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Simple Hand Changes: Introduction

A definition
A hand change is the transfer of a Follower's hand, from one of the Lead's hands to the other.

The phrase “Hand Change”
Imagine a world where hand changes didn't exist.

All turn combinations would consist only of Follower's right in Lead's left hand-holds. The possibilities though numerous, would be fairly uniform.

Then imagine that the ability to hand change was developed.

Suddenly, whole new avenues of exploration would open up, with thousands of possible combinations and permutations.

The hypothetical case I just posed demonstrates the importance of the hand change. It is the very “glue” that holds a turn combination together; that allows the substitution of dance elements to form interesting permutations.

The word “Simple”
In this instance, the meaning of the word “simple” may not exactly be what you might think. These hand changes occur without requiring the follower actively to make any decisions i.e. the process is completely transparent to the follower, hence the role of the follower is kept at its most simple level.

More words…
The greatest advantage of the simple hand change is that it can be danced with less experienced followers and still yield reliable results.

Since simple hand changes are initiated by the Lead, they are sometimes expressed from that perspective in this tutorial. For example, “left to right” means that the follower's hand is transferred from the Lead's left hand to the Lead's right hand.


1999 Salsa & Merengue Society