Salsa is the world’s most popular Latin dance. It is loved because of it’s music, it’s origins and it’s many dance style’s. Salsa refers to a fusion of informal dance styles having roots in the Caribbean (especially in Cuba and Puerto Rico), Latin and North America. The name “Salsa” is the Spanish word for sauce, connoting (in American Spanish) a spicy flavor.
Salsa is usually a partner dance, although there are recognized solo steps and some forms are danced in groups of couples, with frequent exchanges of partner (Rueda de Casino). Improvisation and social dancing are important elements of Salsa but it appears as a performance dance too.
Salsa is danced on a core rhythm that lasts for two measures of four beats each. The basic step in salsa dancing typically uses three steps each measure. This pattern might be quick-quick-slow, taking two beats to gradually transfer the weight, or quick-quick-quick allowing a tap or other embellishment on the vacant beat. It is conventional in salsa dancing for the two musical measures to be considered as one, so the count goes from 1 to 8 over two musical bars.
Cuban Salsa (Rueda)
Cuban-style salsa, also known as Casino, is popular in many places around the world, including in Europe, Latin America, North America, and even in some countries in the Middle East. Dancing Casino is an expression of popular social culture; Cubans consider casino as part of social and cultural activities centering around their popular music. The name Casino is derived from the Spanish term for the dance halls, “Casinos Deportivos” where a lot of social dancing was done among the better off, white Cubans during the mid-20th century and onward.
Rueda, pronounced (ROO-EH-DAH) this dance form originated in the streets of Cuba, where couples formed a circle and created various moves and patterns involving partner changes. Rueda is normally danced to Cuban style salsa music, which is more dynamic and funky than traditional salsa.
There are many characteristics that may identify a style. There may be different step patterns, different timing of steps, particular movements on the dance floor, dancer preference of turns and moves, attitude, dress code, and others. The presence of one or more of particular elements does not necessarily define a particular style.
For example, many styles can be danced “On One” or one style may be danced “On One” or “On Two”. The following are the major “recognizable” styles Salsa;
L.A. (Modern / Linear), Cuban, Venezolana (Dominicana), Colombian, Mambo (N.Y.) Puerto Rican, LA Rueda, Salsa Disco
Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. Bachata is a very smooth and sexy dance that is easy to learn.
A popular dance that is danced in Salsa clubs. The basics to the dance are three-step with a cuban hip motion, followed by a tap including a hip movement on the 4th beat.