Think about the activities you do with your partner. Are you doing anything that teaches you a new skill, is good exercise and allows you to meet new friends? If you answered no, then you haven’t tried to learn Salsa yet as a couple.
Salsa is a vibrant and exciting dance that gets you and your partner moving as you learn some impressive dancing skills.
If you’re unfamiliar with Salsa dancing, our expert salsa dance instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Raleigh, NC are going to share with you about the different techniques so that you can learn more about this vibrant and exciting dance style. Let’s get started and hit the dance floor!
What is Salsa?
Salsa is a Latin dance that combines forms from the Cuban Son and the Rumba. It builds to a crescendo that creates tension and release. This is part of what makes it a great partner dance.
The basic Salsa dance rhythm consists of taking three steps for every four beats of music you hear. This odd number creates the syncopation that is unique to Salsa dancing. It also ensures that it takes eight beats of music to loop back to a new sequence of steps.
As you get to learn salsa, you’ll notice that in many styles, the upper body remains level as the dancers shift their weight by stepping into the middle for 50/50 weight. The movement rotates in a figure eight to cause the hips to move. Arms and shoulders are also getting in there to give the dance a spicy flair. Don’t forget the hip movement known as the “Cuban hip movement” which is found in other Latin dances as well.
Salsa Dance Styles
Not all salsa dancing is created equal. There are different salsa dance styles that are unique with the footwork they include.
Characteristics that identify a particular salsa couple dance style include:
- Basic Steps
- Body movement and turns
Even though there are a variety of styles, these are three primary Salsa dance styles that you’ll see taught at dance schools:
Colombian Style Salsa
The footwork in Colombian Salsa is what sets it apart from other styles. It has quick rapid steps and skilling motions. The footwork is intricate and precise, which makes it popular for winning world championship competitions.
Cuban “Casino” Style Salsa
The Casino style Salsa dance originated from the Cuban Son dance. It became popular in the late 1950s and is independent of the other Salsa dance styles. This is partly because of the effect of the Cuban Embargo. As opposed to the Cuban Son that follows a delayed measure upbeat, the Casino is danced on the downbeat break of 1 or 3.
Los Angeles Style Salsa
The Los Angeles style of salsa is easy and very adaptable. It gets its influences from the Mambo, Swing, Argentine Tango, and Latin Ballroom dancing styles. The L.A. style is known to be sensuous, theatrical, aerobic, and musical.
Is Salsa a Couple Dance?
While Salsa is known as a partner dance, it can also be a solo dance, “suelta” and “Rueda de Casino,” where multiple couples exchange partners in a circle.
How Do You Salsa with Your Partner?
The best way to learn salsa with a partner is to take dance lessons. This is especially important for beginners. Whether you’re doing private dance lessons or group classes, you can learn from the pros who can teach you the right technique and steps.
When you’re a beginner, it’s all about developing timing and awareness of the music in each lesson. You want to be able to dance to the beat so you can communicate with your partner and execute movements on time. As you learn, you’ll find yourself able to start being more expressive in your dancing and more playful. This comes with practice and building confidence in your ability.
As you and your partner learn this beautiful form of Latin dancing, you’ll start to master your steps. This includes doing the basics on time and in all directions as well as being able to switch between each basic step without hesitating. As you master this, you can stylize your basics with taps and touches.
Body movement is a big part of learning how to salsa dance as a couple. It’s what makes the dance so fun to watch. Body movement is a technique. When you move correctly, you’ll feel that whether you’re leading or following, you’re doing it more smoothly.
As you bring together the basic steps, timing, and body movement, you can start layering your skills together. This makes your dancing more complete. Don’t get discouraged because this takes time!
Benefits of Salsa Dancing
Besides being fun and exciting, there are several other benefits of learning how to salsa. These include:
Who doesn’t want to burn some extra calories these days? Salsa dancing can burn up to 600 calories an hour. It’s much more exciting than walking on a treadmill!
Improve Balance, Coordination, and Posture
When you learn Salsa dancing, you are helping your balance and coordination skills. You’re also forced to have good posture as you look up and focus straight ahead.
Meet New Friends
If you take group classes, you’ll meet new friends as you learn a new skill. From the teachers to the other dancers, Salsa takes on a life of its own and introduces you to so many new things!
Are You Ready to Take Salsa Classes in Raleigh?
If you’re ready for a fun Salsa dance program that offers the best Salsa classes, our expert Salsa instructors at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Raleigh would love to get you moving on the dance floor!