This is the list of terms used to describe salsa dancing.

Abbreviations Edit

Closed position Edit


Cuban hip motionEdit

See Cuban motion and Latin hip motion.

Follower Edit


Frame Edit

Dance frames are the upper body positions of the dancers. A strong frame provides connection with your partner and conveys intended movement. A strong frame is where your arms and upper body are held firmly in place without relying on your partner to maintain your frame nor applying force that would move your partner or your partner's frame.

Jack and JillEdit

Jack and Jill (J&J) is a format of competition in partner dancing, where the competing couples are the result of random matching of leaders and followers. Rules of matching vary. The name comes from the popular English nursery rhyme, Jack and Jill. In venues with same-sex dance partners, the ambiguous name "Pat and Chris" has been used.

Latin hip motion Edit

A characteristic type of hip motion found in the technique of performing a step in Latin and Rhythm dances. Although most visible in the hips, much of the effect is created through the action of the feet and knees. Sometimes it is also called Cuban hip motion, although because of the divergence in dance technique between American Rhythm and International Latin some prefer to distinguish the two, with the term "Latin motion" reserved for International Style, while the "Cuban motion" reserved for American Style and Club Latin dances. The most notable distinction (in a simplified description) is that in the International Style "Latin motion" the straightening of the knee happens before the full weight transfer, while in the "Cuban motion" the straightening of the knee happens after the full weight transfer. As a result, the Cuban hip motion results in a more fluid leg movement, while the Latin hip motion results in a more staccato leg movement.

Leader Edit


Open position Edit

Open position is any dance position in which the partners stand apart in contrast to closed position. They may face inwards or outwards, and hold one or both hands or stand independently.

Slot Edit


Spotting Edit

A technique used during turns. The dancer chooses a reference point (such as his or her partner or a distant point along the line of travel) and focuses on it as long as possible. When during the turn it is no longer possible to see it, the head flips as fast as possible to "spot" the reference point again. This technique guides the body during the turn, makes it easier to determine when to stop turning, and helps prevent dizziness.

Syncopation Edit

In dancing, the term has two meanings: The first one is similar to the musical terminology. The second one is making more (and/or different) steps than required by the standard description of a figure, to address more rhythmical nuances of the music. The latter usage is considered incorrect by many dance instructors, but it is still in circulation, a better term lacking.