The one that we teach is called L.A. (Los Angeles) Salsa.
There are three main styles and then there are sub-styles of salsa. All salsa really originated from Cuba and it started with Cuban Salsa. Cuban Salsa is known for doing circles around your partner, around your waist, through what are called break backs. Break backs is where you take your left foot back and then you take your right foot back. It’s a side to side kind of circular rounded dance.
The one that we teach is called L.A. (Los Angeles) Salsa. What it’s known for is the beat that you dance on. Salsa rises and falls like much of music. So salsa goes ONE, two, three, four, FIVE, six, seven, eight. Salsa has eight beats. LA salsa, we dance on ONE, that’s what we teach at our school. What it’s known for is a slot type of dance where you go forward, back and side to side. What LA salsa is known for is tricks, turn patterns and dips. If you go on YouTube and you look up salsa performances, quite often what you’ll find it is LA salsa.
The other type of dance is the New York salsa or what’s called on TWO salsa. It is again a slotted dance. It’s also known for its tricks and dips, but you dance under the beat. So, if the salsa beat is one, two, three, five, six, seven, you’ll dance on the two. So, go one, TWO, three, five, SEVEN seven and so you’re stretching out and you’re dancing under the accent.
The differences as a leader, for example with LA salsa on one, the one that we teach you would go forward on the one you’d go left, right, left, right, left, right, and the rhythm is quick, quick, slow, quick, quick, slow on two and it works like this. As a leader, I would step one and I go back two, three, five, six, seven, slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick.
Honestly, any dancer who tells you that LA salsa or on one salsa is better than on two Salsa or vice versa, they’re being silly. The difference between the two major dance as you’ll find in North America and in fact if you’ve traveled to Asia, if you traveled to Europe, is the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius. It’s really how you calculate temperature. They’re both very hot dances.
We prefer LA Salsa. That’s really all there is to it. If you are a brand new dancer and you tried to figure out which type of dance you want to learn, in my experience and I’ve gone to North America and I traveled quite a bit, LA salsa is the one that’s accessible in most clubs you travel to.
In any case, L.A., Cuban salsa or New York salsa, either way, all three types of dances are gorgeous. They’re fun. You can’t go wrong starting with any of them. If you want one that you will run into most often, I would say it would be LA Salsa. It’s the one that we teach, but again, there’s no right dance for you to learn.
Ultimately, it’s just about connecting to the music and to the people. Having fun, being part of a culture and turning off the world as you build some personal confidence.
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