Cuban Salsa: Sombrero Complicado
We have many moves called Sombrero Complicado. Most of them are variations of the last part of Sombrero de Manny, a very seminal move from the almost 20 years old “Salsa Lovers” DVD based Cuban Salsa course.
Most of the six moves below are just called Sombrero Complicado but in order to make it easier to remember and learn the moves, and to distinguish them from one another, I have qualified their names.
1 Sombrero Complicado con Lazo
This rather common Complicado is the short version of Sombrero de Manny. Video 1 is from “Palante Ithaca”, Greece, 2010, with Nikolay and Xhercis.
Video 2 is from “LatinaDance Corp”, Russia, 2015. It is the same Complicado as the one from Greece, but it is always nice to see people from different countries do the same move.
2 Sombrero Complicado con Echeverria
This is my favorite Sombrero Complicado at the moment. Two times the Follow is lead into twisting on 5-6-7. Since it is a little difficult to follow the count in the video, let me break down the move.
After asking for the Follow’s right hand under the Sombrero hat on 1-2-3, the Lead continues with a Coca-Cola left turn to the Follow on 5-6-7. In the video it’s a Coca-Cola Doble. Next, the Lead uses the Lazo arm movement, we also saw in the first two videos, leading the Follow behind his back, but this time two handed.
After going into Dile Que No on 1-2-3, the Lead twists the Follow on 5-6-7. The Lead then does a very unusual Enchufla Inverso, forward and back on 1-2-3, and gets the Follow into a Titanic pose, and twists her again on 5-6-7. I love it! Another Enchufla Inverso (or what to call it?) and the Lead finishes the move with a hand-free Habanero turn on 5-6-7.
Video 3 is from “Jhozimar Sánchez”, Mexico, 2015.
The last part of Sombrero Complicado con Echeveria is useful in music driven dancing. We don’t need to start it with Sombrero. I often start it with a two handed Enchufla followed by Coca-Cola.
4 Sombrero Complicado y El Uno
This version of Sombrero Complicado was the first I learned in a dance school in Copenhagen. The move is exactly like “Video 1” and “Video 2” except that the Lazo arm movement bringing the Follow behind the Lead’s back is immediately turned into El Uno, just as often called Cubanita.
I don’t have a video of the El Uno version of Sombrero Complicado, but the different versions of El Uno, with hands high or low, are among the most popular moves on the dance floor because the Lead stands behind the Follow’s back. That is a good opportunity for Lead and Follow to smile to each other over the Follow’s shoulder.
5 Sombrero Complicado “back-to-back”
Video 5 is an educational quote from an excellent Danish produced DVD in English, “Cuban Salsa lesson intermediate – advanced by Stine Ortvad and Yosvany Torres”. Might still be for sale: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is common practice to use the English term “back-to-back” as part of Spanish move titles because there is no good way to translate “back-to-back” to Spanish.
6 Sombrero Complicado con Coca-Cola
The last Video 6 is from “Son de Habana”, Columbia, 2015. They call the video Sombrero de Mami but it is just another version of Sombrero de Manny. It reminds us that all the other Complicado versions in this tutorial could just as well have been started with Sombrero Double. In the video Sombrero Complicado con Coca-Cola starts after 12 seconds.