Cuban Salsa: A Bayamo con Túnel

This A Bayamo variation contains a basic figure called “Tornado” or El Túnel (tunnel). “Tornado” is the general term but when the figure is done using the Enchufla method as in this tutorial, it looks more like a Tunnel.

Video 1 titled A Bayamo por el Hueco (through the hole) is a clip from an “old” Cuban Salsa DVD, Intermediate-Advanced, probably from 2012-14 (?), featuring two of my dance teachers in Copenhagen, Stine Ortvad and Yosvany Torres. It is a good DVD, but no instructions, no talking, learning by looking. It might still be available if you mail to info@elstudio.dk.

Note that in the above and in the next video, the Lead exits the tunnel by going under both the Follow’s arms. It is very common in other situations to go up in between the arms, as I am going to show in a video in my Master Class Series to be published soon with the name: “Tornado-Tunnel Variations”.

The Power of Nothing

Video 1 is perfect but it has one major flaw. It is too condensed and rushed, made for Rueda de Casino, where we don’t need leading and following because both Lead and Follow hear what move the Rueda Caller calls.

When one-on-one moves are made for Rueda de Casino, we should very often change them a little to make them suitable for social one-on-one dancing. We should add extra counts of eight, what I call “largo” or the “Power of Nothing”. I will soon publish a video in my Master Class Series about this important subject.

In the video above the two wraps start on 5, and both wraps are done on 5-6-7. In many other videos containing El Túnel, they start on 1, and the last wrap comes on 4-5 or the two wraps are evenly divided on the full count of eight. We are going to see an example in the next video.

A Bayamo con Túnel (largo)

Video 2 features Yuleisy Rojas (another of my many dance teachers in Copenhagen) and Tanya Sauer Torrendrup from an impressive dance school, “Salsalatina.dk” in Roskilde, 30 km from Copenhagen. The video is probably from 2015 judged from the hairstyle of the Lead. The students own and run the school and hire the teachers as needed. In Cuban Salsa they teach six levels! Have a look at their Syllabus with video links to most of the figures. All dance schools should provide that!

The two videos are interesting to compare. The endings are slightly different but the two moves contain exactly the same basic counts except that the last video is a full count of eight longer. Nothing but “slack”, room to wiggle, has been added. I call it LARGO or the Power of Nothing. The result is that the move becomes more relaxed, easier to lead and to enjoy in one-on-one social dancing.

To avoid starting the tunnel on 5, short steps of walking is added. The tunnel starts on the next one, and the second wrap is on 5-6-7. For that reason the Lead comes out after going under the arms, on 1-2-3 and can not do an Enchufla as in the first video. Instead the Lead walks under his own arm on 5-6-7. The rest is the same except in the first video we see one more Enchufla and in the last video a Sombrero.

What to call the wraps?

I and authorities like Piotr Agassi and Carlos Rafael Gonzales call the two arm movements that qualifies this A Bayamo figure for “Tornado”, but Túnel (Tunnel) is also a common name especially when the “Tornado” is done using the Enchufla method, as in the two videos in this tutorial. When the “Tornado” arm movements are used with the Vacilala method and the Dile Que No method, the figure looks much more like a vertical tornado than a horizontal tunnel.

I insist on calling the general figure for “Tornado” but I accept the Túnel name when it looks like one. I have found many other names for the figure, like “wraps”, Enroscate (curl up), Mariposa (butterfly) and Turbo. In the first video they are alluded to by Por Al Hecho (through the hole), and in the second video the term por dentro (to inside) is used.

I will soon publish a tutorial and a masterclass video dedicated to Tornado-Tunnel variations.

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