Cuban Salsa: A Bayamo

The basic A Bayamo is a popular figure with many videos out there. It takes the Follow on a long walk, two eight-counts, around the Lead and then back again with two more eight-counts. The return trip comes in two versions, and the details at the end varies.

For the end a full Sombrero is the most common. One can also just do an alarde to the Lead. My own favorite ending is a loose Sombrero, done with arms like “rolling waves”.

The video from Mexican “Salsaficion” shows the standard A Bayamo ending with putting on the Sombrero hat:

Same Video on YouTube

The second video, from “DanceDifferent” (Czech Republic), shows the ending I use the most: the Lead doing a loose Sombrero with arm waves:

Same Video on YouTube

The next video from Giuseppe Battista is interesting for its “ballet” styling, making A Bayamo appear completely different:

Same Video on YouTube

How to lead A Bayamo main version

The main version of A Bayamo is a very difficult intermediate move. Even in a class or workshop setting, the move is likely to fail with every second Follow. The return trip is the difficult part. Suddenly it works for a while mostly by share luck or because the Follow is “cheating” relying on muscle memory. In social dancing less experienced Leads are likely to run into many failures.

At the start of the return walk, the Lead’s right hand gives the Follow a Dile Que Si type of right turn on 1-2-3, continues the movement over his head, leading the Follow behind his back, back to back, and continuing the right turning until she is in front on him with her back against his front, all done on 5-6-7 (the difficult part), followed by Enchufla and one of the three endings.

A Bayamo alternative version

Some videos called A Bayamo show a different and much easier sequence for the return walk. I have made a separate blog post for that version, and why not call it A Bayamo Fácil (easy)?

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