I have heard so many bad explanations of this from salsa dancers and also, even teachers, that I need to write this. The only difference between salsa on1 and on2 is the beat you are breaking on. On1 you break forward on the 1st beat in the measure of the music. On2 you are breaking on the 2nd beat in the music. This is the difference. There aren’t any different steps, or better steps in on1 or on2. You can do all the same steps. There aren’t any different shine in on1 or on2. You can do all the same shines. One isn’t better or worse than the other. There are just as many great on1 dancers as on2.
On1, the first two beats are quick quick. You pause or hold the 3rd and 4th beat. On2, the 2nd and 3rd beats are the quick quick. You pause on the 4 and 5. That’s the slow. So in on1, the first part of your basic is within the measure of music. On2, you split the measure of music in your basic. The pause is between two measures.
Now, on2 has two ways of starting. You can just break straight forward with the leader’s left on the 2nd beat, or the leader breaks back with his left foot, then breaks back again with his right foot on the 2nd beat. The first way the leader is breaking forward on the 2 and back on the 6. The second way, the leader is breaking forward on the 6 and back on the 2.
If you really want to be good, learn how to do both on1 and on2. This will really develop your timing and musicality. Once you learn both, you will understand what I am talking about. Take a look at the attached Youtube link to see on1 and on2 basics demonstrated. You can see more video on our Youtube chanel.