Social dances – Salsa



Origin of Salsa dance is form the Cuban dance named Son Montuno in the 1920s and Afro-Cuban dance (more specifically Afro-Cuban rumba). It is generally associated with the salsa music style but this kind of dance can be danced under other types of tropical music. Salsa is mostly a partner dance, although it is not necessary. There are several forms such as a line dance form where the dancers dance individually and a round dance form “Rueda de Casino” where several partners dance in a circle. Salsa is a popular social dance all over the world you can find this type of dance in South and Noth America as well as in Europe, Australia, even in some countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Basic movements

The basic movement patterns of various dance styles Salsa is stepping in sync with the music blows. Salsa is best grouped in pairs bars of 4 beats, counted as “1-2-3 – … -5-6-7 – …” . Chevalier starts with one step left foot. In steps 2 and 3, respectively, right and left. On 4 or possibly pause marked movement with the right leg. 5, 6 and 7, respectively, the leader steps right, left and back right leg, again followed by a pause of 8. As a rule, every step should be performed with full weight transfer. Ladies part is identical but reversed left and right. In all shapes and styles, the leader begins with the left foot and the lady starts with the right foot.


Latin American styles originate from Cuba and Caribbean islands after that spreads to Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the rest of the Hispanic countries. This style salsa influence “Miami” style which is a fusion of Cuban style and North American version. The styles include “Casino”, Miami-Style, Cali-style and Venezuelan Style. North American styles have different characteristics, for example Los Angeles style, known as LA style breaks on the first beat, while New York style breaks on the second beat . Both have different influence and evolution. The New York Salsa is heavily influenced by Jazz instruments in its early stage.

Colombian / Cali style

The elements of Cali-Style Salsa were strongly influenced by dances to Caribbean rhythms which preceded salsa, such as Pachanga and Boogaloo. Dancers do not shift their body weight greatly as seen in other styles. Instead, dancers keep their upper body still, poised and relaxed while the feet execute endless intricacies. The dancer breaks mostly On1 (sometimes On3). Cuban “Casino” style A key element is the cube tap, also called “Guapea” where the leader does a backward basic on 1-2-3 and a forward basic on 5-6-7. The lady doing the same, ie mirror the movements of the man. Another feature of this style is that in many patterns the leader and follower move in a circle around each other. “Cross Body Lead” is an essential step in this style is called “Dile que but.” Style “LA” (LA – Los Angeles) is a later version, the difference is that dancers rotate a quarter around each other. This movement also becomes essential in the more complex “Cuban Casino” (Cuban Casino), led to many of the movements of “Rueda” (Rueda) or wheel dance. When it several couples exchange partners and carry out coordinated movements of the commander.

Los Angeles style

The two basic elements of the style of Los Angeles (LA – Los Angeles style) are a major step forward / backward as described above and the “Cross Body Lead.” In this figure, the leader steps forward on 1, steps to the right on 2-3 while turning 90 degrees counter-clockwise (left). The lady steps forward on 5-6 and turns on 7-8 while Chevalier rotates another 90 degrees counter-clockwise. After these eight strokes, leader and follower have exchanged places. Unlike the Cuban-style, where the couple dancing in a circle in LA style dance in a straight line. LA salsa boasts the most outstanding of common styles. Brothers Vazquez (Vazquez) are considered the inventors of LA style

New York style

New York Style (“NY Style”), or the style of Eddie Torres. Timing of steps is 1-2-3,5-6-7. NY teacher of Eddie Torres developed this scheme in the late 70’s and 80’s.