Dance of the Month: Salsa

What is the Salsa besides a delicious and sometimes spicy side that goes great with chips and guacamole?! Salsa is a dance that originated in Cuba with influences from European and African cultures. Salsa is typically a partner dance but can be danced solo or as a Rueda, where couples are in a circle and swap partners throughout.

Salsa came out of Cuba in the 1920s but credit must be given to all the different influences that created what we know as salsa. Danzón, brought by the French, mixed with the Rumba from Africa and the Són of Cuba created this partner dance synced to the beat of the clave. There are many various styles of salsa dancing today because of geographical distribution. The most popular styles are Cali-style (Colombia), Cuban-style (Casino, LA-style, New York-style, and Puerto Rican-style). But like a tree, Salsa has many roots and branches but the one trunk that unifies everything else.

There are a few different basic steps of Salsa, the most common being three steps in each four-beat measure. The beat that does not step can be used as a tap, kick, or weight transfer with the actual step occurring on the next beat. Almost all Salsa music involves African percussion based around the clave rhythm, which is the key instrument that produces the core groove of a salsa song.

Salsa is a dance that fascinates many people because it is not inhibited by too many restrictions. Dancers can vary the basic steps and improvise their own moves which leaves a feeling of fun and freedom. Salsa is a very vibrant dance filled with flirtatious and exhilarating moves that has a fun and vibrant energy.

Sounds like an appealing dance right?! Every Thursday night at 8:15p.m. Ridgefield Fred Astaire Dance Studio has a Salsa class taking place so you can give it a try! Give us a call at the studio with any questions you may have, see you on the dance floor.