Cuban Salsa: Abanico Complicado

It is no surprise that Abanico Complicado comes in several good versions, only the end of the move being different. Three of the versions deserve to be in the repertoire of a Salsero at advanced level. Nice that you can choose which ending to use, depending on music, your mood and on how well the Follow is doing.

A closer look at the very many video versions on YouTube reveals, that there is only one version, most of us agree about. The other versions are not versions but extentions to the standard version, like doing Coca Cola as part of the Dile Que No at the end, or to add a Sombrero to the end.

We will look at all the versions: I call them Abanico Complicado, Abanico Complicado con Sombrero (just an extension) and Abanico Complicado con Coca Cola (just an extension).

1. Abanico Complicado

This video from the Salsa Lovers DVD shows the most common Abanico Complicado. Note that the move is two handed all the way, and that it is not that easy, a typical Complicado.

Also note that at the end the left hand of the Follow is kept low behind her back making a full Sombrero impossible. Instead we get a “half” Sombrero to the Follow only:

The nest video is exactly the same move, watch it if you are allergic to Salsa Lovers:

In the next video the Lead drops the Follow’s hand twice just to pick the hand up again the next moment.

Not doing the move two handed all the way, makes the move much harder to lead unless the Follow knows how to make her hands available for the Lead at all times.

The “drop her hand” version could be an option for the advanced Lead when faced with a Follow not that slim to state it politely. The Lead let go of the Follow’s hand when ever the move becomes too tight.

2. Abanico Complicado con Sombrero

I don’t have a video but this is the Abanico Complicado version in the “Salsa Steps” App. It is identical to what we have seen so far, doubled handhold all the way, but instead of continuing with Dile Que No, the end of the move is undone and a full Sombrero is put in place as an extra step before the Dile Que No.

Ending a figure with Sombrero is often a good idea. We have so many great figures starting with Sombrero, making it easy to continue with one of those moves. It could bring a better flow into your dance, if you go back to zero doing Dile Que No and Guapea less often.

3. Abanico Complicado con Coca Cola

I prefer the ending with Coca Cola, if the music is right and my Follow is fit for fight. Why? Just look at the standard version of Abanico Complicado again. It screams for being continued with Dile Que No con Coca Cola.

In Cuban Salsa we almost never do left turns when moving on the partner circle, we almost always turn right and we dance in a clockwise motion, making the Follow turn even more to the right.

The standard way to turn left in Cuban Salsa is during Dile Que No, either just adding an inside left turn or, even better, doing Coca Cola. We really need inside left turn and Coca Cola to counter act all the right turning.

More Coca Cola:

4. Abanico Complicado what?

Instead of keeping the Follow’s left hand low making only a “half” Sombrero, some videos show moves doing a full Sombrero instead.

This replacement is mostly a bad idea because the end in the standard version is unique and interesting. The end in the standard version doesn’t exist in any other common move, and for that reason it should be kept alive and be protected.

I believe that the reason for replacing the standard ending with Sombrero is simply because the dancers forgot the rather unusual ending in the standard version.

There could be situations where the Sombrero right away solution is a nice alternative, e.g. if the Follow is XXX-large.

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