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Re: why count eight beats when only four are neede
Posted by terence2
6/7/2012  2:43:00 AM

lets me clarify a few points..

IN salsa.. it depends upon the style one is teaching/dancing, WHERE the emphasis lies.

In " Son " rhythm, the accent is on a stressed 4, but, breaking on 2( which is clave on the 2nd bar ).

As to the " kick ", more reminiscient of mambo, whereas in salsa, many use a tap on the 1st and or 2nd beat ( PR dance frequently breaking on 3 )and most,add nothing.

The next consideration is the commencing direction; current vogue is to have the 1st bar break fwd , and in old school mambo ,it was/is always taught commencing back wards .If we also consider Eddie Torres'method, we can add 2 other styles of commencement.

The " call and Response " theory in salsa is more in keeping with a clave based rhythm ( it hits on 6, or, 2 of the 2nd bar ).

If one also takes into account the many styles of salsa being taught and danced today, there are many different approaches to the accents.. from Cali style to NY, PR,LA , and several in between .

The reason for this is primarily the style of music that is played/ orchestrated ,in different Latin countries ( NY style , heavy jazz influence.. Colombian salsa,, Cumbia influenced )

The 1 thru 8 count, is common to the theatrical profession ( thats how they count " in " the dancers, and it, I guess, seemed more appropriate ,to the non trained dancer when teaching (?).

Add to the mix, counting in S and Q, this way defining time allocation .

For those that may be new to the genre, it may seem confusing.. reason ? there is little or no standardisation in Salsa.. it has a firm grip on a more "street " style approach , and with such diverse music to dance to, no wonder !.. From Charanga based rhythms to pure Son .
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