I have been dancing Salsa for 12 years and I’ve been obsessed with Bachata for six years. I am grateful I get to do both of them at a high level and I’ve picked up moves from merengue, kizomba and many more along the way. I can’t help but be frustrated whenever there is a dancer who says Bachata is better than Salsa or Salsa is better than Bachata. These conversations are crazy. Sure people have preferences, but I believe that we should be open to learning from any style of dance. Each style of dance brings its own energy, vibe and value to the dancer, to the dance floor and to the dance community.
So here are three things you’re missing if you’re just dancing Bachata and haven’t explored Salsa.
- Gone in 60 Seconds. I love Salsa because it’s fast! As soon as the song hits, my blood is pumping, my heart is racing and I’m thinking steps ahead. You start one move and the music is fast so you have to be thinking two, three moves ahead. It is exhilarating! Bachata is much more about connection and a more mellow vibe. I describe it like being on a beach with friends. Sure you can have faster Bachata songs like Dominican Bachata but there is nothing like a fast Salsa song to get your body moving, to raise your heart rate, to get those step counts in, to burn off energy and steam. The biggest of all is that Salsa is about speed. If you love speed, if you like action, Salsa is it.
- Magical tricks. Unlike Bachata which is more deeply focussed on connection, Salsa is about the tricks, especially LA Salsa which is what we do at Toronto Dance Salsa. When I was a student, I loved going on YouTube and looking up the latest moves and trying them out on the dance floor. My goal was always to create a longer and longer chain of moves. You can have lots of chains in Bachata as well and there are just as many moves to learn from but in Bachata the focus is more on flow and calmness. Again, think of that beach vibe and mellow experience. Salsa is all about the tricks and the shines and for me, was always the mountain that I climbed.
- I’ve got a feeling. Anytime I am particularly frustrated, or had an annoying or difficult day, I want to do Salsa. There is just something about that speed, when that music hits, I hit the floor running. It feels incredible! I can release my frustrations and annoyances on the dance floor. There is nothing like being able to turn off your brain because the music is so fast. You don’t get to think about anything. Turn, reverse turn, dip, shine and you are already thinking about the next move in your chain. It is go, go, go. That is what I love about it.
There is so much more you can pick up if you start to do Salsa! Be open to learning different styles of dance. Each style of dance has its own personality, has its own community and they’re all beautiful. Explore all of them because I believe in my heart we can find ourselves, enjoy and learn from all styles of dance. Because we all #belong on the dance floor.
If you have any questions you would like me to answer here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodanceSalsa), on Twitter (#torontodanceSalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].