I can just feel all the hate mail that is already headed my way. "Oh, here goes Anthony, talking about On2"… but before you hit that send button – first read the article.
I always get asked what is the difference between dancing On1 and On2. Some people tend to have opinions on whether they are different or if its the same thing. Well, again I will preach that there are differences. Today I will be focusing on spinning. From a followers (lady's) perspective they have differences whether you spin On1 or On2 – especially true when doing multiple spins.
Breaking down spinning On1. When the lady spins on1, she starts spinning on 5 (men's timing). So, lets break down an axle turn. The ladies do half a basic forward (5,6,7), then take (1,2,3,4) and prep their turn – to then do spins starting on 5. The lady the takes (5,6,7,8) to do her spin, and then immediately step back on their right 1, step 2 in place with left, and then bring the right foot back immediately to center for 3.
Breaking down spinning On2. When the lady spins on2, she (on lady's timing now), preps her axle turn on (5,6,7,8) and starts spinning on 1. She then takes 1,2,3,4,5 to do her spin (or multiple spins), to then step back with her right on 6, step in place on 7 with her left, pause on 8, and then bring back her right foot immediately to center on 1.
Deciphering the magic. See the difference? First of all when doing multiple spins On2, you have an entire extra count to do the spins. This means either you can fit more spins into a specific turning sequence, or you can use the extra time to smooth-out the spins (so they don't seem rushed). They ladies will enjoy spinning on2 because they will have more time when doing their multiple spins, which makes them easier because they are not rushed. Second, because you are dancing On2, the pause comes right after you end your spins, therefore the ladies have more time to recover from the multiple spins. Remember, after your 6,7 – its an 8, which is a pause. Your right foot does not have to hit center until 1. Once the ladies really understand this, and are able to control their spins – instead of using the 6,7,8,1 counts to recover, they can recover on 6 very quickly, and use their body and style the rest of the 7,8, and 1 counts – which adds to the flavor of the dance.
Again, this is not preaching, but showing the fundamental differences between dancing On1 and On2 and how there are some benefits on dancing to each. In the following video, you can see Emily and Oliver (in the back in black) social dancing. Emily is one of the best salsa spinners out there, so you can see how she can maintain her control and still have add a little bit of styling (or course done to numerous spins)! Enjoy!.
[UPDATED] For those confused about the steps in timing, this article might be useful: Salsa On1 to On2 Steps transitions.
[Added Note] The lady does not need to step until 6 when dancing on 2. Ladies stop spinning with control by having their left foot forward and right foot back. On1 this happens in count 1. On2 this happens on count 6 – so the lady does not need to step on 5 (if not, it would be the same as saying the lady has to step on 7 in the On2 case).