What is the Salsa?
“Salsa” is a general term utilized to describe a variety of modern styles and rhythms. Salsa, derived from Mambo, has emerged in a variety of styles. With a multitude of maneuvers and steps, the salsa dance style is a common inclusion to Houston ballrooms.
Origins of the Salsa
A popular social dance originated in New York, “Salsa” takes Latin American influences, specifically Puerto Rico and Cuba. Salsa, itself, originated within the mid-1970s, and has achieved many styles since its conception.
Salsa has evolved across NY Style, Cuban Style, Puerto Rican Style and LA Style, and its history has reflected a rich, cultural flavor.
Music of the Salsa
When the salsa is danced on 1, it’s danced to the melody that accents counts 1,3,5, and 7. This is common among the Cuban style, and is otherwise referred to as “dancing to the pulse of the rhythm.”
When the salsa is danced on 2, it’s danced directly to the percussion of the music, which includes mostly the clave and congas (or tumbao). Clave timing involves a click-like sound done in either counts 2,3,5, and 8, or with a 3/2 timing.
Typically, the basic salsa involves a total of six steps with three steps done on hits of clave timings and three steps done to the conga with two quick beats and a third slap. The two quick beats can be the easiest to recognize in salsa music.
Characteristics of the Salsa
Free arms are utilized in natural ways—eloquently complimenting both body movements and surrounding music. Correct Cuban Motion is a sturdy platform for salsa lessons, and salsa followers maintain light connection for quick turn and check executions. Proper framing is required throughout practice, promoting arm energy while balancing legwork. Every turn is spotted, and small steps ensure balanced, memorable learning foundations.
When a student is learning salsa, complexity is added slowly, so as to ensure solidification of important techniques, styles and movements. When dancing salsa, students are assisted throughout each level—guaranteeing grace and maneuverability.
Many modern salsa styles taught in dance lessons are associated with a variety of characteristics, including basic steps, timing, body rolls and foot patterns derived from the version’s geographical location. Break steps are indicated by larger steps, and directional steps may identify a style when analyzed. Other dance styles may be incorporated into salsa, and this common factor has offered arm work, leg work, spins and body isolations. The classic salsa taught at many dance studios, including River Oaks School of Dancing, involves fluid, easy-to-learn dance patterns.