Learn How to Salsa
What is Salsa?
This is a truly great club dance, one that is fun, accessible, sexy, and constantly evolving as new generations come to the Salsa clubs.
Salsa as a dance style began in New York in the Latino dance clubs (Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican) in the 1960’s and 1970’s, though most agree that Salsa clearly had its earliest origins in Cuban Son.
Salsa music features a complex clave driven rhythm with exuberant horns and percussion sections (with cow bells and timbales) as well as a powerful vocalist.
Salsa dancing features break steps, spins, showy performance moves and drops, and solo moves called “Shines,” a term borrowed from the world of tap dancing.
History of Salsa
During the 1940s and 50s, Cuban musicians had a huge influence on the New York music scene. But once Fidel came to power, diplomatic relations fell apart between Cuba and the US. Cuban musicians could no longer travel to the United States and Cuban recordings received no air play time. So the Puerto Rican and NuYorican (New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent) musicians took on The Big Apple single handed.
These days New York salsa has a distinctly Puerto Rican sound‚ smooth, polished, classic salsa. It tends to follow the jazz structure, incorporating lengthy instrumental breaks to showcase the ability of particular musicians.
Both the music and the dance continue to evolve in the Salsa clubs of New York, California, Texas, and beyond.
Salsa music is Afro-Caribbean in its beginnings, though it has been adapted by Latin jazz musicians to meet the tastes of the current popular music, with contemporary pop, rock, and R&B also added to the mix.