In this blog, we’re going to explore the lively and fun Latin American dance that combines mainly Cuban and Puerto Rican rhythms with elements of jazz, rock, and soul music….Salsa! The term salsa, much like the term jazz, is simply a word used to describe the combination of different rhythms used to make that certain, unique sound that we now recognize as salsa music.
Interesting fact: Although there is nothing known for certain, it is believed that the term Salsa was coined by a Venezuelan radio host named Fidias Danilo. It is said that he presented his music acts with the introduction: “A continueción escucharemos la salsa de…” (“Now we will listen to the salsa of…”) then adding the name of the next act. While this is the best known explanation for where the word salsa was created, very few people know why.
Thanks to the New York population of Puerto Ricans that migrated to the United States between 1915 and 1969, this wonderfully exciting dance has gained a following throughout the Latino and Non-Latino scene alike. It is more than just a coincidence that in this time period the interest in Latin dancing also increased throughout the world. And since the 1970’s, Puerto Rico has claimed the music as its own and thus dominates the Latin music market still today.
Musically, salsa has its roots based in the African-Spanish musical rhythms of Cuba. With the following that African-American Jazz gained in the 1940’s, the two styles would eventually come together to blend a fusion of Latin and Jazz music.
Tito Puente is widely know as the first great salsa musician. He became a Big Band leader after a stint in the U.S. Navy and went on to organize his own band called, “Puente’s Latin Jazz Ensemble,” which has been heard by audiences around the world. Puente studied percussion in New York at the Juilliard School of Music, and throughout his time as band leader, he took salsa music to the next level by expanding the mambo section of his band and speeding up the tempo of certain rhythms. Hence the salsa music that we know today was born.
It’s amazing what you can learn when doing research on salsa dancing. A history abundant in fun facts and even better stories of its beginnings help you to appreciate the dance that much more. However, the history is even richer when you actually know and have experienced salsa dancing for yourself. What better way to understand something than to do it? If you’re reading this now, and thinking to yourself, “How can I learn more about salsa dancing? How can I begin my journey into this fantastic dance?”, here’s what you can do… First, find a local dance studio near you, and begin taking beginner’s Latin dance lessons for adults. Next, be patient with yourself as you learn and grow. Latin dancing is not mastered overnight, but if you take your time and make the investment into Private Dance Lessons, you will absolutely get the results that you have always wanted.
It is worth everything you put in to it to experience the feeling that only dance can bring – especially salsa dancing. The music itself will make you feel so alive that you will find yourself with a healthy addiction on your hands in no time! Salsa dance lessons have other benefits too, like raised endorphins, which add to a natural good mood, and confidence, which helps all areas of life.
At Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona we have an exciting Latin dance program that will get you moving on any social dance floor before long. We’ll teach you in a way that is useful to your everyday life, and more fun than you could possibly know! Stop waiting and start dancing. If you live in Phoenix with us, give Dance FX Studios a call and let’s begin a new chapter in your life on the dance floor!