Cuban Salsa: Exhibela is the same as Sacala
Exhibela means “exhibit her”, show her to the world. It is one of two original Cuban Salsa right turns on 5-6-7. The other is the walking right turn called Habanero. As a relatively new trend, Exhibela is today often called Sacala instead, meaning “take her out”. That is annoying because we now have to use both words in the same title to make sure to be understood!
1 Exhibela is a sideways right turn
Exhibela is a very versatile move often done in subtle ways as part of other moves, and it can be more or less sideways. If not sideways at all, it is a little similar to a Vuelta right turn. But the more sideways Exhibela becomes, and normally it is sideways, the more it demands that the Lead uses special stepping to lead the Follow into the move.
There are many ways for the Lead to prepare the Follow for Exhibela. The most common being Abajo steps (the Lead rocks a little forward on both one and five). For Exhibela itself side-to-side steps (also called “side rocking”, “Rumba” or “Cucaracha”) is used or (rare) Cuban Rumba steps (on two and six the foot don’t move), or (very common) side-to-side salsa steps with cross over, or (not that common) walking Paseala steps with pivot foot turns on one and five.
2 Exhibela with side-to-side steps
Video 1 from “Dance Papi”, San Francisco, USA, 2015, with the excellent instructors Nicholas Van Eyck and Serena Wong. Normal left to right handhold.
Video 2 from “SalsaFuerte”, Hungary 2007, starts and ends with Abajo steps but for Exhibela side-to-side steps, also called side rocking, are used.
3 Exhibela with side-to-side and cross over
Video 3 from “Salsa Academy”, France, 2016, features William Demaille and Elodie Top. They show the move with side-to-side steps and at the end of the video with cross over. Note that the Lead at the beginning of the video calls his side-to-side steps for “Rumba pour homme”. Rumba is just a popular name for side-to-side.
Video 4 is from “Avinciia-Dance”, France, 2015, with Elo and Armandino”. I like the opening, a hand-held Vacilala with Lead’s hook turn on 5-6-7. This is the first videos where they use right to right handhold.
4 Exhibela with Paseala steps
Paseala steps are not that common for Exhibela because they are slightly more difficult and you need more space and time. Both Lead and Follow walk a figure “8”, making it a figure “88”, pivoting their foot on both one and five. When Exhibela starts, only the Lead continues with an “8” figure.
Yoel Marrero uses Paseala a lot in his MCC 2.0 system for optimized Casino, e.g. at the beginning of “Routine 2”, as can be seen in Video 5 from “METODO DEL CUADRO DEL CASINO”, 2018. Yoel calls Paseala followed by Exhibela several times in the video.
In Video 6 from “Salsa4Water”, Copenhagen, 2013, Sam and Krista also do Exhibela with Paseala steps. Note that Sam mostly uses left to right handhold but also right to right one time.
5 Exhibela in Rueda de Casino
In Rueda de Casino it is very common to call Exhibela or rather Sacala, just before Dile Que No. We see several examples at the beginning of Video 7 from “Salsa Timbayonne”, à Bayonne et sur la Cote Basco-landaise, France, 2011. I love this Rueda de Casino, as a realistic baseline for what a Rueda should look like at intermediate level. Good flow and dancing. I’m tired of chaos and interruptions, so common in Rueda nowadays.
6 Exhibela with two hands
So far we have seen Exhibela in its pure one handed form, easy to recognize, often used in social dancing and very common as a call in Rueda de Casino. Let us have a look at the the two handed Exhibela. Video 8 is from “www.bailarcasino.pl”, Posnan, Poland, 2013, with Piotr Agassi Chajkowski and excellent Follow. The video shows a two handed Enchufla, followed by two handed Exhibela two times.
Let me break it down. The video starts with a two handed Enchufla on 1-2-3, on 5-6-7 the Lead brings his right arm over the Follow’s head. The Lead then takes the Follow out for Exhibela on 1-2-3, turns her on 5-6-7 and gives her an Alarde. The Lead takes her out again on 1-2-3, turns her on 5-6-7 and gives himself an Alarde. This way of doing Exhibela is almost Standard Operating Procedure in very many moves, likely to occur at least once in most social dances.
The video above shows how the Lead must adapt his stepping to the situation. Piotr is reared in the “MCC 2.0” system of Yoel Marrero and will normally do Exhibela with optimized Paseala steps. But because the Exhibela is now two handed and danced “tight” to the music, Piotr uses very compact Paseala steps, at times stepping in place.
In Video 8 from “Salsa-Club”, Tomsk, Russia, 2013, with Aleksey and Yulya, we see several instances of Exhibela both one and two handed. Cuban Salsa doesn’t get much better at a basic advanced level. This is how I want to dance: relaxed and elegant.
Video 9 could end up as cult one day. Video is from “SALSATIMBA.RU”, Moscow, Russia, 2016. They do Sacala six times.
7 Exhibela Mentira
When researching for this tutorial I stumbled upon two videos called Exhibela Mentira. In Rueda Mentira (lie) is sometimes called to cancel a move. We can do the same in social dancing. Note that the Lead leads the Follow into a Sacala but pulls her back again preventing her from turning. Video 9 is from “DanceDifferent”, Czech Republic, 2017. It is the Airport in Brussel. Note that someone is running to catch his flight. What a contrast!
Video 10 is from Carlos Juan, Budapest, Hungary 2015. In the first half of the video we have a variation of Exhibela de Mentira.