Exploring Salsa Dance Styles: From LA to NY and Beyond
Where To Dance

Unraveling the Rhythms: A Deep Dive into Salsa's Diverse Styles

Where To Dance - Unraveling the Rhythms: A Deep Dive into Salsa's Diverse Styles

Welcome to the latest feature on Where To Dance, your premier destination for exploring the vibrant world of Latin dance. Today, we’re stepping into the lively beats and passionate movements of salsa - a dance that has captivated hearts and feet across the globe. From the streets of Los Angeles to the vibrant clubs of Cali, Colombia, salsa has evolved into an array of styles, each with its unique flair and rhythm. Let’s embark on a journey to understand the distinct styles of salsa, celebrating its rich diversity and the joy it brings to dancers worldwide.

  • LA Style Salsa (Los Angeles Style Salsa) Born in the heart of Hollywood, LA style salsa, also known as Los Angeles style salsa, is a spectacle of sharp, flashy, and acrobatic moves. Created by the renowned Vazquez brothers, this style is danced On1, following a linear structure. The hallmark of LA style is its dramatic visual aesthetic, a nod to its showbiz roots, complete with intricate footwork and dynamic "shines" where dancers showcase their individuality.

  • NY Style Salsa (New York Style Salsa) aka Eddie Torres Style The Big Apple presents its own salsa rhythm with the NY style salsa, affectionately known as the Eddie Torres Style. Danced a tiempo On2, this style is known for its smooth, laid-back essence with a flair of sophistication. It borrows elements from ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance, all while staying true to its mambo origins. The linear cross-body lead structure and the freedom for solo "shines" make NY style salsa a dance of elegance and style.

  • Puerto Rican Style Salsa Diverse and versatile, Puerto Rican style salsa is not bound by strict timing; dancers groove to On1, On2, On3, and even On4 to the bass. This style is mostly linear with some rotational moves, offering a blend of structured steps and free-flowing movements. The essence of Puerto Rican salsa lies in interpreting the music in your unique style, making each dance an expression of personal creativity and elegance.

  • Cuban Style Salsa (Casino and Rueda de Casino) Rooted in the rich Afro-Cuban heritage, Cuban style salsa, or Casino, is danced in a circular fashion, emphasizing a rotational structure. Whether it's the intimate couple dance of Casino or the lively group dynamics of Rueda de Casino, this style is all about connection and collective joy. Dancers immerse themselves in the rhythm, often incorporating folkloric elements and celebrating the cultural legacy of the island's music and dance.

  • Colombian Style Salsa (Cali Style Salsa / Salsa Caleña) In the energetic streets of Cali, salsa takes a fast-paced, exhilarating turn. Colombian style salsa, or Salsa Caleña, is renowned for its rapid footwork and spirited energy. Danced primarily On1, this style is a whirlwind of syncopated steps and vibrant movements, perfectly complementing the percussive beats of salsa brava. It's a dance that celebrates speed, precision, and the sheer joy of movement.

Salsa is not just a dance; it's a mosaic of cultures, stories, and rhythms. Each style, from LA to Cali, brings its unique flavor to the dance floor, inviting us to explore and embrace the diversity within the salsa community. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or taking your first step, remember that salsa is about finding your rhythm and expressing your style. So, put on your dancing shoes, feel the beat, and let the world of salsa take you on an unforgettable journey.

Join us at Where To Dance for more insights, stories, and tips from the world of Latin dance. Embrace the rhythm, explore the styles, and find where your salsa journey will lead you next!

Salsa Dancing LA Style Salsa NY Style Salsa Cuban Style Salsa Puerto Rican Salsa Colombian Style Salsa Latin Dance Dance Styles Dance Culture Social Dancing
Samuel Newton

Co-founder of WhereToDance

Samuel Newton has gracefully moved to the rhythms of Salsa, Bachata, Swing, and Ballroom, cherishing every step and turn. His love for dance extends beyond the dance floor – it's in the laughter shared during a dance lesson, the applause after a performance, and the connections made in a dance hall.

Recognizing the vibrancy and potential of the dance community, Samuel, along with Sarah Hamilton, co-founded both WhereToDanceNashville.com and WhereToDance. Their vision was simple yet profound: to cultivate a platform where dancers, both novices and veterans, could connect, learn, and grow. Samuel's dedication is not just about mastering dance steps; it's about fostering a community where every dancer feels at home.

When he's not dancing or working on Where To Dance, Samuel can be found attending dance events, immersing himself in the ever-evolving world of dance, and continuously seeking avenues to help the dance community flourish.