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Re: why count eight beats when only four are neede
Posted by mayagsd
6/6/2012  9:34:00 AM
agree, the commencing direction would seem to be a factor in that the "first half" would be different depending on which way the leader broke first. I note that the mambo basic depicted on this site has the man breaking forward on 2. I agree that that is the norm. It is the same way the cha cha and rumba commence (at least according to this site and the ISTD). But doesn't this underscore the superficiality of counting 8 beats. Unless everyone starts at the same time, i.e. the same measure of music, and breaks in the same direction, the counting to 8 rationale, re the 1 being stronger in the odd measures than the even measures, while perhaps true in some cases, loses all meaning vis a vis the dance.

In the end it seems a personal preference, i.e. whatever works best for you. It just seemed curious to me, since the other closely related latin dances, i.e. cha cha and rumba, aren't taught that way...at least in my experience. Also agree that the rather complete lack of standardization in salsa, i.e. how it's danced and how it is taught, may explain why it tends to be taught differently.
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