Posted by Takeshi
On 2 salsa is a style of salsa where the dancers take their break step on the second beat of the measure (“on 2”), as opposed to the first beat, as in On1 salsa. Like On1 salsa, on 2 salsa is danced in a slot, as opposed to the more circular style of Cuban or Colombian salsa.
On 2 salsa originated in New York, and is often referred to as “New York Style” salsa. It was popularized by Eddie Torres (featured in the video above), who helped formalize the timing of the dance. On 2 salsa is also sometimes referred to as “mambo”, which is an earlier style of Latin dance that was popular before salsa, and is also danced on the 2nd beat of the measure.
New York style salsa is known for its smooth and elegant turn patterns and footwork sequences, as opposed the flashier LA style.
The timing of on2 salsa can be tricky for beginners to master, so many salsa dancers start off learning on 1 salsa first before transitioning to on 2, although the styles are similar enough that followers can usually be led on 2 even if they normally dance on1. Many experienced dancers prefer dancing on 2 since it can be more musical, and connects well with the clave and tumbao, two common rhythmic patterns found in salsa music.
Where to dance On 2 Salsa
The SF Bay Area is home to some of the best on 2 dance instructors in the world, including World Champions such as Luis Aguilar and John Narvaez. As such, the Bay Area has many clubs where dancers dance predominantly on 2, especially in San Francisco, and many of the more advanced dancers dance on2 from being on dance teams.
Here are some of the top spots to go salsa dancing on 2:
Salsa Teams On 2
Many of the local salsa teams dance on 2:
- Afinkao Dance Company
- Couture Dance Alliance
- Salsamania Dance Company
- Mambo Romero Dance Company
- MamboNova Dance Company
- Mambo Groovin
- The Latin Symbolics