Cuban Salsa: Setenta por Abajo

A classic Cuban Setenta move and a must to train at intermediate level for learning the basic technique of going down under the Follow’s right arm. Abajo and por Abajo means down. The move is also called por a bajo (by a low), de bajo (of low) or debajo (under). I prefer Setenta por Abajo, it both sounds and looks good.

Video 1 from the Danceliker School in Moscow, Russia, 2016, features Adonis Santiago and Svetlana Ovchinina.

Same Video on YouTube

Note that Adornis does the move a little different than in the two next videos, adding a full count of eight in the middle of the move. Coming out of the Hammerlock, Adornis “treads water” (just positioning himself) on 5-6-7, then he steps forward and goes down on 1-2-3, and then under and up on 5-6-7. Then the Follow is turned on 1-2-3 and the Corona on 5-6-7.

In the next three videos, the Lead steps forward and goes down already on 5-6-7, when coming out of the Hammerlock, and under and up on 1-2-3 giving the Lead less time to dance in the more relaxed Cuban style of Adornis. The turning of the Follow comes first on 5-6-7 ending with the Corona. Adornis has much more time starting the turning already on one.

Video 2 is from Grimaldidance, Spain, 2017.

Same Video on YouTube

The faster version of the above and the next video are not wrong and might sometimes work better to the music. But the slower and prolonged version of Adornis gives you more time to enjoy yourselves and to be more music driven.

Video 3 is from “Pepe Puerto Vs Rueda Cubana”, Spain, 2017.

Same Video on YouTube

Video 4 is from Palante Ithaca, Greece, 2010. In this video it is very easy to see how different the last three videos are from the first video.

Same Video on YouTube

Rueda moves and Social dancing

Most Cuban Salsa moves are small mini dances made for the Rueda. Social dancing should not be a long sequence of mini dances divided by Dile Que No and Guapea. In social dancing we should modify the Rueda moves and often skip the beginning and the ending. What matters most is the interesting part in the middle, the content of the move inside its wrapping.

One can start the Abajo part directly, from anywhere in a dance, and we can start, as we have learned, on five or on one, depending on the speed we are up to. Likewise the Lead can skip the Rueda ending. After coming up and turning the Follow, the Lead can e.g. continue with one more Giro turn and go into a Complicado or start a Paseala walk or just go easy into e.g. closed position.

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