Salsa On 2

Salsa On 2 is characterized by breaking on beats “2″ and “6″ of your 8-beat bar*. A break step is simply the step in which you change body direction. This is called “breaking on 2” or “dancing on 2”.

Our steps in Salsa On 2 are taken on beats 1,2,3 and 5,6,7 of the 8-beat bar. We do not step on beats 4 and 8. We hold them. The man will start with his left foot back and the woman with her right foot forward on the beat 1 of the bar. We dance these steps forward and back, in a line or slot, not side-to-side or in a circular pattern.

Salsa On 2 is also commonly called:

• New York Style Salsa
• Eddie Torres Style Salsa
• Nightclub Style Salsa
• Mambo

Salsa On 2 is not to be confused with the Pallidium Style of Salsa (or the traditional Mambo). It is danced slightly different stepping on beats 2,3,4 and 6,7,8 of the 8-beat bar. Through the years, the two dances have become synonymous and Salsa On 2 has become known as Mambo.

*8-beat bar: Salsa music is played in 4/4 time and has 4 beats per measure or bar. Technically, we use 2 bars (or 8 beats) to complete our basic step in Salsa, however, dancers refer to this as a “dancer’s bar” or an “8-beat bar.” This differs from a “musician’s bar” which has 4 beats. Many other dances, not just Salsa, also count using the 8-beat dancer’s bar. So just remember, dancers count in 8 and musicians count in 4.


4 comments on “Salsa On 2
  1. Joe Fischer says:


    I don’t understand how breaking on 2
    and having a step on one is done, I learned
    Mambo in the 1950s, watching and taking
    lessons from two couples that put on
    shows and taught dancing in the Catskills
    in the 50s and 60s.
    I also was lucky enough to have seen
    a stage show in 1953 with bands and
    dancers that danced mambo on 2 and
    held on 1, that is the only way I
    can really feel the rhythm of mambo.


  2. admin says:

    The On2 style is similar to Mambo. They both break on count 2. The difference is the pause or hold. In Mambo it’s on 1 and in NY Style Salsa the pause is on the 4.

  3. Stacey Porter says:

    I was taught with counts,.
    Quick , Quick, Slow. The guy would step foward with the left on the first Quick. What style is that…..

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