Salsa dancing has a very distinct dance style. It has a pattern step style encompassing six steps that are danced over eight counts in a musical beat.
Salsa is the combination of many cultural genres including Afro-Caribbean and Latin sounds.
Although the exact origin of salsa cannot be interpreted, many believe that Cubans created this explosive dance style that has won the world over. It is in this place where Contra-Danze or “country dance” of England and France later known as Danzon that was brought over by the French who had fled from Haiti. Their experience with the French music traditions and the distinctive drum beat influences of Rhumbas of Africa and partner dance style helped influence the development of the very distinctive salsa style of music and dance that we are all familiar with today.
However, regardless of who originally founded salsa, it’s collaborative cultural flavor of Afro-Caribbean and Latin influences have been successful in making it one of the most popular dance and music styles recognized all over the world.
Salsa dance moves are very distinct. Salsa moves more from side to side, putting much emphasis on turns, which are carefully synchronized with the strategic side stepping of the dancer.
Although the countries I just mentioned have helped influence salsa dance and music, several other countries have also influenced it like Columbia, Puerto Rico the Dominican, Mexico and several other Latin American countries.
Many bands from these countries took their music to Mexico City during the famous film era and then later brought their musical style to New York where it started a movement through cultures that had never heard this unique style of music, or seen this magical and explosive dance style. New York picked up salsa music and dance almost instantly which helped to promote the salsa movement but New York was also the city that coined it as “salsa”.
If you listen to salsa music carefully, you will hear influences of Merengue, Cha Cha, Mambo and several other Latin American and African musical styles. You’ll hear many of the classic old-styles built into the salsa rhythms.
Salsa’s evolution has been explosive and only continues to evolve!
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