Cuban Salsa: Arcoiris

Rainbow. Arcoiris means rainbow and is sometimes spelled Arco Iris. The move starts like other Setenta moves with Hammerlock, and for that reason the move is also called Setenta con Arcoiris. I prefer the short form, and there is a reason for the name. The figure clearly has a part that looks like a bow, a rainbow. There are a few different moves out there also called Arcoiris, not even containing a rainbow! Forget about them.

There are very many videos to be found with Arcoiris. It is a popular intermediate-advanced move that comes with two common endings. Just an Alarde to the Lead, good if you want to continue with Dile Que No. Or the Gancho hook, good if you want to continue with one of the very many “71” and “75” variations or with Dile Que No.

Video 1 is from “VC Rueda”, Southern California, USA, 2012, featuring Daniel and Mary. The instructor, “djdancegeek”, does a very good job breaking down the move, focusing on what is important.

Same Video on YouTube

Video 2 from “DanceDifferent”, Prague, Czech Republic, 2016, has no instructions, but it is always inspiring to watch these “dance different” people.

Same Video on YouTube

Video 3 is from Salsa Loca, Strasbourg, France, 2011, featuring Sophie and Fatih. In this version, they end the move with the Gancho hook, making it easy to continue with one of the many “71” and “75” variations.

Same Video on YouTube

Making Arcoiris better

The three Arcoiris videos we have seen so far are ok: they are the standard way to do Arcoiris. But in my opinon they don’t get enough out of the interesting Rainbow pose. The arms are lifted on 1-2-3, they get into the Rainbow on 5-6, immediately followed by getting out of it and into the Hammerlock on seven. Couldn’t we do something to make the Rainbow pose last longer?

Video 4 is from the excellent Hungarian “Salsa Steps” App, made by Carmen Dance. They have made a small improvement to the move by adding a count of eight in order to prolong the Rainbow pose. The following “promotional” video is a screenshot video of the video inside its App!

Instead of going out of the Rainbow already on seven, the stay in it for the full count of eight, keeping both arms low. The Lead then walks and turns clockwise on 1-2-3, and ducks under the Follow’s right arm on 5-6-7. The rest of the move is the same.

The extra count of eight makes the move more relaxed, it becomes easier to enjoy the dance, and to express yourselves to the music. Try it out and judge for yourself. It is always nice with several versions for different situations. Also remember that the Lead can initiate the Rainbow pose directly, from anywhere in a dance, if the Lead is holding both hands of the Follow on five.


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