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Salsa Dance

OUT to Dance offers salsa dance classes, merengue dance classes and Latin dance classes at West Roxbury School of Dance; click here for our current dance classes.

Perhaps you've tried salsa dancing in a club or party setting and you want the basics broken down for you, or you've just heard how exciting the dance really is; by taking each dance pattern step by step and building on what you just learned, you're absolutely guaranteed to succeed, and to love it. Experience the joy!

Salsa Dance is danced to music with a recurring eight-beat pattern, i.e. two bars of four beats. Salsa patterns typically use three steps during each four beats, one beat being skipped. However, this skipped beat is often marked by a tap, a kick, a flick, etc. Typically the music involves complicated percussion rhythms and is fast with around 180 beats per minute (see salsa music for more).

Salsa is a slot or spot dance. Unlike Foxtrot or Samba, in Salsa a couple does not travel over the dance floor much, but rather occupies a fixed area on the dance floor. In some cases people salsa dance in solo mode.

History of Salsa

Salsa music is a fusion of traditional African and Cuban and other Latin-American rhythms that traveled from the islands (Cuba and Puerto Rico) to New York during the migration, somewhere between the 1940s and the 1970s, depending on where one puts the boundary between "real" salsa dance and its predecessors. There is debate as to whether Salsa originated in Cuba or Puerto Rico. Then again, it is a debate, and there is the possibility that it could have originated in both places or only one. Salsa is one of the main dances in both Cuba and Puerto Rico and is known world-wide. The dance steps currently being danced to salsa music come from the Cuban son, but were influenced by many other Cuban dances such as Mambo, Chá, Guaracha, Changuí, Lukumí, Palo Montel, Rumba, Yambú, Abakuá, Comparsa and some times even Mozambique. It also integrates swing dances. There are no strict rules of how salsa should be danced, although one can distinguish a number of styles.

  • Cuban style salsa
  • Colombian style salsa
  • Los Angeles style salsa
  • New York style or Eddie Torres style
  • Power 2 / Palladium 2 / Ballroom Mambo
  • Puerto Rican style salsa
  • Rueda style

When joining our salsa, merengue, and other dance classes, note that our OUT to Dance studio locations, West Roxbury and Roslindale, MA, are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton and Quincy; and within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Wellesley, Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Foxboro, Weymouth and surrounding towns. We are also less than an hour from Providence, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Salsa and Merengue Dance Classes and Music:

Other dances you can learn in our OUT to Dance Classes

Swing/Lindy, West Coast Swing

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