What is dancing On2?
The music we dance to is counted in 2 four beat measures (4/4 time). A “break step” is the step that you change the direction of your momentum. When your break step falls on the second and sixth beat of the music, then you are dancing “On2”. We use the wording “On2” when describing the NY style salsa, and teach that style exclusively.
Where can I dance On2?
The largest concentration of “On2” dancers is in New York City and New Jersey. There is a definite subculture that takes dancing to a high level, and has fun doing it. However, there are growing amount of students dancing “On2” in California, Puerto Rico, Italy, Toronto, Chicago, DC. etc. Most people find that once they get hooked to dancing “On2”, it’s their preferred method.
To what music do you dance On2?
The majority of the salsa music that is played in clubs can be easily danced “On2”. Be it Marc Anthony, Sonora Carruseles, or Tito Puente, if you can dance to it “On1”, then you can probably dance to it “On2”.
Shouldn't I learn to dance On1 first?
It all depends on your focus. If you see “On2” dancers and decide that you want to learn to dance that way, then there is no reason to learn to dance another way first. If your goal is to able to dance with just about anyone that you meet, be it in NY, Toronto, or DC, then you can learn to dance “On2”, and easily adjust your timing to dancing “On1”. We like to compare it to driving a manual transmission. If you can drive stick, then it’s pretty easy to work with an automatic transmission (though not nearly as exciting). If you learn to drive an automatic, then learning a stick later on can be a bit tougher. However, if you want to pilot a Ferrari, then you’re going to need to be able to work a stick.
I am an Intermediate dancer On1, what level class should I take?
We recommend that you take the beginner level 1 class, and progress according to how well you learn from the ground up. There are many basic fundamental Mambo floor shines dancing “On2”, which are covered in the beginner level 1 and level 2 classes. Once you are familiar and comfortable with those differences, then give the intermediate level 1 and level 2 a chance.
Do I need to know all the footwork to take the turn patterns class?
While the open footwork is not a requirement to take the turn patterns class, you will find that the classes do complement each other. Many of the steps that are used in the Turn Patterns class are taught in the Open Footwork class. There is a syllabus of steps and turn patterns that are assumed for those taking the Level 2 Turn Patterns class. This makes the class more satisfying and a better learning experience for those that have their fundamentals in place. It’s recommended that you give equal time to the Open Footwork and the Turn Patterns, in order to be a more balanced dancer. Otherwise you may find yourself trying to play “catch up”!
Hey! Why are you doing steps you haven't taught us?
Every footwork class will have a drill session, where the instructor calls a shine and drills it a number of times before doing another one. This gives the regular students a chance to practice and review shines they know, as well as learn new ones that they may pick up. If you find that you don’t know the shine, try to study the count, or at least get the name, and you can ask for a review of it later. Some classes will start with the drill session. Others will end with it. However, in addition to the drills, 2-5 shines will be broken down specifically by count. This is the standard teaching method for Open Footwork, what you will encounter if you take an “On2” class in NY.
Where do these steps come from?
The largest part of the syllabus is derived from Shines taught in New York City. Because the “On2” crowd is highly concentrated in NY, we want people to be able to take what they’ve learned and be able to keep up, should they take a class with Eddie Torres, Razzmtazz, Frankie Martinez, Ismael Otero, Nelson Florez, Jai&Candi, Thomas Guerrero, Bernard Martinez, Jimmy Anton, (plus many others). Additionally we come up with our own steps and teach them, you can do the same thing. Just make sure you practice it…you don’t want to mess up your own step!
Can I videotape the class?
We ask that you do not videotape the class, however we understand that you will want to practice what you’ve learned later, and tape is better than memory. As a compromise, we are willing to videotape you doing the step or turn pattern after class. We’ll even make sure that you have it right, and hold the camera for you.