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History Of Salsa (Dance)

Updated on January 7, 2014

Salsa is a terrific dance - exciting, fervent, romantic and incredibly sensuous. And in case you didn't know it already - it's also quite simple to learn.

Salsa instructors have a saying - if you can walk, you can Salsa. And you know what - they are totally right. If you want to start learning Latin American dances, by all means - go Salsa!

Salsa History

In this hub we'll have a quick peek into the history of Salsa.

But there's a problem with this. You see, the historical facts about Salsa are not very well known. Throughout history, Salsa has been refined and modified significantly from the combination of several Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances. It's a fusion, a blend of many different traditions and cultures.

It's not evidently identified exactly where it comes from. Some people say Cuba, others believe Puerto Rico. But we'll probably never know for sure.

What About The Word Salsa?

Good question. You probably know that the word Salsa originates from the Spanish language. It essentially means sauce, a hot and spicy sauce. But exactly why was the Spanish word for sauce used as the inspiration for a form of dance? Another good question.

It would appear that it was due to the cuban composer Ignacio Pineiro, who composed a song named Echale Salsita. In 1930s when Echale Salsita was composed, the word Salsa grew to become a common nickname for several Latin dances including rumba, cha cha cha, mambo, cumbia, plena, festejo, merengue, danzon, son, and so on.

Check out the legendary Echale Salsita:

The style of dancing which we now know as Salsa has been inspired, for the lack of better word, by a number of other dances of the Latin origin. Mambo, for instance, is very like Salsa (or it could be the other way around). Both these dances share many moves and have a sequence of 6 steps danced over 8 counts of music.

Over the years a number of different forms or styles of Salsa appeared:

  • New York style
  • LA style
  • Puerto Rican style
  • Cuban style
  • Colombian or Cumbia style
  • Rueda style
  • Cali style
  • Miami style

Different styles might have distinct step patterns, moves, turns, timings and so forth.

Nowadays, Salsa is danced and enjoyed across the globe by men and women of all ages. As one of the least complicated dances to learn, it's also an ideal choice for people who are new comers to the world of Latin American dancing. Give it a go, you definitely won't regret it.



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    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      This is really great information on salsa dancing and I really felt like I learned something about it and its history! Thanks for sharing!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love salsa dance and I found great information about the history of salsa dance. I learn many things from you. Thanks for share with us. Good job and voted up!