Cuban Salsa: Mochacho

This is an interesting intermediate-advanced move. Muchacho means “boy”. I have just learned it and I like it for a couple of reasons: 1) It starts with the rare Setenta Inverso, giving us more variation, 2) It ends with the rare triple right turn, giving us an opportunity to reconsider this difficult option.

It is my guess that the move is created by the people behind the excellent Hungarian “Salsa Steps App”, 2014. And they use it as one of a handful free videos on YouTube to promote the App.

Same Video on YouTube

Moves starting with the opposite Hammerlock are rare. It is fascinating, that when the dancers exit the opposite Hammerlock, with the going under the arm Abajo exit, the dancers end up in the same position as when they get out of the normal Setenta Hammerlock using the Enchufla exit.

This means that we can replace the standard Hammerlock beginning of the vast majority of Setenta moves with the opposite Hammerlock of the Mochacho move. It gives us a lot of new options and variations for how to start Setenta figures! Why not give it a try?

Michal’s Mochacho move

Michal from Poland knows a lot about Cuban music and dances and I enjoy watching his videos. He lives in Manchester, UK, and teaches at the “La Suerte Dance School”. In 2020 Michal published his own version of the Muchacho move, Video 2, replacing the difficult triple right turn with a much easier two handed Vacilala double turn.

Same Video on YouTube

I like that good moves often have variations especially at the end, giving us something to play with and making it easier for the Lead to find the best option for the moment, considering the level of the Follow, the turning qualities of her shoes, the music, and how good the dance floor is for turning.

This second video is not as spot on as the first. Michal should go all the way under on the Abajo, 5-6-7, in order to be ready for an Enchufla on 1-2-3, or he should prolong the move with an additional count of eight to make it less rushed. This is a common problem in many moves.

Triple turns are rare in Cuban Salsa. They require a Follow that can stomach them. They also require a good Lead knowing how to prep them, and a good dance floor and proper dance shoes.

In Cuban Salsa the norm is to walk turns. For a triple turn, the Follow must step very fast, or spin for the whole triple turn or for parts of it. Since there is no way to prep the Follow that a Triple turn is coming before it starts, it takes a good dancer to adapt to the leading when the turn is under way.

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