Dancing Salsa

Salsa Dancing 🕺 💃🏻🎵

Salsa dancing is possible as a couple or solo. The dance is originated mainly in the USA and the Caribbean. In the meantime, Salsa is known worldwide and is especially popular because it is a lively, relaxed and sometimes very sensual dance, which can be learned relatively quickly in its basic steps. Like many other Latin American dances, Salsa is danced in 4/4 time, but is slower in tempo than other styles.

Table of Contents

History of origin

To describe the history of the origin of Salsa, it is almost enough to explain how the name came about and what it means. Salsa means sauce in Spanish and was introduced as a term when many Caribbean immigrants in the USA mixed their dances and music. The dance is therefore a mixture of many other dances, such as Mambo or Cha Cha Cha and stands like no other for the importance of dancing for community, attitude to life and cheerfulness.

Worldwide Spread

Over the time Salsa has developed further and further and above all to an independent dance. Dancers and musicians spread the new dance all over the world over the years and today Salsa has American and Caribbean as well as African and European influences.


As already described, the mixing of different rhythms and movements created not only salsa as a dance, but also as a music style. This music can undoubtedly be described as very rhythmic and peppy due to its Latin American influences, and the speed has increased significantly over the years. What has also changed are the instruments and the compositions of the salsa bands. Besides the singer, a piano and a bass, mainly brass instruments are used.

The lyrics are mainly about life and love, but also about problems and crises.

Salsa dance styles

Over the years, many different styles of Salsa have developed, which have been influenced mainly by the different regions in which they originated. However, it must be said that they are not very different from each other, but very similar.

New York Style

This style was developed, hardly surprisingly, in New York, when Salsa became more and more popular in the city. The New York Style is characterized by very elegant and feminine movements and is a mixture of Cuban and Puerto Rican styles.

Mambo Style

The Mambo Style is a subcategory of the New York Style and was created a few years after it. It is a further development of the style, but at the same time it uses the very original basics of Salsa.

Puerto Rican Style

This style is also named after its place of origin and is danced very openly compared to the other styles. This means that the dance partners take more space for themselves and act in a larger radius.

LA Style

The LA Style, i.e. the Los Angeles Style, is a very dynamic and fast-paced version of Salsa, which is mainly used as a show dance because of its numerous figures. Due to its tempo and its extraordinary elements, this style is also very popular with all other dancers.

Cuban Style

The Cuban style of salsa is probably the most widespread form of dance and is called the classical style. It is very different from other styles because it is not danced in a line, but rather in a circle.

Cumbia Style

This style is a version of salsa that incorporates many influences of cumbia columbiana. The Cumbia Style is mainly spread in South America and is a classic dance from the street, which is rarely taught in dance schools. The leadership of the man is of great importance in this style and more pronounced than in other styles.

Rueda de Casino

This style is actually a dance in its own right, danced only to Salsa music. Translated, Rueda de Casino means Salsa Wheel. Rueda de Casino or also Salsa Rueda is a group dance, which is danced by 10 to 20 persons synchronously in a circle, whereby a predancer prescribes the figures and movements.

Cali Style

Cali Style is named after a Colombian city of the same name and includes many fast movements and acrobatic figures. It is mainly known in Colombia and is rarely danced in other countries.

Description of Salsa dancing

Salsa is a very cheerful and erotic dance, which includes especially many movements below the hips. Compared to other dances, the partners have a lot of freedom and do not touch each other all the time.

Basic Steps

In the classical basic form of salsa, the number of steps is counted up to eight. Only on the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 a step is executed. On 4 and on 8 the dancer takes a break. It should be noted that basically each style has its own peculiarities, so that in NY Style, for example, there is a pause at one and five. However, the steps are almost always performed on a line back and forth.

Further Steps

As already mentioned, the Cuban style of salsa is not danced classically on one line, but in a circle. In this style, but also in others, many dancers also use the pauses in counting for a tap.


Because of the many different variations of Salsa, there are also many different figures. So many that it is impossible to list them all here. Especially characteristic are the so-called shines, where the partners dance alone in a solo and then find their way back. These shines are often complemented by brincos, i.e. jumps, or pasos, i.e. special step sequences. .

Worth mentioning about Salsa dancing

There are many people who say that the name Salsa does not have its origin in the mixing of different cultures. They believe that the dance was called salsa because it is as fiery and spicy as the salsa sauce that is served with nachos, for example.

Where does the dance salsa come from?

Salsa dance originated in the USA, but has its first origins in Caribbean countries such as Cuba and Puerto Rico.

How difficult is salsa to learn?

Learning Salsa is not particularly difficult. At least the basic steps are easy to understand and quick to implement. Beyond the basic steps, however, there are many Salsa styles & figures that are much more difficult to learn.

How do you dance salsa?

The classical Salsa is danced as a couple dance. The count is up to eight, with a step only on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. At 4 and 8 the dancers take a break.

How do the steps go?

In the basic classical form of salsa, the count goes to eight, with a step being executed only on 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. On 4 and on 8 the dancer takes a break.

Can you dance salsa alone?

Salsa is a classical couple dance, therefore it cannot be danced alone. However, the opposite is possible, so you can dance Salsa in larger groups. In Salsa, however, there are so-called shines, where the dancing couple briefly separates and the dancers dance solo for a moment.

What are the salsa figures called?

There are a variety of figures that are danced in Salsa. Especially well known are the so-called Shines, where the partners dance solo. These are often complemented by Brincos (jumps) or Pasos (step sequences).

What does salsa mean?

Salsa is Spanish and means sauce. Since a sauce is always a mix of different ingredients, for Salsa dancing it means the mixing of different cultures.

Where does the name salsa come from?

The name Salsa comes from Spanish, which is the national language of many Caribbean countries where Salsa dancing originally comes from.

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