Cuban Salsa: El Bebé
The Bebé move is a very long combo of a handfuld of classic moves, danced as one long flow without Guapea in between: Balsero, Beseto, Exhíbela, Balsero Inverso, Back to Back turn, Abanico, Evelyn. I like the idea that it consists of seven classic moves any dancer should know and use.
I also like the idea of a combo showing how traditional Rueda moves should be adapted for social 1-on-1 dancing. As few Guapeas as possible: Don’t chop up a dance into small pieces divided with Guapea. Aim for one long uninterrupted flow.
The origin of the combination is the “Salsa Lovers DVD No 3”. It is a popular combo judging from the many YouTube videos found. Most of them use the spelling “Bebe” as in the original. A few call it El Bebé (the baby). “Bebe” can be interpreted as “babe” in English, but “Bebe” is also the short form of the given name Barbara, Beatrice, Beatrix, etc, and is even sometimes used as a male name. I prefer the name El Bebé, because it makes meaning and pronunciation more clear.
Video 1 is from the excellent Hungarian “Salsa Steps” App. The App is good at presenting the moves in a not too bad “neutral” Miami style most of us can live with for the sake of learning a move. Next step is always to implement and integrate the move in your own dancing, exactly as you think it should be danced.
The “Salsa Steps” APP has improved the original combo by adding the move Evelyn to the end. I fully support that. Judge for yourself. In all the next videos Evelyn is missing but it really is the perfect way to end the combo.
Video 2 is from the “Oportunidance Project”, Bucharast, Romania, 2016. They speak Romanian, the language closest to Latin! Nice video, exactly as the original, but I would like to add Evelyn to the end as in the first video.
Video 3 is from “Academia de Baile Estilo Cubano”, Medellín, Columbia, 2013. There is a lot of salsa in Columbia, mostly their own Columbian style, but Cuban salsa is also popular. Connection is all important in social dancing, this video is a good lesson in the art of how to connect.
Lastly, let us honor the origin of the “Bebe” move. Video 4 is from the “Salsa Lovers DVD No 3”, Miami, USA, around year 2000, and uploaded to YouTube much later.
The Evelyn name was originally mostly used in Rueda de Casino for a move starting like Prima (Adiós a la Prima) on 1-2-3 and continuing with the Lead’s Hook Turn on 5-6-7 and changing handhold from left-right to right-right. But in social 1-on-1 dancing the combination of Enchufla and the Lead’s Hook Turn is much more common. Many good Leads use it at least once in every dance. This combination is today also often called Evelyn.