This article was written by Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
.... WAY BACK in 1998 ...
AAAAAaaaaahhhh... The never-ending argument of the elusive "Clave",
Meaning "Key"... the Key to Freedom to break on whatever the heck you want...
(Uh Oh... I said it!!! Oh NO!!! Shoot me now!!! Make me die NOW, before I suffer the WRATH of the "2-3" Clave Purists!!)
The Clave is a Five
so what are we doing stepping on Six counts?
(...standing tall and firm, chin up, arms at her side, eyes closed, with pride and dignity...
The FREAK said
, "I am prepared to DIE!! Take me NOW!!"
By Edie, The Salsa FREAK
Excerpt from this month's Tip-of-The-Month...
....speaking of dancing (breaking) on different beats, It's OK, and very fun and challenging to dance Salsa and Mambo to ANY BEAT OF THE MUSIC - and even switch in the middle if you warn your partner verbally before! (just don't switch beats in a competition, the judges will knock you for it) It's AWESOME once you've mastered them all (The 1, both 2's, 3,.4, and Pure Clave) with a willing, open-minded and FUN PARTNER!!!
I get so sick and tired of people trying to ram the concept of "Dancing on CLAVE is only on "2" down my throat. If you really think about it, and want to get technical, the CLAVE is five beats, so who on earth decided to ad an extra step in there to make the dance a six-step, kind of halfing and "cheating" on a Clave rhythm. Hm? Think about it!
Don't get me wrong...
I ADORE dancing on "2" - that's when I'm dancing to the 2-3 Clave!
AND.... Get this...
I also ADORE dancing on "1" - that's when I'm dancing to the 3-2 Clave!
There are so many different Clave beats, that if you truly, truly danced to the Clave, you would break both on the "one" for a 3-2 Clave, and then you could also decide to break on the "two" for a 2-3 Clave. (Rumba or Son Claves) These are only two types of Claves... THERE ARE OTHERS!!! CLICK HERE
IF YOU'RE CONFUSED
Mr. Ray Biss has put together an awesome, Awesome AWESOME website describing the different Clave Rhythms.
In fact, his site is so good, Salsaweb management has decided to award Ray our very prestigious WEBSITE OF THE MONTH AWARD!! ... His website describes all the different Clave rhythms and even has midi sounds to help you in your never-ending learning journey of this wonderful Latin beat.
DancerHangout's most prestigious award for Excellence in Content and Design goes to Mr. Ray Biss.
Website address: http://www.formedia.ca/rhythms/1clave.html
Remember, that truly dancing to the Clave, would be FIVE steps in an eight count measure - NOT SIX.
I'VE TRIED IT!!!
I've actually danced Salsa with a couple of partners to the PURE CLAVE RHYTHM of FIVE STEPS.
YOU SHOULD TRY IT!
Step exactly to the Clave rhythm. You'll see, it's a five count. If you listen carefully, depending on the song, sometimes the Clave starts on the "one", sometimes it starts on the "two"... and ... sometimes it starts on the "three"... listen very carefully, you will be SHOCKED and AMAZED...
Then... grab your partner, and TRY DANCING TO THE FIVE COUNTS!
That's why I say... Honestly. WHO REALLY CARES????????? As long as you're having FUN dancing out there, and you follow your partner on whatever beat he places you on, you'll do just fine, and have a BLAST dancing!
Side Note: Many of you wonder why I capitalize the word "Clave". It's because I respect it. I also always capitalize the word Salsa
. The capitalized Salsa, is NOT
a sauce ...