You have heard your friends talking about Salsa…curious to find out what is Salsa and why are people so crazy about it?
We’re talking about the dance, not the delicious South American condiment of course.
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 – emigrants 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” has morphed into the modern styles of (the dance) that we dance today.
“Cuban & Puerto Rican musicians in New York coined the phrase in New York in the 1970’s.”
The Salsa “Tree”
Salsa as a dance and music form now have wide spread popularity – there are several different styles of salsa and also different styles of salsa music. If you ask any individual Latin dance teacher, musician or performer what Salsa dancing or music is, you’ll likely get several different answers; so the question is, which answer is “right”? Actually, all of them are.
Let’s think of the dancing and music as a great big Tree that looks like this:
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