Heritage Of Salsa Dance Forms

When one thinks of Salsa Dancing, one will immediately be reminded of Cuba, its birthplace and of the Caribbean and of other Hispanic countries like Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The music of salsa is based on the rhythms generated with the clave and are generally duple pulsed and triple pulsed patterns. They may be Son or Rumba Clave depending on the location and style.

The dancers in this dance type will have to make three steps or movements for a four count measure of music. The dancers watch the leader and rarely move their upper torsos, while their legs move relatively fast. The sheer variety of the steps that are caused by the legs accompanied by hip movements make the dance enthralling. Anyone could learn it fast.

There are many styles but the Cuban, the Miami and the Cali are the most well known. Miami dancing is sometimes interleaved with Latin-American styles and the resultant fusion forms are different if not really interesting. Grouped together are the dance forms Miami, Cali-style, Cas and Venezuela. The lateral difference in style of the New York and the LA is evident not because of their North-American origin but because the former takes the break-On1, while the latter does it On 2. The evolution of the music and even the origins are entirely different. Jazz instruments influenced New York-Salsa while it was in its infancy. One can find Salsa everywhere. Things liven up at parties, night clubs and dinner parties when a salsa is on show.

Columbian City Cali which is known by the sobriquet ‘Salsa-World Capital’ is the place where Cali originated. Salsa-dancing Columbian style is marked by the diagonal move, one where the partners step out away diagonally, the ‘Atras’, instead of the forward and repeated backward movement that is a specialty of traditional salsa. Most of north-American styles would have dancers moving forward and then backwards. One has only to observe the dancers to know that the dance is a wonderful piece of art. It is observed that the dances have a shorter form of 4 counts instead of the traditional 8 counts. Lessons in basic dancing could help the beginner a lot.

The cross body movement which signifies the north American and Cuban styles is absent in the Cali style which has rapid movement instead with a lot of skipping. Dance break patterns vary and here it is On1 or On3 with fast and exciting footwork making the dancers go around in complicated patterns around each other. It is possible that one would be familiar with the dancers because they are all World Title holders.

Perhaps one of the most popular dances is the Cuban Cas which is sometimes referred to as Cas for it finds patronage in Middle East countries, America and also in Europe. This symbolizes everything the people stand for, their culture their beliefs and the traditions and thus is very dear to everyone. For Spanish people Cas means dancing halls.

It is a partner dance which has body rhythms based on Cuban Son and is of the Rumba dance form lineage. This dance form is older than the Salsa even. The dance has the option of down-breaks at position on1 or on3. For the sake of dance one considers the odd numbered beats 1, 3, and all to be downbeats while the even ones 2, 4, are all up beat ones.

Cas-Miami has a lot of added glamour and style added. Cuban Migrants who settled around Miami fused American Culture, LA style and Cuban Salsa to create what we now see as Miami-style. Lot of Cuban-American and Latino people follow this style fervently.

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