Salsa on 1: a direct connection to the melody

ZOOM on salsa on 1

This style historically comes from Los Angeles and is danced “on the 1”. In short, this means that the “break” step, i.e. the change of direction, is marked over times 1 and 5, the key music measures. This style is particularly captivating, effusive and very dynamic because one dances according to the melody. The dancer feels thus connected to the singer’s voice and energy. It is surprising that this basic step is also the more practiced!

Let’s count together!

OK. Basically, this can sound off-putting but it’s also the absolute precondition to dance in rhythm, at least at the beginning of the training. But you have to bear in mind that it’s a compulsory stage to reach the greatest happiness: after that, the music will flow directly through your body; no need to count anymore, your heartbeats will do the job for you! 

The rhythm is counted 1, 2, 3 … 5, 6, 7 … (break over times 4 and 8). Example: time 1 for the partner, you shoot the left foot, then rest the right foot; time 2, the right foot is put back; time 3, you bring back the left foot behind, and time 4, break. The dancers perform on an imaginary line (contrary to the Cuban style where movements are circular).

Where to dance salsa on 1?

Absolutely everywhere in the world, in particular in Europe and in the USA, where it’s very popular. To dance on 1 allows a relatively simple change towards the Cuban salsa. It’s also easier to start. Whether you’re a man or a woman, this dance is a good way to bring out your inner sensuality… Moreover, if you practice it with a partner you fancy, then that even becomes a magic, if not an ardent experience!