Salsa dance is characterized as a mixture of African, Caribbean and Eurpean styles with the elements of dance and music. The Spanish word salsa means a sauce prepared by mixing various spices.
It is a free style dance Latin dance which is based on improvisation. It does not require the fully use of the dance floor.
There are different styles of salsa in different parts of the world. Three of the most popular styles are: Cuban style, Puerto Rican style and Colombian style. However there are not sharp differences among the styles. A dancer who knows one style can easily dance in other styles because the basic steps and figures are almost the same.
Salsa is usually done by partners, but can be done without a partner or more than two people as well. The man is the guide in this dance and directs and rules the woman with hand movements.
The beginner dancer learn the basic steps first and then the combination figures. It requires the ability to carry out complex figures with the feet and it is vital to have steps according to the rhythm of the music. Therefore, students are taught primarily to catch the rhythm of the music.
Learn Salsa Steps
Salsa dance has the measurement of 8 equivalent time units. In two piece of these units, namely 4 and 8, the dancers stop and do not make any moves.Therefore 4 and 8 are not counted; (1,2,3, stop, 5,6,7,stop). During the other six time units, it is necessary to step back and forth in each unit.
1- Step forward with the left foot with the body weight be on the left one.
2- The body weight is transferred to the right foot without stepping
3- The left foot is brought back and replace the old place.
4- Time to stop. No movement is done.
5- Step backward with the right foot
6- The body weight is transferred to the left foot without stepping.
7- The right foot is put front to the former place.
8- Time to stop. No movement is done.
During the times of stop at 4 and 8, tapping; hitting the foot to the floor, is done to avoid losing the rhythm. Tapping creates aesthetics to salsa dance during the stopping moments and taught to the students after they are skilled enough in basic salsa steps.