What is Salsa?

Salsa is a dance based on Salsa music, originated from Spanish-speaking Caribbeans. Created under the influence of dances such as Guaguanco, rumba, boogaloo, pachanga, guaracha, plena and bombs, salsa carries traces of figures and music of all these dances.

Salsa is a free-style dance and usually performed with a partner. Salsa, a very popular type of dance in countries such as Latin America, the United States, Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, Israel, France, Eastern Europe and India, is sometimes accompanied by tropical music other than its own salsa music.

In salsa dance, which is performed in different styles; Los Angeles, New York, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Miami.

History of Salsa

Some sources say Salsa was originated from Cuba; on the other hand, salsa is also thought to have appeared in Puerto Rico in the 1920s.

Cuba is the homeland of many Latin musics we know today. Besides, influence of slaves brought from Africa to music and dance cultures  such as son, cha cha, danza, mambo, and rumba is apparent. Salsa was first known in Cuba, Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries and the United States. Yet, its popularity was  negatively affected by the Cuban revolution and the American embargo. Since the 1980s, it has become known all over the world.

Salsa means “sauce” or “tomato paste” which is a mix of spices in Latin America. The reason why this name is given is that this dance is created by being influenced by many different cultures and styles as we mentioned.

Features of Salsa

Character: Fun, lively and sexy
Style: Free style (no predetermined movements)
Music genre: Salsa (Click for popular some salsa tracks: https://www.music4dance.net/dances/salsa)
Tempo: 40 – 55 bar / min or 160-220 BPM (number of beats per minute). Salsa has a very fast tempo (presto). You can test the tempo practically from the BPM application at http://www.beatsperminuteonline.com.
Basic rhythm: 4/4

How to dance Salsa

  • Since Salsa is a dance-free style, there is no obligation to stick to precise figures. However, it is possible to talk about some basic principles:
    hold the general dance position or hand in hand for the starting position.
  • Body should always be upright, chin looks up and shoulders leans to back. It is necessary to look up continuously.
  • Movements of hips are fundamental for a better salsa and upper part of body should be fixed.
  • Steps are determined according to an 8-beat pace.

See the basic figures of Salsa:



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