Salsa clubs have been around since the 1940’s and are still extremely popular. So popular in fact, that you can Salsa in Sydney 7 nights a week! It isn’t hard to see why. Latin dance styles are known for their fast-paced tempos, quick steps, dips, lifts, and grand flourishes that evoke a sense of passion and intrigue within the dancers as well as the on-lookers. If you’ve never delved into the world of salsa, don’t be dissuaded by the seemingly elaborate styles. Anyone can learn how to Salsa, Bachata, or Zouk and own the dance floor.
Although the origins of both the music and the dance styles are long, confusing, and often debated, this brief description of salsa’s incorporation to the United States can give you a better
understanding of its evolution.
Salsa music became popular in the early 1900’s. During the war in Cuba in 1898, United States military forces got their first taste of Cuban music — which combined the heavy beats of West African drums and smooth Spanish guitar — and brought those influences back to the States.
Salsa’s Immigration to the US
When Fidel Castro rose to power and relations between the U.S. and Cuba began to disintegrate, many people from Cuba and Puerto Rico began to immigrate to large U.S. cities, bringing even more dance and music influence to America. Salsa kept evolving, influencing and incorporating other American dance styles up to present day, with many cities having their own geographically unique forms.
One thing that should be noted is that the term “salsa” has become a catch-all to describe many types of Latin dances and music styles. Today, if you told someone you were an engineer, we would then understand that there are many other specialized branches of that job. The same can be said for Salsa.
Through movies, sports, and pop culture; salsa has become wildly popular, but it is just the entry point into a much more exciting world of latin dancing.