Does a dance that combines passion, energy and joy sound like something you’d have fun with? Then salsa dancing may be right up your alley.
So what is the story about Salsa dancing? Well, this sassy and energetic dance is not one that is easily defined. It wasn’t started in one specific place or by one person, but is truly a blend of personality and energy from a wide variety of roots. Let’s jump in.
Salsa is a dance that pulls from a combination of ethnic roots and diverse cultures as well as the creativity many different people over time. However,Salsa as we know it now evolved primarily as a distillation of many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances.
Between the 1940s and the 1970s, immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean brought a distinct music style to New York City. It was combined with the popular jazz of the time and eventually gave rise to what we now recognize as salsa music. Salsa still varies from song to song and from place to place, and the diversity in the music keeps dancers on their toes at all times. Here in lies the beauty of Salsa.
This partner dance can be quite electric on the dance floor. Technically speaking, the music style is a regular recurring eight-beat pattern, accompanied by complicated percussion rhythms, making the style very fast and catchy. The male dancer generally leads the female dancer in the steps on the beat of the music, and the female partner matches her balance and speed throughout the performance to that of her partner’s.
During their routine, dancers may integrate solo breaks, known as shines. These are ways for dancers to take a quick breather, refocus their attention, or allow their partner to show off some ornate movement and fancy footwork. While shines are in theory improvisational, dancers learn many standard shines that they can fall back on when necessary. Don’t worry, at your first Salsa dance lesson we won’t be calling on anyone for a solo, though!
Even if you’re not planning to become a professional dancer, Salsa is a romantic, energetic and fun way to keep fit, learn to dance and enjoy your partner’s company along the way!
What ballroom dance do you want to learn first?