Salsa dance is a popular form of Latin dance styles. Salsa dance is essentially a partner dance style i.e. it is a dance that involves two people dancing together. It, like other multiple Latin dance styles, is a type of a social dance that can be very romantic and intimate.
Like in any other partner dance, the man is the leader and the woman is the follower (with the exception of when two men are dancing together, then, the choice is up to them) in salsa dance. That is the guy will lead and the girl has to follow. So in a way it can be a little bit tougher for the guys. And if the girl falters, she can just blame it on the wrong lead given by the guy (wink wink).
Salsa dance is basically the go to dance for couples. However, the great thing about salsa dance is that it is not limited to a particular age limit. Everyone from ten to eighty can go salsa dancing. As it is mostly a social dance and it is for fun and recreational purposes.
But yes, if you are a salsa dance enthusiast, you can become a professional salsa dancer and compete professionally too. There are numerous salsa and other Latin dance styles festivals and competitions all over the world where you can perform professionally.
A well-known fact is, that salsa dance is probably the most popular and well known Latin dance style all over the world. Even in India, it is the most sought after Latin partner dance. Its popularity stems from a number of things, but before getting into that. Let us talk about Salsa dance definition.
Salsa Dance: What is Salsa dance?
Salsa dance as mentioned above is a partner dance form. It is one of the many Latin dance styles. Salsa Dance started out in Latin American countries but is now hugely in demand all over the world.
It is a sensual dance form that usually couples try to learn together. One of its main attractions is the fact that it is a fun activity that a couple can together be a part of. And the great thing is that it is not restrictive when it comes to the age of learning.
You can be old, you can be young, you can be doing this for fun or you might want to take it up professionally. All the possibilities are present here. And this variety in demographic is one of the reasons that Salsa dance is so popular and widespread all over the world.
Popular choice in social dancing
Salsa dance is also the popular choice in social dancing. As social dancing usually involves partner or couple dance styles, Salsa dance, of course, leads the group. So if the motive of someone is to just learn dance in order to be able to dance socially, this should definitely be their choice.
When you think of salsa dance, a lot of things come into your mind besides the obvious stated above. It is a dance style with different mood settings. Meaning it can be a romantic and sensual dance form. Or it can be a fun and energetic dance form. Or it can also be a fast and technical dance form.
Since the demographic age wise, location wise and technicality wise is so diverse and varied, it is a definite advantage for Salsa dance. Now, before we discuss more advantages or popularity of this dance form, let us first explore a little bit about the evolution of salsa dance.
Salsa Dance History
A little-known fact about salsa dance is that it evolved from a series of different Cuban and Latin American dance styles. That is it is a combination of a few dance styles and is derived from them. And hence, it is not an entirely original but very diverse dance form.
So Salsa dance first came about in New York in 1970s. As mentioned earlier, it is derived from various dance styles from the Caribbean from where we can say it has originated. These dance styles are all partner dance forms and they include Cha cha cha, Mambo, Peurto Rico Bomba, Son, Son Mantuna and Plena.
And these dance styles were all practiced in the Caribbean and Latin American countries. Hence, we can say that the origin of Salsa dance comes from there. But yes, it was officially recognized and coined as Salsa dance (along with Salsa dancing music) in New York in the 1970s.
Since then this dance form has just grown heaps and bounds. What is different and unique about this dance style is that there is no one type of salsa dance style practiced all over the world. Different countries have adopted salsa dancing as their own but with modifications.
All inclusive style of dancing
And yet these styles might be different but they are all called Salsa dancing styles and have not been given a different name. To make it easier to understand, let us provide you with an example. In our previous post on jazz dance, we have mentioned there are different sub-categories of jazz dance but they are each identified with a different name like popping or locking or breaking or b-boying etc.
But different types of salsa dance like Cuban salsa is known as a type of salsa dance only and not divided into different categories. That is the difference in styles is not that much that there should be a different category for them. These are some of the salsa dance facts.
Salsa dance: Its’ popularity worldwide
After looking and understanding the history of the salsa style, let us talk a little about its popularity and the reasons behind it. We have in the previous paragraphs mentioned a little bit about these reasons. Let us list them properly below.
- It is a popular dance choice for couples who want to spend more time together. So it is a fun and romantic activity that couples can indulge in together.
- It is a great way to meet people as it is one of the most popular social dances the world over.
- Then it is also a great way to let your hair down and have some fun when you go out with your friends, colleagues or partners.
- Of course, it is an ageless dance, which also gives it brownie points. Everyone from a little child of eight to ten to our grandmas’ and granddads’ can learn this dance form without much effort.
- Every country has different types of Salsa dance styles. So the choice is diverse. If you get bored of learning one type, you can easily switch to another without much hassle. Or if you want to expand the styles you learn, you can do that as well.
- Of course, it is not only for just having lots of fun. You can compete professionally in it also. That is if you want to become a salsa dancer, go right ahead because you can take it up professionally too. In fact, there are a lot more avenue for a professional salsa dancer the world over compared to other dance forms.
- Another amazing thing about salsa dance is that it has levels in its techniques also. Meaning you can just learn it for fun or social dancing. And you can take more steps forward and make it more technical like doing three to four turns at one time (as opposed to just one turn) if you want to become a professional salsa dancer. In both the scenarios you can learn salsa dancing and will be called a salsa dancer which is great.
Types of salsa dance
As mentioned above Salsa dance is of different types. It, however, differs mostly from country to country rather than a different category to category. Though, in some countries, like India that don’t have their own popular salsa style, follow salsa dance styles from other countries. These can be more than one also. For example, in India mostly we follow Los Angeles Salsa style but in very select few places we follow New York salsa dance style also.
So then, we are listing the different styles of salsa dances below. They are:-
- Los Angeles Style
- New York/Mambo style
- Puerto Rican style
- Miami style
- Cuban style
- Afro-Latino style
- Colombian/Cali style
- Casino style
Benefits of Salsa Dance are many.
Now, that we know the different styles of Salsa dances. Let us look at some of their benefits as well. Many we have listed all through the article but we present these to you in a concise manner below.
The mental benefits of salsa dancing are:-
- It keeps us mentally alert and helps to offset the likelihood of getting certain diseases like Alzheimer’s (known for memory loss) by keeping our memory and brain sharp.
- It is a great way to de-stress.
- Makes us happy because it might involve us spending more time with our better half.
- Releases endorphin- the ‘feel good hormones’ which make us feel so much better.
- It builds our concentration and focus level as well.
- It helps us in following directions. This is for the ladies of course, as we have to follow the lead given by the men.
The physical benefits of learning salsa dancing are:-
- It is great form of exercise especially for your glutes, thighs, and your legs.
- It helps in weight loss as well.
- Helps strengthen your muscles. This is especially beneficial for the elderly.
- It builds up your stamina.
- Helps in correcting your postures.
- Makes your movements more fluid.
- Makes you more flexible.
- Keeps you fitter.
- Makes you become quick on your feet.
- Compared to other exercises and dance forms, it is less strenuous on your body. And a good option for people who cannot do a rigorous form of exercise like the elderly or injured.
The Social benefits of salsa dancing are many as well. They are
- It is a great way to meet and interact with new people.
- Gives you the confidence to dance socially and is a lot of fun.
- You can become the life of the party.
- Learn a new skill that helps you shed your inhibitions.
- Makes you more comfortable with your own self and therefore, helps in communicating better with others.
How popular and widespread is Salsa dance in India?
In India, as mentioned above, salsa dance is one of the most popular partner dance styles. And this is the reason that it is the most taught Latin dance style in India. It is present in almost all the most noteworthy dancing institutes in our country.
In fact, salsa dance has become so popular in India that there are whole dancing schools that have opened up exclusively to teach just salsa dancing. It is the go to dance for working professionals who want to take up something to De-stress but not something that is very extensive (or technical) or may require a lot of time.
Not to forget, there are some great Indian salsa dancers in our country as well who have taken this up professionally. And are either competing all over the world or teaching these immaculate salsa skills to others.
Salsa for events
Salsa dance is also a popular choice for events and the go to dance for Indian weddings for the bride and groom. For the first dance of the bride and groom together, salsa is the favored choice as the steps are flexible.
Of course, salsa dancing has been explored on the screen in Bollywood movies as well. But it is mostly a fusion of Salsa style and Bollywood style together. Still, salsa is the most popular Latin style adopted in Bollywood as well.
Then, of course, there are multiple Latin dance festivals happen in different parts of the country that feature Salsa dance heavily. Whether it is ‘IIDC’ (India International dance congress) that takes place in Bangalore every year or the many other dance festivals that happen all over the country. Every festival promotes salsa dancing along with other Latin styles and has, therefore, helped to make salsa dancing even more popular.
The professional prospects for a professional salsa dancer in India. And how Sharehiss can help you?
As you can see the prospects of being a professional salsa dancer in India is quite lucrative. You can go on to compete in India (in the various dance reality shows) as well as internationally. You can also become a professional salsa choreographer for events, shows, reality T.V. or Bollywood movies as well.
Then, if you want you can become a teacher in one of the many dancing institutes all over the country. Or even have your own salsa dancing Institute. And of course, you can continue to be a salsa dance performer on all the above platforms.
Whatever may be your dream, we assure you, we can help you realize it. Just share your salsa dancing video with us on Sharehiss and we will assuredly share it with the world.
So take a step closer to achieving your salsa dream by becoming a part of the Sharehiss community.