Cuban Salsa: A Bayamo por Arriba

A Bayamo por Arriba (up) is a good name because it reminds us that the Lead must keep both hands high as the Follow is lead behind his back. The Arriba also reminds us of the back-to-back turn at the end. Bayamo is a city in Cuba.

There is another version of A Bayamo por Arriba replacing the back-to-back turn with an alarde to the Lead. I prefer to call that figure A Bayamo por Arriba con alarde.

Unfortunately A Bayamo por Arriba is sometimes called A Bayamo por Matanzas or just Matanzas. Matanzas is another city in Cuba so this is rather confusing. It is even more problematic that Matanzas is most often a different move replaces the back-to-back turn with a two handed Vacilala.

To make life a little easier, I propose to name the moves like this:

  1. A Bayamo por Arriba, ending with a back-to-back turn.
  2. A Bayamo por Arriba con alarde, ending with an alarde.
  3. A Bayamo por Arriba con Vacilala, ending with a two handed Vacilala.

It is nice to have Arriba as part of the three names, because it reminds us to keep both hands high when the Follow is lead behind the back of the Lead. In other common A Bayamo figures: A Bayamo, A Bayamo por Abajo, A Bayamo por el Hecho, the left hand must be held very low.

A Bayamo por Arriba

The sit-down in the middle of the first video is just styling. Note that the back-to-back turn (barrel turn) is fast, it is all over on 1-2-3 and is continued with the Sombrero ending on 5-6-7:

Same video at YouTube: A Bayamo por Arriba (A).

The second video is from The Norwegiaen Rueda Standard now called RuedaStandard.com. It uses the confusing Matanzas name. Also in this video the back-to-back turn is done on 1-2-3:

Same video at YouTube: A Bayamo por Arriba (B)

Doing the back-to-back turn on 1-2-3 is the most common in the videos I have found, but I strongly recommend to use a full eight-count like in the following video featuring one of my Cuban Salsa instructors, Yuleisy C. Rojas. Note that the back-to-back turn is prolonged taking a full eight-count. For that reason the move must be continued with Enchufla before the Sombrero ending.


Same video at salsalatina.dk website:
A Bayamo por Arriba (C)

How to lead A Bayamo por Arriba

A Bayamo por Arriba works well in classes, workshops and Rueda de Casino because the Follow knows what is coming. But in social dancing it takes a good Lead to get a back-to-back turn going. I think the reason is that the barrel turn is not that common in Cuban Salsa. Follows are not used to it. The only other common move, that comes to my mind, having a barrel turn, is Siete Loco. In X-Body salsa, barrel turns are piece of cake, they use it all the time.

In my opinion A Bayamo por Arriba is more elegant and easier to lead when the back-to-back turn uses a full eight-count, continued with Enchufla and Sombrero ending. I like the slow motion of it, and the opportunity for passionate eye contact between Lead and Follow.

It often depends on the music if the fast (1-2-3) or the slow (1-2-3, 5-6-7) back-to-back turn should be used.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s