I would find it difficult to dance Salsa on beat 2. Like most I dont count 4 or 8 which is the hip movement. If I did change I would not be not counting 5 and 1 .Being that Salsa is a fun dance only, I think I will stick to dancing on the first beat. Does that make sense.
Thats a common response, tho inaccurate. If trained correctly, no single beat is more difficult than any other.Does "1" come easier to most?. probably .But to me , thats a " cop" out . I do teach both, primarily so that, the ladies are equipped ,for most dance occasions .
Training ones " ear ", as we do in all dances ( or should ) resolves most timing issues.
Heres why the "2" is important, in the Salsa/Mambo genre.. it is built around the Clave And, there are mostly songs that ,are clave driven ( I also DJ and have a very large library ).
Heres a comparison.. knowing the difference between R and R and Jazz, the same is true for the " Rumba " genre.. discerning the differences between a Guajira and a Cha Cha or a Son Montuno from a Montuno.
Knowing HOW and WHERE the "stresses" in the music are, gives us the opportunity to improvise, and the style of music ,normally dictates that.
Salsa is a " Street " dance, and really has little or no boundaries to conform to, other than reflecting the music within the given parameters.
There are numerous other e.g. in the genre .
But, as I stated, there are some songs ( particularly in NY style salsa ) which " feels " more on "1" .Safe to say that, prety much all the NYC salseros, dont entertain any thing, other than "2" .
Going to back in the day ( 50s and 60s ).. ALL studios and dancers in the States, taught and danced on "2", and,most of our clientele ( which was 1 on 1 teaching ,primarily) were ladies 50 yrs and older . Never came across anyone , in my exstensive coaching travels, that had not mastered the "2" in mambo .
In deference to all of that.. I always believe that music and dance, are of a personal choice nature. So, dont let my pedantry obscure that fact .
NB.. in regards of your " hip " motion comment. Yes, it has its place in the genre.. but.. that becomes secondary to other aspects ( frame/hold for e.g. ) AND... the Cuban motion in salsa, is NOT quite the same concept, as in the Intern. styles ( in fact.its completely out of place, and foreign to the style ).
If it were possible to have a survay world wide I think the result would be dancing on 1 would win hands down for the Salsa. i know a guy who travels extensively in the Eastern part of the world where in the most there are no schools for dancing. He says whever you go its Salsa that is danced. And what comes naturaly is dancing on that predominate beat 1.