More about Salsa

Salsa has many varieties and crosses many cultures.

It’s considered a ballroom dance by many but is also a street dance.

Ballroom styling is stiffer and somewhat affected looking compared to the more relaxed street styling, but there are also many different “official” styles today.

When I was first learning Salsa about 20 years ago or so, there was only one “style” being offered. That is to say, various cultures did dance differently, but it was all just called Salsa.

Now there is “Cuban Style” New York Style, LA Style, and more. It’s all the same dance, though, and on a beginning level there is no difference. The rhythm is quick quick slow and never varies, but it’s fast so it can become quite challenging as you get up to speed.

The Cuban hip action which gives Latin dance it’s character, is for many the most difficult part of the dance. Some people can just watch it and then do it, but many have to have it broken down and it then becomes quite a challenge. You can do the dance without the hips, but you’ll look like a Gringo.

For many, the most challenging part of Salsa is the music. If you didn’t grow up with it and don’t listen to it a lot, it can be a confusing rhythm to sort out. It has a syncopated rhythm, going: and one and two and three and four. All Latin music has that same syncopation, but Salsa is fast, so much more difficult than Cha Cha or Rhumba or Meringue. I recommend that if you are interested in Salsa, that you begin getting used to the music by listening to it as often a possible.

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