Salsa, meaning sauce in Spanish, is a varied and diverse as its namesake. It is considered a true dance of the people: changing and adapting across different cultures and landscapes.
Salsa is from Cuba. It originated from the Cuban Son and Afro-Cuban music. In the 1950’s, salsa gained tremendous popularity largely due to New York City’s influx of Puerto Ricans and their distinctive influence.
Salsa music features upbeat and complicated rhythms, which often highlight percussive instruments. Modern salsa music draws heavily from jazz influences, with instrumental breaks allowing dancers to feature their individual moves. The salsa is danced to a recurring eight-beat pattern; dancers take steps on each beat during the dance.
Salsa dress has evolved to show off the dancers’ bodies and movements. Women wear high heels and dark-colored sequined dresses. Men wear well-fitted black pants and shined shoes, coupled with deep V-necked shirts to show off the male dancer’s body as well. However, salsa dress has evolved to ensure that the men never outshine the women in terms of dress, as women are the traditional stars of this dance.