Salsa Dance

Salsa is a syncretic dance form and a musical style with the deep Caribbean and African roots. It is very popular in almost all Latin America, and among Latino communities in the United States. In recent years, Salsa dance has also been gaining popularity in Europe and in Asia. Also in India, it becomes very popular among youngsters.

In many styles of salsa dance, dancer shifts their weight by stepping, the upper body remains level and nearly unaffected by the weight changes. The dancer’s weight shifts cause the hips to move. Arm and shoulder movements are also incorporated in Salsa. Salsa dancing has all the characteristics such as fast beats, quick steps and a Latin flair. While it makes for a fun night out with friends, it can also be a great way to get healthy and fit.

Types of Salsa Styles

Salsa dance music is a mix of different Caribbean rhythms and instruments. This diversity provides its unique sound. Salsa dance has similarly evolved and adapted over the years to better suit the tastes of different localities, leading to the creation of different regional styles of salsa.

Some of the most popular regional styles are:

  • Salsa Casino (Cuban style)
  • Salsa Casino (Miami style)
  • Afro-Latino style
  • Cali style (Colombian Salsa)
  • Rueda de Casino
  • New York style
  • Los Angeles style

Salsa Dance Classes

Many Salsa dance classes and fitness centers offer to Salsa dance training. Individuals who are without a partner can team up with another participant or they can perform the dance movements by solo. For the beginners, Salsa classes tend to focus more on the actual steps and the process of keeping your body in the correct form. There are slight risks associated with learning the Salsa dance movements, as coordination and balance with the partner are required to keep from falling. It is good and recommended if you perform some type of warm-up and stretching routine first to allow your muscles to properly ready themselves before you actually perform the dance routine.

In Salsa dance classes, trainers focus on the whole body movement including arm stretching, footwork and other body moves. The upper body and arms must maintain specific positions, so they will coordinate with the music beats. The types of movements associated with the various Salsa dance styles will also improve flexibility, balance and coordination.

Basic Movements of Salsa Dance

Salsa dancing is a technique in which dancer shift the weight of the body from foot to foot by stepping in harmony with the music. This continuous shifting of body and foot causes the hips to move in a specific pattern. Most of the movement in Salsa dance occurs below the waist. However, many styles and fast-paced songs also tend to include steps in which the arms, upper body, and even the head are moved in rapid succession. This is especially evident while doing spins in coordination with a dance partner. As a general rule, steps are divided into eight movements going along with the music.

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Salsa dance style always consists of three weight changes (steps). These three weight changes, or steps, are performed in a four-beat measure. If there is no weight change, there may be a tap or kick in Salsa dance. A break step may be performed, which is slightly longer than the previously mentioned weight changes steps. In many cases, break steps may differentiate the style of Salsa dance that you are performing. Once you have performed six weight changes in eight beats, the basic cycle of Salsa dance is finished. However, it depends on the instructor that the basic steps may be modified slightly from the original steps.

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