February 2, 2016      Melanie Gold

If you learn your basic steps well, you’re dancing will excel.  The impulse may be to skip the basics or push for more complicated moves; however, more complicated moves are built from the basic steps.  In addition, often similar moves exist in different dances with only a change in timing. Therefore, by learning the basic steps in one dance, you can transfer that knowledge when learning another dance.  Additionally, simple steps danced on time with styling look better than complicated moves that are out of time or danced without flare and to add syncopation, modifications or chain steps together to make more complex patterns becomes easy once you’ve worked the basic moves.

For example,

the cross body lead is a fundamental move in salsa dancing, but a cross body lead is also found in other dances, such as the cha cha or bolero and a variation of the cross body lead is found in even more dances, like the cape chasse in Paso Doble.  Therefore, learning to perform a cross body cleanly can transfer into other moves and other dances.

Take a look at this video of the cross body lead in salsa:   Now, take a look at some of the ways you can modify the cross body lead.  For example, you can add a turn or you can open up the cross body lead to a cross body lead 180 In fact, you can dance salsa all night simply doing variations of a cross body lead

Also, to illustration how the cross body lead translates into other dances, here is the cross body lead in rumba.   and cross body lead cha cha . To illustrate, how other steps utilize the elements of a cross body lead, here is the cape chasse in Paso Doble

This example illustrates how much mileage one can get out of learning one basic step well.