Cuban Salsa: Siete Unisex Complicado
The move Siete Unisex Complicado is attributed to Henry Herrera, at least it is on his CD, “Henry Turns 4”, published around year 2005. I have not yet seen Henry’s version, but many others have made videos with the move and uploaded to YouTube. It is a good move to practice in class at intermediate level, because both Lead and Follow turn a lot, and we have at least three variations. The move is also a good easy going sequence of turns for social dancing.
Siete Unisex Complicado starts with an unusual version of Siete, the first 1-2-3 of the move. Normally the Lead stands in place when wrapping the Follow in like a pancake. But in this move the Lead turns his back to the Follow and should in my opinion use the opportunity to give her a gentle bump, as we see it in the first video.
Video 1 is from “JPK Mas”, Pas du Roy Versailles, France, 2012, featuring JPK et Julie. I like the jazzy style of this Lead with very small “skating” steps. It is the only video where the Lead also turns around on the first 5-6-7, in order to be ready to give the Follow a Vacilala turn on 1-2-3. This is not that easy coming from back-to-back.
Video 2 is from “HooLooVooPL”, 2009. It is good enough for our purpose of getting to see another version of the figure. On the first 5-6-7 the Lead gives the Follow a Coca-Cola turn, and turns himself on 1-2-3, and give the Follow not a Vacilala turn but a Habanero turn (right turn on 5-6-7). In order to make it a little more difficult, he himself turns under his own arm on 6-7, before he continues with Enchufla.
Video 3 by “Erik Jose Bravo A.”, 2011, is exactly like the previous video. I don’t like that he turns the Follow on 5-6-7 with his back to her, not that it is wrong but it is not a good model for how to do the move. The relaxed style suits the couple well.
Video 4 features Francisco Verdecia, 2019. I like videos with a clear count making them much more easy for others to analyse and learn from. But be aware that they have simplified the move. In the precious two videos the Leads turn under their own arm on 6-7 as they give their Follow a Habanero turn on 5-6-7. Not so in this video making it easier. It never was much of a Complicado in the first place, now even less so.
Back-to-back with a bump
I remember how I liked this move when I learned it at intermediate level, and that most of the Leads in class had problems getting the turns right in time. I haven’t used the move for a long time, but now when I have looked at it again, I realise that the move has a potential I wasn’t aware of earlier. I might even start to use it again in my social dancing.
I like the back-to-back opening, just an optional way to do Siete for fun, and especially if it is followed with a gentle bump, as we see in the first video. I like to divide my dance into contrasting sections. One of my sections could be the most serious, elegant and optimised. Siete Unisex Complicado with back-to-back and a bump could be the start of a contrasting “let us now relax and have some fun” section.