Salsa Cubana Basic Steps and Figures with Dance Papi

What I like the most about video tutorials from Dance Papi is that they are really well explained and performed.

And to tell the truth, this is probably the most important thing about any lesson. So if you are just starting, it will be perfect for you, since his tutorials are full of useful details that will make you a better dancer in the long run.

So let’s start from the beginning…


This video here will teach you the Guapea, which is the most common basic step in Salsa Cubana.

Even most instructors from around the world teach this step a little bit differently, Dance Papi gives all popular variations, which is great, because most of the time you’ll be able to learn all of them only on actual dance classes.

So start with the simple step backwards and forwards and then grow your basic to what you see in the beginning and the end of the video, this way it looks much better and more dynamic both from the viewer’s and dancer’s point of view.

YouTube video
Screenshotter YouTube LearnCubanSalsaBasicStep Guapea 309 e1602163296737

I would strongly advise you to pay attention to the classic hand hold where men’s thumb is placed on the lady’s palm.

To learn when to use it is very crucial, because most of the time it will improve men’s leading skills.

The reason for that is that lady’s fingers are very gentle and sometimes fragile. So it’s not a good idea to hold on to them while doing some “power” moves.

Instead hold your ladies by the wrist. It is a much stronger joint.

Cuban Salsa For Beginners by Sylvain Ibgui

Usually it’s quite difficult to find some decent video tutorials on Cuban Salsa, aka Salsa Cubana or Salsa Casino.

Most of them are poorly explained and performed.

But these guys did quite a really good job by creating this video class.

Although the names of the steps and combinations are somewhat different from you what you may here in your class, still all the moves are clearly explained and are broken down to the smallest bits.

And I personally believe that this is exactly what all the beginners need.

To improve your understanding of these steps, I suggest to take a few cuban salsa dance classes in your city and practice even more attending workshops and dancing on salsa festivals and latin dance parties!

YouTube video

Even though some of you will think that these dance instructors don’t move sexy enough for such a hot dance as Salsa Cubana, they are still doing an awesome job explaining all the details and steps. So pay attention to what they say and learn the things you like.

Those things you don’t like simply learn from someone else.

Intro: Basic Steps

Here you will find the basic steps, that you will need in order to move on the dance floor gracefully.

Knowing this steps will help you being relaxed while performing more complicated combinations: Arriba y Abajo, aka Basic Step, Simple Side Step, Opening Step, Cucaracha Step, Cross-Over Side Step. Mambo Step, Cuban March and Half-turns.

Keep in mind that all the steps you’ll learn from this video may be performed in more then one way. So don’t stick too hard to what others are doing, be flexible and you’ll be able to develop your personal style with time.

Lesson #1: Basic Moves

In this lesson you will learn the following basic moves: Closed position, Abrazo, Cumbia, The No, Enchufla, Change of Place with turns, Change of Place with the left Men Turn.

All those you will need for making something more complicated. So make sure you’ve mastered the basics and all the above-mentioned moves before proceeding to the next lesson. Keep it slow and you won’t regret it.

Lesson #2: Basic Combinations

This lesson will teach you to use everything you’ve learned up until now in more complex combinations or better to say “figuras” such as: Uno, Dile Que No, Sombrero, Outside turn, Caliente, Sacala, Para ti para mi, Evelyn and more…

Please note that all the names for the steps and figures you hear sometimes differ from one instructor to another, so don’t be surprised when you see other dancers naming the same combination differently.

General Advice

Any video tutorials will be most useful when combined with real-life dance classes and personal interaction with your dance instructor and your partners. Make sure you practice it in class or latino parties with multiple partners and come back to newly learned steps and combos as often as you can.

While those steps and moves after a little practice may seem to some of you too simple or even boring, trust me having these combos in your dancing vocabulary is quite a lot and will make your dance partner enjoy dancing with you a great deal! But, and there is a ‘but’ you will need to get used to those movements to make them feel and look good. And the last thing is probably most important of all. Great things are usually made of lots of small and often unnoticed bits, so keep this in mind if you will ever feel that you don’t know enough difficult figures to dace great!

We’re excited to show you our dance videos with talented dancers from around the world. If you liked the video you just watched, check out more on our website. We have a variety of dance styles like ballet, salsa, contemporary and traditional performed by both professionals and beginners. Whether you love to dance or just enjoy watching, you’ll definitely find something you like. Have fun browsing and finding your new favorite performance!

View All

By the way, if you would like to learn to dance just like that, we recommend taking Salsa dance classes in your local studio. It’s a healthy activity and a really fun way of making new friends while staying in shape. Our website can help you find the best dance classes and events near you in just a few clicks. If you are a dance teacher or event manager, you are more than welcome to register and add your location to our directory, so that more people could discover it.

Did you know that dancing and physical interactions with other happy people are the most powerful natural antidepressants? They fantastically improve the mood and increase your overall happiness.

In fact, this is one of the most important benefits of dance that we can only think of. When you are happy – you feel good. When you feel good – everything around you looks and feels better and it makes you feel even happier. The happier you get – the better is the quality of your life. This is why we believe it’s crucial to dance regularly, especially if you are dancing Salsa. Give it a try and you’ll see what we mean.

If you enjoyed our today’s video, you are more than welcome to share it with your friends and let them know what you think about it. Also, consider checking out our most recent posts and stay in touch. Cheers!