Recognize salsa styles

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What styles of salsa are there?

There are several styles of salsa, differing in their origins, movement characteristics and musical interpretations. Here are some of the most famous salsa styles:

  1. Salsa Cubana: Also known as Cuban salsa, this is the original style that originated in Cuba. Salsa Cubana is characterized by flowing movements, circular movement patterns and the use of Rueda de Casino, a group dance in a circle. The emphasis is on connecting with your dance partner and having fun with improvisation.

  2. Salsa On1 (LA Style): This style of salsa originated in Los Angeles, USA, and is also known as LA style. In Salsa On1 you dance on the first beat of the music (on the one), which makes the steps more clearly defined. This style is characterized by elegant and stylish movements, pronounced turns and accentuated body isolation movements.

  3. Salsa On2 (New York Style): This style originated in New York and is also known as Mambo or New York Style Salsa. In contrast to the On1 style, Salsa On2 involves dancing on the second beat of the music (on the two). This style is characterized by complex footwork, rapid turns, accentuated hip movements and a close connection to the rhythm of the percussion.

  4. Salsa Puerto-Riqueña: This style developed in Puerto Rico and has influences from Cuban salsa and Latin American music styles such as bomba and plena. Salsa Puerto-Riqueña is characterized by fast footwork, accentuated hip movements, close body contact and flowing movements.

  5. Colombian Style Salsa: This style comes from Colombia and is also known as Cali Style Salsa, named after the city of Cali. Colombian Style Salsa is characterized by fast footwork, acrobatic figures, quick turns and a strong focus on rhythm and musicality.

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It's important to note that while these styles have differences, they also have many similarities. In the dance world there are often hybrids or variations of these styles, and dancers can incorporate elements from different styles into their choreographies or improvisations. Ultimately, salsa is about feeling the rhythm, connecting with your dance partner and having fun dancing.

How do the styles differ?

The salsa styles differ in various aspects such as dance techniques, movement characteristics, musical interpretation and cultural background. Here are some specific differences between salsa styles:

  1. Dance Techniques: Different styles of salsa have different step sequences, footwork and body isolation movements. For example, Salsa Cubana emphasizes fluid movements, while Salsa On1 and On2 can involve more complex footwork and turns. Each style has its own distinctive movement elements and techniques.

  2. Rhythm Interpretation: Salsa styles can interpret the rhythm and emphasis of the music differently. Salsa Cubana often emphasizes the basic rhythm and melodic instruments, while Salsa On1 and On2 can emphasize the percussion instruments such as congas and timbales. Each style has its own preferences for emphasis and musical interpretation.

  3. Dance posture and physical contact: The dance posture and degree of physical contact can vary depending on the salsa style. For example, Salsa Cubana may emphasize closer physical contact and an open dance posture, while Salsa On1 and On2 favor a more closed dance posture with clear leadership and follow.

  4. Regional and cultural influence: Each salsa style has its place of origin and is closely linked to the regional culture. Salsa Cubana has its roots in Cuba, while Salsa On1 and On2 originated in the USA. The Colombian style is strongly influenced by the music and culture of Colombia. The different cultural influences are reflected in the dance styles.

It is important to note that these differences are not strict and fixed. Salsa is a vibrant dance style that evolves over time and absorbs various influences. Many dancers mix elements from different styles and develop their own individual style. Ultimately, salsa dancing is about experiencing the fun and joy of dance and connecting with the music, regardless of the specific style.

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