What is Salsa?

“Cuban & Puerto Rican musicians in New York coined the phrase in New York in the 1970’s.”

We’re talking about the dance, not the delicious South American condiment. YUM.


The origins of the word “Salsa” as the name of a dance has been a source of debate for decades. The most popular (and possibly accepted) theory is that Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians in New York coined the phrase in New York in the 1970’s, to describe the spicy fusion of music they were creating out of the rhythms and motifs of Cuban son montuno, guaracha, chachacha, mambo and bolero.

It is said that the evolution of the music drove the evolution of the dance – immigrants to North America from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Colombia in the 1920’s brought their dances and music to the neighborhoods and clubs of New York, Miami and Los Angeles. As the new form of “Salsa” music swept the continent in the 1970’s and 1980’s, those foundation dances – what we like to refer to as the “Roots” of salsa – morphed into the modern styles of “Salsa” (the dance) that we dance today.

Where should I start?

Salsa has evolved into so many different kinds of styles. From L.A. Style (on1), to New York (on2), Cali Style and many more. If you are looking for the one you will find in most clubs, you should start with that L.A. style. That style of Salsa is found in most clubs around the world (statistically) with some cities and countries having another style (like Cuban) a bit more popular. This is the style we teach and the easiest one to pick up for any beginner.

Where can I find it?

Easy, you can find Salsa anywhere these days. At your nearest dance school, at your closest Latin dance club or Salsa Party. It is the most danced dance in the world with the largest group of people dancing. From Canada, to Italy, from China to Japan, you can find Salsa in every part of the world. That’s why it’s so important to learn this dance because once you know it, even if you don’t speak the local language, your body can speak the dance.

Maybe you’re worried that Salsa is hard to learn? Don’t worry, this article can help you clear that up.

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