If you’ve been looking for a new hobby, or a new type of dance to explore, salsa dancing might be a good choice for you! Salsa dancing, originating in the 1920’s, has come to see a variety of forms take place. The word salsa itself means spice. Seemingly quite appropriate for this style of dance, salsa dancing tends to exude the spicy blend of cultures from which it came.

Originally originating in Cuba and Puerto Rico, salsa dancing has a history of being cultivated into its own style within the Latino community in New York. Salsa is a fusion of many music and dance styles from the Caribbean, including Cha cha cha, Rhumba, Mambo, Cumbia, Festejo, and more. As a result, Salsa dancing truly offers its own unique culture and truly has a flavor all on its own.

Here’s a brief history of salsa dance to get you in the mood for your next dance lesson:

  • Origin of Salsa Dance
  • Basic Salsa Dance Movements
  • Salsa Styles
  • Sign up With World Champion Production

Origin of Salsa Dance

As we said earlier, traditional salsa dancing dates back to the 1920s within Cuba, South America. However, break off styles of salsa dancing took on a life of their own in the 1940s within the Latin communities of New York City.

A dance style heavily influenced by Afro-Cuban traditions and dance styles such as mambo, guaguanco and danzon, salsa dance truly is a fusion of many music and dance styles from the Caribbean. With that in mind, as many new people within the Latin community moved to different locations and assimilated into new cultures, salsa dancing evolved even further into new styles. Among the styles of salsa most popular today are those influenced by the cultures of New York, Puerto Rico, and Los Angeles.

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Basic Salsa Dance Movements

When people think about salsa dance, they often picture flowy red dresses, heels and swift movements. The movements involved in salsa dancing can often be fluid and passionate, creating an intense performance between partners as they dance together. Depending on their approach, dancers may adhere to choreography or adopt a more fluid, freestyle performance.

In general, there are a few basic principles to salsa dancing. Within every four-beat measure, dancers typically take three steps. In response to each of the four beats, dancers may kick, turn, or tap their feet. Typically, dancers hold their upper bodies fairly still and move primarily with their hips. With varying Latin influences, the rigidity or fluidity of a dancer’s form may vary, however the general hip movement won’t tend to change.

Salsa Styles

In the process of changing traditions and blending cultures, salsa continues to evolve. Dance styles can be determined by elements like foot movements, dance patterns, timing, and attitude.

Salsa styles from North America such as Los Angeles salsa and New York salsa tend to break on the first or second beat, and throughout the performance, dancers may form a line. In contrast, Latin American dance forms such as casino rueda salsa feature circular movements between the dancers. With so many variations out there, here are the two main styles of salsa you might see.

Cuban Salsa

Generally, Cuban Salsa is danced in more circular motions with a little more “Afro-Cuban” and urban flavor. This style of salsa dancing will often showcase influences of the Rhumba, Cha, cha, cha, with a more African feel. This style incorporates more folkloric movements and gestures.

Rueda de Casino

Rueda de Casino originated in Cuba in the late 1950s and is different from other salsa styles. Rueda de Casino is a more group-oriented salsa style. Like square dancing, pairs of dancers form a circle as dance moves are announced by the caller for the group to perform.

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The benefits of learning to dance and continuing to dance are numerous. They span from mental health benefits to physical health benefits to emotional health benefits and everything in between. You can lose weight, tighten and tone, increase mobility, increase flexibility, lower blood pressure, and relieve stress.

Ballroom dancing has also been scientifically linked with prevention and slowing down the process of cognitive impairment disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Look better, move better and feel better with World Champion Productions today!

Contact World Champion Productions today and learn more about our various dance lesson opportunities.