Cuban Salsa: Salida Brazo Largo (Setenta)
I am exited about this tutorial because it presents a new family of Setenta moves most dancers have not even heard about. The origin of the Brazo Largo (long arm) exit from Setenta, the Hammerlock, is uncertain but its modern popularity can be attributed to Yoandy Villaurrutia, 2011.
Yoandy has promoted the exit in many show dances with Diana Rodriguez and in many of his dance classes and workshops. I have also found a handful of videos with other Leads using the Brazo Largo exit, including a video from 2010 with Dolce Dance from Hungary. So the exit might predate Yoandy?
This new Setenta family of moves doesn’t have a name and I don’t know what name Yoandy is using for the basic figure, the exit. I call it “Brazo Largo” (long arm) because the Lead needs a very long arm, and he really needs to stretch it out, in order to get the Follow out of the Setenta (Hammerlock). The long stretching arm defines the exit.
But what to do after the exit, what comes next? I have found six good ways (so far), for how to continue the Brazo Largo exit.
- Setenta Salida Brazo Largo con Habanero
- Setenta Salida Brazo Largo con Gancho Doble
- Setenta Salida Brazo Largo con Vacilaba
- Setenta Salida Brazo Largo con Alardes
- Setenta Salida Brazo Largo con Sombrero
- Setenta Salida Brazo Largo con Abrazo
The Salida Brazo Largo looks like a cake walk, but it is one of the most difficult of all basic figures. When I introduce it to Follows at Practica training sessions, they usually respond: “no way, you are breaking my arm”. It really is a “don’t do this at home” type of move. Even when a Lead has the feel for the exit, and knows exactly how to lead it and when to abort it in the middle of the act when necessary, a Lead should only do the move with the strongest and most experienced Follows or with his training partners.
1 Brazo Largo con Habanero
This is the easiest of the Brazo Largo Exits. Video Clip 1 is from a video by “DC Casineros”, Washington DC, USA, 2014. DC Casinos is among my favourite dance schools because they practice Paseala based Cuban Salsa, always walking forward, walk, walk, walk, no back rocking please: don’t stop the flow.
Video 2 is from “Dolce Dance”, Budapest, Hungary, 2010. It is the earliest video I have found with the Brazo Largo exit. The video is interesting because after the Habanero, the Cuban Vuelta left on 5-6-7, they continue with what I call Giro de Setenta or exit #2 from the Hammerlock.
Video 3 is from the excellent “Salsa Steps” App from “Carmen Dance”, Hungary. The video shows a move called Setenta Dura (hard), and it starts with Brazo Largo. The move starts like the other Hungarian video. Let us break it down.
- Setenta (Hammerlock)
- Hammerlock exit #4: Brazo Largo
- Hammerlock exit #2, Giro de Setenta
- A two handed Enchufla.
- Hammerlock exit #1: Enchufla with right arm Gancho
2 Brazo Largo con Gancho Doble
This version is also relatively easy except for the Brazo Largo exit. In all the three videos showing the move, they only get in-and-out of the double Gancho using a split second. I recommend, at least sometimes, to stay in the double Gancho and circle around on the spot Adiós style, for a while, before leaving this wonderful dance embrace.
Video Clip 4 is from a social dance by “DC Casineros” instructors Amanda Gill and Adrian Valdivia, USA 2019.
Video Clip 5 is from a workshop with Yoandy Villaurrutia and Sonia, Lyon, France 2019. The music is fast. As I have said, the Bravo Largo exit looks like a cake walk, but as many as 9 out of 10 Leads can not do it without a lot of training.
Video Clip 6 is from a class video with named “Yoandy Villaurrutia Salsa 20.03.14”, Moscow, Russia, 2014. The Brazo Largo exit really is a favourite of Yoandy.
3 Brazo Largo con Vacilala
I like this two handed Vacilala version. Video Clip 7 is from a workshop with Yoandy Villaurrutia and Diana Rodriguez, 2013, titled “Crazy salsa figure with a bit of rumba, Diana & Yoandy”.
4 Brazo Largo con Alardes
Video Clip 8 is the oldest of the Yoandy videos, I have found (so far). It is my guess that this is one of the first shows or workshops where Yoandy uses the Brazo Largo exit. The clip is from a very creative YouTube video named “Diana Rodriguez & Yoandy Villaurrutia. Salsa Cubana”, 2011.
Video Clip 9 is from another workshop or show video from the same period with Yoandy and Diana, 2012. It gives us one more look at how the Alardes can be done. In this case they are so elegant that I could cry. Also note that when Diana goes into the Setenta she uses the basic figure I call Piroueta de Habanera, one of Diana’s signature moves.
5 Brazo Largo con Sombrero
This version of the Brazo Largo exit starts with a right-to-right handed Setenta (Hammerlock), and the Follow’s arm is placed behind her neck as part of the Setenta before the Brazo Largo exit starts. Also note that the Lead needs to walk behind the Follow in this variation. When arriving in Sombrero, there are a hundred ways to proceed. The way Yoandy does it in this video is actually quite nice.
Video Clip 10 is from a YouTube video of a Yoandy dance class named “Yoandy Villaurrutia – Salsa Intermediate 13.03.12″, Moscow, Russia, 2012”.
6 Brazo Largo con Abrazo (hug)
This great variation also starts from a right-to-right handed Setenta (Hammerlock). It is my guess that the Lead in the video, Alexander Pavlov, has “invented” this very intimate variation. Video Clip 11 is from some Facebook page, Kiew, Ukraine, 2020. This couple is dear to my heart because they adhere to genuine Paseala based Cuban Salsa as opposed to the bland Guapea based, so common outside of Cuba. They always move forward, walk walk, walk. The Follow never back rocks (jump onto the brake slowing down the flow) unless a bad Lead forces her to do so.
The Abrazo Largo (long arm) exit is dangerous. No Lead should use this exit unless he takes great care not to break the Follow’s arm. A Lead should first train the exit with partners, and only use it with them unless he really owns the exit and knows what he is doing.