Salsa Dance; the body work is intense!

Salsa dance

Salsa is associated with Caribbean tunes and rightfully so because that is where the dance originated from. While the movements performed during the dance seem to be a long continuous string of actions, it is actually a compilation of styles from mambo, Puerto Rican bomba, cha-cha-cha, Cuban Son and an assortment of other dances. The connection of the salsa dance to the 1970s in New York can be mostly attributed to the rising up of the Latino communication following immigration from different regions of South America. Culinary artists know the word salsa in reference to a sauce but it came to use as a dance style name in the mid-1970s. It is perhaps the mixing of various elements of dance moves from various communities residing in New York at the time that necessitated the use of a name that painted the picture of a perfect mix. While this may sound like a logical explanation of the origin of the name, it is still an item of controversy with some claiming that it refers to a cry made by musicians and others believing that it was a gimmick devised by record labels to market music.

salsa dance

Different types of salsa

Both salsa music and dance are unique to the place in which they are performed. In most regions, the difference is a result of twisting the style and moves to incorporate the various cultures residing in an area. This characteristic of salsa to be improvised and still retain its flavor is what makes it such a dynamic and accommodating the style of self-expression. Salsa is still evolving and the new trend is to name Salsa dance after the geographical location from which it has emerged. To easily identify where a style originates from, take note of the movements, body rolls, foot patterns, basic steps and their timings.

Basics of salsa dancing

Even though there are many variations to the Salsa dance, it is still possible to find a common ground among all of them. Basically, the one indication that someone is performing a Salsa dance is that the dancer although shifting their weight using their steps maintains the upper body level and static. It is this shifting of the weight using the lower body that results in the characteristic hip movements associated with salsa. The only parts of the upper body that bear some movements are the arms and shoulders. Salsa is a dance between two people and their interaction differs between styles. In the New York version, for instance, dancers are constantly in front of one another while dancers doing the Cuban style will circle around each other.

Participating in a salsa dance is quite intriguing because the techniques keep changing and for both men and women, the body work is intense.

Learn and work your body with salsa dancing in latin dance classes or Zumba lessons in Danse Marc Charlebois.


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