Cuban Salsa: Setenta (70)

Setenta, meaning “70” in Spanish, is most likely the first real move you learn in Cuban Salsa. For that reason it is considered beginners level, but you could just as well call it intermediate. It really is one of the signature moves of Cuban Salsa, likely to be called in any Rueda de Casino, and very many Leads even at advanced level use it in almost every dance.

The first eight count of Setenta, the Hammerlock, can be done as a stationary or walking right turn on 5-6-7 or with Vacilala Steps. It is important to know all three ways, see my blogpost Cuban Salsa: Hammerlock and Setenta. The stationary Vuelta right turn is the proper way to start the Hammerlock for beginners. At intermediate and advanced level I recommend to start the Hammerlock with a walking right turn, a Habanero, or with Vacilala steps.

Apart from the three basic ways to do the Hammerlock, Setenta exists in two common versions, the main version and an easier version ending with an Alarde. I prefer to call the easy version Setenta con Alarde.

Setenta starting like a 5-6-7 right turn

In Video 1 from “dancepapi.com”, San Francisco 2015, the move is done starting with a stationary Vuelta right turn, note that they do the Hammerlock without changing places.

Same video at YouTube

Video 2 from “Salsa Academy”, France, 2015, features William Demaille and Elodie Top. They also use the right turn for the Hammerlock but with walking, changing places. In Cuban Salsa a walking right turn is called a Habanero. Walking on 1-2-3, turning on 5-6-7.

Same video at YouTube

Setenta starting with Vacilala Steps

Video 3 from 2011 features Sophie et Fati, “Salsa Loca” Strasbourg. They use Vacilala steps for the Hammerlock. Notice that they open up on seven and tap on eight as preparation:

Same video at YouTube

Playing with Setenta

In Video 4 from “Salsa4Water”, Copenhagen, 2013, the Lead is playing with Setenta, adding an Alarde and a hook turn. Notice that the Follow is lead into proper Vacilala steps for the Hammerlock part:

Same video at YouTube

Since Setenta is called so often in Ruede de Casino, a Lead should make use of the opportunity to test the different ways to do the Hammerlock. The Follow hears Setenta being called. She knows what is coming, she might even have done the move ten times already with different Leads all using the stationary Vuelta right turn or a walking right turn for the Hammerlock. Are you and the Follow good enough to use proper Vacilala steps instead?

The Hammerlock as telltale move

Setenta is a good move to test a new, unknown Follow. Many beginners can not get into the Hammerlock position with ease. They often miss the last inch to be completely locked. In that case, take care. Don’t embarrass her by serving too demanding moves.

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