Families of Moves

What's easier to remember - five moves or one move? Of course remembering one move is easier. Once you realize that most intermediate salsa moves are variations on 10 or so foundation moves, then you can group moves into families based on those 10 moves. Now five moves within a family become just one move done five ways.
See the list to the right? You may think I've listed dozens of moves. I did not! I listed 10 or so moves and then variations of ways to do them. That's the mindset you need to develop to simplify your salsa and get over that hump.  
Let's take as an example the humble right turn listed at the top. There are many ways to do a right turn - I've listed seven different variations (and there are more). Each of these is very distinct. But it is still only one move, a right turn, done seven different ways, and not seven different moves.
Now apply that concept to all salsa moves. You can distill hundreds of moves down to families of moves that are based on common foundations. You may wish to organize them differently than I've done. But the concept should remain the same - grouping moves by similarity of the mechanics.
Another way to think about families of moves is from the followers perspective. Within a family, the followers footwork is often the same regardless of the variation. In our example above, the right turn, the follower's footwork is the same.
Simplifying the myriad of salsa moves into families of moves helps with recall. A single variation becomes one of a handful within a family of moves versus one of hundreds of all salsa moves.
It is also important to note that variations within a family often begin with different hand holds before leading the move. This is the basis for The Right Hold concept.
I know it's impossible to list all moves and variations as new one are being invented all the time. This is simply a list of fairly popular moves intermediate dancers use that I have listed to demonstrate how they can be grouped into families that have common foundations.
Note: I also have only listed led moves by the leader for the follower, and not moves for the leader themselves. Again, I'm not trying to make a list of all salsa moves, but rather show groupings to help demonstrate a concept.
Right Turn
L-R Single
R-R Single
R-L Single
Straight 2-Hand into Hammerlock
Staight 2-Hand into Diamond
R-over-L 2-Hand Cross into Sombrero
R-over-L 2-Hand Cross into Hammerlock
Cross Body Lead
Simple CBL w/o turn from various holds
CBL w/ inside turn from various holds
R-R Hand Toss then L-L CBL w/turn
CBL w/ inside duck turn
CBL w/ outside turn from various holds
CBL w/ inside turn at shoulder, hip, etc.
Multiple turns
360 CBLs

Cross Body Lead w/ Check Turn

L-over-R 2-Hand Cross  Check at shoulder or with hands

L-over-R 2-Hand Cross to Titanic

R-over-L 2-Hand Cross Check Wrap

Straight two hand hold. Check Wrap

L-L Single to Check Wrap

R-L Single to Check Wrap

R-R Single, Check at shoulder

 L-L Singe, Check at shoulder


Right Side Pass

R-R Single Hold, Lead RSP with Turn. Variation: Behind Back

R-over-L 2-Hand Cross, Lead RSP w/ Turn to all Sombrero Variations

L-R, RSP Change hands behind her back (Apache)

Straight 2-Hand, Lead RSP w/ Turn into all Setenta Varations


Cumbia Moves
Uno y Dos
R-R, Request Left Hand to basic Copa
Straight 2-Hand Right turn to Diamond, Back-to-back Copa
Copa from Hammerlock
Copa from wrap in
Underarm Turns
Enchufla variations
Track Moves (girl is led up and/or down track)
Baskets and Tunnels
R-R, Request Left Hand into Titanic
Girl led back from wrap or check
Lovers Walk (comes off of check wraps)
R-L Single, Lead comes under
L-L Single, Lead change hands as he comes under
R-R Single, Lead comes under
Straight 2-Hand, Lead drops left as he comes under
Style and Speicalty Moves
Hand Toss
Hand Displacements
Afro-Cuban Movement
Allardes and Hair Combs
Elbow Pops


Applying the Strategy

Learn a family of moves and the various ways to do it. Recognize the different hold you need to be in to do each variation. Knowing the holds is the key. After that, apply the Three Step Process.
1. Do a prep move to get into the hold you need.
2. Do a core move (choose from your families of moves).
3. Transition to the next one.