The interesting thing is that hardly anyone ever talks about switching from On2 salsa timing to On1. Unless, you live in New York or Puerto Rico, generally speaking most people begin learn to dance salsa emphasizing the first beat of the music, which is commonly referred to as dancing On1.
This is certainly how I started salsa also, learning On1 first. However, I have also met people who have done the opposite, wanting to switch from dancing On2 to dancing On1 in order to adjust dancing to the most popular form in a particular salsa club where most if not all people were dancing salsa On1.
So if you are one of those few who are wanting to learn a few simple tips to switching your dancing from On2 to On1, read on.
Tip # 1 – Think Of Dancing On1 In Terms Of On2
When you want to switch from dancing On2 to On1, realize that you simply have to switch and slightly modify the order of which you are taking your basic steps.
I personally made the switch from dancing from On1 to On2 in one day, and by thinking about dancing in terms of what you are familiar will help you make this process much easier.
Tip # 2 – Step Forward (Or Back) Instead In Place
When the music starts to play, count the first beat of the music, but instead of stepping in place with your left foot (as a leader in NY Style On2 when partnering) on the first beat of the music, simply step forward.
If you have been dancing On2 for awhile, chances are finding the first beat of the music is easy for you. So just think of the entire process in terms of emphasizing the first beat of the music instead of the second beat. Step forward with your left foot on the first count and then simply repeat your steps as if you would be dancing On2. In other words on the second beat, step in place with your right, third beat bring your left foot slightly behind your right one and so on.
Tip # 3 – Learn To Recognize The Core Beats
What will make your On1 dance experience even better is learning to listen to the instruments that compliment the 1st and the 5th beat of the music. One such instrument, for example, is the cowbell that is played on the core beats of the music, 1,3,5,7. Other instruments that often compliment the 1st and the 5th beat of the music are the bongo bell and the piano.
Tip # 4 – Practice, Practice, Practice
Although, I went from dancing On1 to On2 in one day, it took me much longer to actually get more and more comfortable with emphasizing the second and the sixth beat of the music. Chances are that if you want to make your On1 salsa experience more enjoyable as well, it is going to take you longer than a day to do it as well. So practice dancing On1 when ever you get a chance. Today, I am grateful that I have the ability to enjoy both dancing On1 and On2.
And there you have it, few simply tips to helping you switch from On2 to On1 salsa timing.