Cuban Salsa: Syncopated Vacilala and Coca-Cola
Syncopation is to use the timing in between the beats for stepping, and in its simple form, the “and” in the middle between the beats. Some advanced dancers might sub-divide the space between the beats even further.
E.g.: Normally a Vacilala is done as a Three Step Traveling Right Turn on “1-2-3”. Using syncopation, the Follow could instead do a Three Step Turn on “1-and-2” or for a double turn on “1-and-2-and-3”. Similar, a Coca-Cola left double turns with syncopation could be on “5-and-6-and-7”.
Syncopated turns are mostly used in shows, but a good Lead could use them with a training partner or a super Follow, and a good Follow could use syncopation at her own discretion in handfree right and left turns.
Syncopation is relatively easy for Triple Steps, shines and advanced footwork, but harder for turn especially to fast music. Even though syncopated turns are rare, it is good to know about them, and to train them in order to get a better understanding of syncopation.
- Vacilala Double, a Three Step Pirouette Right Turn with syncopation starting on “1”: “1-and-2-and-3” using half a Pirouette (180 degree) on “and”.
- Vacilala Double, a Three Step Pivot Right Turn with syncopation starting on “1′: “1-and-2-and-3” using Pivot technique (180 degree) on “and”.
- Coca-Cola Double, a Three Step Pirouette turn with syncopation starting on “5”: “5-and-6-and-7” using half a Pirouette (180) degree) on “and”.
- Coca-Cola Double, a Three Step Pirouette turn with syncopation starting on “5”: “5-and-6-and-7” using Pivot techniques (180) degree) on “and”.
- Six times Vacilala within a count of Eight: “1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and-5-and-6-and-7”. Using Pivot technique.
A Lead must know how the Follows turn in order to lead and support them. Start learning the turn technique stepping in slow motion as in my video. Then speed up, add arm movements and a partner!