If you love Salsa, you know Celia Cruz.
What Is Salsa?
From a Latin American country, Cuba, a popular Latino dance genre emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries. Numerous Cuban dances like mamba, pachanga, rumba, son montuno, cha cha cha, and son, have had their elements used in inspiration to perform Salsa starting in the culturally ample Latin American country, Cuba. Salsa did not gain its prestige and elements all from Cuba though, Puerto Rican dances such as Bomba and Plena, and American dances such as tap and swing have also had influence on the dance of Salsa, as well as it’s music. This further led to Salsa being popularized in New York and Miami in the US by Latin Americans and also around the entirety of Latin America.
Salsa is a dance that is partnered with a man and a woman as the leader of the dance performs spins and taps in rhythm patterns to the salsa music usually with linear or circular salsa with people also adding numerous dance methods in Salsa like rolls, acrobatic stunts, lifts, talented hand styling and movements, shimmies, and more advanced techniques to make Salsa a much more fun, interactive, and artistic dance. When the music pattern is followed, the possibilities to make Salsa a much more entertaining dance of passion is endless.
Similar to West Coast Swing, dancers in linear salsa stay in their "slot" and exchange positions from one side of the slot to the other. This kind of salsa is danced in both New York and Los Angeles. Circular Salsa on the other hand which is similar to East Coast Swing in that the dancers circle around each other. This circular pattern is found in both Cuban and Colombian salsa.
History Of Salsa
Salsa was put together by innumerable foreigners from many areas of Europe who migrated to Latin America and African slaves who were taken to Central America forcefully in the slave trade era. Salsa was created by combining parts of Cuban Són, Spanish troubadour music, African slaves' Rumbas, French Danzón, and Haitian immigrants' Danzón, as well as different instruments prevalent in Cuba.
Salsa began to captivate the Cuban people in the late nineteenth century, but it was only in the early twentieth century that other parts of Central America became aware of it. Cubans and Puerto Ricans were hotspots of Latin dance music with dance genres like flamenco, salsa, and more. With this hotspot, these countries were able to innovate and spread Salsa. This was before Salsa spread all the way through the Americas.
Salsa dancing began as a dance to complement the popular salsa music of the 1960s. Many of the moves of salsa dancing come from older types of Latin dance including mambo, cha cha cha, and pachanga, as well as other popular dances at the time like swing dance. Salsa dancing techniques became increasingly structured once schools began setting up to teach pupils how to dance salsa according to a fixed curriculum. Eddie Torres, one of the first and most important salsa instructors, worked to codify the time for New York-style salsa and promote the style across the world.