• Symbolic Dance (map)
  • 672 South Van Ness Avenue
  • San Francisco, CA, 94110
  • United States

Update: Pre-registration has closed but it is still possible to attend any/all sessions of the workshop. Please bring cash or check - $20/workshop, $50/series, $10/pair of cuban claves.

By popular demand, Ryan will be back teaching a three-week series on Clave and its foundational relationship with Cuban Music and Dance.

Clave (pronounced "CLAH-vay") is a simple instrument with a profound significance. Consisting of just two wooden sticks, clave is the rhythmic foundation of almost all Cuban music, including Salsa, Timba, Son, and Rumba. Understanding clave will enhance your appreciation of Cuban music and increase the rhythmic depth and precision of your dance.

Ryan (who devoted his Stanford Thesis to the clave) will be teaching a special in-depth series on three Fridays beginning June 8th, from 6:00 to 7:00pm before our Friday Multi-level Rueda Classes. Here is a schedule of some of the topics we will cover:

Friday, June 8th: Son Clave - 3:2 vs. 2:3, A tiempo (on 1) vs. Contratiempo (on 2)
Friday, June 15th: Rumba Clave - 3:2 vs. 2:3, Ca-chá, Cáscara/Palitos, Half time
Friday, June 22nd: Clave Accents - Ponche, Bombo, Tresillo, Tun-tun, and other accents

In each workshop we will explain and practice the material in many forms, by vocalizing and physicalizing the rhythms (through claps and steps), by counting and writing the rhythms (no musical notation experience required), and by listening and dancing to examples of the rhythms in recorded music.

Series will be progressive but it is also possible to drop-in to individual workshops. Open to all levels of dancers and Cuban music lovers.

Claves are NOT necessary to take the class. Clapping or snapping will work just as well for all the exercises we will do.

Want to do some prep for the workshop? Check out the clave entry in the Media section of our website (scrolling down to "Clave"), and download the Clave App for Android or Iphone.