Posted by: Winslie Gomez | 27/04/2009

Salsa Lats Lock or Spaghetti Arms

Firmness and flexibility or a loose arm: You decide.
Dancing should be just fun as the two dancing posted earlier or tight choreography as Flawless the dance group from London.

Latissimus Dorsi to give the correct name for that muscle and normally shortened to “Lats”

It is such an absolute disaster, when you dance with a woman who has “Spaghetti arms” and not many teachers are addressing this as a crucial area. A little more emphasis would assist everyone to have better posture, enjoy being able to dance for longer periods of time and crucially without getting their shoulders involved, which only results in muscular fatigue.

Alchemy Dance as instructed by Marchant and Davina is the only dance class I’ve attended that stresses the importance of the “LATS” as a muscle group relevant to salsa dancing (FYI, practically any type of dancing or even good posture).

Engaging the “Lats” causes the the underarm area to expand, lifting the ribcage and sternum. This action has the dual role of giving “firmness of frame” to the upper torso but also inversely and almost contradictingly, increased flexibilty for rotation of the upper arms.


Img Source

Widest and most powerful muscle of the back. It is a large, flat, triangular muscle covering the lower back. It arises from the lower half of the vertebral column and iliac crest (hipbone) and tapers to a rounded tendon inserted at (attached to) the front of the upper part of the humerus (upper-arm bone).

The action of the latissimus dorsi draws the upper arm downward and backward and rotates it inward, as exemplified in the downstroke in swimming the crawl. In climbing it joins with the abdominal and pectoral muscles to pull the trunk upward. The two latissimus dorsi muscles also assist in forced respiration by raising the lower ribs.

Source: Britannica

So if you really want to know to “How to engage those Lats”, one way, would be to attend an event where Marchant and Davina will teach, as in MamboCity 5 Star salsa Congress 1-4 may 2009.



  1. Hey there, Winslie, my friend.

    The salsa thing sounds superb. I know this probably sounds cheesy, but I luved the book & the movie, “The Mambo Kings,” & of course, I luved Antonio Banderas! It sounds like your into a really cool thing. My limited experience with dance is that you have to be so flexible! You were always athletic. I hope you are finding this to be so much fun.

    Your friend,

    Donna N.

  2. Hiya Donna me shipmate,
    What a small world we live in! Lovely to hear from you.
    The beauty of dancing is that you become flexible without realising that your body is exercising. In scientific circles they call it “persuasive technology”.

    Going off topic; How is your writing coming on?

  3. […] Good posture • The prep • […]

  4. Hey pirate!

    The flexibility thing is really, really hard! I took ballet a few years ago & it killed me. The instructor tried to bend my body & it wouldn’t comply, lol!

    Your salsa venture sounds like so much fun! I went to Spain a few years ago & really got into flamenco. Luv the Latin beat. Luv the wild abandon that seems to stem from Latino musica!

    As regards my writing, I’m on my own. Trying to read voraciously & hoping I will absorb some of the masters’ insight. Thinking I might try a short story for publication, but things haven’t gelled quite yet. I need more time for them to stew. It’s great fun, though. I write for myself mostly, still in the mystery/gothic genre.

    How about you? I saw your poem. Good honesty. Very important in writing, IMO.

    Cheers, friend!


  5. Hi Donna
    The body is a strange thing and flexibility is definitely a challenge. I went to few Pilates sessions and now try to incorporate the moves (some) as part of my stretching routine.
    The poem was just good fun and it seemed to flow without any effort. I would love to know what causes the inspiration or why the words just seem to tumble out.

    In this instance, in Bournemouth, I do believe the subconscious was at work and all I had to do was scribble it at the breakfast table.
    Good luck with publishing!

  6. […] Then when we get on to the floor and this lady exhibits that peculiarity known as “Spaghetti Arm Syndrome”, a particular chronic condition among some women who have been dancing badly for a indescribable […]

  7. […] post: [a] […]

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