Salsa dancing is a popular form of Latin dance that is danced around the world, and you’ve probably seen people dancing it in the movies or at your local club.
But there’s more to salsa dancing than meets the eye! Here are seven things you probably didn’t know about salsa dancing:
1) Salsa is the Most Popular Partner Dance in the World
Salsa dancing isn’t just popular, it’s the most popular form of partnered dancing in the world!
According to data from Facebook, there are over 200 million people that like salsa dancing around the globe– that’s more than the next three popular dances (bachata, swing dance and tango) combined!
Salsa dancing schools and clubs can be found around the world, not just in the US and Latin America, but across Europe, Asia and the rest of the world– almost every major city in the world has some salsa dancing.
2) Salsa Originated in the United States
Although salsa has Latin roots, the term “salsa” was first coined and popularized in New York City in the United States.
Many of the best salsa dancers in the world live in the US, with salsa hot spots in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
3) Salsa Originated in the 1960s
The term “salsa” was first coined by Fania Records, a record-label founded by Dominican-born composer Johnny Pacheco and Italian-American lawyer Jerry Masucci in 1964.
Fania combined the different styles of Latin music being played in New York under the single label of “salsa”, and helped to market and popularize the music around the world.
The dance style to compliment the music soon followed, with early pioneers such as Eddie Torres and Johnny Vazquez helping to formalize the steps and teach them through dance schools.
4) Salsa is a Mix of Different Dances
“Salsa” means “sauce” in Spanish, and like its namesake, salsa dancing is a mixture of many different ingredients.
Some of the dances which have influenced or have been incorporated into salsa include mambo, cha cha cha, Cuban son, pachanga, swing, hustle, jazz, and Afro-Cuban rumba.
Many salsa dancers continue to experiment with the dance, incorporating elements of ballet, gymnastics, hip hop and other genres to continue taking salsa in new directions.
5) There are Six Different Styles of Salsa Dancing
Beginners often don’t realize that salsa isn’t just one dance, there are actually six distinct styles of salsa that are danced around the world!
The six different styles are: New York style salsa, LA Style salsa, Cuban salsa, Rueda de Casino, Colombian salsa, and Salsa Choke.
A few of the styles are similar enough that dancers of one style can dance with another, but others are completely different styles of dance.
6) There are Different Styles of Salsa Music
If the different styles of salsa dancing weren’t confusing enough, there are also many different styles of salsa music.
Some of the different salsa music styles include Salsa Dura (“hard salsa”), Salsa Romantica (romantic salsa music), Latin Jazz, Timba (salsa music from Cuba), pop salsa, and salsa choke.
7) Salsa Dancing is Good for Your Health
Salsa dancing is one of the fastest paced social dance styles out there, which means it’s a great way to get your body moving and burning calories!
Salsa music typically ranges anywhere from 150 BPM (beats per minute) to 220 BPM, which translates to 300-400 carlories per hour burned dancing salsa.
Training in salsa can also improve your flexibility and strength, and learning new salsa movements is even good for your brain!
Those are our seven salsa dancing facts you probably didn’t know! We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about salsa and learned something new!
If you have any interesting facts we missed, leave them in the comments!