Cuban style SALSA
Cuban-style salsa can be danced either "on one" or "a contratiempo" ---the latter is often referred to as "on two". An essential element is the "cuba step" (also known as Guapea), where the leader does a backward basic on 1-2-3 and a forward basic on 5-6-7. The follower does the same, thereby mirroring the leader's movement.
Another characteristic of this salsa style is that in many patterns the leader and follower circle around each other.
The cross body lead is an essential step in this salsa style too and is referred to as Dile que no. This move becomes essential in the more complex derivative of Cuban Casino leading to the many moves of Salsa Rueda, or wheel dance. Here multiple couples exchange partners and carry out moves syncronised by a caller.
Colombian style SALSA
This salsa style is common in Latin-American countries. The leader and follower do most of the movements while standing in place. It stems from the Cuban salsa style. As such in many patterns the leader and follower turn around each other, although not as much as in the Cuban salsa style; in fact, in several parts of Colombia, salsa is danced with very limited or no turns at all.
Los Angeles style SALSA
This is a style of salsa much influenced by Hollywood and by the swing & mambo dances, thus being the most flashy style, which is considered "more show than dance" by many. The two essential elements of this dance are the forward/backward basic as described above, and the cross-body lead. In this pattern, the leader steps forward on 1, steps to the right on 2-3 while turning 90 degrees counter-clockwise (facing to the left). The follower then steps forward on 5-6, and turns on 7-8, while the leader makes another 90 degrees counter-clockwise. After these 8 counts, the leader and follower have exchanged their positions.
New York style or Eddie Torres style SALSA
The "NY Salsa Style" is a combination of the "On 1" and "On 2" systems. The timing of the steps are on the 1-2-3,5-6-7 as in "On 1" but the breaks (where the body changes direction) occur on the 2 and 6 as in "On 2". NY instructor Eddie Torres developed this step pattern around the late '70s and the '80s, and its definition is quite clear as he is still alive and his followers are keen to keep the style intact. This is their description of the step: Description of "On Two" on salsanewyork.com There are many "socials" in NYC or nightclubs that dedicate on playing only mambo or salsa
Power 2 / Palladium 2 / Ballroom Mambo
This salsa style is similar to Los-Angeles salsa style, but it is danced "On Two". The basic step timing is
2-3-4,6-7-8 with the breaks on 2 and 6. It is important to note that although this salsa style is also known as dancing "En Clave", the name is not implying that the step timing should follow the rhythm of the Clave as in 2-3 or 3-2. It only means that you take the first step (and break) on the second beat of the measure.
On Clave SALSA
This does indeed follow the 2-3 or 3-2 pattern of the clave, e.g. for the 2-3 clave the leader steps forward with the left on 2 and with the right on 3, then does the other 4 steps of the basic on 5-8 (syncronizing with the clave on 5 and 8 ). It's a traditional form and it's less known/used outside some Latin countries.
The Rumba, Mambo, Cha Cha and Salsa all dance with the clave and therefore use the same basic dance patterns. The variation that gives uniqueness to each dance occurs on the 4th count and 8th count. As discussed in part I, this reflects the adaption of Native African clave patterns, which were played in 12/8 time, into the Cuban clave pattern played in 4/4 time.
Real dancers don't dance on the clave. As we discussed in Part III, if you did, it would be the dance equivalent of a musician playing out of tune! However, real dancers, do dance with the clave. What this means, is that they use the clave pattern to co-ordinate their movements.
The word "clave" literally means key. It is a repetitive pattern in the music that keeps the band members in time and in the same pattern. As a dancer, it is that part of the music that locks you into a measure of music. A musical repetition that tells you, when to start or that you should have completed a sequence of moves and should start another.
As a dancer the key is the bar which has a musical emphasis on the 2 and 3 counts. From the first time you hear it, it will occur every second bar. Because the 2 and 3 clave beats have rests either side of them (like quotation marks) these beats are easier to hear than the 1, 2& and 4 beats of the next bar.
Puerto Rican style SALSA
This style can be danced as "On One" or "On Two". If danced as "On Two", it is always danced on count 2, and not on count 6 as in Ladies-style NY.
If you go to Puerto Rico in the summer, you will find numerous open air concerts and performances. In many cases, people are encouraged to dance in a variety of public spaces— beaches, parks, plazas, streets. A few years ago in July, I was taking an evening stroll along Paseo de la Princesa, a walkway that runs along the outside of Old San Juan’s centuries-old city walls. Suddenly, I ran across a very famous salsa group performing on an open air stage. Hundreds of people were either milling around or dancing. Since I love good dancing, I edged in closer to get a better view of this group of dancers of all ages. There were grandmothers dancing with their grandsons, couples who had obviously danced together through decades, and teenaged couples dancing on their first date— the usual scenario. But then I noticed that some (perhaps more skimpily clad than usual) couples were dancing differently, with much more flourish and confident self-consciousness. “There is no way in the world that I will join in the dance now,” I thought to myself. A few days later, my puzzlement was dissipated. These incredibly impressive and statuesque dancers were participants of the Puerto Rico Salsa Congress that had just decided to leave their hotels and go out on the town. Sigh of relief— no, traditional Puerto Rican salsa styles has not changed completely.
Every year, the best dancers, instructors, and schools meet to compete in the Puerto Rico Salsa Congress. They compete in two formats: groups or couples. Any dancer, 16 years or older, from any region in the world, is eligible to participate. Many of these participants are winners from national or regional competitions; however, when a city or country does not hold a competition, the competitors may register independently. The participants are evaluated on their stage presence, visual presentation, choreography, technical knowledge and execution of the movements, rhythm, creativity, and their interaction. Judges are selected from a group of the world’s most renowned instructors and dancers.
Casino Rueda style SALSA
Main article: Rueda de Casino. In the 1950s Salsa Rueda (Rueda de Casino) was developed in Havana, Cuba. Pairs of dancers form a circle (Rueda in Spanish), with dance moves called out by one person. Many of the moves involve rapidly swapping partners.
Rueda de Casino (Rueda, Casino Rueda, Salsa Rueda) is a particular type of round dancing of Salsa. It was developed in Havana, Cuba in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the group Guaracheros de Regla and one of its main choreographers and creators was Jorge Alfaro from San Miguel del Padrón, a soloist of a comparsa.
Pairs of dancers form a circle, with dance moves called out by one person, a caller (or 'Líder' or 'cantante' in Spanish). Many moves have hand signs to complement the calls; these are useful in noisy venues, where spoken calls might not be easily heard. Many moves involve the swapping of partners.
The names of the moves are mostly in Spanish, some in English (or Spanglish; e.g., "un fly"). Some names are known in slightly different versions, easily recognizable by Spanish-speaking dancers, but may be confusing to the rest.
Although the names of most calls are presently the same across the board, the different towns in Cuba use their own calls. This was due to the fact that when the pioneers of Rueda de Casino started, they wanted to keep others from participating in their Rueda. Nowadays many local variations of the calls can be found. They can change from town to town or even from teacher to teacher.h), with dance moves called out by one person. Many of the moves involve rapidly swapping partners.
Salsa Dancing Is Sexy: