Cuban Salsa: Bayamo Mentira

When I saw this unspecified move in the middle of a poor quality video from a Yoandy Villaurrutia and Oliwia Rylska workshop, 2019, I said to myself: “Yes, this is the move I have been looking for”. Probably there was no move, most likely just a successful Yoandy improvisation based on years of experience and hard training. But I saw the sequence as a good candidate for a new Complicado move.

I like this new move because it starts exactly like the big family of A Bayamo moves, I use all the time. But after the characteristic “A Bayamo” start, a half-Sombrero, instead of walking the Follow counter clockwise behind the Lead, “Big Surprise”, the move continues with more clock-wise turning. This unusual continuation was new to me as a hardcore A Bayamo fan, and for that reason I came up with the name A Bayamo Mentira.

Many new moves are so traditional, “more of the same”, that they are easy to learn. A Lead can read them and learn them by a glance or two. Not A Bayamo Mentira. Most Leads will have to learn it step by step, and practice it with a Follow at some “Practica” training session before they own it.

You might want to have a look at the original video. I stumbled upon it on some Facebook page. Credit to Yoandy, a Cuban now living in Italy (for many years in Russia), and to Oliwia Rylsky, a Polish dance talent. The video is probably from a Warsaw workshop in Poland, 2019.

Yoandy Villaurrutia is known for his extreme Afro Cuban Salsa style with an elegant almost “ballet” like flow, and for his creative interpretation of old classic moves. Yoandy is second to none when it comes to footwork and body movement exercises in front of the mirror. He works hard to make his “far out” Afro Style look good. Sometimes he is too much Afro and too little a good model for realistic social dancing, but he is always inspiring.

One of the things I like the most about Yoandy is his rare ability in dance classes, workshops and social dancing to promote his Follow to equal position no matter her level. And he always gives a good Follow room to shine and co-author the choreography. A big contrast to a lot of Cuban Salsa being extremely Lead heavy, as if the Follows are just dance props.

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