Cuban Salsa: Abanico con Gancho

This is a new move, I have named Abanico con Gancho (Fan with Hook). I have learned it from a Russian video (2021) but unfortunately they don’t name it. I have modified the original version to make it easier to use in social dancing. I want to promote realistic social dancing for the average dancer. First I show my version, next I show the original Russian video, and I list my arguments for improving on it.

Video Clip #1 is from a Practica training session with me and Mona, Copenhagen, Denmark 2022, showing one of our versions of Abanico con Gancho (there are several ways to end it).

Same video on YouTube

In the classic Abanico move, the Follow is turned out of the Sombrero on “1-2-3” and the Lead does a “Ronde” with Hook Turn on “5-6-7”, also called a Giro de Son with the Lead’s right arm lifted over his head. In Abanico con Gancho the Lead skips the Giro de Son, and instead he makes an arm hook (Gancho) to the Follow’s right arm. This is surprisingly difficult the first couple of times because Leads are so used to hook the Follow’s left arm that it is almost hard-wired!

Since the Gancho is tricky unless the Lead has trained it with the Follow, it is my advice to accept that it can take several seconds to get the Hook in place! For that reason I have prolonged the original move with a count of Eight in order to go slow and easy and have at least a full count of Eight with the Gancho before getting out of it again.

The other change I have made is to make the last right turn hand-free in order to signal to the Follow that she is “free”, and that some continuation led by the hip or shoulder might be up next. In the original video, Stanislav is doing the turn handheld but drops the Follow’s hand just in time for the continuation in order for not to lock her in. It looks and works perfectly well, when it works! The problem is that it often doesn’t work unless the Follow is used to the move.

Video Clip #2 features Stanislav Shvertsov and Natalia Nebogatikova, “Social Dance Studio”, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 2021, and shows what I believe is the original version of Abanico con Gancho.

Same Shvetsov Video on YouTube

I really like the way these Russians dance: relaxed, playful, music driven.

Enchufla by the hips

The most interesting part of Abanico con Gancho is the ending. I regard it as an Enchufla lead by the hips. It takes a strong Follow to do that without prior training. I now train it with all my training partners because when I really own this move and get a feel for it, I might be able to lead any decent Follow into doing it, even if they haven’t tried it before.

I like and use the ending of Stanislav and Natalia, and I use the ending in my own video, and I often come up with something a little different when I do the move, inspired by the music and the abilities of my Follow. That’s the definition of a good social moves as compared to the hard-wired, choreographed moves of Rueda de Casino where everything is always exactly the same.

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