Cuban Salsa: Ochenta y Ocho (88)

We have many different figures named Ochenta y Ocho (88). Ochenta figures normally starts with right to right handhold like Sombrero, but there is a tendency to use the Sombrero name instead of Ochenta, making the figures easier to remember. For that reason, the “Ochenta” family of moves is rather small.

Most of the figures named Ochenta y Ocho are just one offs, some Lead’s private business. In this blogpost I will only cover one of the two most common and also a very “Cuban” Ochenta y Ocho, deserving the name.

Another very common Ochenta y Ocho has a characteristic Lazo loop to either the Follow or to the Lead. I present it in a seperate Blogpost named Ochenta con Lazo.

Video 1 is from “DanceDifferent”, Prague, Czech Republic, 2019. In several Sombrero Complicado variations, the Lead asks for the Follow’s right hand from below underneath her left hand and let go of her left hand. In this move the Lead keeps hold of the left hand and, using both hands, turns the Follow into a Coca-Cola type of left turn on 5-6-7.

Same Video on YouTube

After the two handed Coca-Cola turn, the Lead continues with a two handed Enchufla and ends the move by putting the Sombrero hat on.

Video 2 is from “Lyon4Water”, Lyon, France, 2017. Note that they call the Sombrero pose at the end for a “double caresse” in French, a Caricia Doble in Spanish.

Same Video on YouTube

Video 3 is from “CubanVibesUK”, London, UK, 2017, showing Ochenta y Ocho in Rueda de Casino.

Same Video on YouTube

In MCC 2.0 we also have an Ochenta y Ocho that is by far the most interesting. It has no Sombrero but both Lead and Follow walk a figure “Eight” making the name more meaningful. The “88” of MCC is and example of a move reduced to a basic building block that can be used anywhere in a social dance. I present it in a separate blogpost called “Ochenta y Ocho (MCC)”.

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