What is salsa?
As a salsa, both a music genre – the so-called salsa music – as well as a Latin American dance, which is danced to this music, called. Its origins are this dance in North and Central America of the 1960s.
Characteristic of salsa dancing is the cheerfulness of the dancers and the erotic hip movement. But Salsa means much more than just a dance and a musical genre, it’s a unique way of life, a whole subculture that is becoming more and more prevalent in all parts of the world.
In the Salsa styles one distinguishes mainly between salsa “in the circle” and “on the line”. According to a survey, about 50% of salsa dancers dance “in circles”. This form of dance is primarily for the Cuban Style. Around 42% dance “on the line”, a form found in the Salsa New York style , the Puerto Rican style and the LA style . A share of 8% cannot completely assign the own dance style.
However, the basic steps of salsa dance are all the same. The smaller or larger deviations of the different styles from each other can be learned quickly, once you have mastered the basic technique of salsa.
What makes salsa so special?
Salsa is an excellent counterweight to everyday life. Salsa dancing stands for relaxation, joie de vivre, community, sensuality and eroticism . Most people who start to dance with salsa are fascinated by the positive charisma emanating from the music and the dancers. And for the vast majority of beginners, salsa is very attractive after only a short time – they quickly become “salsa-addicted”. Anyone who dances salsa feels happy and happy, is always on the move and can relax well. And last but not least, you’re a little bit proud of yourself – and that can lead to truly euphoric states!
Another advantage of salsa is that the dance partners change frequently. So you get to know many new people quickly. It is common for a man or a woman to have between 10-30 different dance partners on a salsa evening. Of course, there are also couples who just like to dance together: that too is always respected.
If you were to describe the feelings of salsa dancing in simple sentences, you could say that salsa releases endogenous endorphins . To put it a little more succinct, one can also say: “Salsa dancing is high without drugs.” According to a study by Wieschiolek, salsa dancing also has other positive effects on people, such as an improved self-esteem, a positive change in attitude towards life and increased fitness.
How does a salsa dance class work? Do I have to bring a dance partner?
No. You do not have to bring a solid dance partner. A rotation of the dance partners is used by the dance teachers to reduce tension and to practice dancing with as many partners as possible – after all, each individual has their own individual movements. The sooner you practice adapting to different partners, the easier it will be to dance in salsa clubs.
Of course, salsa dance classes not only serve the pure learning of rhythm, steps and figures, but also provide opportunities for contact. Many dance students exchange their mobile numbers during dance classes and arrange to attend salsa parties together. On longer visits to dance classes in the same dance schools, there are sometimes cliques of like-minded people who become friends and go to parties together or do other activities. Salsa is not just a pair of sports, but very sociable.
You are interested in salsa but are shy?
Because salsa makes it easy for people to get in touch, this scene is not only interesting for extrovert people , but also for shy people . The body contact is very common and is quite casual and natural, because it arises from the music out. Even shy people often lose their shyness after a few weeks. Also the self-confidence is strengthened by success experiences, which adjust automatically when learning the dance.
How long does it take to learn salsa?
Here we have to differentiate between men and women. That sounds unfair, but it’s easy to explain that the men not only have to master the steps, but also have to be able to lead the partner. For women learning is therefore very fast. Men need between 3 and 9 months , depending on the frequency of training , until they can safely compete on the dance floor. Above all, though, salsa dancing should be a pleasure! And: First, no master has fallen from the sky. Second, you always learn, even if you think it’s not progressing!
And because a few numbers are always good: On average, 23% of the salsa dancers dance only for 6 months – so as a beginner, you really do not have to hide on the dance floor. Another 27% have been dancing for 6-12 months. Only 18% of salsa dancers have more than four years of experience, another 17% have spent about three years, 15% have two years experience in salsa dancing.
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