How to Remember Salsa Dance Moves Easily

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  • Author Esteban Conde
  • Published November 17, 2020
  • Word count 447

What I am about to show you is the best way to remember your salsa dance patterns. In order to do this you need to know the fundamental salsa steps and turns and mastering them. These steps are:

  1. Ladies Right Turn/Left Turn

  2. Cross Body Lead

  3. Cross Body Lead with Left/Right Turn

  4. Side pass (or Reverse Cross Body Lead)

  5. Side pass with a Left/Right Turn

Master all these moves, in the same order, no basic dance step in between.

Practice this until you are not thinking about the dance moves. You also must keep your timing. This will take some time, but remember it’s not how long you practice, but how often. 10 minutes a day works better than 2 hours a week. In average it will take you about 2 weeks to get these moves without thinking. No matter how long it takes you, you must be very familiar with these moves before moving to the next part. 

Once you own these moves, create a second and third sequence (changing the order of the moves). This will show you how the moves feel when connected with one another. Not only that, it will cement these moves into muscle memory.

Next, start practicing changing hand holds (the way you hold each other). These holds are:

Single Hand Holds 

  1. Men’s Right to Ladies Right 

  2. Men’s Left to Ladies Left 

  3. Men’s Left with Ladies Right

  4. Men’s Rights with Ladies Left

Double Hands Holds

  1. Both Hand (men’s left with ladies right and ladies right with men’s left)

  2. Double Cross Hand (Men’s Right to Ladies Right, Men’s Left with Ladies Left, across like a double handshake)

Try dancing your main routine doing all the moves with one type of hand hold. 

Then go ahead and dance it with a different type of hand hold. You will find the ones you like most and the ones you don’t. Master that, try changing hand holds after every single move. You will find the ones that feel better and the one that don’t feel as good. 

This technique will help you create your own sequences and variations based in your own experimentation and what you like and enjoy. After all, most moves you learn at dance classes or socials are variations that will have at least 60% of these fundamental moves and hand hold changes. 

The best advice is to make sure that no matter what move you do, dance on time. Dancers who overly focus on moves tend to forget to keep the musical salsa timing. It doesn't matter how cool a move looks if you can’t dance in sync with the music. 

Check out OC Salsa and Bachata Dance Studio Classes in Orange County, California at

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