I am not exaggerating when I say I spend 10-15 minutes on-line at a time just to get mail etc. but when my curiosity took over and I started reading about you and your dancing tips and everything I was truly astounded! You are really in tune with the people. I spent over an hour on the Dancer Hangout site, which is unheard of for me, fully enjoying every minute of it! I live and breath Salsa myself and recently found a partner through the partner search in my area that is a dream come true. We practice EVERY DAY!
My question is (Finally!!) I’ve danced On 1 all my life and am finding it very difficult to master On 2. Should it be easier for me to get On 2 as opposed to a beginner starting On 2? What video would you recommend for an advanced Salsero/Mambero to master the On 2 style? I’m really desperate here! I live in Miami where On 2 is a different language and I want to be one of the first to really show it off!! Any help would be appreciated!
I would truly love to meet you even if it means watching you dance from a distance! : ) Of course a dance w/ you would make my millennium, but how much can a guy ask for. . .
Can’t wait to hear from you!
– Budding On-2 Miami Salsero”
Dear Budding On-2 Miami Salsero,
Your On-2 question is interesting, as most people who are attempting to do what you’re doing have had similar experiences and questions. If you started on the 2, then obviously it would be easier to master than if you started on the One. It’s like learning to write with the opposite hand, after you’ve mastered writing with your normal hand.
It’s confusing at first. You have to re-adjust your brain cells, and convince them that this “Two Thing” is OK, and “correct”. Then there comes a point when you’re dancing and you can’t get back on the One if your life depended on it. Your brain at this point is going haywire, and you begin to develop a slight headache from the confusion. You keep messing up the count and end up doing quite a few basics in the process, hoping your dance partner doesn’t mind you looking like a complete idiot for a while. You end up apologizing during most of the song, and try to explain yourself out of it by admitting you’re trying to learn the Two, and realize that you can no longer dance the One. The mere fact of simply trying to explain to an unknowing (or uneducated in the count) partner what you’re trying to do, in a very LOUD nightclub, makes you look even more like an idiot.
I’ve been there, I know. This “confusion” and losing the One in your BRAIN lasts about a couple of nights, depending on how often you go out. When I was learning the two, and I lost the one in the process for a couple days, I thought I would just die. Here all this time, I was working on getting the One “down”, and now I can’t find it anymore? omg… AND I AM A MUSICIAN! it was all too mysterious for me.
Then, you get to where you can’t stand dancing on the One. Some people stay stuck at this point, and develop an “Atti – 2’d”. if you know what I mean. They feel they’ve excelled beyond the “One”, are now convinced there’s no better feeling, and will never “go back” to the One. It’s a feeling of superiority, I guess. Most of their instructors will continue to teach “Two” moves, on “Two”, and get their students so used to dancing on the “Two”, that it becomes preferred, normal, and a habit.
There is nothing wrong with this, however, when you travel, or see a pretty girl that just dances the One, it can be severely limiting. Personally, I prefer dancing on the Two, if called for (in the music, or by my partner), or the One, (again, if called for), or the THREE, or the FOUR, or the THIRTY-SEVEN if that’s what makes my partner and I feel good. I love knowing how to dance on EVERY BEAT of the music. It makes for a much more interesting evening, and I feel like I can communicate (dance) with just about anyone I run into.
After all, we dance to feel good anyway, right? It’s like knowing Spanish, and English. If you can converse in both languages freely, it gives you more OPTIONS, with more CHOICES, and DEFINITELY more SALSEROS you can DANCE with!!
Aventura Dance Studios in Florida has a school that teaches On-2.
A great video that breaks the Two down in excruciating detail is the Eddie Torres video. His video is how he teaches. Very broken down, and very detailed. It’s excellent. He teaches stepping on the 1,2,3 and 5,6,7 counts. A
nother video series is the Academy of Latin Dance by the Razz M’Tazz dance company. There, you’ll find they teach stepping on the 2,3,4 and 6,7,8 counts. They demonstrate shines, ladies styling, partnering, and even gang-dancing a single girl. It’s truly an incredible video production.
Another video that demonstrates the Two is the Addie Diaz Ladies Styling video. But I’m assuming you’re a guy, so that won’t do your style much good.
American Rhythm Champion and Mambo dancer Jamie Josephson lives in Miami, and she teaches Mambo On 2. She and her former dance partner Jose de Camps also have a video series out, that is excellent as well. You may want to hook-up with her locally. She’s a phenomenal dancer, and overall genuine person. She’ll guide you on your way.
Take care, best of luck to you, and let me know how everything goes!
– Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
Edie The Salsa FREAK!! Website