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How To Dance LA-Style Salsa

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


  • Step 1: Start a cross body lead. The leader steps forward with the left foot on one, then steps right and left on two and three while turning 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Hold on four.
  • Step 2: The follower then step forward on five and six and turns on seven and eight, as the leader turns another 90 degrees counter-clockwise. At the end of the cross body lead, the leader and follower have exchanged their positions.
  • Step 3: Spice up the dance by adding more turns and dips. LA-style is the most flamboyant style of salsa.
  • FACT: Salsa evolved as a combination of many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances.
  • Step 4: Finish the footwork by pausing on the fourth beat. Step back on the fifth beat with the right foot, rock back with the left foot on six, then step back together with your right foot on seven. Pause on eight.
  • Step 5: Continue the footwork with the leader rocking back on his right foot on the second beat while the left foot is still forward. On the third beat, the leader steps back with his left foot.
  • TIP: Wearing comfortable clothing will help you move easier when dancing.
  • Step 6: 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 7: Begin the dance with the leader stepping forward with his left foot on the first beat. The woman steps back on her right.
  • TIP: LA-style salsa is also called on-one style because of the foot pattern.
  • Step 8: Play salsa music. Count the beats from one to eight along with the music.

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