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The One vs Two Argument


  • The One vs Two Argument

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    by Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!

    Dancing On-2: Also known as in some New York circles as... New York Style "On-Clave" Dancing

    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!!
    (I still and always will love you Manny and Steve!)

    The Clave is a Five
    Count ...
    so what are we doing stepping on Six
    counts of the music phrase?

    (...standing tall and firm, chin up, arms at her side, eyesclosed, with pride and dignity... The FREAK said, "I am prepared to DIE!! Take me NOW!!")

    I am so sick and tired of people trying to ram the concept of "Dancing on Clave is called Dancing On-2" down our throats. 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!

    Click here for all the different ways you can dance "On-2"...
    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!!!

    Mr. Ray Biss has put together an awesome, Awesome AWESOME website describing the different Clave Rhythms.
    In fact, his site is so good, our management team has decided to award Ray our very prestigious WEBSITE OF THE YEAR 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.

    Salsaweb's most prestigious award for Excellence in Content and Design goes to Mr. Ray Biss. Website address:

    Remember, that truly dancing to the Clave, would be FIVE steps in an eight count measure - NOT SIX STEPS.

    I'VE TRIED IT!!!
    I've actually danced Salsa with a couple of partners to the PURE Clave RHYTHM of FIVE STEPS.

    IT'S COOL!!!!

    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 CLAVE COUNTS!
    IT'S FUN!!!
    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!
    And you when dance "MUSICALLY" - To the Hits and Breaks of the SONG... One and Two is an OLD ISSUE.

    Side Note: Many of you wonder why I capitalize the word "Clave". It's because I respect it. [B] I also always capitalize the word Salsa. The capitalized Salsa, is not a sauce...


    Edie, The Salsa FREAK!! is one of the most recognized and respected Salsa Writers/Instructor/Performers in the world. In the past twenty years, she has traveled to 63 countries teaching the world to dance, and has been the first American to teach in 18 of those countries. She now lives in the high mountains of beautiful Colorado with her wonderful husband, Nick. You may contact her at
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