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How to dance salsa

How to dance salsa

Whether you’re getting ready for a trip to Mexico, looking for a romantic date night, or simply wanting a fun way to exercise, salsa dance classes are easier than you might expect. When you break it down and learn how to dance salsa step by step, you can feel more confident on the dance floor. Salsa dance classes are a great way to start, but if you can’t make it to class or want a head start, you learn to dance salsa by yourself at home. With videos of simple salsa dance moves, you can learn how to become a salsa dancer in your own living room.

Salsa originated in New York City in the 1960s, but its roots are in Latin American, especially in Cuban dances like the pachanga. The first salsa dance classes were mainly amongst Puerto Ricans living in the city, but now, people all around the world learn to salsa dance every day. In Mexico, when friends and families have parties, they all start showing off their salsa dance moves as the night goes on. If you’re planning on traveling to Mexico, taking time to learn to dance salsa by yourself will help you jump on the dance floor when the music starts.

Learn How to Dance Salsa Step by Step

Salsa dancing for beginners always starts out with the basic steps. Whether you have a partner or not, you can try out these salsa dance moves at home.

Basic Step: The basic moves are fairly simple when you learn how to dance salsa step by step. Starting with your feet together, put one foot forward. Bring it back to the center. Then put the other foot back, and then bring it back to the center. This basic step is repeated throughout all salsa dance lessons.

Side Step: As you learn to salsa dance, the next step you’ll learn is the side step. Begin by stepping one foot to the side and then bringing it back to the center. Put the other foot out to the side, and then bring it back.

Turns: The more advanced salsa dance lessons are about turns, but even when you try salsa dancing for beginners, you can do some simple spins. As you do the basic step, do a spin either when you go to the front or the back.

To learn to dance salsa by yourself, simply put on some music, and try these steps. As you practice and learn how to dance salsa step by step, simply try combining these moves without missing a beat. If you’re figuring out how to dance salsa with a partner, all you have to do is let your moves mirror each other. When your partner moves their foot back, move yours forward and vice versa. Without taking professional salsa dance lessons, you can start to teach yourself how to become a salsa dancer.

How to dance salsa

One of the tricks for how to become a salsa dancer is to feel the music in your hips, and for many, salsa dancing for beginners is easier in the privacy of their own home where they can get used to freely swaying their hips. While it might seem awkward at first, exaggerating your hip movements can help their swaying become second nature as you dance.

You don’t have to be a dancer or even have a partner to learn how to salsa. With some good music and a video tutorial, you can learn to salsa dance in your own home, but don’t limit yourself to dancing alone. Once you’ve learned the basic steps, sign up for more classes or get yourself out on the dance floor at a salsa club.

Learn how to dance Salsa for beginners with the following basic Salsa dance steps. You will learn 2 basic moves for the On 1 Salsa style and 2 basic moves for the On 2 Salsa style below. These videos are brought to you from Passion4dancing’s membership and Casa Salsa’s video course available here for purchase.

Introduction to the timing of Salsa:
The Salsa music is phrased in counts of 8. All of the steps you will be learning will fit into an 8 count. However, 2 of the counts are pauses. You will dance on counts 1,2,3, then pause of 4, and continue to dance on 5,6,7, and pause on 8.

How to dance Salsa On 1 – Basic steps:

Lesson #1: Salsa basic step (fwd & back):
Learn how to Salsa dance with the main basic step of Salsa. In this lesson you will learn the forward and back basic. This is the step you will go in and out of all the moves. The move consists of 2 rocks steps.

Lesson #2: The side basic dance step:
Learn another popular basic Salsa step with this video. This step is similar to the basic, except here you go to the side. Make sure you change your weight fully on each leg.

Want More Salsa on 1 Lessons?

How to dance salsaPassion4dancing Dance Lessons
For those who want the very best Latin and Ballroom dance instruction, you need to check out Passion4dancing.com where you can get access to over 100+ videos and many more Salsa dance steps. Each of the video breaks down the footwork, timing and provides extra tips. Once you become a member you will get unlimited access to everything.


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All abour you favorite Music!

How to Dance Salsa

Before going through the process of involved in dancing salsa, it is trite to mention the necessary salsa dance steps in the Linear Style or Cross-Body-Lead style of salsa. They include; Side Basic, Front to back salsa basic , Cumbia basic also known as the Colombian style basic and Back Basic. One crucial tip every beginner should understand is that the salsa dance is done in a pair. Every salsa song is usually written in off-beat or four beats from another. Thus, a dancer typically makes use of the two measures of music to complete a cycle in the necessary dance steps. One of the measures is on the left side of the body while the other is on the right side.

Timing in Salsa Dance

Step timing is the way the salsa dance steps fit into the background music. While cadence means to keep time or marking time. The timing of a dancer’s steps is essential to achieve a fluid dance moves. Different timings are used in salsa, and it all depends on the rhythm of the music and the culture of the dancers.

The Leader and Follower

There have to be two people to complete the rhythm of a salsa dance; usually a man and a woman. Both of them are known as a dance partner. The man usually takes the position of the leader while the woman assumes the role of a follower. The man is the leader guides the woman by giving her claves. Claves includes the tiny tugs, checks, and pushes which are given at the proper time and rhyme with the momentum of the dance. This claves serves as a signal for the follower to know the right time to dip, turn, and hesitate and cross-body.

The Position of the Partner or Partner Contact

The salsa dance is done at a close range between the dance partners. This is also known as the European position where the man faces the woman. There is four popular partner contact position the dance partners can assume. The woman sets her left hand on the man’s shoulder. The woman and man stand at close range and look into each other’s eyes. The man sets his right hand on the woman’s lower back. Or the man places the woman’s right hand on his left hand.

Salsa Timing:

The man should place his body weight on the foot above in time with the rhythm of the music. The man also has to remember to dance while standing slightly on his toes and he has to remember to have fun.

  1. Stand with both feet together before the music starts.
  2. Hold the beat immediately the music comes up
  3. Rock back on your right foot.
  4. Step back with your left foot
  5. Hold the beat or break
  6. Step forward this time with the right foot
  7. Follow it up with a step on your left foot.

Salsa is a fun and sexy dance that many people enjoy all over the world, although it looks difficult at first you can easily master it with lots of practice and patience. With these few steps you’ll confident on the dance floor in no time.

Salsa Timing

The Salsa is a sexy and exciting dance performed between two partners. It features a light swaying of the hips and frequent weight shifting that makes the dance feel and look fluid. Salsa is one of the most popular Latin dances and the steps are simple enough for anyone to learn! Learn how to dance Salsa with free video lessons from Howcast!

History of the Salsa

Salsa dancing originated in Cuba during the late 1800s. It was originally a combination of the French Danzon, African Rumba, and Cuban Son dances. This spicy fusion was discovered by American soldiers, which then lead to jazz musicians visiting Cuba and incorporating Latin influences into the music they played back home.

Salsa music originating from Cuba became a quick hit on American radio stations. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that salsa dancing became popular in the states. During this time, immigrants from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic brought their unique dancing style with them. This dancing style was combined with already-present salsa music to create the salsa dance that is widely performed today.

How to Salsa

Performing the salsa is a combination of understanding the steps, knowing how to count, learning how to shift weight, and keeping your hips moving. This can be confusing to mix all at once, so it’s easiest to start by learning the basic steps and incorporating hip-swaying in later. Beginners should start with this free video lesson:

Body Position

Salsa dancing leaves some space between the partners. A man’s left hand will extend up to neck level to meet a woman’s right hand. The man’s right hand should be on a woman’s back under their left shoulder blade and a woman’s left hand will be outside of the man’s right arm, placed just below his right shoulder.

Counting

Counting in salsa is fairly simple, as it’s done in 4/4 time. The catch is that the fourth beat count will have a pause. The salsa is counted in even beats of eight, meaning that the fourth and eighth count will both be pauses. You can count this by saying: 1, 2, 3, break, 5, 6, 7, break, always pausing on a break count.

How to Do the Salsa Basic Steps (Forward and Back)

Now that you know how to count and position yourself, it’s time to add in the basic steps of the salsa. Try to practice performing the steps by themselves, then begin to add hip-swaying once you feel comfortable. Here’s how to perform basic Forward and Back Steps of the Salsa:

  • Leader steps forward with the right foot, follower mirrors by stepping back with the left foot.
  • Leader then steps forward with the left foot, follower does the same by stepping back with the right foot.
  • Leader shifts weight (rock step) onto their right foot, follower will shift weight to their left foot.
  • A brief pause ensues, then the dance will repeat going backward.
  • Leader steps back with the left foot, follower will step forward with the right foot.
  • Leader now steps back with the right foot, follower steps forward with the left foot.
  • Leader will rock step and place weight on their left foot, follower will do the same and shift weight to their right foot.
  • Another pause before repeating the dance. Now, try swaying your hips to give the dance some spice!

Start Salsa Dancing Today!

We hope this guide helps you learn how to salsa dance. To learn even more salsa moves, explore the rest of the videos in this series below!

Tips on finding your time in salsa
Salsa is in 4/4 time with a rythmn that extends for two measures – so it takes 8 beats to complete a cycle (If you’re just counting downbeats, that’s 4 beats in a complete cycle). It can be a tricky rythmn to find. Here are some queues to help know where you are: The low conga or bongo usually plays an accented tone on the 4th beat – this is the most consistent cue. The bass tends to also play on 4th beat, and sometimes on the 1st – but this can change. Piano usually also accents the 1st beat. Voice will often accent the first beat, but can sometime be syncopated against it.

Dancers usually step on beats 1,2 and 3 – pausing, tapping or stepping in place on 4. Whether the 1st and 3rd beats are emphasized (downbeat) or the 2nd and 4th beats is the difference between dancing ‘on 1’ or ‘on 2’.

Catching the beat can be difficult at first. A simplified way of dancing which can help is to dance only the downbeats – rock-step sideways with left foot on 1, then step back to original position with same left foot on 3. Rock-step sideways with right foot on 5 and in place with same right foot on 7 – etc.

Salsa on 1: Start with your two feet together and slightly parted (parallel). On beat 1 put your left foot forward in a ‘rock-step’ – which means you shift your weight forward onto the foot and then immediately back again stepping in place on the beat 2 with your right foot and then again in place on beat 3 with your left foot. Pause on the 4th beat and then step back with your right foot in a rock-step on the 5th beat (ie: the 1st beat of the second measure). Step in place with left foot on 6 and with your right on 7. Pause on 8 and begin the cycle again with the left foot forward rock step on 1. In summary the two rocksteps on 1 and 5 are the only steps which are forward or back – all the other steps are in place and you should end the cycle exactly where you started. When dancing as a couple, the woman and man face eachother, and so in order to for the couple to keep in sync the woman’s steps are the inverse of the above. The woman steps back with her right foot on 1 (while the man steps forward with his left) and she stepls forward with her left foot on 5.

Salsa on 2: The pattern is similar to the above but with a slight variation. The 1st step is in place and the 2nd step is a rock-step. So for a man, in place with left foot on 1, rock-step back with right foot on 2, then in place on 3 and pause on 4. Start in place with right foot on 5, rock-step forward with left on 6, in place with right on 7, pause on 8.

How to dance salsa

If you wish to impress your loved one with some lovely and eye catching dance steps, then salsa dance is a perfect choice. These stunning and romantic steps of salsa were originated from Cuba and over the past years it has acquired huge admiration. Though the learning of this dance is quite difficult and a lot of energy is required, still once you get the knack of the exact technique then it is a cinch for you to become a proper salsa dancer. Salas is couple dance before you learn it make sure you have a partner because you are unable to learn it alone.

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Instructions

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You will initiate the dancing by facing directly towards your partner and by maintaining the eye contact. Do not forget that in salsa men are always the main leads and women have to follow them.

In typical salsa dance there are only two steps involved one is the back step and the other one is the front step. The most important point in such dance is keeping your posture straight or else your steps will not portray elegance and sophistication.

Get in the position before the music starts. To get into the right position, have her right hand in your left hand and put right hand at her back. Place your partner’s left hand on your shoulder.

As the music begins, with the step timing means synchronizing music with the steps you take, place your left foot forward and then with the movement of beats bring it back.

Then in the similar manner, take the left foot back and then bring it back at the previous position.

The same step will be taken with the right foot, but by keeping sync with the music.

Women have to follow the man and do what he has been doing. By following the similar steps mentioned you gracefully rock each step which you take.

How to dance salsa

Would you like to combine your holiday, whatever your destination, with a good social dancing session?

The holidays arrive and we plan our trips. If we love salsa dancing and don’t want to spend our entire holiday season without enjoying what we like best, in addition to exercising and remembering the latest figures we’ve learned in our dance academy, or we just can’t conceive of a good holiday without dancing, we have to find the right place to dance salsa in our vacation destination.

Wherever you go, I’m sure that not too far away you will find a place to dance, either alone or in a couple.

But first you must consider these 3 logical aspects to choose the best salsa dance venue for you.

Go out dancing salsa to a place near where you are now.

Obviously, vacation time should be taken advantage of. There are probably a lot of things you plan to do, what to visit, beaches, mountains, hiking, water sports, etc. For all this, the logical thing is that you value the proximity of your place of residence during the holidays to the place or place you choose to go dancing salsa wherever you are.

Remember that you can search for salsa dance venues closest to where you are by clicking on the “detect my location” button in the go&dance bars and nightclubs section.

Salsa dancing in a place that is open on these dates

The same goes for timetables. It may be that the choice for proximity is a very good one, if the timetables do not adapt to what you are looking for, for whatever reason. If this is the case, you can also choose a dance venue that is not so close, but which you can access more comfortably or at the time of day you prefer.

Tip: Consult the schedules, posters and the parties of each dance hall at go&dance.

Knowing which is the place that puts the music you like the most

Another decision you have to make is to select the place according to the dance styles that are usually danced and the place where the DJ puts the music that best suits your tastes.

It’s not an easy task because in most cases when you’re on the road what matters is to find at least one place that’s open and where you can go salsa dancing.

If they put on music you love then it’ll be a perfect night.

But imagine that thanks to the opinions of other people you could know if you like the DJ that plays that night, what is the place to dance or many other aspects that interest us before selecting the place to practice our salsa figures.

So, what options do I have to find out where to dance salsa where I am today?

As with other search parameters, everything is on the Internet. The search for the best place or place to dance in our next vacation destination can be found in the nets. Whether in the most used search engine, Google, Facebook groups, specialized forums, twitter, and in some pages and specialized search engines such as go&dance.

1. Write on Google:”where to dance salsa today at xxx”

If you type those letters in the Google search engine you will see a list of blogs, dance school pages, businesses that pay advertising and a lot of information that you will have to process to find and decide which is the best place for you.

In fact, that is how we have all done it.

2. Use the Facebook search engine:”salsa en xxx”.

Depending on where you are, you will see pages about schools, businesses and groups and then you have to, but in many cases it doesn’t mean that this is the place for you.

3. Ask your friends or your dance teachers

It is an ideal way because they will tell you their best experience wherever you are or where you want to go, the only problem is if they don’t know any place in the area.

But it’s worth asking. Don’t cut yourself.

4. Enter go&dance and know where to go with just one click

If you go to the go&dance homepage and click on the search button, you’ll see a list of parties and open places where you can go salsa dancing today in seconds.

You can read the opinions of people who have gone dancing in those places or check out the artists and dance styles of that party.

Finally, once you visit the room or venue, it is important that you leave your opinion to go&dance. Just as they have been a great help to you, so can they be to someone else.

How to dance salsa

Enjoy the holidays by living your passion for dancing wherever you are with go&dance.

How to dance salsaHow to dance salsaHow to dance salsaHow to dance salsaHow to dance salsa

  • Movement
  • Dance Position

Footwork: Steps in all directions are normally taken first with the ball of the foot in contact with the floor, and then with the heel lowering when the weight is fully transferred.

Hip Movement: In Salsa, the hip action is usually relaxed and subtle, especially for men. Weight is normally placed onto a slightly bent knee.

Arm Styling: In general, arms are held at or slightly above waist level. Arm movements should always be a natural result of the movement of the rest of the body. When arms are deliberately positioned or waved around, they look contrived and unnatural. Always allow the arms to react naturally to body movement.

When dancing Salsa, stand upright with weight held forward towards the balls of the feet. Like the basic Latin hold, the Salsa hold is compact, with partners standing slightly apart. The lady’s right hand and man’s left hand can be joined either in an upper-hand clasp, or with man underhand. The man’s right hand is either placed on the lady’s left shoulder blade or on her hip. The lady’s left arm is rested lightly on his right arm. It should be noted that the Salsa hold is considerably more relaxed than the basic Latin hold, allowing for more freedom of arm movement.

How to dance salsa

Learning how to dance salsa is challenging enough, and when you add in all the jargon and terminology that’s thrown around the salsa community, things can get downright confusing.

Luckily, we’re here to help. Below you’ll find some of the most commonly used salsa dance terms and their definitions. And if there’s a term we missed, just let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the list!

Afro Cuban

A terms used to refer to dance movements inspired by Cuban rumba styles such as columbia, yambú, and guaguancó.

Basic Step

The basic step or simply the ‘basic’, is the fundamental step in salsa dancing. The exact direction and form of the step depends on what style of salsa is being danced.

Body Movement

Refers to the movements of the upper body and hips, which can add character to salsa dancing beyond just the steps and turn patterns.

Break Step

The step in salsa dancing where the dancer takes a big step either towards or away from their partner, usually on the first or second beat of the measure.

Cha Cha Cha

Often referred to simply as “cha cha”, the cha cha cha is a type of dance from Cuba that is similar to a slowed down salsa, with extra steps.

Clave

Can refer either to the musical instrument, which is a pair of sticks or dowels which are struck together to make music, or the distinctive 3-2 beat pattern played with said instrument, which is found in most salsa music.

Colombian Salsa

A type of salsa dancing from the country of Colombia, characterized by fast and intricate partnered footwork.

Columbia

A style of Afro Cuban rumba characterized by fast footwork and showy moves where dancers dance solo to the beat of the drum.

Cross-Body Lead

A common salsa move in salsa dancing used to bring the follow from one side of the slot to the other.

Cross-Body Salsa

A catchall term used to refer to styles of salsa that are danced in a slot such as LA Style salsa and New York Style salsa.

Cuban Motion

Typically used to the figure eight motion made by the hips during salsa dance. Can also be used to refer similar movements made by the torso and shoulders.

Cuban Rumba

A name for the various styles of Afro Cuban folk dances that developed in Cuba such as columbia, guaguancó and yambú.

Cuban Salsa

A style of salsa dancing from Cuba which is danced in a circular motion rather than linear, and often incorporates elements of Afro Cuban dance.

Guaguancó

A style of Afro Cuban rumba which mimics a mating dance, where the male dancer tries to “impregnate” the female, and the female attempts to rebuff his advances.

LA Style Salsa

A type of salsa dancing made famous in Los Angeles, California where dancers dance in a slot and break on 1.

Mambo

A style of dance and music from the 1940s which greatly inspired the development of salsa. Also another name used to refer to on2 salsa.

Montuno

Meaning ‘from the mountain’ in Spanish, Montuno can refer to either Son Montuno, an older form of Son played in the mountainous regions of Cuba, or to improvisational sections salsa music, often using piano.

New York Style Salsa

A type of salsa dancing that was popularized in New York, where dancers dance in a slot and break on 2.

Orishas

Gods or saints from the Yoruba religious tradition which were brought over from Africa to Cuba which are often invoked in salsa music with Afro Cuban influences.

Pachanga

A style of music and dance that originated from Cuba in the 1950s, whose influences can be found in salsa music and dancing today.

Rueda de Casino

A type of salsa dancing originating in Cuba where dancers dance in a circle, and a single leader calls out moves which are executed by all the couples in the circle.

Salsa Animation

When a group of dancers dance shines together at a social, with one dancer demonstrating different steps and the rest of the group following along.

Salsa Caleña

Another name for Colombian-style salsa, which originated in Cali, Colombia, and is caracetrized by fast footwork and acrobatics.

Salsa Choke

An urban dance from Colombia that incorporates elements of salsa, reggaeton and hip hop.

Salsa Congress

A giant, multi-day salsa festival typically featuring dance workshops, dance performances, dance competitions, and social dancing.

Salsa Cubana

A type of salsa dancing originating in Cuba which is danced in a circular motion as opposed to a slot and is danced to timba music.

Salsa Dura

Also known as “salsa brava” or “salsa gorda”, salsa dura means “hard salsa” and refers to the original type of high-energy salsa music developed in the 1970s, as contrasted to the more recent salsa romantica.

Salsa On 1

A type of salsa dancing where the dancers take their break step on the first beat of the music. Usually used to refer to LA Style salsa, although it can also apply to Cuban and Colombian Salsa.

Salsa On 2

A style of salsa dancing where dancers take their break step on the second beat of the measure. Usually refers to New York Style salsa, although it can also apply to other styles.

Salsa Romantica

A romantic form of salsa music that emerged in New York in the 1980s and 1990s that is softer and slower than traditional salsa dura.

Salsa Rueda

A type of salsa danced by a group of couples in a circle, also known as “rueda de casino“.

Salsera

Spanish for a female salsa dancer. Plural: “salseras”.

Salsero

Spanish for a male salsa dancer. Plural: “saleros”.

Shines

A name for solo footwork that occurs during salsa dancing, where the partners break apart from each other for a few measures so they can each ‘shine’.

Social Dancing

Improvisational dancing in a social setting such as a salsa club or studio, as opposed to a dance lesson or a performance.

Syncopation

Steps and movements that happen between the counts, as opposed to on the counts.

Tumbao

A distinctive drum pattern found in most salsa and cha cha music, typically played on conga or bongo drums.

Turn Pattern

A sequence of dance moves done while in a partnered position.

Yambú

An Afro Cuban folk dance where dancers (typically women) dance solo to slow tempo music.

When we start to dance, it helps a lot to know the type of music best suited to learn and evolve, to practice what you learned in dance classes at your school.

The best songs or themes, of the style we like to dance, are almost always the slowest, because they tend to give us a marked rhythm and it will be easier for us to identify the times. In this way we will be able to assimilate the movements, and the boy will have the seconds he needs to think about the next movement and indicate it to his partner.

How to dance salsa

If you’re learning to dance salsa, most of the songs you hear at your dance academy sound familiar. But some may not so much.

What songs do you like to dance salsa? If you’ve been dancing for a while, which ones do you recommend? Tell us about your experience, we would like to read you.

Salsa has imposed itself all over the world as one of the most danced genres. For the very dancers and for those who don’t like to dance, the world of salsa has grown and continues to evolve and you can almost start dancing with 5 simple steps.

The 4 most listened salsa songs in history

1 – Celia Cruz, “La vida es un carnaval”

How to dance salsa

“Todo aquel que piense que la vida es desigual, tiene que saber que no es así, que la vida es una hermosura y hay que vivirla…”. With this beginning, no one can resist listening to the lyrics of one of the songs that elevated Celia Cruz to the top of the international music scene.

“La vida es un carnaval” was written by Celia Cruz herself, along with Sergio George and Victor Daniel, and released as the first single from the studio album “Mi vida es cantar” in 1998.

2 – Héctor Lavoe “Periódico de Ayer”

How to dance salsa

This song was composed in 1976, within the album “De ti depende”. In that work, “Periódico de Ayer” would be considered the best, among other things for the singer’s interpretation, arrangements and lyrics.

3 – Eddie Palmieri “Vámonos pal monte”

How to dance salsa

Palmieri, the “Emperor of Salsa“, organized his first orchestra at the age of 14. After a long career, in 2013 he received the most prestigious jazz award in the United States.

4 – Lalo Rodríguez, “Devórame otra vez”

How to dance salsa

The sensual and suggestive voice of Lalo Rodríguez does not cease to sound even today, with this song that was framed in the subgenre that represented salsa, in the decade of the 80s.

The 5 salsa songs you’ve heard the most

5 – Rigo El Negro, “La más bella”

How to dance salsa

One of the artists of the moment, the panamanian Rigoberto Caparrosa, called Rigo “El Negro”.

6 – Los hermanos LeBron, “Qué haces aquí”

How to dance salsa

With a long experience in Latin music, this group from Puerto Rico continues to provide the best music for dancing.

7 – Tirso Duarte & Guayacán, “El más rico beso”

How to dance salsa

Another song that plays on the best Latin music stations.

8 – Marc Anthony, “Vivir mi vida”

How to dance salsa

In 2013 it was one of the main themes of the salsa world, and still is.

9 – Mauro Castillo, “El alboroto”

How to dance salsa

After passing through some groups, Mauro Castillo began a solo career, with themes like this.

I’m sure you’ve heard more than one of these songs. If you liked the article, share it. and don’t stop dancing.

Do you want to know more. The origins of salsa music

Contrary to what it may seem, the origins of salsa are not in Cuba, but in Venezuela. It is said that this term “salsa” began to be used for the first time for Latin music made in New York in the 1960s.

On Radio Difusora Venezolana, a radio station much listened to at the time, there was a program called “La hora de la Salsa, el sabor y el bembé,” which began around noon, just when the houses that listened to it were giving the final touches to food and sauces for it.

You can see the documentary on the history of salsa here below:

It was a time when Caribbean music had become fashionable in Puerto Rico and New York. The presenter of that Venezuelan program was called Fidias Danilo Escalona, and he set out to extend those rhythms to Venezuela as well, and he got it. He interviewed singers of the musical genres of the Caribbean, those Latin artists who were going to Venezuela to perform and was popularizing this musical style.

Main Awards and Recognitions

Latin Ballroom – Dancesport

2016 Champion – Cup International DanceSport Open Championships

2009 Champion Of The Year – Latin Dance Category

Salsa

2018 – Champion – Ladies Solo Category – HK Salsa Festival & World Salsa Championships

2014 – 4th place Ladies Solo Category – HK Salsa Festival & World Salsa Championships

2013 – 1st Runner Salsa Couple Category – Chengdu Salsa Festival

2011 – Champion – Hong Kong Salsa Championships

2010 – Best Female Social Dancer – Hong Kong

How to dance salsa

HK Salsa Festival 2018 – Solo Female Champion

About me

I am a professional dancer with 25 years of dance experience in Ballet, Modern Dance, Standard Latin, Salsa and more.

How to dance salsa

Hi, I am Sherman Mosquito, dance teacher, choreographer and performer. I started dancing Ballet at age 3 and extended my training to Modern dance and Standard Latin in my teenage. I dance professionally since I am 16, competing in Standard Latin and achieving numerous awards in the Standard Latin scene, including HK Champion of the year 2010.

I discovered my passion for Salsa dance in 2008 and won the title of champion in Hong Kong Salsa Championships in 2010 and 2018, in Partnerwork and Female Solo Category respectively.

I am regularly invited to perform and teach in many overseas festivals: Taiwan, Singapore, India, Guam, Thailand, China, Vietnam.

With more than 15 years of teaching experience, I love to make my classes very friendly and fun, but I use my technical background to make sure my students always learn the proper way, regardless of their level. I hope to see you in one of my classes soon!

Among the different styles of salsa, the Cuban, which is also called “casino”, is the most danced and for which more people usually start dancing salsa.

With the exception of a few dance figures, most of the Cuban salsa figures are performed in pairs and together with the music they do a very fun, energetic and social dance that we at go&dance openly recommend.

Want to learn the basic steps to dance Cuban salsa from zero?

Then do it. Think that it takes very little to get started. With a comfortable outfit, good shoes and a good dancing school you have enough to start with.

How to dance salsa

Is Cuban salsa a choreography or an improvisation?

Although the figures that are being learnt can concatenate and achieve a salsa song that is totally choreographed, the truth is that cuban salsa is danced spontaneously and freely. When the appropriate fluency is reached, the figures or part of them will be made, taking elements separately, in an improvised way, following the rhythm of the music.

The grip is very important. Depending on the figure to be made, there are different types of grip. In general, most of the time the dance is with the couple open, by grasping a hand.

Today we want to show you some of the basic Cuban salsa steps to start dancing this beautiful and fun dance.

6 key moves you need to know to dance Cuban Salsa

Step 1. The basic step of Cuban salsa

The Cuban basic step has a rhythm of three steps followed by a pause, fast-fast and slow. The basic step is done by taking one foot back, stepping on the floor with the other foot and returning to the first position. Then, after a pause cam, the operation is repeated again with the other foot.

The step back should not be exaggerated, but only serve to make the hip movement more agile.

Step 2. Dile que no.

One of the most important steps of Cuban Casino style salsa, used continuously after the completion of each figure. It starts in the grip position and ends with one hand held.

Its name,”dile que no” (tell him no), comes from the fact that the man marks a forward and a lateral in beats 1,2 and 3, while the woman in beat 5, instead of stepping back makes a figure fake and finally a change of position in the shape of a crescent.

As we can see, this step consists of the woman moving away from her dancing partner by means of her rotation (saying no). The movement ends when the man pulls the woman towards himself and the two of them are placed close together again, but on the opposite side to the one they had in the beginning.

Step 3. Enchufla

The enchufla is characterized by a change of position in the dance and because it moves from dancing to arm free to grip, with half a turn of the boy and half a turn of the girl.

In the case of the man, in the first measure he marks with his left foot, walks with his right foot, and in beat 3 he walks again with his left foot and starts a half turn to the right. In the second measure, it will mark the beats 5,6,7 being front and with full grip with the girl. When walking in time 2 she pushes the girl to a change of position, raising her left arm so that the girl passes under her arm.

The girl in the first measure marks with her right foot and walks with her left foot, advances in beat 3 with her right foot and starts a half turn to the left.

Step 4. The cubanito

The cubanito or cubanito is one of the initiation steps in salsa. In short, it is a small game between the couple, between fakes and feints, which ends with an openbreak and a no to say no, to finish the figure.

In its visual aspect, the boy follows the girl’s movements by placing himself behind her, then moving to the front position and repeating the steps again. The figure will end with a plug, the openbreak and tell him no.

Step 5. 70 en la salsa

At the beginning of the figure, in beats 1,2 and 3 the spin is prepared. The boy raises his left arm in beat 3 and the girl will turn in beat 3 to her right. In beats 5-6-7 the girl turns completely to her right with three steps forward, describing a small circle.

Meanwhile, the boy in these steps can stay in place by marking the base step, or better yet, move around the girl on her left. Finally, we will undo the figure as if it were a plug.

Step 6. Croqueta complicada

The croqueta complicada is one of the most visual figures when it comes to salsa dancing. Starting from a enchufla and changing hands, the girl will make a complete turn in one direction or another, before ending up in an openbreak and saying no to her.

As you can see, these are some of the main dance steps of Cuban salsa. If you have not danced and you are a beginner, you must know that salsa dancing is a very entertaining activity to have fun with as a couple, strengthening relationships, and with many healthy advantages.

So at go&dance we encourage you to sign up for salsa classes to have fun in a social and fun way.

How to dance salsa

PS: What style of salsa do you prefer to dance? – Tell us about it in the blog comments and if you like the post, share it! Thank you very much.

When I moved to Colombia I already loved dancing but when I say dancing I rathe mean jumping around an move a little to the beats of hip hop, electro or reggae. But probably lots of people out there notice since they are or were in Colombia that going out means also dancing with a partner and I am not talking about that drunk dancing at 3 o’clock in the morning in a club that should rather be taken to the bedroom or that kind of dancing with a partner that you whilst reggae ton tunes are coming from the speakers. No I am talking about Salsa, Merengue and Bachata the common dances that you see people dancing in Medellin and entire Colombia. I never thought I would go to a dance school but in order to meet new people and because I didn’t want to stand around like an idiot anymore whilst every other person is having fun on the dance floor, I decided to give it a shot and as it turned out I love dancing in pairs. Since my first day at the school Magia des Tus Bailes in Envigado I became a huge fan of salsa and also bachata that most people most likely know from the music group Aventura.

Dance schools in Medellin

Magia de tus bailes in Envigado

After a few group lessons and learning the basic steps I wanted to take it to the next level and speed up my progress and started private classes with the great teacher Diana. Like this I could be also a little more flexible regarding my working hours and get used to my dance partner. Diana is a very good and patient teacher and she even managed to teach me, a German Salsa. My new objective now is to learn Bachata.

Prices:

Group classes: 16.000 Pesos

Private lessons: 40.000 Pesos

Free practice sessions: Yes

Offer:

  • Salsa
  • Merengue
  • Hip Hop
  • Bachata

Where?

Carrera 47 No. 19 Sur 28, Bosques de Zuniga in Envigado on the border to El Poblado

Website: http://lamagiadetusbailes.jimdo.com/

Always on Monday after group classes at 8pm there is free Salsa dancing were Beginners and advanced dancers get together and just dance and have fun, its a great way to meet new people and improve your skills on the dance floor.

Santo Baile

Group classes: Yes

Private lessons: Yes

Offer:

  • Salsa Caleña
  • Cardio Dance
  • Sexy Dance
  • Bachata

Where?

Carrera 35 #7-24, Poblado

Website: http://www.santobaile.com

If you are not 100% sure if Salsa is really for you there is a great alternative to paid classes. Apart from regular lessons Dancefree always organizes practice sessions where people can practice their skills for free.

Dancefree

Group classes: Yes

Private lessons: Yes

Free practice sessions: Yes

Free Dance lessons: Yes/just sign up on their website and you will be informed about regular free dance lessons

Offer:

  • Salsa
  • Bachata

Where?

Calle 10A #40-27, Medellín, Antioquia

Website: http://www.dancefree.com.co

For all none Spanish speakers, important things on the Dancefree websites are also translated into English

As you finally head down to the dance studio to take your first dance lesson, it will be your first step to starting a new and exciting journey! This experience on its own can be very rewarding or very disappointing depending on your approach. Here are a few tips on learning how to dance with your partner.

  1. First of all, I would like to ask the ladies to be patient with their dance partner. In my experience as the owner and master instructor of OC Salsa, I have seen a common trend with students who are learning as a couple in which there is friction between the two causing the joyful experience of learning how to dance not so joyful. This usually occurs because as a follower, the lady has less multitasking to focus on than the leader (man). This causes men to feel they are not getting it and become frustrated. Both ladies and men need to have patience since it takes time to learn something new.

2. Leading is difficult! This can be a very frustrating process at the beginning as men have the responsibility of multitasking on the dance floor by having to think about their own steps, coordinating their arms and hands to turn the lady in order to do all the fun moves, all while focusing on the rhythm of the music. That is a lot to learn and is not that easy. It is a skill that takes time to perfect and can be a fun process if you understand it. You can celebrate the little or big victories together when you get a dance move right, be patient and understanding when it’s not there yet. When the lady supports and compliments her man, they will both see dramatic improvements and fast results which brings me to the next point.

3. Build his confidence. We men are already self-conscious when it comes to dancing. It is definitely not our area of expertise. When taking a class, or practicing, the lady should compliment what he does making him feel like he is doing a great job. The more confident he is the better he will get and the more you will both enjoy it. The lady needs to be like a coach and encourage him to become a better dancer. Men, stick with it and don’t give up as you will come out a winner especially with your lady.

4. Ladies, following is easier. Most of the time ladies tend to anticipate the move and want to take control of the dance leading part. Please avoid this and leave the leading to the leader. If you can do this, you will adhere to your role of a follower and he will feel that you are not rushing or getting ahead of him which could make him fumble his next move causing him to get frustrated. Follow everything which includes the good, the bad, and the ugly (moves). This will help you become a better follower.

5. Once again. Following is a lot easier! Ladies are not required to know what the next step or move is. They just need to allow the leader to lead them through the dance moves during the dance class. Ladies, please remember that because it will be easier for you to learn how to salsa dance, you will automatically assume it is easy for him also and may lose patience. Once he feels that, he will tend to relate the dance class or dancing with an experience that is not so much fun for him. Dance classes and coming to a dance studio should always be an amazing experience for the both of you!

6. Practice makes perfect. Practicing what you learn at your salsa dance class and how you practice is very important. It is a lot better to practice 10 minutes a day than one hour a week. It’s about repetition and consistency to train your body and brain. Otherwise you will not progress and just keep revisiting and re-learning the same dance moves. You will also not get your money’s worth!

7. Make dance practice fun! Ladies, play dance music at home and have fun by practicing what you have learned in your dance class. Do not make practice feel like work, not only will your partner be discouraged, but so will you. Pick your favorite songs to dance to, and make your living room a personal salsa club.

8. Choose the right dance studio and the right instructor. Whether you learn in a private dance class or group class, you should be looking forward to your dance class. Make sure you feel comfortable and motivated, because having fun is what it is all about. Being able to dance socially without thinking about each move takes time. Picking the right place is the most important step. If you do not feel comfortable with a specific dance studio or instructor, keep looking until you find the right match.

9. Make a commitment. Once you find a dance studio and instructor that you like, make the commitment and apply yourself to learn. Make reasonable goals and promise each other that you will continue until you meet your goals. Timelines and goals are very important because it keeps you moving in the right direction! If you are just starting, a suggested goal would be to dance together with lead and follow to the music with a couple of basic steps and then the ladies right turn. This would be a reasonable goal and once you have accomplished it, you will feel great and want to move on to your next goal. Stick with it, set more goals and see yourselves get better and better.

10. Now the most important part is to have fun! Relax and enjoy yourselves by having fun and laughing it off when you make mistakes as even the best dancers in the world make mistakes. Dancing together can truly transform your lives.

Demo of Salsa Dance Parnertwork No. 6 on Salsa On1 by Waldo y Jacqui Solano. Be taught How To Dance with a Full Salsa Dance Course for FREE…

Be taught How To Dance For FREE with Waldo y Jacqui
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Be a part of Us at this Salsa & Bachata Pageant
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#shorts #salsa #WaldoyJacqui

Karen y Ricardo 9X World Champions
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Daniel y Desiree
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Ronald y Alba
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How to dance salsa

The use of the word salsa originates from a 1933 song by composer Ignacio Pinerio. The title, “Echale Salsita,” translates to “spice it up a little.” This brief guide offers an introduction to the origins, history and current trends in the exciting and exotic world of salsa dancing.

History of Salsa

Brief history and origin of Salsa dancing is that it initially developed into a particular style in the 1940s and comes from a tradition of Latin dance styles that dates back to the early 1900s. It is heavily influenced by Afro-Cuban traditions and dance styles such as mambo, guaguanco and danzon. As people moved to new locations and assimilated into new cultures, salsa evolved into fresh styles. Some of today’s most popular forms of salsa include styles influenced by the cultures of New York, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles.

Basic Movements

Salsa can be as fluid and passionate as the dancers who perform it. Some dancers prefer to adhere to choreography while others adopt a freestyle approach. However, there are a few general principles that guide most salsa dances. Typically, dancers take three steps within each four-beat measure of the song. On one of the four beats, dancers may kick, turn or tap their feet. The upper body is usually held fairly still and dancers move primarily from their hips.

Popular Styles

How to dance salsa

As traditions change and cultures blend together, salsa continues to evolve. Styles are discernible by elements like foot movements, dance patterns, timing and the attitudes of the dancers. North American styles like Los Angeles salsa and New York salsa typically break on the first or second beats and dancers may perform in a line. In Latin American styles such as casino rueda salsa, the dancers move around one another in a circular form.

Famous Dancers

With such a rich history behind the different types of salsa dancing, it’s little wonder that dancers from around the world have left their mark on the tradition. Among North American styles, Joe Cassini, Albert Torres and Laura Canellias influenced early Los Angeles salsa significantly. Dancers like Liz Rojas, Janette Valenzuela and Joby Martinez also helped cultivate modern elements of salsa. Eddie Torres helped bring popularity to New York salsa dancing.

Famous Bands and Orchestras

How to dance salsa

Salsa dancing has a long and rich history, but its success cannot be measured without considering the music behind the performances. Ray Barretto, Roberto Roena, Eddie Palmieri and Johnny Pacheco helped found the genre of salsa music and brought its powerful rhythms and beats to audiences around the world. Today, modern artists like Tito Nieves, Group Niche and Cabijazz continue the tradition.

Current Movements and Dancers

Salsa is everywhere today as dancers heat up the floors of nightclubs, ballrooms and outdoor festivals. Annual festivals called Salsa Congresses bring dancers from multiple cities together to celebrate salsa dancing. Modern salsa dancers often incorporate movements like spins, lifts and rolls from other dance traditions. Popular dancers like Christian Oviedo, Liz Lira, Luis Aguilar and Anya Katsevman offer good examples of modern salsa movements.

How to dance salsa

US and World Competitions

The World Salsa Federation, founded by dancers Isaac and Laura Altman, began holding World Championships in 2001. The annual event brings dancers from around the world together to celebrate their passion. In 2005, Albert Torres and the Salsa Seven created an alternative World Salsa Championship. This event, which became The World Latin Dance Cup in 2010, now features Latin dances like bachata and cumbia in addition to salsa. Find more Salsa Festivals we publish at our site.

Most articles, forums, and videos emphasize these two ways to learn: in class and at the club. Yet there is so much more that you can do on your own to become a better dancer- no floor or partner necessary. Here are 5 tips to help you learn Salsa on your own, which will help you improve at a MUCH faster rate.

MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE MIRROR

Practice body rolls against a wall or mirror, focusing on ‘peeling yourself off of the wall’. For a downward roll, start with your head and follow with your chest, stomach, hips, and knees. For an upward roll, come back up with your knees, hips, stomach, chest and finally head. This will give you the muscle memory, and muscles in general, to do great body rolls while dancing.

WATCH OTHER DANCERS

Whether on the dance floor or the internet, observing can be your greatest learning tool. Don’t allow yourself to be limited to the styles present in your area. Watch dancers from around the world to see what styles are out there. No matter where you are observing, pick dancers who you admire or who have something you’d like to incorporate into your dancing. Make it your goal to learn something from someone each time you go out (congresses are perfect for this), and you will add lots of variety to your repertoire.

DO SIT-UPS

Strong abs give you better balance, which allows you to to be more smooth and centered on the dance floor. This is most important for spinning- the best way to spin is with a nice, tight core that allows you to spot and stay balanced. Try doing ab-strengthening exercises just before going to dance class or out to the club, and it will likely make you feel much more controlled. That is the short term fix- as for long term, strong abs will help you become a better spinner in general since you’ll have more strength to whip around faster, and will also allow better strength for attempting more advanced moves.

RECORD YOURSELF

The video camera is your friend! Really, it is. This is perhaps the best tool out there, as humbling as the experience may be. Have someone video tape you social dancing, in practice, in the studio with a partner, wherever you want. Later, watch the video and see what you think. Sometimes we are our harshest critics, and for this very reason, it will allow you improve at a much faster rate. We don’t always have great perception of what our bodies are doing- we make think that we are doing something correctly, but then on film we’ll see that we are not, and this allows a better connection between mind and body. This is also a great tool for dance teams- record your routine in practice, tech rehearsal, and performance and analyze it. That way you know if you are in unison, and if all the movements are being done the same way.

BODY ISOLATIONS

In front of a mirror, move each part of your body in isolation. Be careful to ISOLATE the movement, only move one part at a time, no matter how slow you go. This works great to slow cha cha music, so each movement can take a couple 8 counts. If you dedicate some time each day to practicing these isolations, your body movement will improve and will become much more natural out on the dance floor.

Shoulders

Start with one shoulder, rotating in backward circles, then forward. Then the next shoulder, both directions. Then move both shoulders at the same time, starting at a slow shimmy and working your way faster and faster.

Move your hips to each side so that you feel a good stretch around the hip bone area, to one side first, then the other. Make sure your knees are bent so that you increase your range of motion (and don’t get hurt). After you have gone to each side, go forward and back. Then try the figure 8- have your hips follow a lateral figure 8, or I suppose infinity sign. This one is trickier, but VERY IMPORTANT for improving your basic step and other footwork. I like to imgine each hip bone drawing part of the figure 8, the left starts the motion, making a clockwise circle, and the right hip continues the motion with a counter-clockwise circle. After the figure 8 drill, move on to large circles in both directions, and you are done.

As you finally head down to the dance studio to take your first dance lesson, it will be your first step to starting a new and exciting journey! This experience on its own can be very rewarding or very disappointing depending on your approach. Here are a few tips on learning how to dance with your partner.

  1. First of all, I would like to ask the ladies to be patient with their dance partner. In my experience as the owner and master instructor of OC Salsa, I have seen a common trend with students who are learning as a couple in which there is friction between the two causing the joyful experience of learning how to dance not so joyful. This usually occurs because as a follower, the lady has less multitasking to focus on than the leader (man). This causes men to feel they are not getting it and become frustrated. Both ladies and men need to have patience since it takes time to learn something new.

2. Leading is difficult! This can be a very frustrating process at the beginning as men have the responsibility of multitasking on the dance floor by having to think about their own steps, coordinating their arms and hands to turn the lady in order to do all the fun moves, all while focusing on the rhythm of the music. That is a lot to learn and is not that easy. It is a skill that takes time to perfect and can be a fun process if you understand it. You can celebrate the little or big victories together when you get a dance move right, be patient and understanding when it’s not there yet. When the lady supports and compliments her man, they will both see dramatic improvements and fast results which brings me to the next point.

3. Build his confidence. We men are already self-conscious when it comes to dancing. It is definitely not our area of expertise. When taking a class, or practicing, the lady should compliment what he does making him feel like he is doing a great job. The more confident he is the better he will get and the more you will both enjoy it. The lady needs to be like a coach and encourage him to become a better dancer. Men, stick with it and don’t give up as you will come out a winner especially with your lady.

4. Ladies, following is easier. Most of the time ladies tend to anticipate the move and want to take control of the dance leading part. Please avoid this and leave the leading to the leader. If you can do this, you will adhere to your role of a follower and he will feel that you are not rushing or getting ahead of him which could make him fumble his next move causing him to get frustrated. Follow everything which includes the good, the bad, and the ugly (moves). This will help you become a better follower.

5. Once again. Following is a lot easier! Ladies are not required to know what the next step or move is. They just need to allow the leader to lead them through the dance moves during the dance class. Ladies, please remember that because it will be easier for you to learn how to salsa dance, you will automatically assume it is easy for him also and may lose patience. Once he feels that, he will tend to relate the dance class or dancing with an experience that is not so much fun for him. Dance classes and coming to a dance studio should always be an amazing experience for the both of you!

6. Practice makes perfect. Practicing what you learn at your salsa dance class and how you practice is very important. It is a lot better to practice 10 minutes a day than one hour a week. It’s about repetition and consistency to train your body and brain. Otherwise you will not progress and just keep revisiting and re-learning the same dance moves. You will also not get your money’s worth!

7. Make dance practice fun! Ladies, play dance music at home and have fun by practicing what you have learned in your dance class. Do not make practice feel like work, not only will your partner be discouraged, but so will you. Pick your favorite songs to dance to, and make your living room a personal salsa club.

8. Choose the right dance studio and the right instructor. Whether you learn in a private dance class or group class, you should be looking forward to your dance class. Make sure you feel comfortable and motivated, because having fun is what it is all about. Being able to dance socially without thinking about each move takes time. Picking the right place is the most important step. If you do not feel comfortable with a specific dance studio or instructor, keep looking until you find the right match.

9. Make a commitment. Once you find a dance studio and instructor that you like, make the commitment and apply yourself to learn. Make reasonable goals and promise each other that you will continue until you meet your goals. Timelines and goals are very important because it keeps you moving in the right direction! If you are just starting, a suggested goal would be to dance together with lead and follow to the music with a couple of basic steps and then the ladies right turn. This would be a reasonable goal and once you have accomplished it, you will feel great and want to move on to your next goal. Stick with it, set more goals and see yourselves get better and better.

10. Now the most important part is to have fun! Relax and enjoy yourselves by having fun and laughing it off when you make mistakes as even the best dancers in the world make mistakes. Dancing together can truly transform your lives.

How to dance salsa

The use of the word salsa originates from a 1933 song by composer Ignacio Pinerio. The title, “Echale Salsita,” translates to “spice it up a little.” This brief guide offers an introduction to the origins, history and current trends in the exciting and exotic world of salsa dancing.

History of Salsa

Brief history and origin of Salsa dancing is that it initially developed into a particular style in the 1940s and comes from a tradition of Latin dance styles that dates back to the early 1900s. It is heavily influenced by Afro-Cuban traditions and dance styles such as mambo, guaguanco and danzon. As people moved to new locations and assimilated into new cultures, salsa evolved into fresh styles. Some of today’s most popular forms of salsa include styles influenced by the cultures of New York, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles.

Basic Movements

Salsa can be as fluid and passionate as the dancers who perform it. Some dancers prefer to adhere to choreography while others adopt a freestyle approach. However, there are a few general principles that guide most salsa dances. Typically, dancers take three steps within each four-beat measure of the song. On one of the four beats, dancers may kick, turn or tap their feet. The upper body is usually held fairly still and dancers move primarily from their hips.

Popular Styles

How to dance salsa

As traditions change and cultures blend together, salsa continues to evolve. Styles are discernible by elements like foot movements, dance patterns, timing and the attitudes of the dancers. North American styles like Los Angeles salsa and New York salsa typically break on the first or second beats and dancers may perform in a line. In Latin American styles such as casino rueda salsa, the dancers move around one another in a circular form.

Famous Dancers

With such a rich history behind the different types of salsa dancing, it’s little wonder that dancers from around the world have left their mark on the tradition. Among North American styles, Joe Cassini, Albert Torres and Laura Canellias influenced early Los Angeles salsa significantly. Dancers like Liz Rojas, Janette Valenzuela and Joby Martinez also helped cultivate modern elements of salsa. Eddie Torres helped bring popularity to New York salsa dancing.

Famous Bands and Orchestras

How to dance salsa

Salsa dancing has a long and rich history, but its success cannot be measured without considering the music behind the performances. Ray Barretto, Roberto Roena, Eddie Palmieri and Johnny Pacheco helped found the genre of salsa music and brought its powerful rhythms and beats to audiences around the world. Today, modern artists like Tito Nieves, Group Niche and Cabijazz continue the tradition.

Current Movements and Dancers

Salsa is everywhere today as dancers heat up the floors of nightclubs, ballrooms and outdoor festivals. Annual festivals called Salsa Congresses bring dancers from multiple cities together to celebrate salsa dancing. Modern salsa dancers often incorporate movements like spins, lifts and rolls from other dance traditions. Popular dancers like Christian Oviedo, Liz Lira, Luis Aguilar and Anya Katsevman offer good examples of modern salsa movements.

How to dance salsa

US and World Competitions

The World Salsa Federation, founded by dancers Isaac and Laura Altman, began holding World Championships in 2001. The annual event brings dancers from around the world together to celebrate their passion. In 2005, Albert Torres and the Salsa Seven created an alternative World Salsa Championship. This event, which became The World Latin Dance Cup in 2010, now features Latin dances like bachata and cumbia in addition to salsa. Find more Salsa Festivals we publish at our site.

How to Dance Salsa, Merengue & Bachata

basic for the Salsa

back ,change your body weight ,change your feet and you go forward,change your body weight (side 1 2 3 wait 567 wait)

basic for the Merengue

side and together ,side and together (the most important is ,one knee is bent and the other is straight)

basic for the Bachata

4bites walk walk walk tape walk walk walk tape ,(step step step lift your hip go to the other side step step step and tape)

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SALSA, BACHATA, CHA CHA AND MERENGUE
February 13, 2014 / Szewai Lee

Many beginning students have asked me the differences between some of the popular Latin dances. So, I’m writing this post to help you understand the general differences between Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha and Merengue. All of these styles are danced in Latin dance clubs these days and are intimate dances usually performed to upbeat Latin music. Exotic, hot, sexy and sensual are words that often used to describe these dances. And, of course, there is a lot of hip motion in all of these dances!

Origin: The exact origin is unknown but many believe that Salsa dancing began in New York in the mid-1970s. It has its roots in the earlier Latin dance styles, such as Cha-Cha and Mambo and was also influenced by other swing dance styles. Salsa dance is a combination of different dance styles, just like the sauce, “salsa,” which is a delicious mixture of various ingredients. Salsa is considered the king of Latin dances and is being danced throughout the world.

Music: Salsa is in 4/4 time and sounds more intricate than Merengue and Bachata because of its syncopated rhythm, known as the “Clave” rhythm. For those of you who are interested in learning more about the “Clave” rhythm. Here is a video demonstrating the “Son Clave,” which is often used in Salsa music.

Steps: Salsa basic consists of 3 steps (2 quicks and 1 slow or a pause). You could dance the Salsa “On1” (LA style) or “On2” (NY style); in other words, you can start your first step (breaking step) on the first beat (the strong beat) or the second beat. Footwork in both styles are generally the same however the feelings are quite different. Dancing “On1” appears to be more exciting and flashier while dancing “On2” feels more relaxed and smooth. Below are my tutorials on Salsa Basic and Simple Right Turn in “On1” style.

Characteristics: Intricate music, fast-paced, sharp and exciting turns

Origin: Bachata originated in the rural neighborhoods of Dominican Republic. It has become one of the most popular Latin dances in recent years.

Music: Bachata is also in 4/4 time but has its own distinctive sound. In the early days, it was a guitar music played by peasants and were often slow, sad and romantic. These days, Bachata has gotten more upbeat and incorporated electronic sounds. Some contemporary Bachata Artists and groups include Luis Vargas, Aventura, Prince Royce, Juan Luis Guerra and Xtreme.

Steps: Bachata basics consist of 3 steps and a tap. The chasse basic goes “side-together-side-tap” and can be spiced up with a hip motion or a lift of the leg at the “tap” step. Dancers keep their knees bent throughout to promote hip motion. Bachata can be danced in two-hand hold, open embrace but is often danced in close embrace at nightclubs.

Characteristics: Sensual, intimate, relaxed, hip motion

Origin: Also known as Cha-Cha-Cha, it is a dance style originated in Cuba and became popular in the U.S. in the 50s. Cha-Cha is also a competitive Latin dance style in both American and International ballroom dance competitions.

Music: Cha-Cha is danced in 4/4 time as well. It is often counted as “1-2-3-cha-cha” (a cha is 1/2 beat) or 1-2-3-4-&. This dance style can be danced to authentic Cuban music as well as Latin Pop and Latin Rock.

Steps: The basic consists of a rock step and a chasse step, which is a triple step pattern that goes step-together-step. The chasse step in Cha-Cha makes the dance look more intricate, sharp and stylish. Similar to other Latin dances, in Cha-Cha, dancers keep their feet close to the floor and let their hips move freely throughout.

Characteristics: Intricate footwork, sharp action, quick spins, flashy, staccato music

Origin: Merengue is a traditional folk dance originated in Dominican Republic and was brought to the U.S. by Dominican musicians in the early 1900s.

Music: Merengue is in 2/4 time (1-2-1-2), which gives a marching feel to it. These days, Merengue has been influenced by Hip Hop, R&B and other pop music. Some well known Merengue artists include Juan Luis Guerra, Elvis Crespo, Wilfrido Vargas, Eddy Herrera and Los Vecinos.

Steps: The basic dance step (similar to marching) is quite simple in Merengue. Dancers keep their knees slightly bent and feet in contact with the floor throughout. It’s a wonderful dance for beginners and a great way to practice the Cuban motion (hip motion).

Characteristics: Lighthearted, festive, casual, social, hip motion

What’s your favorite Latin dance? And why? Please leave a comment below!

First, Let’s Lay Some Ground Rules

Before you go approaching anyone to ask for a dance, there are a few important things you need to be mindful of:

  1. Look clean
  2. Smell clean
  3. Smile
  4. Don’t look desperate (even if you are!)

The first three rules are straight forward, however the last point might have caught you fellas by surprise. Yes – sometimes you can come off as desperate, needy, or otherwise unconfident in yourself. That’s a red flag for the ladies and it’s going to hurt your chances of getting a “yes”. So the next time you ask someone to dance, be aware of how you conduct yourself and make adjustments accordingly. Check out the video above, if you’re not sure where to start.

Ask. Don’t Grab!

The act of asking for a dance should always be initiated with a question – not a grab of the hand. Don’t simply expect a “yes”. Respectfully ask, “would you like to dance?” and wait for the answer. It’s simple, but not everyone does it.

Get Comfortable With “Yes” & “No”

First off guys, you’re going to have to get comfortable with rejection and be content with the fact that you could either get a “yes” or a “no”. Neither of these responses reflect negatively on who you are as a person and once you accept that fact, you’ll already be more confident in asking the next lady to dance.

You’ve Got a Response. What’s Next?

If you’ve got a “yes” – great. you’re ready to read on. If it’s a “no”, refer to our post on how to handle rejection. There you’ll get a few pointers on how to deal with “no’s” and how you can react.

So now that you’ve got a “yes”, it’s time to escort your partner to a safe place on the dance floor. Do your best to find an open spot with lots of room. If one isn’t available (which is very common at busy socials), make sure you sneak your way into a spot without putting your partner at risk. It’s very easy to get elbowed or stepped on so be aware of those flying body parts as you meander through the crowd.

Finishing The Dance

Say a genuine “thank you” and escort your partner off the dance floor. This act of escorting is sometimes over looked and is easy to forget in a casual environment. Being respectful can go a long way in having a positive effect on the way you’re perceived as a lead. In saying that, if someone else wants to swoop up your partner for a dance once you’re done, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Escorting her off the dance floor is not a must – it’s a gentlemanly thing to do.

A Note For The Ladies

Hey ladies, most of this post has been addressed to the guys, but it’s helpful for you to know that it doesn’t always have to be the man asking the lady to dance. It’s perfectly acceptable for you ladies to ask the fellas too. This is especially common when there is a low ratio of men to women at a social. Ladies, sometimes you have to be willing to fight your way to a partner if the numbers aren’t in your favour. All the tips above apply to you too. Look clean, smell clean, smile and don’t be desperate.

Welcome to Lucille’s Ball – one of the premier studios for dance lessons in Burlington, Ontario. Run by professional and award winner dancer, Lucy Karakis, Lucille’s Ball offers dance lessons in Latin dancing (salsa, bachata, merengue, rumba, etc.) and ballroom dancing.

Dancing Benefits

Dancing is not only a fun exercise, it is a fantastic social event. Dancing is:

  • A great activity to do with a partner that will help you more deeply connect
  • An excellent social activity! Meet new people at the dance club and afterwards at planned social gatherings
  • Sexy! Nothing is as sexy as dancing
  • Uplifting! The upbeat music, laughter and moves will make your body and soul happy
  • Lastly, dancing is a fantastic full body workout that will help you tone and strengthen your body

If you are looking for something different, entertaining and new, give dancing a try!

We suggest starting at our New Dance Student Offer to book in to try an introduction lesson. You may also want to check out our open Dance Class Schedule. We also have a page dedicated to the different Dance Styles we teach, as there are many options to choose from. Finally, if you are looking for private lessons or have a special event coming up, such as a wedding, have a look at our Weddings Dance information page.

Contact Head Dance Instructor Lucy

Please Contact me anytime should you have any questions or want to come out to try a lesson. We promise you will have fun and love it!

**Check out our student moves in our Dance Photo Gallery!

In this article, we will discuss general characteristics that you should look for
when purchasing any kind of Salsa, Latin, Swing or Ballroom dance shoe.

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD DANCE SHOES?
Quality dance shoes are lightweight, comfortable, flexible, made of real suede and/or leather, and have built-in extra cushioning in the sole. They give your foot more freedom of movement than regular shoes while keeping the heel “locked” in place. They have leather/suede soles to give you just the right amount of slip-and-grip on the dance floor while allowing your foot to pivot freely (to avoid knee damage). In general, any leather-soled or suede-soled shoes are “good” and rubber-soled sneakers, hiking boot, etc. are “not good”.

HOW SHOULD MY DANCE SHOES FIT?
Your dance shoes should feel like a glove to your foot. You do NOT want any wiggle room in your dance shoes. They will stretch a bit once you begin using them. This snug fit allows your foot to connect better with the floor, giving you more control of your movement, balance, spins and will significantly reduce your fear of slipping and falling. You will wonder why you didn’t make the investment sooner once you experience the difference.

WHAT IS MY SHOE SIZE?
Typically, your dance shoe size will be the same as your street shoe size. If your foot is narrow, you should go down 1/2 a size. If your foot is wider you should go up 1/2 a size from your regular street shoe. Remember, you want them to be snug, but not painful. Click here to size your foot.

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY DANCE SHOES?
To keep shoes looking clean, shoe polish is great for leather. Satin, mesh and sparkle net can be cleaned with soap and water. Suede bottom shoes can wear out quickly if worn on the street. It is best to wear suede bottom shoes on dance floor surfaces only (such as hard wood floors). We suggest switching into dance shoes once arriving to your dance destination. Most new dance shoes come with a shoe bag for this reason.
Wire shoe brushed can be used to clean suede bottom shoes. The wire not only removes debris from the bottom, but it also lifts the nap to make the suede like new again.

WHICH STYLE OF DANCE SHOES SHOULD I BUY?
The type of dance shoe you buy largely depends on the style of dancing you do. Gentlemen typically wear suede or leather shoes with a low heel for Ballroom, Swing or Salsa dancing. For Latin Ballroom the heel tends to be slightly higher measuring up to 1.5 inches.

For ladies, an open toe heel or strappy sandal is best for the Latin and Salsa dancing. This allows greater movement of the toes, which many dancers feel help with balance and creating a clean leg line. For Swing and Ballroom, a closed-toed dance shoe with a slightly lower heel is common. The vast array of styles can make choosing your first pair of dance shoes overwhelming. Here are some things to consider:

    CHOOSING STRAPS FOR YOUR SHOES:

  • Traditional Ankle Strap:
    This is the standard around-the-ankle strap commonly used for most women’s dress shoes and sandals and provides the least amount of foot
    security.
  • T-Strap
    The t-strap connects to the base of the shoe securing your foot more evenly to the shoe while taking some of the pressure and tightness off
    the ankle.
  • X-Strap (around ankle)
    This style of x-strap anchors you firmly into your shoe by providing twice the coverage as a traditional strap.
  • X-Strap (around arch)
    Great for newer dancers, this strap style anchors your foot to the arch of the shoe, providing an ideal amount of support and stability.
    If you are prone to “roll” your ankle in heels with a traditional ankle strap, you’ll love the security this cross-strap will provide you.
  • Double X-Strap
    Combining the best of all worlds, the double x-strap provides FOUR anchors securing you as-if you were wearing a lace-up style. You’ll be amazed at how secure your foot feels!
  • How to dance salsa

  • Heel sizes can be as low as 0.5″ or as high as 4″. The most common heel sizes are between 2″-3″. Higher heels give more shape to the leg, but just that extra half an inch can cause a noticeable difference in how it feels to dance. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a 2.5″ heel height. The higher the heel, the more your weight is pushed forward onto the ball of the foot (which is where it should be most of the time) instead of spread out evenly over the foot.
    • HEEL THICKNESS:

    • The thickness of heels vary. Cuban heels are the lowest and thickest heels and distribute weight over more of the foot, providing more balance and comfort. The current popular trend in Salsa is the skinny stiletto heel, which has a very small point of contact with the floor, causing more weight to be pushed forward on the ball of the foot and less balance. The flare heel is another common heel still used among many dancers in Salsa and ballroom. The heel is skinny at the center and slightly flares out out the bottom, providing a bit more stability over the stiletto heel.

    How to dance salsa

    It is true that Salsa is a standout amongst the many dance movements you can learn. Salsa is a splendid, hot and zesty type of dance that will encourage Latin rhythms in everybody. The moves are super-simple to get. Therefore the time that it takes you to become familiar with the initial steps and move towards being able to Salsa is far shorter than you may expect.

    There are different types of salsa styles that are regionally divided:

    1. Salsa Casino (Cuban style)
    2. Salsa Casino (Miami style)
    3. Afro-Latino style
    4. Cali style (Colombian Salsa)
    5. Rueda de Casino
    6. New York-style

    How to dance salsa?

    1) Listen to music:

    To learn Salsa, it is very important to listen to the music and understand the beat. Salsa is dependent on the beats and rhythms, so, it is very important to choose music that is perfect for salsa.

    2) Start clapping with rhythm:

    Start clapping on the beats. It is a tricky part of the salsa. Clap on every beat and double clap on the replication. Repeat the same music and clap again and again.

    3) March your feet:

    Now, it is time to start marching slowly whilst still clapping. Focus on one point and march there. In this step, the basic aim is to ensure the feet move and the hands clap at the same time.

    4) Twist your waist:

    Along with marching, twist your waist with the beat and rhythm. Once you start it, you will start to love it.

    5) Balance your feet:

    In the very last step, move your feet forward and backward with clapping. It is one of the easy and beautiful postures.

    Now, repeat all the steps from one to five and keep practicing. There are many mini-steps that are also involved in the whole salsa learning procedure.

    3 Key Tips for What to Wear to Salsa Class

    How to dance salsa

    How to dance salsa

    Getting ready to start salsa classes? Awesome! Salsa dancing is a great way to exercise, meet new people, and have fun.

    If you’re preparing for your first salsa class, you may be wondering what to wear to salsa class. While most salsa dancing classes don’t have a strict dress code, it’s important to dress appropriately for the activity.

    Follow these guidelines when deciding what to wear for salsa dancing lessons:

    #1: Your outfit should be easy to move in. Salsa dancing is a physical activity, after all.

    #2: Your outfit should help keep you safe. You don’t want to wear something that you may trip over, for instance, or shoes that don’t provide enough support.

    #3: Your outfit shouldn’t make other people uncomfortable. Salsa dancing is a social activity, and you don’t want to wear something overly provocative that may make your partners uncomfortable.

    What to Wear to Salsa Class

    When deciding what to wear for salsa dancing lessons , you should look for clothing that’s functional, comfortable, and makes you feel good wearing it. You’ll be moving around a lot during salsa class, so it may help to dress in layers that you can remove as you start getting hot. In this section, I’ll give some ideas for what men and women should wear to salsa class to be ready for the physical demands of dancing.

    What to Wear to Salsa Class—Women

    Here are some ideas for what to wear to salsa class if you’re a woman:

    • Dresses that are knee-length or slightly shorter.
    • Jeans or leggings that are fitted through the ankle so you won’t trip on them.
    • Cropped pants, capris, or shorts that you can easily move around in.
    • Short-sleeved or sleeveless tops.
    • A cardigan or sweater that you can wear if it gets chilly.
    • Shoes that are flat or have a small heel (2 inches high or less).

    What to Wear to Salsa Class—Men

    Here are some ideas for what to wear to salsa class if you’re a man:

    • Cotton t-shirts.
    • Long or short sleeve button up shirts.
    • Jeans, khakis, or slacks.
    • Shorts of any kind.
    • Light vests or sweaters that are easy to remove.
    • Flat shoes with a smooth bottom.

    Final Thoughts

    Salsa dancing is a lot of fun, but can be challenging, especially if you’re not wearing the right clothing. Make sure that you’re wearing comfortable clothes and shoes that allow you to get your groove on and you’ll have the time of your life.

    Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!

    How to dance salsa

    Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley’s students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack’s Guide to History’s Fiercest Females.