Cuban Salsa: Setenta Complicado

Setenta Complicado is the Mother of all Complicado, probably the first Complicado at most dance schools, and really the only one you will ever need, if you only have the time for one. There are more videos of this move on YouTube than of almost any other Cuban Salsa move. Don’t underestimate Setenta Complicado. Even many dance schools get it wrong. I know of no other common move where I can say the same.

The 1. Video is from “Grimaldidance.com”, Spain 2015. Notice that the Lead crosses over on count one at the start of the second count of eight (the tricky part). The move ends with Enchufla and positioning steps.

Same Video on YouTube

1 Hook turn in Rueda de Casino

In the context of Rueda de Casino, Setenta Complicado normally has three counts of eight. Each count of eight makes the dancers change position 180 degrees, 1) the Hammerlock, the tricky part with Enchufla and a hook turn, 3) and the ending. The Dile Que No brings the dancers back to Guapea. In order to honor the Rueda pattern, the Lead must do a hook turn in place. Like in the next video.

The 2. Video is from “Ritmo de la Luna”, Hungary 2015. This Lead also uses cross over steps and has in my opinion found a style that suits him well except that I don’t like he lifts his heels but he might have a medical condition!

Same Video on YouTube

The above video is a good example of an alternative ending also used in many other moves normally ending with just an Enchufla and positioning steps: a two handed Enchufla and wrapping the Lead’s right arm over the Follow.

2 Hook turn in Social dancing

In social dancing many Leads like to do the hook turn in an advanced way: the walking hook turn. I love to do hook turns that way myself. But Leaders of the world watch out! Walking hook turns work in social dancing, but in Rueda de Casino you are likely to switch place with the Follow one more time, breaking the Rueda pattern. That’s exactly what happens in the first video at the top of the blogpost and also in the next.

The 3. Video is from “www.bailarcasino.pl”, Poland 2013, and features Piotr Agassi Chajkowski and an unknown Follow. The move is shown in the context of a staged social dance. This video also uses cross over steps. At the end we have a simple Enchufla and positioning steps. This video is a good model for how to do the move in social dancing.

Same Video on YouTube

3 The tricky part

On beat one of the second count of eight, the Lead must step over his right foot to move forward and still step on the partner circle, the right foot must then move behind the left, and the left foot most fall in line behind the right exactly on the circle, the Lead moving with his back to the forward direction. At the same time the Lead must give the Follow an Enchufla turn. On 5-6-7 the Lead continues with a hook turn on the spot (Rueda) or still walking backward (option in social dancing).

When we walk the partner circle clockwise, we should as a rule of thumb always walk forward or step in place. But of cause we often leave the clock-wise circular motion like when doing Dile Que No, Quapea, Siete, Enchufla Dople, walks around the Lead, walks in general and whatever we please to do in social dancing. But when walking the partner circle in Ruede de Casino, we should almost never back rock, side rock or walk counter clockwise.

4 More videos with cross over step

The 4. Video is from “Son de Habana”, Colombia 2015. It is not only great but so dynamic that they walk 360 degress both in the first and in the second count of eight, but only 180 degress for the ending. This works in social dancing but also in Rueda de Casino!

Same Video on YouTube

The 5. Video is from “Salsaficion”, Mexico 2017. It is exactly as it should be done in a Rueda de Casino, switching places 180 degrees in each of the three eight counts.

Same Video on YouTube

5 And now a monster video

Around the new Millennium (Year 2000), three great DVD based Cuban Salsa courses came out of the Miami salsa dance community: “Salsa Racing” (Henry Herrera), The Quick and Dirty Guide (Gigi), and Salsa Lovers (Rene Gueit). The two first are doing Setenta Complicado right, exactly as in the five videos above.

For the tricky start of the second count of eight, Rene Gueit is not crossing over in order to honor the forward motion on the partner circle, but he side rocks to the left! On top of it, he is doing an awful back rock at the end of the hook turn. If you really need to back rock (I never do on the partner circle) make the step as small as possible.

The 6. Video is shredded (by Rene himself) from the Salsa Lovers DVD 02, Miami 2011. I have found at least 20 videos on YouTube doing it this badly:

Same Video on YouTube

The “Salsa Lovers” DVD videos are not all rubbish. I even recommend them: Salsa Lovers (Miami) as a great collection of Cuban Salsa moves. But you need to know Cuban Salsa already. Don’t eat them raw!

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