L.A. & N.Y. Style Info
Although the majority of classes and club nights within SalsaDallas.com/Luis Delgadillo are danced ‘On1′, recently ‘On2′ salsa dancing has rapidly gained popularity within the area.
At SalsaDallas.com/Luis Delgadillo we pretty much dance on both and a lot has been made of the difference between these two styles. So we are asking the question, what’s the real difference between On1 and On2 salsa?
“The simple answer is not much, but quite a lot. Confused? Don’t worry we will explain…
Sorry, out of necessity what follows will get quite technical.
Salsa On1 (L.A. Style)
First let’s get down to some fundamentals of Salsa On1. You’ll often hear in classes the teacher counting “one-two-three, five-six-seven”. This means we are stepping on the first three counts of the first bar, and the first three counts of the second bar. So what happens on the 4th and 8th beat I hear you saying?Well, a somewhat simplified explanation taught to beginners is that we have a pause, that we stop moving altogether. This would look pretty unnatural, and actually most dancers do continue moving through the 4th and 8th beats. These dancers actually employ a Quick-Quick-Slow rhythm.
So what does that mean? A Quick-Quick is 2 steps to 2 beats of music (stepping on each beat) and a Slow is 1 step to 2 beats of music (stepping on the 1st beat of the Slow). In On1, the Quick-Quick steps are beats 1 and 2, and 5 and 6; while the Slow steps are beats 3 and 7, and pause 4 and 8.
Salsa On2 (N.Y. Style)
With Salsa On2, the main technical difference lies in the timing of the steps.
The lead actually takes his forward step on count six of the music, which is five beats later than his On1 counterpart.
Also, the Quick-Quick steps are 2 and 3, and 6 and 7; while the Slow steps are beats 5 and 1, and pause 4 and 8.
The Difference Between On1 and On2?
Well in fact, there are more similarities than some would have you believe. The steps and moves are very similar across On1 and On2 – it is simply the timing that varies.
It really is a matter of personal preference because the difference in the timing gives light to the most important difference of all – the feeling of dancing On1 or On2. Because the Slow part of the Quick-Quick Slow rhythm is at a different point in the music, this gives the two styles a considerably different emphasis, and also, a different connection with the music.
It’s also worth noting that preference for On1 or On2 often varies along geographic lines. LA Style salsa with its high energy dips, tricks and spins is usually danced On1. Whereas New York salsa, with its emphasis on technique and musicality is usually danced On2. There’s also an argument to say On1 is easier for beginners to take up. I’ll leave that up for debate!
What I will say, is that you should try both and decide for yourself.