well as color, are included.  Available through www.Descarga.com , 718-693-2966.  May also be available locally at Casa Latina, 151 East 116th Street (Lexington Avenue), NYC.  212-427-6062.  Email - casalatina@aol.com  . See their web site at www.casalatinamusic.com   .

Book:  "The Latin Beat"  -  by Ed Morales  -  Da Capo Press 2003.  Covers the evolution of Latin music, including salsa, following its origins in various countries.

Again, Sydney Hutchinson's excellent thorough study of the evolution of our New York salsa music and On 2 dance from the 1920's into the 2000's.  If you really want a detailed musical and dance history of the people and stages in our development here in New York, you should read this scholarly research study - It is titled "Mambo On 2:  The Birth Of A New Form Of Dance In New York City." (2004).  Here is the current link - http://redalyc.uaemex.mx/pdf/377/37716209.pdf .  It it doesn't work in the future, do a Google search with the author & title of the article.

Books and Records on the Past and Present in Salsa -  The web site  www.Descarga.com   is a very good local Brooklyn-based resource for music, books, articles and features on salsa, including those covering the history and evolution of our the music we dance to.   For these special sections, click on BooksClassic CD Collections , or Journal Archives.

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Some articles on the timing and style of New York ON 2 mambo, and how it is different from others.

For how to understand the timing in the music, and how to find the 1st beat of the measure, click on Eddie Torres' "It's All In The Timing" .

"Finding The Clave" - How To Find The 1st Beat Of The Measure - Where To Start Your Basic Step" - by Manny Siverio.  See also his review of Mike Bello's Practice & Counting CD  which includes learning to count the beats in the salsa music.

"The On 2 Club - Dancing On 2 - New York Style Mambo - Dancing On Clave"  - Formerly an ON 1 dancer, Marla of SalsaFreak.com discovers the "soul and spirit of New York dancers".

"Space" - Why On 2 dancers use less space, and have fewer collisions & more respect for others, on the dance floor - by Ismael Carlo.

"Breaking The Mystery of Salsa Timing -"   The Differences Between Dancing On 1, 2, 3, and 4  - Contemporary timings and step patterns from various places (New York, L.A., Miami, Cuba, etc.) - by Edie "The SalsaFreak" and Eric Freeman.

Different Salsa Dance Styles Around The World - Another article by Edie "The SalsaFreak" from her international travels & observations of salsa dancers' styles.

For you salsa freaks who like to write it all down, here's a guy in San Francisco who's done just that.  He's notated how to stand, hold your partner, lead, follow, step and, of course, do 101 turn patterns.   Although he uses a different timing and foot patterns than the NY style described above, many of the partnering techniques and turn patterns are the same, or can be modified to fit the New York mambo style of (men) starting with our 1st step back on the 1st beat of the measure, and then  "breaking forward on 2".  

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If you would like to learn how to dance NY style salsa breaking On 2, and you live in or visit the NYC area, you can take dance classes or private lessons from a wide selection of professional teachers listed in our Instructor Directory.  This is the fastest way to learn, and it also gives you the opportunity to meet other students and dancers so that when you go out dancing socially you will already know people at the event, and it will be easier to dance with them.  As a supplement to lessons in order to speed up your learning, I also highly recommend the Eddie Torres Salsa Teaching Videos , as well as the Other Videos listed below.

If you are not able to study locally here in New York, and there are no instructors teaching NY style mambo On 2 in your area, you can try the Self Study methods below and, again, I recommend the Eddie Torres Teaching Videos , as well as the Others listed.  There is no question that you can learn to dance New York style On 2 using these several training videos without ever coming to New York.  All it takes is a partner or group and the careful and repeated study and practice of what you see in these videos. 

Or do what many people from all over the world do who are fascinated with our way of dancing.  They come here for a week or two vacation and spend the whole time dancing.  They take every class they can from our many excellent Instructors , and they go out dancing frequently and practice with the local NY On 2 dancers - see Calendar for a listing of On 2 dance events.  Some rent Studio Space in order to practice or study with a private Instructor.  After a couple weeks of this intense learning and dancing, especially if supplemented by studying the On 2 Training Videos , they will have learned to dance On 2.  With further practice and study of the On 2 Training Videos , they can continue to improve back in their home towns.  Some even organize On 2 dance groups and studios of their own in order to spread this exciting way of dancing to salsa music.  As Eddie Torres says:  "Dance On 2 and dance on the beat."

Professional Teachers and Studios -   There are many dance studios and private instructors in the New York City area who specialize in teaching New York style "On 2" salsa dancing.  They are discussed exclusively and extensively by Manny Siverio in SalsaNewYork.com's Dancer's Magazine .  The  Instructor Directory  section describes each instructor's teaching methods, and provides information on classes, schedules, addresses and phone numbers, links to their web sites, articles and photos.  To see these listings, click on Instructors .


Self-Study - Here area few self-study videos, DVDs, Online classes and timing CD's for learning and improving your On 2 salsa dancing.  We only list self-study materials by instructors who have made the commitment to teach only "On 2" exclusively. 

Also, we do not receive any money for these listings.  We are a completely non-commercial, personal, public service web site done in our spare time and at our own expense.  We list videos below which we feel represent excellent teaching of our way of dancing. 

1.  Eddie Torres Salsa Teaching Videos and Dance CD -  Two excellent videos on "Eddie Torres Teaches Salsa Nightclub Style", which cover "breaking on 2 New York style" salsa.  An audio tape, "It's All In The Timing" covers the rhythm, beat and clave of salsa music, and how we dance to it.  The CD is "Dance City, Eddie Torres and His Mambo Kings Orchestra", with classic music chosen especially for dancing.  This set is a classic for the learning of salsa, taught by a pioneer and one of the most famous New York "On 2" salseros and teachers.  The terms "Eddie Torres Style", "New York Style", and "Dancing On 2" are often used interchangeably.  I highly recommend these tapes for the beginning and intermediate foundations of dancing On 2.  The videos cover basic and intermediate ladies' and men's dance positions, posture, footwork, styling, partner work, turn patterns, open shines and timing with the music.   For information, reviews and ordering information, click on www.Descarga.com , 718-693-2966, 800-377-2647, email info@descarga.com .  These videos may also be available at Casa Latina in New York City; be sure to call first.  Also click on Eddie Torres for more on his role in the New York mambo scene, click on his Instructor Review, and also his web site at www.EddieTorres.com .

For how to understand the timing in the music, and how to find the 1st beat of the measure, click on Eddie Torres' "It's All In The Timing" .

2.  "On 2 With Addie-Tude" - Ladies Styling" Instructional Video -  Lots of us dance, but only a few salseros have that great NY/NJ mambo style and flavor that distinguishes our way of dancing from almost everywhere else in the world.  This goes for both the ladies and the men. In the ladies department, Addie Diaz is one of those known for her ladies styling, with her mix of funk, sabor, classy femininity and sexy finesse....and don't forget that smile!  Now Addie, director of the Addie-Tude Dance Company, has put out a new video tape which teaches both technique and styling for the mambo women. There's also instruction on open shines footwork which is very helpful for both the men and the women.   For more information on this new video and how to order it, including a review by Edie "The Salsa Freak" from SalsaWeb.com, see Addie's web site at  www.Addie-Tude.com or email her at AddieTudeDance@gmail.com .

3.  "Salsa Made Simple" by Louis Tirado  -  New York salsero Louis Tirado is an instructor and performer who has created an instruction DVD which covers many of the basics of timing to the music, the proper footwork, body position, leading and following in partnerwork and other elements of dancing salsa.  Complete with over 30 different chapter selections covering such to0pics as the basic step, open and closed partnering, the cross body lead, picking up and releasing your partner, checks, whips and turns.  Louis' instruction is accompanied with easy to follow text that helps point out to viewers proper dance timing and footwork.  This DVD is shot and produced by Manny Siverio, co-host of www.SalsaNewYork.comClick Here for more information about the film and how to buy it.

4.  "Elements of Salsa:  Salsa Leading Techniques"  by Rodney Lopez  -  New York salsero Rodney Lopez has been teaching and performing here for many years and was featured in the movie "Mad Hot Ballroom" as the dance instructor, which he really was.  This DVD is especially for those who have been learning to dance salsa but whose lead is missing something and who want to take their lead to a higher level.  Rodney walks the viewer through some of the most important elements of the dance, including dance frame connection, Latin motion, cross-body leads, single and double turns, and much more.  The clear and precise instruction will help raise confidence in one's lead and maximize the ability to move with style and grace.  This DVD is shot and produced by Manny Siverio, co-host of www.SalsaNewYork.com .  For more information about the film and how to buy it, contact Manny Siverio via email at Manny@MannySiverio.com .

5.  Seaon Stylist Videos -  The very talented Seaon Bristol, instructor, choreographer and Director of the Seaon Stylist Dance Studio and Dance Company in Los Angeles, was a professional member of the Eddie Torres Dance Company in New York for several years.  He has produced 4 excellent videos with his partner Amanda "Estilo" Muncion which cover beginner to advanced On 2 mambo dancing including footwork, open shines, partner work, turn patterns and men's and ladies' styling.  The material includes dance instruction from beginner to advanced techniques.  For more information and how to order videos Click Here , Seaon's email is SeaonStylist@yahoo.com , phone (213) 487-4880.  Mailing address:  The SeaonStylist Salsa Dance Company, P.O. Box 712308, Los Angeles, CA  90071.   Currently, Amanda teaches here in NYC at the Karisma Dance Studio with Victor Mayavanex .

6.  Amanda Estilo Ladies Styling And Other Videos  -  Amanda Estilo is one of the most recognized New York female dancers who has performed with the Eddie Torres Dancers, the Karisma Dancers and now with Seaon Stylist, traveling the U.S. and internationally performing and teaching workshops.  For several years, she taught the Ladies Styling class at the Karisma Dance Studio.  She has a unique and powerful way of styling which is the envy of many women mambo dancers.  Her Ladies Styling DVD was created for dancers who want to add some body movement, arm styling and elegance to their dancing.  Each chapter is thoroughly explained and demonstrated.  This DVD will be best for those ladies who wish to make themselves and their partners look good on the dance floor.  In addition, Amanda has a series of other DVDs made with Seaon Stylist covering all aspects of dancing salsa.  CLICK HERE for complete information on these DVDs and how to order them.

7.  Santo Rico Dance Studio Instructional VHS tapes & DVDs -  Under the direction of Thomas Guerrero, the Santo Rico style of NY On 2 mambo is now world famous for it's flavor, style, technical skill, spinning and complex turn patterns, all done with intense energy and rhythm, and everywhere Santo Rico dancers go they attract well-deserved attention (and cameras).  These 2 instructional videos (both available in VHS & DVD formats) provide some of the key elements to dancing in the Santo Rico way.  (1)  "Salsa/Mambo Basics - Level 1" details basic step and foot work for turn patterns and shines, body positioning, attitude and partnering.  (2)  "Ladies Mambo/Salsa Styling and Spinning" covers beginner and intermediate styling and spinning techniques for the ladies, with careful and extensive attention to footwork, body position, balance, movement and rhythm.  These videos are highly recommended.  They can be purchased through the Santo Rico Dance Studio via the internet by clicking on Instructional Videos.  Also see their web site www.SantoRico.com , phone number 212-289-1302, email SantoRicoDance@aol.com .

8.  "Mambo D Unplugged" - The Art of Partner Dancing -  In his review of this instructional video, Manny Siverio writes:  "Delille Thomas's "Mambo D: Unplugged - The Art of Partner Dancing" is a well produced instructional video that jumps straight into the meat of the topic (turn patterns). A lot of material is provided in 50 minutes and no time is wasted. The tape also has the added production value of illustrating not one but two (2) well known NY Mambo instructors (Delille Thomas a.k.a. Mambo D and his partner Glenda Heffer a.k.a. La Mambera)."  To read Manny's complete review and how to purchase the video, click on Mambo D Unplugged .  See the Mambo D web site at www.MamboD.com .

9.  Jai & Candy's Instructional On 2 DVDs  -  New York/New Jersey instructors, performers & choreographers Jai & Candy have created these excellent training packages.  Four separate volumes cover most aspects of dancing mambo On 2.  Two are for partner dancing, both men & women, at intermediate & advanced levels, one covers turn patterns and another covers open shines.  Another volume is by Candy Mena and covers ladies styling.  And another volume covers spinning technique for both men and women.  In all the DVDs, Jai & Candy demonstrate the moves, then break them down in great detail including steps, body movements and style, and then show them being danced to the music.  For more complete information and how to order, see their Online Store, or contact them at email  jaicandy@aol.com , phone  973-715-0018 , web site www.JaiCandy.com .  Also:  Jai & Candy's "Timing & Speed Instructional CD" -  By New York/New Jersey professional mambo instructors & performers Jai & Candy.  This CD is very useful for those wishing to learn the correct timing in salsa dancing & music.  Using 3 different songs played slow, medium & fast tempo, this CD demonstrates the clave, the basic count of the 8 beat measure, the 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 count to know when to step, the 1st & 5th beats in the measure to know where to start dancing, the 2nd & 6th beats of the measure to know where to "break on 2 & 6", and then the complete songs played without any aids for drilling practice.  Many dancers, even some instructors, cannot seem to hear the 1st beat of the measure, or get confused between the clave and the 1st beat, all of which throws off their timing in the dance.  This CD helps solve these problems.  For info & purchase, see their Online Store, or contact them at email  jaicandy@aol.com , phone  973-715-0018 , web site www.JaiCandy.com .

10.  Duplessey Monic-Walker Instructional DVDs -  Duplessey has two instructional dvd's for sale:  Ladies styling  (fundamental ladies styling  body movement and basic step shine variations.=$25 & Ladies Shine Choreography  (Adv.Beg- Intermediate shines. There are twenty two shines and five combinations of shines for ladies to execute in a hesitation or in open, free form position in front of their partner)=$35. All DVD's can be bought by contacting Duplessey at  DuplesseyWalker@Gmail.com

11.  Yamulee Dance Company and Dance Studio Instructional DVDs  -  Under the direction of founder and director Osmar Perrones, the Yamulee Dance Company has become internationally known for their energy, choreography, style and flavor, technical skill and New York identity.  The Yamulee Dance Studio in the Bronx, New York City, teaches people to dance in the Yamulee way.  If you are unable to attend their classes, or you want to supplement what you are learning, these instructional DVDs will be helpful.  (1)  The first DVD mainly focuses on partner work, turn patterns and fitting the moves of the dance to the music.  It is pitched at an intermediate-to-advanced level.  (2)  The second DVD covers Women's Styling and it demonstrates body and arm motions, partnering, footwork and attitude and more.  These DVDs can be purchased directly from the Yamulee Dance Studio, 1401 Jerome Avenue (2nd floor), Bronx, NY  10452.  Phone 718-292-9768 and 917-597-3576.  Email Osmar@Yamulee.com .  Web site www.Yamulee.com .  Or click on Yamulee Online Classes .

12.  Joel Dominguez and Maria Palmieri  -  JoelSalsa Online Instruction  -  Joel and Maria are co-instructors / owners of JoelSalsa & My Salsa Online, the online salsa training program for people to learn New York style salsa from anywhere around the world.  Both of these instructors are well known locally because they are part of the very popular La Vieja Guardia salsa events, famous for their strong dedication to classic salsa music.  This very well-organized set of classes covers everything you need to know to learn and enjoy salsa dancing.  The courses include a salsa bootcamp, beginner to advanced moves, ladies styling and also a special feature called "dance with feeling" which pays particular attention to the specific rhythms in the music and how to feel it and move to it.  For complete information on the content, length and pricing for these online classes, see their web site at www.MySalsaOnline.com .  If you live in New York City, or plan to come visit here, Joel and Maria teach a range of salsa classes and bootcamps as well as private lessons.  For information on their instruction, click on www.JoelSalsa.com .  Also, you can see Joel's SalsaNewYork  Instructor Page .


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