So You Want To Take Your Social Dancing To The Next Level?
Learning to dance Salsa On 2 opened the door to me really raising my game as a social dancer.
This course won’t be for everyone, but for those who are serious about expanding their dance floor skills it may be exactly what you need.
I don’t really think of this being a “transition” to dancing On 2.
I think it’s more accurate to call it an expansion.
It’s true that many dancers, having got over the initial teething period, they do prefer the feel of dancing this way, but are fluent in both styles and both timings and can switch whenever they choose.
On 2 Is A Feeling
It’s not all about the timing. Many dancers think that as long as they step on the right counts, they have “cracked” dancing On 2.
However this can result in a dance which still somehow feels disconnected from the music.
Salsa On 2 has a different flow, a different feel.
The accents in the rhythm create this – not all steps have the same quality or emphasis, and learning how and where to place these accents is crucial to getting the right feel.
This is the real skill when dancing Salsa On 2 – as well as responding to all the breaks and changes in the music and knowing how to use your whole body to interpret the music.
The Role Of Footwork In Mambo
Footwork is the foundation of all dance skill, and its role is highlighted in Mambo shines.
It’s simply impossible to keep up with the music without decent footwork skills, so if your current shine repertoire is shuffling through a few Suzy Qs then hold on tight because we have serious work to do!
Not only that, learning and practising shines is THE most powerful thing you can do to improve your all-round Salsa skills.
This part of the course will improve your balance, coordination, technique and musicality skills exponentially.
And they are FUN when taught in a logical and progressive manner.
The Role Of Spinning In Mambo
Spins are an essential ingredient in all cross body Salsa styles, yet many dancers find them challenging.
Like many other aspects of Salsa they can seem impossible if you don’t have the base technique to lead or follow them correctly.
And when the physical and technical prerequisites are missing, there will always be compensation and bad habits which can lead to overload of the nervous system resulting in vertigo-like symptoms and WORSE spins.
The missing link for many is sufficient foot, hip, ankle and core strength – which means that balance will always be problematic until these factors are addressed.
This is especially important for those dancing in high heels where additional flexibility will be required in the arches and metatarsals.
For this reason my Mambo course will build your spinning technique from the ground up, troubleshooting existing issues, and including some simple strategies to improve strength and balance.
The Truth About Learning Salsa On 2
Making changes and raising your game is never easy.
But it always boils down to two choices:
Either keep doing what you’re already doing – which is probably the safe and comfortable option.
Or try a different approach.
Many people choose the first option, getting better at dancing the same moves with the same people, and developing compensations which make it appear that everything is working just fine – until you find yourself in a different environment with different people.
But as I often say to students now, familiarity should not be mistaken for skill.
This is a road which can lead to stagnation if you’re not careful. Boredom is a genuine reason people drop out from their Salsa classes.
Or, for those who are brave enough, they can choose transformation.
Why I Chose On 2
In order to really challenge myself and grow as a dancer, I knew I would have to start going to other clubs – places where the really good dancers hung out and strutted their stuff.
Those with awesome musicality and partnering skills. Those who would enable me to really up my game.
For me this meant London.
And it meant learning to dance Salsa On 2.
It’s here that I’m likely to be accused of being a snob – an accusation often levelled at the Mambo crowd by dancers of other styles.
But actually my expansion to On 2 was much more about my relationship with the music than being part of a “scene”.
For me, social dancing was always primarily about self expression and connection.
I felt the music very deeply and was passionate about it, but knew I didn’t have all the technical and physical capabilities needed to fully embody the music and express myself.
I knew that Salsa was about so much more than stepping 123 567 and I was ready to discover it!
Mambo Course Starts In
So If You're Still Thinking About Learning Salsa On 2...
Here’s How My Courses Can Help You
My courses are unique. Because I have sole access to my own venue – a small, private studio in Brentwood – I’m able to offer these closed courses for very small groups who are ready to bring above average commitment to the process of learning and developing their dance skills.
This enables me to work closely with individuals, giving greater depth and detail along with plenty of feedback and “dance floor reality” tips.
There will be six places only – three leads and three followers, ensuring that everyone gets the maximum value from the classes and that no time is wasted.
Purpose Of The Course
This course is not designed to teach you how to do what you already do on a different timing, although most of what you already do On 1 can certainly be adapted.
I want to help you take things to the next level.
I want to open the door so you can actually access on the dance floor some of the moves, combos, musicality, spontaneity and style that you may currently believe are only accessible to teachers and pros.
The things that you do not currently have the technique, speed, or dance vocabulary for.
Or the things that you can only get to work in class when the followers know what’s coming.
There are also some stylistic differences between LA Salsa On 1 and NY Salsa On 2 which I’ll cover in the course as well.
Structure Of The Course
As with all my other courses I’ve spent a lot of time in the planning phase in order to present the material in the simplest and most logical way to create a smooth learning curve.
Each class is 90 minutes duration and will be broken into the following sections:
- Mobility & Body Movement Warm Up
- Footwork Warm Up
- Mambo Shines & Individual Movement Technique
- Partnerwork Technique and Sample Combos
Every section is a crucial part of the process.
Musicality Is Not A Dark Art
Many students are put off by the word “musicality” thinking that it is too hard, too boring, and that it has no relevance for them.
Maybe you’ve done workshops that were very dry and theory based, and they turned you off, or you couldn’t apply what was taught to your own social dances.
Maybe you’ve been told to “feel the music” but aren’t sure what that even means or how to go about it.
I believe that musicality is for everyone, and I believe in teaching it in a very practical and accessible way.
So the musicality we cover on the course is delivered in bite-sized chunks which will transform the way you listen to and move to the music, sharpening your timing and bringing more awareness to the way you move.
Carefully Curated Salsa Music Lists For Students
One of my goals with this course was to create a musical soundtrack which would pay homage to all the great maestros of the Palladium era and track the development of the music through the Fania years up to the modern day.
This is challenging because a large proportion of New York style Salsa and Mambo music is extremely fast and structurally complex, so hearing the individual instruments can be tricky.
Because of this it’s easy to tune out to tracks that you find difficult to hear, and to only dance at venues where the music is predictable and “safe”.
Fortunately I’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to!
I also wanted to make sure that the music was appropriate not just in tempo, but clearly demonstrated the musical concepts I was presenting in each lesson.
This has taken some time to get right, but the result is an amazing collection of tracks which will assist in developing each dancer’s ear and musicality skills.
My Online Learning Platform
One of the most powerful additions to my live in-studio lessons is the online learning platform I have created.
My video tutorials break down everything covered in class – not just finished routines, but the component parts in full, technical detail.
All these videos are stored in the restricted, members only area of my website which all private students and course attendees are given login credentials for.
This enables you to practice in between classes.
There are also extra sample combos and follow-along jams which will enable you to accelerate your progress even more.
Mastery lies not in knowing, but in doing!
Results Of The Course
By the end of the 8 weeks, every student will:
- Know 20-30 classic shines and be able to improvise with them
- Feel more connected to the music
- Predict breaks and transitions, and navigate them with confidence.
- Make double and triple spins look easy both solo and in partnerwork combos.
- Know where, when and how to style their shines and moves.
- Leads will be able to elevate any simple partnerwork combo by adding throws, catches, hand changes and hammerlocks with ease.
- Followers will improve their ability to follow all of the above without knowing the routine in advance.
- Leads will feel more comfortable improvising and creating turn patterns on the fly
- Followers will feel more confident and composed through fast, complex turn patterns.
Is My Intro To Mambo Course For You?
The Course May Be For You If:
- You feel frustrated and in need of a new challenge
- You have been wondering how to get to the next level in your dancing
- You are ready to expand your Salsa horizons.
- You want to become more versatile as a dancer.
- You want to improve your improvisation and musicality skills.
The Course Won’t Be For You If:
- You are a beginner or have been dancing less than a year
- You aren’t that bothered about improving – you are mainly there for the social side.
- You don’t enjoy working on the edges of your comfort zone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whose Style Do I Teach On The Course?
There are a few different ways of engaging with the music when dancing Mambo, or Salsa On 2. Within these different methods are some amazing artists and teachers who have all brought their individual flair and artistry to create an unmistakeable style of their own.
I’ve worked with a few different teachers including Irene Miguel and Susana Montero. I’ve also studied the styles and syllabi of several international artists and teachers by taking advantage of the explosion in online dance teaching both before and during lockdown. These include Eddie Torres Jr, Adolfo Indacochea, Karel Flores and Joel Dominguez.
I’ve attended congresses and taken class with top international artists such as Tania Cannarsa, Franklin Diaz, Ernesto & Denisse, Bersy Cortez and many more.
I’ve done musicality workshops galore.
More importantly I’ve worked on my own movement and musicality consistently.
I feel that I would be doing my students, my teachers – and these incredible artists – a disservice by choosing one above all the others and presenting it as THE way to dance On 2.
I believe my job on an introduction to Mambo course is not to subscribe to one style, but to give an overview so students can gain insight and make educated choices when it comes to developing the aesthetics and musicality of their own style rather than becoming a clone of one particular teacher.
My own style is still developing. I’m not interested in selling you that – it’s mine and wouldn’t look right on you anyway!
The one thing I am clear on is that I am training dancers for the realities of the social floor – not the polished, choreographed perfection of the stage. And this means being able to connect and dance with anyone, on any timing, in any location, and create your own brand of magic as the music flows.
Who Is The Course For?
This course is aimed at Salsa On 1 dancers with a minimum of 3 years social dance experience.
It will suit those who are becoming bored and frustrated in their regular classes and wish to take on a new challenge.
It is for those who wish to take their social dance skills to the next level and move outside their comfort zone.
Can Beginners Join The Course?
In order to give the best possible experience to more advanced dancers, I will not be accepting beginners onto this course and a certain amount of pre-requisite knowledge will be assumed.
This isn’t to say beginners can’t or shouldn’t learn On 2 from the beginning – I just believe that learning On 1 first is the quickest win and this is the typical route for most Salsa dancers in the UK.
Where Can I Dance Salsa On 2 Socially In Essex?
Currently there are no socials geared towards On 2 dancers in Essex. Although technically you can dance any style you want at most Salsa socials, you will struggle to find many partners able to dance On 2 in the local area. Those who do tend to travel into London like me.
However I’ve wanted to build a Mambo scene in the local area for a while now and it won’t be long before I start making plans for my own social night.
Do You Have A Male Teaching Partner?
No! I prefer to retain full control over my methodology and course content.
With only 8 attendees this course will not be profitable enough to pay two professional teachers what their expertise and experience is really worth. Teaching Salsa is not a hobby for me – it is my full time profession and I have invested heavily in my own learning and development.
Leaders can rest assured that having led many highly regarded followers and teachers on the social floor and been complimented many times for my smoothness and technique, I have the skills 😉
And followers can expect plenty of help to elevate their technique, as well as gain many practical tips on improving connection and becoming more empowered in their social dances.
My regular students will tell you that my technical breakdowns are second to none, and they learn more in one lesson with me than they learn in weeks with other teachers. This is primarily (and counter intuitively) because I teach LESS content in each lesson compared to many typical large group classes, removing the burden of having to remember a long routine.
This allows me to cover the material in more depth, whilst avoiding overwhelm, which means that the material is far more likely to make it into the students’ long term memory.
How Much Does The Course Cost?
This is a premium course with a carefully planned structure designed to take attendees on a physical and musical journey as they expand their social dancing horizons, learning new ways of expressing themselves and connecting on the dance floor.
Not everyone will be ready for the commitment, but I can guarantee that those who join me on this journey will improve beyond their expectations – and have a lot of fun in the process.
Your investment for the course is £199
Book Your Mambo Course
One easy payment of £199 will secure your place.
Click the button below to go to the registration page.
Where Is The Course Held?
My Intro To Mambo Course is held in my private dance studio which is located just a couple of minutes from Brentwood High Street.
The address is Salsa Intoxica Dance School, Merrymeade House, Merrymeade Chase (Off Sawyers Hall Lane), Brentwood CM15 9FE.
There is plenty of free parking outside.
For more details visit the contact page of this website and scroll to the bottom.
The Challenges Of Learning Salsa On 2
Yes there are several! Many times I’ve had to remind myself to focus on the process rather than the destination, and that nothing worth having comes without investment of time, energy and patience.
These are the specific struggles I faced – yours may be different, but be prepared for them!
Although I didn’t completely give up going to my old regular haunts, because of time, energy and budget constraints which limited my social dancing anyway, I had to break into the London On 2 scene which does have a reputation for being “snobby” and unwelcoming to newbies and outsiders.
For sure there were certain clubs which I felt less comfortable in for quite a long while. There were nights where I spent most of the time standing on the sidelines instead of dancing, eventually gave up and went home for an early night.
But actually in the long run, although it’s taken some time, my social dance circle has become much wider and much richer – I can get dances anywhere I choose to go because I can dance on both timings.
Currently there is only one regular weekly Mambo night in London, teaching exclusively On 2.
If you live outside of London, you’ll realise that On 2 teachers and classes are few and far between.
Just doing a couple of introductory workshops or intensives may get you started but it won’t be enough to get you fully fluent and confident for socials.
You may need to travel further and make more effort not just to get to lessons, but to get that all-important social dance practice.
The process for me did take longer than I would have liked because I couldn’t get into London as frequently as I needed to.
Having said that I still made progress and thanks to a few friends who were also experienced On 2 dancers I managed to get the practice I needed.
Not every teacher is a good fit for everyone.
I’ve been lucky and worked with some amazing teachers.
But I’ve had to travel to find them, invest in private lessons, and be diligent about practicing in between in order to get the most from them.
Strangely, this process has taught me to become much more self-sufficient and to largely become my own teacher, mentor and guide.
That’s not to say I don’t need external input – everyone does at intervals – but I can now take responsibility for my own dance development without needing validation and constant reassurance from others.
No one likes feeling that they are not good at something. And I’m sure this feeling of starting almost from the beginning again puts a lot of people off learning Salsa On 2.
They realise that there will likely be a period of going back to basics with a high level of focus as they re-engage with the fundamentals.
I’m sure most of us can remember what it was like as beginners when we didn’t know what we were doing and would be happy not to go through that again.
However what I experienced was more like unlearning a lot of bad habits and things which had been incorrectly taught, and re-learning how to do them better.
I’m now a much better dancer because of this.
Everything worth having costs something. The investment isn’t always financial, but often it is.
We have got used to Salsa being a reasonably priced activity enabling the addicted to dance several times a week.
Many people do pick up Salsa On 2 organically, on the dance floor, however your journey will be easier if you have a thorough grounding in the fundamentals.
But there is a time cost as well if you really want to up your game.
Solo practice with a clear aim in mind is essential.
This doesn’t just apply to Mambo, but in order to really progress in any dance style you need to deepen your relationship with the music.
This includes recognising the different sub-genres of Salsa music and knowing how to dance to them, as well as learning how to respond to the different sections within the structure of each song and negotiating breaks and transitions.
This involves active listening, and working on your own improvisation skills. This is one of the key reasons that group classes alone will not facilitate significant progress.