Cross Body Lead

Cross Body Lead

The Cross Body Lead really is a salsa staple. It will be used again and again throughout your salsa dancing both on it’s own and as a way to get in and out of other salsa step patterns. Some examples of this are:

The Sombrero Basic in Beginner 2 salsa

The Hustle Turn in Intermediate 2 salsa

The Spiral in Intermediate 1 salsa


Helpful: Let’s take a look at the concept of ‘train tracks’ in salsa to help with your Cross Body Lead.


The Leader’s Steps

In this video we are referring to the leader’s steps when we describe the gentlemen’s steps.

Leaders should practise this step alone ensuring that on step ‘3’ you have made a complete and crisp 90 degree turn to your left. The cleaner and clearer this rotation is the better your lead will be.

Also remember to look where you are leading your follower! It’s not nice to lead your salsa partner into a wall or another dancer! 🙂

Arms: Once you have the footwork under control start working on your arm position. Whilst there are a couple of ways to lead this step I like to use what we call ‘Nunchuck Arms’, see below.

Salsa ‘Nunchuck Arms’

1. On step ‘3’ bend your right elbow so that your right hand arcs up towards your shoulder

2. Move your left wrist moves towards your right elbow

3.  (optional) Say ‘Hoi-Yah!’

Here’s a video to help you get your head around ‘Nunchuck Arms’


The Follower’s Steps

In this video we are referring to the follower’s steps when we describe the lady’s steps.

Followers; whilst the footwork for this step is quite simple the beauty of the step is in the connection we have with our partner.

As we settle our weight on ‘3’ it is important to make sure that we are still hanging back towards our leaders right hand side. Check that your are still feeling that palm contact and light pressure on our left shoulder blade before allowing the leader to apply more pressure to then complete the step.

Avoid landing directly infront of them or to their left. If this happens you have started leading and they will have no steering left to use!