There are actually a lot of different ballroom dance styles that are gaining more and more popularity in recent years, one of which is Salsa. Although this particular dance style is more popular in Latin America, it is also gaining more and more popularity here in the United States, especially with the ballroom dancing community. If you donít know much about this particular form or style of dance, then just continue on reading this article.

What Is Salsa?

For those people who are not aware of what Salsa is, it is actually a style of dance that originated from Cuba, and is well-associated with music that has a lot of Salsa flavor to it. Although normally, Salsa is performed with a partner, a person can actually dance Salsa as a solo. Others even perform line dancing to Salsa music and Salsa dance style, while others dance Rueda de Casino, wherein a big group of people would dance in a circle and exchange partners during the dance, so you donít necessarily keep a single or particular partner all throughout the dance. Sometimes, Salsa can even be performed with a set routine, all depending on how they use the music and the dance style.


Salsa actually originated from Cuba, but was introduced to New York by Johnny Pacheco during the 1970ís. Johnny Pacheco was actually the Fania All-Stars creator, and they help bring Salsa to the United States. The music of Salsa can be dated way back in the 1950ís, but was popularized in the United States in the 1970ís.

Salsa Movements

Salsa dancing employs a left-right-left-pause and right-left-right-pause movement style, wherein the left-right-left and the right-left-right steps are done for three beats each, and the pauses are all done in one beat, totaling to eight beats. This is why Salsa is considered to be an eight-beat music dance style.

Sometimes, Salsa dancers employ certain forms of flourish during their pauses, whether it is a kick by the lower leg or a stomp. This is done to add more flavor and flare to the routine. Unknown to many, Salsa dancing is actually a stationary form of dancing, which means that there is very little movement being done by the dancers around the dance floor. The translation of movement in their dance is actually conveyed through their hands and subtle leg movements.

Salsa Music

In order for dancers to be able to dance Salsa, they need a certain type of music to go along their routine. Usually, Salsa dancing needs music that is within the range of 160 beats per minute to 220 beats per minute. Salsa music is actually based the Clave rhythm that is used by the African percussions that are used in most Salsa music. An example of African percussions is the conga drum, which is very common in most Salsa music.

Salsa Dance Styles

There are actually a lot of different Salsa dance styles, each one characterized by the locality where the dance style was developed. Since Salsa is a very fluid style of dancing, it is easy to see how these different Salsa dance styles would develop into what they are. Some of the different Salsa dance styles are New York style, Puerto Rico style, Panama style, Dominican Republic style, and Nicaragua style.


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