ÁBACO  >  BEGINNERINTERMEDIATEADVANCED  ábaco practice

Note the explanations of the figures below the videos, including the figures not yet published on video. For some of the videos you will find links to open videos showing more of the context for the fgure.

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Open position

  • amistad
  • amistad complicado
  • enchufla para hombres
  • ocho para mujeres
  • patin
  • patin con Bamboleo
  • por mi por ti
  • Tumba Francesa
  • Tumba Francesa > siguelo
  • Tumba Francesa > cambia direccion
  • Tumba Francesa complicado

Al medio position

  • enchufla y al medio > dile que no

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PRACTICE VIDEO containing:

Open position

  • cadena
  • cadena complicate 
  • cadena > tarro
           

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Open position

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amistad
amistad complicado

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enchufla para hombres

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ocho para mujeres

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patin

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patin con Bamboleo

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por mi por ti

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Tumba Francesa
Tumba Francesa > siguelo

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Tumba Francesa > cambia direccion

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Tumba Francesa complicado

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cadena, cadena complicate

Cadena and cadena > tarro appears at 02:20, cadena complicate appears at 03:00 in this practice video. 

 


Al medio

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enchufla y al medio – dile que no 

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EXPLANATIONS

   
 

Closed position

pa’ti pa’mi The rueda figure is also called salsa, and it a basic salsa in closed position.
The ábaco figure is similar to por mi por ti (description below), except that the direction of yuka is always forward and back, not angled to the sides. And it continues until another figure is called.
 

Open position

amistad The footwork in this ábaco figure is referred to as cepillo, meaning brush. (There are several other variations of cepill in various dances, like mambo and cha cha cha.)
Note that the ábaco finishes with dile que no twice, like the rueda figure, and a rotation at the very end.
amistad complicado This ábaco figure is just slightly different than amistad, as is the rueda figure. Getting back for the dile que no, you need to step on 4 with you right foot.
cadena This ábaco figure uses movement from Elegua (teremina) in place. It continues until a new call is issued, which may be a variation of cadena, or tarro (quarter turn left on 7 and continue the cadena), or a new figure calling off the cadena, like dile que no
Elegua teremina (by Alberto Valdes)
Elegua teremina (by Iván Valdespino)
Elegua teremina in a timba rounte (Yoandy Villaurrutia, breaking it down)
Elegua teremina in a timba routine (by Yoandy Villaurrutia)
Elegua teremina in a timba routine (by Andy Gonzalo Varona)
> complicate This ábaco variation of cadena uses the Elegua move from cadena, but now while moving. Start moving to the right, and then back to the left, on alternate eight-counts. 
For the Elegua move in place, see cadena above.
Elegua teremina moving right/left (Messina)  
> mujeres, hombres The cadena variations hombres and mujeres are used in rueda, but mot very often – cadena (rueda de casino).
The ábaco figure is like cadena complicate, but in stead of moving right/left you move forward (homres) / backward (mujeres).
If you dance ábaco inside a rueda, you need to take small steps forward/backward, and possibly fade into dancing in place, to avoid running into the rueda. 
If you dance ábaco separately, this variation may also be combined with tarro (quarter turn left on 7).  
For the Elegua move in place, see cadena above.
Elegua teremina moving backward (by Richard & Sonia, slow motion) 
Coca-Cola This ábaco starts like paseala, with step (right) – back – cross back. It continues with a full right turn in place, rumba style, with left arm up, and finishes with dile que no.
enchufla para hombres The general idea in this ábaco figure is to do an enchufla y dile que no using men’s regular footwork, starting on left foot on 1. This is the mirrorwise from the regular enchufla y dile que no in ábaco.
Like in the rueda figure enchufla para hombres, the ábaco figure starts with getting into position on 1-2-3, by doing half a basic step, going forward on right foot on 1. Then you do enchufla y dile que no, starting on left foot on 5. And finally swithing back to regular steps, by doing half a basic step, going forward on 5.
ocho para mujeres The rueda figure ocho para mujeres provides a nice challenge for the ladies / followers.
This ábaco figure joins the fun, following the same pattern as the ladies / followers do in the rueda figure.
During this figure you should be ‘visiting’ 4 spots:
1. starting with your own,
2. then the spot where the dancer diagonally forward/left started the figure,
3. continuing to the spot where the dancer to your left started the figure,
4. and a swing by the spot where the dancer in front of you started the figure,
before you return to the spot where you started. The rueda figure ends with dile que no without partner change, so the ábaco figure ends the same way – dile que no without rotation.
ocho para mujeres doble This ábaco combination is like the regular ocho para mujeres, but you du the actual ocho-part twice. The ocho-part /the «eight» part) is the patern where you move like the number 8, viewed from above. This is the part after the initial enchufla steps, and before the fineal dile que no.
patin This ábaco starts with enchufla and ends with dame una, like the rueda figure patin.
The ábaco figure uses movements from rumba (yambú) in the «skating» part of the rueda figure.
Note that men and women have slightly different upper body movements.
yambú (by Sergio and Teresa)
patineta This ábaco figure is very similar to patin, but with a few differences: You start with 1,5 enchufla steps (1-2-3, 5-6-7, and 1-2-3), so the yambú part is oriented the opposite way and started on the opposite foot.
After the yambú part, you do a half enchufla step (on 5-6-7), and the figure ends with dile que no without rotation, because the rueda figure patineta ends with a dile que no with the same partner.
yambú (by Yuliet Estrada and Andy Gonzalo Varona)
yambú for women (by Yeni Molinet)
patin con Bamboleo This figure is similar to patin, but instead of doing one 8-count of yambú movements, you do two 8-counts of Bamboleo steps. The Bamboleo steps are the same as in the rueda figure patin con Bamboleo.
patineta con Bamboleo This figure is similar to patineta, but instead of doing one 8-count of yambú movements, you do two 8-counts of Bamboleo steps. Note that you start Bamboleo on the other foot than in patin con Bamboleo.
The Bamboleo steps are the same as in the rueda figure patineta con Bamboleo.
por mi por ti Por mi por ti (= for me for you) in ábaco uses movements from the Cuban dance yuka. When using this specific figure to salsa / timba music, we step on 7-8-1 and 3-4-5.
The ábaco figure starts with a basic step (on 1-2-3, break on 4), and a tap-step (on 5-6). Then you are in position for starting the yuka steps with your right foot on 7.
Exiting this figure, a clap at the end (on 7) is sometimes used.
yuka (by Wilmer Najarra Mora and Maria Del Carmen)
yuka in a timba routine (by Yoandy Villaurrutia, Yoannis Tamayo)
saluda a lo moderno This ábaco figure uses the men’s part from the rueda figure. It starts with the first half of the enchufla steps, followed by a jump. The jump starts by stepping back on 5 (left), jumping on 6 (right) and landing on 7 (left). Note the difference from the rueda figure, where you jump from the same foot that you land on (left).
The last eight-count starts with cross-steps backward, columbia style, adding the characteristic arms from columbia (rumba). And finally the last half of the enchufla. There is too much going on in short time in this ábaco figure, so there is no time left for a dile que no, like in the rueda figure.
cross-steps backward, columbia arms (by Andy Gonzalo Varona)
setenta Elegua (ñongo), start left, then right. make a more distinct step back, and repeat the move. 
Elegua performance (by Jennyselt Galata Calvo)
Elegua ñongo technique (by Alberto Valdes)
Elegua ñongo slow motion (by Richard and Sonia)
setenta por las manos Elegua (ñongo), start left, then right. Repeat the move, but this time do a turn at each side, raising your arm while turning.
Elegua ñongo with turning (by Iván Valdespino)
Elegua ñongo with turning (Messina)
Elegua ñongo with turning in timba routine (by FredyClan)
setenta complicado Elegua (ñongo), start left, then right. Then another Elegua  move (lumbanche), going forward, forward, forward-back-back. 
Elegua lumbanche (by Maykel Fonts)
Elegua lumbanche (by Iván Valdespino)
Elegua lumbanche (by Ricky B)
Tumba Francesa The rueda figure Tumba Francesa starts with enchufla. Then you take the hand of 4 new partners,
and it ends with finally enchufla y quedate. Quedate means stay, so the figure has no partner change at the end.
In the ábaco figure, the 4 changes are marked with contratiempo steps, the diagonal steps used in son.
The beginning and end of the figure follow the rueda figure, using enchufla and enchufla y quedate.
Tumba Francesa
is the same as enchufla y cadeneta, except when to end.
In Tumba Francesa you finish with the fourth new partner, and in enchufla y cadeneta you continue until you meet your partner again, hasta la tuya (= «until your own»).
In enchufla y cadeneta, it will help the ábaco dancers to know when to end if the caller gives a hint when finishing, adding the call se fue or similar. Tumba Francesa is a bit easier to follow in ábaco, just count to 4.
Practice videos for Tumba Francesa, to help with the contratiempo part.  
Tumba Francesa > siguelo – se fue Siguelo is a general call, used in various rueda figures. It means continue.
Siguelo refers to the chain part in this rueda figure. In this ábaco it refers to the contratiempo part.
When siguelo (continue) is called, it is called off with se fue.
This means that the figures now continues with the regular ending.
Tumba Francesa > cambia direccion Cambia direccion means change direction. In the rueda the dancers makes a turn and dance the other way (man goes arriba, ladies abajo).
In the ábaco figure we make a parada, doing a step without shifting the weight. When we continue we are now on the men’s fottwork, stepping on left foot on 8.
If cambia direccion is called again, in ábaco we repeat the parada, now with the left foot. Afterwards we are back on the original contratiempo steps, stepping on right foot on 8.
It is common to end Tumba Francesa after one cambia direccion with an enchufla figure.
To exit you need to step on 8 with your left foot to get into enchufla on right foot on 1.
Tumba Francesa complicado This ábaco figure combines steps from son and cha cha cha alternately. The rueda figure Tumba Francesa complicado continues until it is called off, usually with dame una.
This rueda figure is a bit advanced, and probably not very commonly used.
vacilala  
 

Al medio

enchufla y al medio The rueda figure enchufla y al medio starts with enchufla steps, and ends up in a position where everyone is facing the center. The ábaco figure enchufla y al medio also starts with enchufla steps, and ends up in a different position: dancing on men’s footwork, stepping forward with left foot on 1. The key in this figure is to do a jump backward from both feet on 7, landing on 8, ready to step forward on 1. 
Note that the jump is easier if you use forestep in the enchufla steps, so that you have finished turning, and are facing the right direction on 7 when jumping. If you do enchufla using backsteps, you might end up with some variation of a rotating jumping, which might be a bit of a challenge (to do, and to watch). 
– jump 
> derecha This ábaco figure is a simple crossing of the left foot in front on 1. To avoid keeping shifting right, you need to ajust a little left, preferably before the corssing on 1, so you end up in the right place when the crossing is done.  
cross in front (by Andy Gonzalo Varona)
> mujeres izquierda This ábaco figure is a simple crossing of the right foot behind on 5. Shift a little left before crossing, to end up in the right place when the crossing is done.  
> caja de bolas This ábaco figure is the combination hombres derecha y mujeres izquierda y siguelo. Combining crossing both on 1 and on 5 makes it basically a series of cero‘s. It continues until a new call is made. In this specific figure, when you cross in front, you lift your left foot on 7 for the crossing. This will add a slight illusion of getting airborn, in slow motion. Add a little drama by balancing your «flight» with your arms out.
> vamos This ábaco figure uses the men’s part from the rueda figure vamos, which is a full left turn on 5-6-7. On 1 you should be back to a regular basic step, forward on left foot. 
> dile que no Dile que no when in al medio is a transition back to women’s footwork, called from dancing on the men’s footwork. The figure starts on the initial 7. In stead of stepping down on your right foot, you touch the floor and circle your foot around, stepping down on 1 in stead, still with your right foot. Which is then the first step of your dile que no.  And you’re back on women’s footwork for guapea
circeling the foot (by FredyClan)
circeling the foot (by Yoandy Villaurrutia and Diana Rodriguez Garcia) 

Swapping

between the ábaco and the rueda.

If you dance ábaco inside a rueda, and all the dancers know how to dance ábaco, then you can move on to have dancers swap between dancing in the rueda and in the ábaco. 

festival de cambio

 

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In this swapping figure, the dancers in the front row of the ábaco enters the rueda. They find an empty space in between the couples, and whoever looses their partner in the rueda, swap back to the ábaco. All while the rest of the rueda and ábaco dance festival de dame. If the swapping is successful you «celebrate» it with a ¡bulla! y manos p’arriba on the next 1.

Illustrated description of how to swap, for men and for women.

Starting position for a woman in the ábaco, ready to swap. The illustrated description shows how to proceed. 

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