Dancing Beyond The Box: My journey from Salsa On1 to Salsa On2
For years I was only an On1 Salsa dancer. When I first became addicted to Salsa and all dances of Afro-Latin origin, I had no clue there were so many different ways to interpret the music. The first time a guy asked me to dance On2 I had no idea what he was talking about. I had no idea I was dancing On1! I avoided learning On2 for as long as possible and was very lucky to not live anyplace where On2 was the ONLY way to dance Salsa.
Then I traveled to Colorado to receive training with Edie "The Salsa Freak". She has developed this amazing system for teaching Salsa and other dances based on the martial arts belt system for progressing from one level to the next. Imagine my horror when I found out that I not only would be learning to follow On2 but also how to LEAD! In less than 10 days I learned to teach, lead and follow On2. To say it was challenging would be an understatement. In order to overcome my feelings of failure, discomfort, fear, feeling small I got to accept that this is what so many of us feel when we are learning something new. Especially when it is something we have avoided for years. I got to really look at myself and realize that there was no way I would have made it to Colorado without believing in myself. I also had the beautiful notes of past students and friends who contributed to my GoFundMe which made this important moment in my life financially possible.
For me, it was like a right handed person, such as myself, being taught to be just as proficient with my left hand. It was uncomfortable and I was shaky but with lots of practice and focus, I got it! For people who are completely new to Salsa, learning On2 is not more difficult than learning ON1, so neither basic is inherently more complex. For On1 dancers, It is also about hearing the music a little differently and interpreting it differently with movement. I cannot tell you the number of debates I have read regarding ON1 vs On2 and sometimes the back and forth gets heated. At the end of the day, both styles have a beauty, creativity, and grace that can allow a dancer to demonstrate what their ear and heart are interpreting.
I share my experience in order to communicate to On1 dancers that I empathize and I understand your hesitancy to expand to another way to dance Salsa. I also tell you of my experiences so that you can take this in, I AM A BETTER DANCER. I kid you not. I have become a better dancer because I learned to dance On2. I am also a more versatile dancer. I can switch between both within moments and am able to follow strong leads very well. I now have no worries about travelling to other places and being able to dance On1 and On2.
I am a better dancer because I had an amazing, professional, no shit dance instructor who believed I could do it. I may be hesitant to claim greatness in many areas of my life but being a dance instructor I have no such qualms. I am a kick ass teacher. I hold a Masters degree in teaching. I have been trained by two of the best women dancers, instructors and performers. I have years of experience behind me. I was born to teach.
I can teach you On2 and help you to be a versatile dancer if you are willing to learn.