Tap is a small element added to many salsa moves and basic steps
It is mainly added for styling, but is also used to teach novice dancers about the importance of weight shifting and “Contra”; having appropriate muscle tension in ones arms, both of the leader and follower. Appropriate Contra is vital for a successful salsa dance; if the arms are too loose, it will impair body movement, slow down the dance, and make leading difficult.
If the arms are too stiff, leading will be quite hard for the leader to execute, and for the follower to understand.
The Tap is performed on the 4 & 8 beats. It is generally a slight elevation of the foot that is going to step next on the 1 or 5 (appropriately). It can be done with the heel, ball of the foot or the toes. When using Tap for leading a move, the leader points the foot at the direction that the follower should move next.