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 right turn or with Vacilala Steps. It is important to know both ways, see my blogpost Cuban Salsa: Hammerlock and Setenta. The right turn way is the proper one to teach beginners.

Apart from the two 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 right turn

This is the standard version as it should be taught to beginners. In the videos from “”, the move is done walking almost on the spot as is common for beginners:

Same video at YouTube

The next video from “Salsa Academy”, also uses the right turn for the Hammerlock. In the video, for beginners, they don’t walk much. At intermediate level they could easily walk a full circle of 360 degrees:

Same video at YouTube

Setenta starting with Vacilala Steps

The next video from 2011 feature 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 the following video from “Salsa4Water” the Lead is playing with Setenta, adding an Alarde (not the simple one used in Setenta con Alarde) and a hook turn. Notice that they use 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 comming, she might even have done the move differently with the last Lead or is expecting one and the same way to do Hammerlock. Are you good enough to lead her into the Hammerlock you want? Like using proper Vacilala Steps instead of starting like a right turn?

The Hammerlock as telltale move

Setenta is a good move to get a first feel of 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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