Cuban Salsa: Balsero Continuado
This is one of my favourite social moves, and the first move I naively believe that I have “invented”. Of cause many Leads over the years have done something similar, prolonging Balsero with one or two additional counts of eight but it is rare to see it done 5-6 times or more. One day I said to myself, YES, this is a move, and I will call it Balsero Continuado and let it continue for as long as the music and the abilities of the Lead and Follow can drive it.
Video #1 is from a Practica training session with me and Mona, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2022. We first do Balsero Continuado, next Balsero Inverso Continuado.
A beautiful move
As long as Follows believe it is just crazy turning, there is no way most of them can manage more than a couple of turns. They jump on the brake and abort the move if the Lead insists to continue.
A lot of turning always takes training but it also helps a lot if the Lead can convince the Follow that Balsero Continuado is the Mother of All Beautiful Moves. Pure magic when it works. The Lead must step the move boldly and with pride in order to make the Follow go along. Most Follows can first do the move when they realise how fantastic it is.
The need to go contra
In order to help the Follow survive the many Balsero right turns, I always end Balsero by going contra: A two handed Enchufla, a hook turn, Enchufla and into Sombrero, just like the Montaña move. In the above video I even add a Coca-Cola por Detrás for more left turning to help the Follow get her bearings.
The same “going contra” is necessary when doing Balsero Inverso Continuado. Now the Balsero turns are to the left. To counterbalance I finish by walking clockwise and I give the Follow a final right Vuelta to balance the left turning.
A basic figure
I consider Balsero Continuado and Balsero Inverso Continuado to be basic figures just like Enchufla Continuado. A building block that can be used anywhere in a dance driven by the music and by the interaction with the Follow: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 counts of Eight or more as long as it works.
Balsero Continuado and Balsero Inverso Continuado are social figures very different from hard-wired, choreographed Rueda moves. The two moves are difficult to do just counting, we really need music to inspire us, and how much turning we end up doing depends on the moment, of how good it feels to continue.
Balsero Continuado and Balsero Inverso Continuado are never done exactly the same, and we can put more or less attitude, drive and momentum into them. And because we can have X number of Balsero turns, we can use the figures to time our dance to breaks and to phrase changes in the music.