Cuban Salsa: Enchufla Continuado
The move Enchufla Continuado is one of the most important basic figures of Cuban Salsa. Why? Because more than 90% of moves in Cuban Salsa are clockwise. Most dancers only have Dile Que No, and the Coca-Cola left turn to go contra, counter clockwise, most often just for one count of eight.
Many Leads also use Rodeo Inverso, Coca-Cola turns starting on one as well as on five, Cedazo Inverso, etc. But all of us really need Enchufla Continuado to create a better balance between clockwise and counter clockwise motion. I use Enchufla Continuado in almost each and every social dance.
Enchufla Continuado, starting with Enchufla and continuing with one or more pairs of extra left turns, 2-4-6-8, is probably as old as Enchufla, but it is my guess, that we can thank Yoel Marrero, the developer of MCC 2.0, for the name and for the popularisation of the move. At least Yoel has made Enchufla Continuado a basic figure in “Routine 4” of his MCC 2.0 methodology, and he very often uses it, when he demonstrates the Casino dance.
Video 1 is an educational quote from “Routine 4” of Yoel Marrero. Yoel and Akiko demonstrate Enchufla Continuado from different starting positions. In the first half of the video clip, we see the standard way of doing Enchufla Continuado, in the last half of the video, the move ends with another specialty of Yoel Marrero, the Lead’s Giro de Son.
Lead slow walks the extra turns
It is common for the Lead to slow walk his part of the extra turns. That is, he walks on 1 and on five as he counts inside his head. The Lead’s slow walking makes it easy to keep track of the number of extra turns. The slow walking makes it especially easy when four turns are added. The Lead can then count 1-2-3-4 as he slow walks, and continue with normal stepping, counting 5-6-7.
Enchufla Continuado is a good example of a generalised basic figure as opposed to all the other Continuados, we can imagine. They might work some of the time, but they are really one-off hacks, we don’t need.
We could do a handheld Vacilala on 1-2-3, and continue with a Habanero turn (Cuban Salsa Vuelta right turn) on 5-6-7, and over again several times. It could work. But it is just more of the same clockwise turning for Lead and Follow. We need this Continuado for nothing.
We could also do Dile Que No and a Coca-Cola left turn on 5-6-7, and then continue the Coca-Cola turn as many times as the Follow can stomach. But in this case both Lead and Follow walk and turns counter clockwise, or the Lead steps in place. Not that elegant.
Video 2, features Yosvany Torres, one of my excellent teachers in Copenhagen, 2017. The move is called Alarde Complicado, and it has a “Coca-Cola Continuado” at 00:40. It is obvious that it doesn’t work as well as Enchufla Continuado. The Lead steps in place, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, as the Follow turns. It works but it is not a generalised basic building block like Enchufla Continuado.
Enchufla Continuado is unique and superior, because the Lead walks clockwise as the Follow turns counter clockwise making it a very elegant figure. The extra turns could be regarded as Coca-Cola turns but because we start them from Enchufla, the Lead is positioned to walk clockwise, the opposite of the Follow.
How many extra turns?
When doing Encufla Continuado, we start with Enchufla and add as many extra pairs of turns as the Follow can stomach and as is appropriate to the music and as it best plays into the rest of the dance.
We should always add extra turns in pairs, because that gives us a full count of eight and leaves us where we where, and we can continue the move as we are used to, making it much easier. I normally just add two extra turns, unless I know for sure that the Follow can stomach four. Sometimes I take a chance. I only add six or eight extra turns, if I positively know that the Follow will enjoy it.
Support the turns
Enchufla Continuado only works well, if it is done in perfect balance all the way. The Lead must help the Follow with his right hand if necessary. If there is plenty of space available on the dance floor, the em>Continuado can be stepped on a straight line, but most often the Follow should step on the periphery of the partner circle.
In the next video, Enchufla Continuado is done five times. For two of them the Lead supports his Follow with the right hand, for three of them he demonstratively keeps his right hand on his back. He knows that his Follow can do the turns with perfection all by herself.
Video 3 from “bailarcasino.pl”, 2013, features Piotr Agassi Chajkowski and his legendary No Name super Follow. We see Enchufla Continuados with both four and eight extra turns.
Video 4 with Daybert Linares and Digna Rodriguez, 2013, has a Enchufla Continuado at 02:30 with eight extra turns to the Follow, nine altogether. I like his “sit down” to the music at the end.