Like many of us, you may have started salsa but your progress seems to just stop. When you do classes, you are okay as far as executing the routines but not able to dance with other people at the clubs because you can not hear the beat. Women would say, “stop, stop!” and tell you that you are not counting. They then stop and try to find the 1. If you can not even recognize the beat, your confidence will drain away and you may even go hide in the corner.
Learning how to move in time with the rhythm and how to execute basic dance movements in correct timing is by far the hardest challenge for most salsa students.
The congas, clave, and the timbales form the core rhythm section of a salsa song. Knowing the principles of how they work together will really help with mastering your timing. You can train your ear to “hear” where the beats are in the music for ALL varieties of salsa dancing- club or ballroom style, ‘on1’ or ‘on2’.
By Alex and Neal