Latin Dance Study Guide

The "Latin Dance Study Guide" is a book of technical notes on salsa dancing.


A PDF download of the book used to be on sale on this page. However, I have since discontinued this PDF download and am working on updating the diagrams in the book and will publish it as a paper book sometime in the future, most likely on [March 2015]. I will update this site when it is available again.

The book is 317 pages. For full details, see the Table of Contents and Sample Pages below.


In may 2000, I was dragged into a salsa lesson by a friend, and soon became addicted. I have a background in music (jazz guitar in college), and was extremely puzzled by the act of dancing, the rich rhythms of latin music, as well as the social environment that came with it. It has now become a integral part of my life and has brought music back into my daily activities.

I originally wrote the notes in 2001-2002, during a period where I was absolutely obsessed with understanding dancing. At the time, I was taking 6 lessons per week, some in group, some in private, in various styles, and I was going out dancing practically every night. By day at work, I had salsa moves going through my head all the time. Soon thereafter I learned spanish and found my way to Cuba to learn more. I fell in love with the Cuban style of salsa dancing, which tends to be much less popular in most places outside (except in some countries of Europe, like Spain or Italy).

I needed to write all this information down, because I was trying to intellectualize everything at the same time. I spent a great deal of time organizing all the moves and tricks that I would learn during my lessons, because there was too much to remember in a week. I had to organize my thoughts to take it all in. This addiction lasted for almost two years. The result of this documentation effort is this set of notes.

The notes were largely untouched for the two years that followed, and in february 2004 I took a few weeks off work to finish some projects and do a third clean up of the notes, to remove some irrelevant stuff and add some illustrations, and put them together in a nicer book format.

From 2004 to March 2015, the book was on sale as a PDF download on from this web page. However, I have since scaled down my server and have decided to sell the book on paper. Before I do this, I'd like to upgrade the diagrams and add some photographs. I'm not sure when this will get done. I'll likely put the book on sale on

I'll add a link here when it'll be available again.

An outline of the contents is available below, with links to sample pages.

Intended Audience

Some notes about the intended audiences and possible uses of the book.

Consider how much information you learn in a single class and how much it costs you. This book offers you a lot of information for a reasonable price.

Note however that you cannot learn to dance salsa with only a book, you have to take lessons or at least go out to salsa clubs and practice. This book cannot and will not replace lessons, it will not teach everything from scratch; rather, it contains an extensive list of the many moves that you will encounter, and will present them in a way that will allow you to place them in context when you encounter them. This is why I called it a "study guide", it is documentation that is best used to accompany the student while taking actual lessons with various teachers.


Martin Blais <>

Sample Pages

All sample pages:

Table of Contents

This is the table of contents for the Latin Dance Study Guide.