Considered to be similar to “Cha Cha Cha and Mambo” is a renowned dance form known as Salsa. This “Latin American” dance style has originated from Cuba. This style of dance is basically “social” in nature, and is usually performed in nightclubs, bars, ballrooms, and restaurants. Furthermore, this dance style has evolved over the years and comprises of various styles such as Colombian/Cali, Cuban/Casino, Los Angeles style, and New York style. In addition, international festivals (known as Salsa Congress) to celebrate this dance form are organized in various cities around the world annually.
a. History/origin of Salsa:
This dance style was first developed in Cuba from other dance styles such as Son, Son Montuno, Cha Cha Cha, and Mambo. In addition, over the years the Cuban dance form has undergone a lot of changes and has incorporated elements from Afro-Caribbean dances such as Guaguanco and Pachanga. Furthermore, this dance has also evolved as a result of which, it currently comprises of a number of styles that include Colombian/Cali, Cuban/Casino, Los Angeles, and New York style.
b. Costumes used in the Salsa:
Since this dance style involves both male and female the costumes used will vary accordingly and they are as follows:
1. For Females:
The attire worn includes a short multi-layered ruffle that at times also exposes the midriff of the performer to add to the sensuality that this dance style possesses.
2. For Males:
The attire worn includes colourful deep V-neck shirts and pants to go along with it.
c. Music involved in the Salsa:
Afro-Cuban percussion musical instruments are generally used to produce music for this dance style, and they include
1. Clave: Is the major percussion instrument used in this dance. Basically this instrument includes two wooden sticks that are used to generate the music for this dance style.
2. Other instruments used: Include the congas, timbales, bongos, tres guitars, and piano.
d. Training availability and the technique involved in Salsa:
In terms of basic technique, this dance essentially involves the performer transferring weight from one foot to the other along with significant movement in the hips. In addition, the arms are used by the performers (i.e. leader and follower) either in the “closed or open” position”. In the closed position, the lead performer places the right hand on the back of the follower while, the follower places the left hand on the shoulder of the leader. In case of the open position, both the leader and the follower hold either one or both hands especially for moves that involve turns, putting arms around the back, or moving around one another. Furthermore, there are many schools available around the world that provide training for all those interested in learning this extremely “sensual” dance style.