There is an article about Salsa music styles in which we write some brief information about different styles of music in Salsa. You can check here. Or, we also have a post about 2 categories in Salsa dance styles that you might want to check. In this post, we will provide some short information about popular Salsa dance styles. Don’t question why we don’t talk about all of the Salsa styles. There are 2 reasons:
- There are lots of Salsa styles. Some of them even have sub-styles. Therefore, we don’t want to cover all of them in a general article. 😀
- There will be a dedicated article for you on this matter. 😉
Okay, now let’s go back to our main topic.
The basis of the Salsa dance is Cuban Son. One of a very popular type of beat that has evolved over the years, due to improvisation from a number of people. However, there are a number of styles that have emerged from the original dancing of Salsa. These styles are based on the areas in which they were developed.
Most of the Salsa dance styles, that are popular around the world, are categorized according to the characteristics that the dancers display while dancing. Some of these characteristics are the dancers’ foot patterns, timing, body rolls, body movements. Some are attitudes, basic steps, turns as well as combinations among others.
Generally, Salsa styles are categorized as either from Latin America or North America as their places of origin. Geographically, Salsa styles from Latin America have their origins in Cuba, Caribbean Islands, and other Hispanic countries. The most common dance styles from this area include Cuban style, Colombian style, etc. On the other hand, styles of dancing Salsa from North America are the Los Angeles (On 1) and New York (On 2) styles.
Popular Salsa styles
As mentioned earlier, the Salsa dance has a variety of styles that can be adopted by dancers. All depend on their preference, and sometimes the one that is easiest to learn. Nevertheless, there are those that are more widely spread. And these styles are taught in most Salsa dance lessons and are danced in social functions.
Los Angeles Style (On 1)
Los Angeles Style was shaped in its early days by Laura Canellias, Joe Cassini, and Albert Torres. It is the American styles of Salsa which emphasizes theatrics, musicality, sensuousness, and aerobics in one dance. It is danced on the first beat and influenced by other types of dancing styles such as Latin ballroom, Mambo, Argentine tango, and Swing.
The main elements of this particular dance are the cross body lead as well as the forward-backward basics. When mastering well these techniques, the dance will be quite enjoyable. Some of the stunts, as well as lifts that are seen in a variety of Salsa styles, are derived from the Los Angeles Style.
This is Los Angeles Style (On 1) style
New York Style (On 2)
New York Style which was initiated by Jay Grote, popular known as “the Golden goose”. This is a style that is danced on the second beat, and when the dancers are in a line. However, Eddie Torres was the one who popularized this style worldwide. The dance etiquette of the style is quite strict. Because it limits the movement of the dancers while doing a lot of spins as well as turns. Apart from the variety in styling when dancing, the New York Salsa dancers also perform “shines”. This is when the dancers are separated so that they can dance solo while incorporating complex footwork.
This particular type of dancing originates from both the New York as well as Swing Tap. The style also focuses on its harmonization with various percussion instruments such as clave, congas and timbales among others.
Other common types of Salsa styles include the Cuban and Colombian styles.
A very beautiful dancing of New York Style (On 2) style by Eddie Torres Jr.
Cuban Style is quite popular. It is based on the expression of the social culture of the Cuban people. The main difference between this style and other types of Salsa dancing is areas and directions of the dancers on the dance floor. Cuban style will be dancing mostly anywhere, in every direction, as long as the dancers don’t bump to each other. Sometimes, we somewhat see as if they are dancing in a circular movement. While Los Angeles or New York styles will need the dancers to dance strictly in vertical or horizontal directions.
The other sub-styles of Cuban is Rueda De Casino. In this one, people gather in a circle and dance together with the lead from the leading couple. The leading couple will shout out loud the names of the patterns. Everybody in the circle will do exactly the same patterns called and at the same time.
This a social Cuban Salsa dancing in Havana, Cuba
Cali (Colombian) Style
Cali Style, which can also be called Colombian Salsa dance, was originally from the city of Cali in Colombia. Its styles are heavily influenced by dances such as Boogaloo was based on Caribbean rhythms. The footwork involved in the Cali style use rapid steps. Rapid steps here mean they will do Salsa step and add some additional steps in between the basic steps.
The dancers in Columbian style can literally do their basic steps so fast and so nice that can make other people hard to take their eyes off them. At first, this Salsa dance style can be seen to be the most difficult and complicated style to learn. However, don’t worry, because their basics are just quite almost the same as any other Salsa styles.
When your level is up, then it will need you to add a bit of here and there with some additional steps. At that point, when you try to dance with super fast songs, it will be difficult. 😀
And this is Colombian style
If you want to watch this pattern on youtube, please visit here:
For other 1-Minute Salsa patterns:
You can also go to our Salsa & Bachata music playlist for more of our collection 🙂