SALSA

Salsa: mention the word in any part of the world and people will know what you’re talking about. Its hot spicy rhythm forces hips to sway to the beat. It is one of the most dynamic musical styles of the Western World and is gaining popularity rapidly in Asia. 

 

Salsa is a dance style associated with the salsa style of music now popular worldwide.  It's all about rhythm. For Cubans especially, music and dance has always had a very special place in society. Salsa music which is the "essential pulse of Latin music" is primarily played in Latin Dance Clubs. While not the easiest dance form, because of its fast tempo, it is not particularly difficult, and dancers of all skill levels should be able to gain proficiency within a matter of months. Salsa is usually danced with a partner and can be flirtatious in a fun way and sensuous in another. However, dancers may integrate solo breaks known as shines into their routines. Shines involve lots of flamboyant movements and demonstrations of the body, and are intended as a way for a dancer to show off their full talent. While shines are in theory improvisational, there are many standard shines which dancers learn and can fall back on.

 

There are 3 different types of Salsa: the LA style Salsa On 1; New York style Salsa On 2 otherwise known as Mambo; and finally the Cuban style Salsa. All 3 types of Salsa have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music. The LA and New York style Salsa are usually danced in a linear motion. Cuban Salsa on the other hand tends to go in a circular motion at all angles. 

 

LA Style Salsa On 1

L.A. style is danced on 1 which literally means to dance on the first beat of the phrase, therefore gaining the name as "On 1". It is highly influenced by Hollywood showing many similarities with the lindy-hop, the swing and the hustle. In Salsa On 1, turns have become an important feature and also emphasizes theatricality and acrobatics.

 

New York Style Salsa On 2

Unlike LA style, New York style is danced on 2 which literally means to dance on the second beat of the phrase, hence taking on the name - "On 2". Many also refer to this style as "Mambo". On 2 timing emphasises the conga drum's tumbao pattern, and encourages the dancer to listen to percussive elements of the music. 

 

Cuban Style Salsa

Cuban-style salsa can be danced either on the down beat ("a tiempo") or the upbeat ("a contratiempo"). Beats 1,3,5 and 7 are downbeats and 2,4,6 and 8 are upbeats. The Cuban Salsa is more commonly danced in groups of couples, with frequent exchanges of partner in which the style is that in many patterns, the leader and follower circle around each other and the patterns are synchronised by a caller. This form is also known as Rueda de Casino. 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Salsa means sauce in the Spanish Language, and carries connotations of the spiciness common in Latin and Caribbean cuisine. Salsa also suggests a "mixture" of ingredients, though this meaning is not found in most stories of the term's origin.