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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

11 November 2008

11/11/2008 - Salsa

Class #5

Warwick Salsa (Salsa), Billy, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK - 11/11/2008

Much easier to follow this week, probably due to the considerably increased class size (reading week presumably caused the drop-off last time). Numbers were almost even, though there were about three women that had to sit out and wait their turn.

Billy went through the basics again, but complicated things by adding in another step. For example, on the mambo we've been taught to go forward, raise the heel, step back, other foot back, raise again, then return. So, a count of one-two-three, five-six-seven. Billy added in the four and eight, so that it became tap, step forward, raise heel, step back, tap again, step back, raise and return. I'm assuming this is the difference Georgette mentioned to me a while ago about on1 and on2 salsa, but could be wrong.

The routine tonight built in a few funky spinny things, which I was pleased to actually be able to do this time round, as instruction was a bit more methodical. It was also nice to see one of the people I remember from my first beginner class, Camreen (Carmeen? Will have to double-check that), who has been off sick the last two times.

We start off with two mambos, as normal. You then go into a cross-body (step forward, then step around, making a gate with your arm for the woman to walk through), ending up side by side with arms outstretched. Step back on your left swinging the arm on one-two-three, then do a turn where you switch your gripping hand.

Straight from that, back into a mambo, but as you step back on five-six-seven, you bring your arms back so you're now holding both of each other's hands. You then both step back on your left, still holding hands, and using that grip, move close together.

That sets up the momentum to spin the woman. Bring your left arm across to swivel them in that direction, brining their back towards you, so they're now close to your body, slightly to the side. You both do a mambo back for one-two-three, then unwind their arms by swinging your right arm down: that will add some further momentum to help them spin out, sort of like they're a spinning top. With another motion of your arm, bringing it down and pulling back, return them to the starting position.

This time, however, you're going to put your palms together, then you step out to the side with your left and lean over. Finally, finish by unwinding them out in another spin.

Unlike last lesson, really felt like I learned something tonight: very cool to have a routine I can actually do now, even if its pretty straightforward. My gf and I did a bit of mamboing again at Top Banana on Monday (so entirely incongruous music), but should have a chance to dance to something a bit more suitable next week. Salsa is having a social at Brazil Night after the lesson on Tuesday, so that should be cool. There are supposed to be some capoeira people there too, so will be interesting to see if I randomly bump into any fellow BJJers in the process (particularly if there are a bunch of Brazilians around).


  1. Hmm, no, the tapping he's adding has nothing to do with on1 vs. on2. You're still dancing on1. The tapping he's adding will end up hurting you as a dancer later on. I wouldn't do it. That's just me! :)

  2. Interesting: so its just a bad habit of his? I found it rather counter-intuitive after all the previous teaching, so wasn't too keen on incorporating it anyway. ;)