Salsa Shines


While dancing Salsa, the partners may temporarily split up to show off a variety of fancy footwork variations before reconnecting to continue the dance as a couple. These fancy footwork variations are known as Salsa Shines.

If you're interested learning the 50+ shines listed below, you can take our comprehensive online course in Salsa Shines at the University of Dance.


» Forward and Back Basic
» In Place Basic ("Merengue" Step)
» Back Breaks
» Diagonal Back Breaks
» Side Breaks (Side Basic)
» Diagonal Forward Breaks
» Forward Breaks
» Crossover Breaks
» Fallaway Breaks (Cumbia Basic)
» Combining Basics
» Tapped Basics
» Double-Time Taps (Mambo Taps)
» Step Touch (Piano Step)
» Lock Taps
» Hot Toe (to Change the Timing)
» Inverted Basics
» Tap and Go
» Tap Tap Go
» The Slide

» Right Spot Turn
» Left Spot Turn
» Broken Left Turn
» Interrupted Left Turn
» Back Spin
» Slow Right Turn
» Slow Left Turn
» Right Paddle Turn
» Left Paddle Turn
» Quarter Turns (The Chase)
» Locked Right Turn
» Locked Left Turn
» Instant Turn
» Bounced Half Turns
» Bounced Full Turns

Cross Steps
» Jazz Square
» Crossovers
» Forward and Back Crossovers
» Side and Cross
» Touch and Cross
» Flare (Cross and Touch)
» Forward and Back Flare
» In and Outs
» Out and Ins
» Double Taps (Tap Tap Crossover)
» Suzy-Qs
» Long Suzy-Qs
» Suzy-Q Plus
» In and Out Suzy-Q
» Suzy-Q with Double Taps
» Suzy-Q with Side and Cross
» Suzy-Q with Grapevine Kicks
» Suzy-Q Kick
» Suzy-Q Double Kick
» Suzy-Q with Paddle Turn
» Suzy-Q to Locked Left Turn
» Strut and Suzy-Q
» Long Strut
» Cross Steps (SQQ)
» Cross Steps (QQS)
» Backing Cross Steps
» Shuffle Step (Forward)
» Shuffle Step (Backward)

Entrances to Shines
» Drop Hands
» Free Spin

Exits from Shines
» Take Hands
» Cross-Body Lead

Body Styling
» Hip Styling
» Arm Styling

Timing Conversions
» Converting to Follow's "On 1" Timing
» Converting to Follow's "On 2" Timing
» Converting to Lead's "On 2" Timing

Salsa Music

Here are some of our favorite Salsa tunes, arranged by tempo.

© 2020 Nick Enge

If you or your community is interested in learning Salsa Shines, .

For more dance descriptions, see our three books on dancing:
The Book of Mixers: 100 Easy-Teach Dances for Getting Acquainted (2022) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge,
Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge, and
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

For full-length teaching videos, visit: University of Dance.

For help crafting a life you love, visit: Project Quartz.

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