“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion. “
– Martha Graham
This perfectly describes salsa, a sexy and exciting dance.
What is salsa dance?
Salsa origins refer to both salsa music and dance, which came together in Cuba in the 1920s. Already a hot spot for Latin dance like flamenco, tango and mambo, when this sensational new sound emerged, it was called ‘salsa’.
The fantastic thing about salsa is that you can adapt to the style that suits you; do it fast and hectic or slower and more sensual. Performers have even been known to add a bit of slow rhumba or Argentine tango.
- Find a partner. If you don’t have one, most dance studios will pair you up so that there is a lead and a follower.
- Follow the beat. The musical salsa beat is 4/4, but there are usually three weight changes within each measure. What you do within that “extra beat” is what sets the style apart.
- Move this body. The trunk is kept almost immobile while the body changes weight. This way the movement is directed to the hips, creating a ‘Cuban Motion’ style.
- Love the music. The salsa chants and music are distinctive with movements sometimes derived from other dances such as rhumba, mambo and tango.
Types of salsa dancing
As salsa became popular, different styles emerged depending on the geographic area.
- Cuban Salsa – here the movements have a strong touch of Afro-Cuban rhumba. Often referred to as the “casino” style, it is part of Latin American heritage. Meanwhile, the style has spread across Europe, South America, and even Israel. In this style, the dance begins with the downbeat of one or three (as opposed to two).
- Cross-Body – while Cuban is danced in circular movements, Cross-Body follows a linear movement. It’s a cross-body lead; the dancers face each other and the male lead spins first and the female spins later after passing the male.
- Cali-style salsa – Colombia loves salsa and Cali is often referred to as the capital of salsa in Colombia. Cali dancers have their own distinctive rhythm. The style is relaxed with an almost silent torso and sophisticated and complex footwork. There are no cross-body leads and the interruption is via a diagonal path.
If you love dance and the idea of salsa got you hooked, there is no better time than now to try out salsa moves for beginners. Do a little research, find a dance studio near you and sign up. There is no need to be shy. You will find that many people have never danced at salsa classes before but are excited to try it out. Check out some YouTube salsa dancing to give you some ideas.
Call today, find a spot that fits your busy schedule, and get started. Salsa couple dancing is so much fun you will wish you had tried it a long time ago. Before you know it, take part in salsa events, salsa parties, and salsa nights!