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How to Dance New York-Style Salsa

Salsa is a popular Latin dance, but there are many styles. These steps will walk you through New York-style salsa.


  • Step 1: Play music Play salsa music and listen to the timing of the music. Count the beats: One, two, three -- pause -- five, six, seven.
  • TIP: Wearing comfortable clothing will help you move easier when dancing.
  • Step 2: Get into position Get into position. The leader, typically the man, takes the woman’s right hand with his left and places his right hand on her back. She places her left hand on his shoulder.
  • Step 3: Begin the dance Take a small step forward with your right foot on the first beat, or "one," and then break forward by taking a large step with the left foot on the second beat -- "two." The woman mirrors the movement.
  • TIP: NY-style salsa is also called on-two style because of the foot pattern.
  • Step 4: Continue footwork Rock back on your right foot on three, and then hold for a beat. Step back with your left foot on five.
  • Step 5: Finish footwork Break back with your right foot on six, shift weight onto your left foot on seven, hold, then step your right foot forward again on one.
  • Step 6: Add style Add style to the dance by incorporating turns and arm movements. New York style is known for its elegance and natural flow.
  • FACT: Every Labor Day weekend, New York City hosts the New York International Salsa Congress, a celebration of Latin dance and music.

You Will Need

  • Salsa music
  • A partner
  • Grace
  • Comfortable clothes

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